Architectural Gems History & Culture Outdoor Activities Others Places of Worship great buddha of kamakura wakamiya oji street tsurugaoka hachimangu shrine genjiyama park hase-dera hokokuji engakuji inamuragasaki kamakura kanagawa japan Japan > Kanagawa (prefecture) > Kamakura

Enjoy Kamakura's Wonderful Events In All 4 Lovely Seasons!

Rachel
Updated Oct 26, 2016

Kamakura, an ancient city located south of Tokyo, is just one hour away from the capital city by train. Surrounded by mountains on three sides of the city, with a wonderful beach in the south, Kamakura is a lovely spot for nature and beach lovers. In addition, the old political centre of Japan is home to dozens of Buddhist Zen temples and Shinto shrines where you can appreciate the tranquil beauty of traditional Japanese architecture. In fact, Kamakura is such a charming destination to visit any time of the year. Read on to find out how you can enjoy the ancient city with these exciting events in all four eventful seasons:

Map Location

1. Spring - best time to view gorgeous cherry blossoms!

Source: Pixabay

Without doubt, the best thing to do in spring is to look out for the beautiful sea of sakura (cherry blossoms) when you are in Japan. Here are some of the best sakura viewing spots you can find in Kamakura:

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1. Wakamiya Oji Street

段葛の渡り初め

A photo posted by life_kamakura (@life_kamakura) on

Wakamiya Oji Street (若宮大路) was a worship road (Sando) built more than 800 years ago for the first Shogun in Kamakura government’s wife. This long stretch of road, about 1.8 kilometres (1.1 miles), leads to Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine and is a famous sakura viewing spot in Kamakura. Enjoy a romantic stroll with your partner as you soak up the beautiful cherry blossoms along one of the top 100 streets in Japan!

Wakamiya Oji Street (若宮大路)

Address: Yukinoshita, Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture

Price: free entry

Opening Hours: always open

Duration: around 30 minutes required

Access: Take the east exit from Kamakura Station and walk straight ahead past the buses out to the main road

Contact: +81 467-23-3050

Wakamiya Oji Street (Japanese only)

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2. Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine

Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine (鶴岡八幡宮) is not only the most important shrine in Kamakura, it is also a prime spot for viewing lovely sakura in spring. Hundreds of cherry trees are planted around the pond on the shrine’s grounds. From late March to early April, the pond will be crowded with people trying to snap the best shots of the fascinating sight.

Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine (鶴岡八幡宮)

Address: 2-1-31 Yukinoshita, Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture

Price: free entry (200 JPY / 2 USD to the Shrine Museum)

Opening Hours: please refer to official website

Duration: around 1 hour required

Access: 10 to 15-minute walk from Kamakura station or Kenchoji Temple

Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine (鶴岡八幡宮)

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3. Genjiyama Park

Spring is a great time to hike, because the weather is cool, around 13 to 19 degrees Celsius (55 to 66 degrees Fahrenheit). Try the famous Daibutsu Hiking Trail that connects the Great Buddha with Kitakamakura, which will lead you to Genjiyama Park (源氏山公園). Although just a small hill top park along the trail, you will be rewarded with an awesome view of sakura. In fact, the park is known for its cherry blossoms in spring, hydrangeas in summer and beautiful autumn leaves. Check out the lovely park not just for its awesome sea of flowers, but also for the statue of Minamoto Yoritomo and learn more about the Kamakura Period.

Genjiyama Park (源氏山公園)

Address: 4-7-1 Ogigayatsu, Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture

Price: free entry

Opening Hours: always open

Duration: around 30 minutes required

Access: From Kita-Kamakura Station’s west exit, head five minutes south towards the entrance of Daibutsu Hiking Course. Continue along the trail for 30 minutes until Genjiyama Park

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4. The Great Buddha of Kamakura

As its name suggests, The Great Buddha of Kamakura (鎌倉大仏) is such a great statue that your Kamakura trip will be incomplete if you miss it out. Standing on the grounds of Kotokuin Temple, the 13.35-metre-tall (44-foot-tall) bronze statue is the second tallest in Japan. Although there aren’t many cherry trees planted on the temple grounds, just one strategically placed tree to the right of the Great Buddha is enough to make it a great photo and viewing spot for sakura in spring!

The Great Buddha of Kamakura (鎌倉大仏)

Address: 4-2-28 Hase, Kamakura,Kanagawa Prefecture

Price:200 JPY (2 USD)

Opening Hours: please refer to official website

Duration: around 40 minutes required

Access: 7-minute walk from Hase station on the Enoden line

Contact: +81 467-22-0703

The Great Buddha of Kamakura (鎌倉大仏)

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Summer - enjoy the beach and sand!

