Make The Most Of Your Time In Kamakura, Japan - 10 Must-Visit Sights!

Make The Most Of Your Time In Kamakura, Japan - 10 Must-Visit Sights!
Keita
Keita 
Updated

Kamakura is located in the Kanagawa prefecture on Japan’s main island, Honshu. It is located just to the south of Tokyo, and less than an hour away. Kamakura played a huge role in the history of Japan and was, in fact, the political centre of Japan during the Kamakura era (1185 - 1333). Filled with numerous historical artefacts, a trip to Kamakura is perfect for history and culture lovers. Tourist destinations within the city are generally well connected via subway and buses.

1. The Great Buddha of Kamakura

Great Buddha of Kamakura
Source: Photo by user Japanexperterna.se used under CC BY-SA 3.0

The Great Buddha of Kamakura is no doubt one of the most famous symbols in Japan. Mysteriously, it is unknown when the Great Buddha was built, and by whom. The 11 metres (36 feet) tall Buddha statue represents the power and beauty of the Kamakura era, and can also be entered to view the interior of the statue.

The Great Buddha

Address: 4-2-28 Hase, Kamakura 248-0016, Kanagawa Prefecture

Access info: 7-minute walk from Hase station

Opening hours: please refer to official website

Fixed holiday: nil

Contact: +81 467-22-0703

Entrance fee: 200 JPY (1.9 USD)

Official URL

2. Hokokuji Temple

Hokokuji in Kamakura (2582092729)
Source: Photo by user KimonBerlin used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Hokokuji Temple is said to be built around 1334 and is most famous for the spectacular bamboo garden located near the main temple hall. The otherworldly atmosphere of the place has a cathartic effect and its beauty is simply mind-blowing. After a walk through the bamboo garden, you can visit the eatery located in the temple where delicious Matcha green tea and Japanese snacks can be enjoyed while immersing yourself in the beauty of Kamakura’s nature.

Hokokuji Temple (Takedera Temple)

Address: 2-7-4 Jomyoji, Kamakura 248-0003, Kanagawa Prefecture

Access info: 12-minute bus journey from Kamakura station

Opening hours: 9 am - 4 pm

Fixed holiday: December 29 to January 3

Contact: +81 467-22-0762

Entrance fee: 200 JPY (1.9 USD)

Official URL

3. Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine

Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine
Source: Photo by user Nerotaso used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine is also one of the shrines in Kamakura where you can appreciate the beauty of Japanese architecture as well as nature according to the different seasons – Sakura flowers in spring and maple leaves in autumn. If you visit Tsurugaoka Hachimangu during some of the festive seasons, you may be able to witness festivals and rituals too.

Tsurugaoka Hachimangu

Address: 2-1-31 Yukinoshita, Kamakura

Access info: 10-15 minute walk from the JR Kamakura station

Opening hours: please refer to official website

Fixed holiday: nil

Contact: +81 467-22-0315

Entrance fee: free entry (200 JPY or 1.90 USD for Shrine Museum)

Official URL

4. Tōkei-ji Temple

Toukeiji Temple
Source: Naoyuki 金井

Tōkei-ji Temple is a tourist destination listed in the Michelin Green Guide Japan with a 3-star grading - the highest rating. The historical importance as well as natural beauty of the place is perfect for those who love Japanese culture. One of the famous spots in Tōkei-ji Temple is the Japanese apricot flowers that bloom in spring. The light-pink flowers lining the temple is extremely stunning. Apart from that, various seasonal flowers decorate the temple throughout the year, embellishing the already beautiful architecture with more charm.

Tōkei-ji Temple

Address: 1367 Yamanouchi, Kamakura-shi, Kanagawa

Access info: 4-minute walk from Kita-Kamakura Station

Opening hours: please refer to official website

Fixed holiday: Monday

Contact: +81 467-33-5100

Entrance fee: 200 JPY (1.90 USD)

Official URL

5. Kamakura Museum of Literature

 Kamakura Museum of Literature
Source: 渡部 洋一

For fans of Japanese literature, the Kamakura Museum of Literature is a must-visit destination. The three-storey museum building was originally built in 1910, and used to be the villa of Maeda Toshitsugu, a feudal lord. It was then restored and rebuilt in a European style in 1936 following a fire. Various exhibits are placed within the museum that showcases the lifeworks and bibliography of renowned Japanese authors. Apart from that, the Kamakura Museum of Literature is also famous for the rose festival that can be enjoyed from mid-May to end-June and mid-October to end-November.

