Seasonal changes bring about different feelings and moods, and there are many holiday activities we can do to make the most out of each season. From spring, summer, autumn and winter, we bring you only the best of Kamakura, a beautiful seaside town located less than an hour outside Tokyo. Let’s get started!
Spring always brings feelings of happiness and warmth as flowers bloom and lush greenery fill the surroundings. Cherry blossoms only last for a week in spring and many locals and tourists yearn to see the rare, baby pink flower every year. You surely cannot miss viewing the cherry blossoms in Japan during this period! At Kamakura, the Kamakura Daibutsu (Great Buddha) is probably the best place to view the sakura flowers, with one cherry blossom tree right next to the Daibutsu (early April is the best time to visit). The Daibutsu is a national treasure by the Japanese government and admission to the place costs 200 JPY. Alternatively, you may want to check out Genjiyama Park (in early April) and Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine (in late March to early April) for more cherry blossom spots.
Address: 4 Chome-2-28 Hase, Kamakura City, Kanagawa Prefecture 248-0016
Admission Fee: 200 JPY
Opening Hours: 8am - 5.30pm. Closes at 5.00pm from October to March. No closing days.
Website: Kotokuin Temple Another great activity to do during spring in Kamakura is to go for the Daibutusu Hiking Course. This hiking course allows you to explore the hidden cultural gems – the less explored temples, parks and cultural ornaments in Kamakura. The trailhead starts just a short walk from Kita-Kamakura station and brings you to the Jochiji temple, the Zeniarai Benten, the Genjiyama public park and a statue of Minamoto Yoritomo, the founder and the first shogun of the Kamakura Shogunate of Japan. Lastly, you will arrive at the Kamakura Daibutsu for your last stop.
It takes about 60 to 90 minutes to complete the entire trail, and there will be signage to direct hikers on the path of the trail. No worries if you’re a newbie hiker, it’s not that hard a route to complete! This Daibutusu Hiking Trail is an excellent way to explore the sights of Kamakura and at the same time, enjoy nature’s wonders during spring!
Other than the recommendation here, you can find the other model course from the official page.
Summer calls for sunny beaches and absolute outdoor fun! Kamakura is a seaside city that has really beautiful beaches great for swimming, surfing and sunbathing. Its two most popular beaches, Yuigahama Beach and Zaimokuza Beach, are located just beside each other. The two beaches have a one kilometer (0.6 mi) coastline altogether and are fully equipped with facilities such as beach huts, rental shops, changing and shower rooms and food and drink shops.
When there is low tide at Zaimokuza Beach, you can enjoy the tide pools by Wakae Island on the east side. Yuigahama Beach is a great place to enjoy the beach with its seaside houses and tents. To reach the place, get to Kamakura Station of the JR Yokosuka Line and Enoden, and then take the Keikyu Bus towards Izu Station via Kotsubo. The bus journey takes around 8-minutes. Get off at Zaimokuza bus station and the beach is a short 2-minute walk away.
Apart from its stunning beaches, Kamakura is also home to Hydrangea flowers (also known as Ajisai in Japanese) during the rainy season in June. These flowers are an eye pleaser, blooming in shades of pink, blue, white and purple. The color of the flowers changes into a deeper tone, as rainfall gets deeper during the rainy season in Japan. The Tokeiji Temple, Meigetsuin Temple, and Jojuin Temple have the most beautiful range of Ajisai flowers in Kamakura - starting from light blue, the color gradually changes to violet blue then dark blue at the end. Be mesmerized by the beautiful Ajisai flowers in Kamakura this summer!
Address: 1367 Yamanouchi, Kamakura City, Kanagawa Prefecture 247-0062
Admission Fee: 200 JPY
Opening Hours: 8.30am - 5pm. Closes at 4.00pm from November to February. No closing days.