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5. Japanese way of enjoying the beach

Kamakura is a coastal town with beautiful beaches. As the city is just a quick train ride from Tokyo, many escape to Kamakura’s beaches during the summer to relax and unwind away from the city hustles. The summer heat can be a little overwhelming, so head to Yuigahama Beach and Zaimokuza Beach in the ancient city for some great beach activities to cool down!

In addition, you should also board the nostalgic Enoden / Enoshima Electric Railway for a unique ride that you can’t find on other Japanese railway systems. The Enoden Electric Railway system started about 100 years ago, with most of the stations on a single track. In some areas, the train travels very close to houses, while suddenly bringing you a breathtaking view of Sagami Bay in some other areas. A ride on the Enoden line is surely a one-of-a-kind experience that will leave you with fond memories of the visit. Read more about Enoden

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Autumn

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6. The season for eating

There is an old saying in Japan that “fall [/ autumn] is the season for eating”, because it is the time for the peak harvest. Autumn is a season many are looking forward to. Why? Because after the intense humidity and heat of summer, everyone just hopes to enjoy cooler temperatures and beautiful foliage with the change in season. Some of the best representative foods in autumn are matsutake (mushroom), sanma (Pacific saury) and kuri (chestnut).

Matsutake is difficult to cultivate because it requires very specific conditions to grow. Known for its strong umami flavour, it is usually grilled and used sparingly in soups or eaten with rice. It is a great comfort food in autumn as you tuck into a bowl of rich flavourful soup on a cold day. The sanma is usually salted and grilled as a whole fish, before being served with rice. It is such a popular food in autumn that there is actually an annual Sanma Festival! Taste this signature dish with fat and fluffy fish meat in many seafood restaurants in Kamakura while enjoying the scenic maple leaf views!

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7. Best time to enjoy the incredible autumn colours

鎌倉の円覚寺! 紅葉〜!

A photo posted by ひつじ (@neginasshi) on

As mentioned earlier, Kamakura is surrounded by the mountains on three sides of the city. In autumn, when leaves of the numerous maple trees and ginkgo trees turn red and yellow, it is truly a spectacular sight to behold. To best enjoy the autumn colours, take a rejuvenating hike along the popular Ten-en Hiking Course around the northern ridge of Kamakura.

Or, if you enjoy history and culture, there are several temples with beautiful autumn foliage to check out, such as Kotokuin Temple, where the Great Buddha lies, Hase-dera Temple (長谷寺), Hokokuji Temple (報国寺), Engakuji Temple (円覚寺), and Meigetsuin Temple (明月院). Not only can you soak up the amazing scenery, you will also be able to gain more insights into the religious beliefs of the locals at the temples.

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Kamakura and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Kamakura

Winter - get some warmth at Kamakura

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8. Kamakura is warmer than Tokyo!

富士山と江ノ島と稲村ヶ崎とコサギ 冬の休憩日和

A photo posted by Seiji Tsuda (@tiinaanagoo) on

In winter, while most parts of Japan will see some snow, Kamakura is a city where you will still find the gardens in hues of green and brown, and snow is rare. Compared to other Japanese cities, the ancient city also feels relatively warmer, with average winter temperatures ranging from 5 to 16 degrees Celsius (41 to 61 degrees Fahrenheit). All year round, Kamakura receives plenty of sunshine, hence winter remains enjoyable enough for everyone.

Visit Inamuragasaki Park (稲村ケ崎), a cape located on the western side of the popular Yuigahama Beach. Jutting out from a coast dividing Yuigahama BBeach from Shichirigahama Beach, Inamuragasaki Park is well known for stunning views of snow-capped Mount Fuji on a clear wintry day. In fact, there are designated photo spots here that are said to give you the best view of the sacred mountain. Furthermore, you can also enjoy a relaxing onsen (hot spring) experience with a breathtaking view at the nearby Inamuragasaki Onsen. It is a heavenly experience you wouldn’t want to miss!

Inamuragasaki Park (稲村ケ崎)

Address: Inamuragasaki, Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture

Price: free entry

Opening Hours: always open

Duration: around 30 minutes required

Access: Exit Inamuragasaki Station on the Enoden Line, head left and make your way towards the beach. Turn left at the beach road and walk for about 5 minutes until you reach the cape

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Kamakura and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Kamakura

Enjoy the Home of the Samurai in all four seasons

Regardless of when you decide to make a trip to the ancient city of Kamakura, there is something special to explore. Furthermore, with quick and frequent train rides to and from Tokyo, it is so easy to head to Kamakura for a pleasant trip. So, do not hesitate further! Make time for a wonderful holiday in Kamakura now!

This article was originally published on Oct 26, 2016
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Rachel has forgotten when and exactly how she caught the travel bug. What she does remember is the triumphant feeling she enjoys when she sees the fascinating world out there with her own eyes. She...Read more

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