Kamakura Museum of Literature

Address: 1 Chome-1-5-3 Hase, Kamakura-shi, Kanagawa

Access info: 7-minute walk from Yuigahama station

Opening hours: please refer to official website

Fixed holiday: Monday, December 29 to January 3

Contact: +81 467-23-3911

Entrance fee: please refer to official website

Official URL (available only in Japanese)

6. Enoshima Seacandle Lighthouse

Enoshima Seacandle

Enoshima Island is an island connected to the mainland by a bridge, and is famous for its scenic seascapes. During the day, you can enjoy the unparalleled beauty of the Beach of Enoshima Island. After the resplendent sunset, the area will be gorgeously illuminated at night to create an extremely romantic atmosphere. The Enoshima Lighthouse Observation Tower, more popularly known as the Enoshima Seacandle, can be accessed and it gives a splendid panoramic view of the seascape as well as Kamakura city.

Enoshima Seacandle

Address:Kanagawa, Fujisawa-shi, Enoshima, 2 Chome 3 3−28

Access info: 25-minute walk from Enoshima station

Opening hours: please refer to official website

Fixed holiday: nil

Contact: +81 466-23-2444

Entrance fee: 200 JPY (1.90 USD)

Official URL (available only in Japanese)

7. Iwata Coffee’s pancake

Iwata Coffee's Pancake

Who can resist an 8 cm (3 inches) thick pancake!? Iwata Coffee is a café located conveniently at just 1 minute from Kamakura station and is an extremely popular store that is constantly crowded - waiting time can be up to 2 hours long at times. The famous pancakes of Iwata Coffee come with delicious maple syrup and butter. Crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, the mouth-watering pancake is certainly worth the wait. The pancakes of Iwata Coffee may be sold out by evening, so make sure you visit the café early!

Iwata Coffee

Address: 1 Chome-1-5-7 Komachi, Kamakura-shi, Kanagawa

Access info: 1-minute walk from Kamakura station

Opening hours: 10 am - 6 pm

Fixed holiday: Tuesday and second Wednesday of every month

Contact: +81 467-22-2689

8. Toyoshimaya Confectionary Store

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Toyoshimaya is the name of a confectionary store in Kamakura which sells the “Hato Sabure”, or “Pigeon Sablé”, a cute, pigeon-shaped biscuit which is very famous among Japanese. The flagship store of Toyoshimaya is located just 3 minutes from Kamakura station, and it sells various cookies and biscuits exclusive to Toyoshimaya.

Toyoshimaya Main Store

Address: Kanagawa, Kamakura-shi, Komachi, 2 Chome−11−19

Access info: 3-minute walk from Kamakura station

Opening hours: 9 am - 7 pm

Fixed holiday: Wednesday

Contact: +81 467-25-0810

Toyoshimaya Main Store

9. Sugimoto Temple

Sugimotodera,-Main-Hall,-Kamakura
Source: Photo by user Tarourashima used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

Sugimoto Temple has a history of over 1300 years and is said to be the oldest temple in Kamakura. Various historical artefacts, such as the Nio statues (guardians of the Buddha) located at the main gate, can still be viewed. There is also the beautiful staircase shown in the photo, covered in moss that developed over the long years. The staircase cannot be used due to safety reasons but its beauty is amazing. Sugimoto Temple is located at a very convenient location – just 9 minutes from Kamakura station by bus - and is definitely one of the places you cannot afford to miss.

Sugimoto Temple

Address: 903 Nikaido, Kamakura, Kanagawa

Access info: 9-minute bus ride from Kamakura station

Opening hours: 8 am - 4:30 pm (last admission 4:15 pm)

Fixed holiday: nil

Contact: +81 467-22-3463

Entrance fee: 200 yen (1.90 USD)

Official URL

10. Enoshima Aquarium

新江ノ島水族館5 - panoramio
Source: Photo by user baggio4ever used under CC BY 3.0

The deep blue Enoshima Aquarium is best known for its jellyfish exhibit. Over 14 species of jellyfish can be viewed at Enoshima Aquarium, and observing their slow, mysterious movements have an oddly alluring yet relaxing effect. Apart from the jellyfish, shows also take place at Enoshima Aquarium. There is also a beach outside Enoshima Aquarium that you can explore which provides a great view of the sunset.

Enoshima Aquarium

Address: 2-19-1 Katase Kaigan, Fujisawa-shi, Kanagawa

Access info: 3-minute walk from Katase-Enoshima station

Opening hours: please refer to official website

Fixed holiday: nil

Contact: +81 466-29-9960

Entrance fee: please refer to official website

Official URL

Home of the Samurai

Kamakura is sometimes known as the “Home of the Samurai” and various battles took place in the past. Today, it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Japan. Located closely to other tourist destinations such as Tokyo and Yokohama, a trip to Kamakura should be included in the bucket list of Japanese history lovers!

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Hi there, thanks for stopping by to read my articles. I travel to various regions in Japan and constantly find myself discovering something new. Hope my work will help in your planning and enjoy...Read more

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