Website: Tokeiji Temple
Everyone loves the beautiful autumn foliage. The landscape transforms into a sea of orange, yellow, and brown, bringing feelings of warmth and great vibrancy. We recommend these three best spots in Kamakura to enjoy the breathtaking autumn colors. At the Kamakura Daibutsu (Great Buddha of Kamakura), the red maple and gold ginkgo leaves that cover the surroundings bring a sense of tranquility and serenity. Peaking in early to mid December, this stunning backdrop is an ideal place for photography. Also, you can enjoy your inner peace as you take a leisurely stroll in the temple grounds and explore the different architectural features of the place. Similarly, the Hasedera Temple is another great place for autumn viewing. It is a Buddhist temple famous for its eleven-headed wooden Kannon, also known as the goddess of mercy. Lastly, the Hokokuji Temple also offers an impressive array of autumn colors. This temple is known to be one of Japan’s best Zen Buddhist temples with its bamboo grove right behind the temple’s main hall. Be mesmerized by Kamakura’s fall beauty that gives you a combination of Zen Buddhism and nature’s best autumn foliage. Autumn is also probably the best time to enjoy life in the slower lane. Itsuki Garden Cafe Terrace is a place worth visiting in Kamakura to enjoy the fall colors and cool autumn breeze, while sitting and enjoying a warm cup of freshly brewed coffee. The cafe is also known as “cafe in the sky” due to its unique location right up in the forest that offers a panoramic view of the landscape (on fine days, you’ll get a chance to see Mount Fuji and the Kamakura Daibutsu right at the café as well!). Interestingly, the cafe reminds visitors of Hayao Miyazaki’s masterpiece movie “Castle in the Sky” due to the cafe’s furnishing and setting in the midst of a forest. To get there, go past the famous Kamakura Daibutsu and there will be a sign at the foot of the mountain to direct you to the cafe.
Itsuki Garden Cafe Terrace
Address: 917 Tokiwa, Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture
Opening Hours: 10:30am to 6pm (Apr - Oct) and 10am to 6pm (Weekend & Holidays) 10:30am to 5pm (Nov - Mar) 10am to 5pm (Weekend & Holidays) Closed on Tuesday.
Access: 15 minute walk from Kamakura Station (look for the entrance sign on City Hall Street) 15 minute walk via the hiking trail from the Great Buddha (look for the “Itsuki Garden” entrance sign)
Contact: +81 467314869
Website: Itsuki Garden Cafe Terrace
As the chilly winter approaches, it would be great to have some nice cozy indoor place to snuggle up and keep warm. Having a late brunch, chitchat, and spending some time to catch up with friends is a good way to spend a day in winter. Why not stop over at Bills Restaurant for a hearty western breakfast? Coming all the way from Sydney, Australia, this popular restaurant is known to have one of the “World’s Best Breakfast” – ricotta pancakes cooked with sliced bananas together with sweet “honeycomb” butter at 1400 JPY, served as an all-day breakfast.
You might also want to try their famous scrambled eggs (using only free-range, organic eggs) and corn fritters topped with creamy avocado salsa. The parmesan crumbed chicken schnitzel with spicy slaw is another must-try dish on the menu! What’s even better is that you get to enjoy great food with a great view - the restaurant is located right on the side of National Route 134, offering a panoramic view of Kamakura’s amazing blue ocean. Due to this reason, the restaurant is immensely popular with locals as well, so be prepared for a long queue on weekends. A nice, laidback and cozy way to spend a day in winter!
Address: 1-1-1 Shichirigahama, Kamakura City, Kanagawa Prefecture
Opening Hours: 7am - 5pm (Mondays) 7am - 9pm (Tuesdays - Sundays)
Contact: +81 467392244
Website: Bills Japan Prefer to get a taste of local Kamakura? The Good Goodies café, just a few minutes from Kakamura Station south exit, is another perfect place for a good cup of coffee and snacks. The café serves drip brew coffee in which hot water is poured over ground roasted coffee beans through a filter, and the coffee is accumulated as the water absorbs all the essences of the beans. If you arrive from 7:00 to 9:00am, you can even catch their special “Good Morning Coffee”. More than that you’ve got to try their selection of cakes, scones, cookies and bread to go along with your coffee! The café offers a warm, cozy atmosphere with its homely setting - an absolutely great place to meet friends for a casual chat. To get to the café, look out for a white sign printed with red block letters, you can’t possibly miss it!
The Good Goodies
Address: 10-1 Onari-cho, Kamakura City, Kanagawa prefecture
Opening Hours: 7am - 7pm. Closed every Wednesdays and the last Tuesday of every month.
Contact: +81 467335685
Website: The Good Goodies
Which is your favorite seasonal activity in Kamakura? Visit Kamakura for a memorable vacation!
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