To the south of Tokyo, Japan lays Kanagawa Prefecture that has Yokohama as its capital city. While Yokohama is a bustling modern metropolis that closely resembles Tokyo, much of Kanagawa consists of beautiful natural attractions and historic shrines. This alone makes Kanagawa an excellent destination for travelers wishing to explore Japan’s more exotic locales. Travelers can take time to smell the roses at Yamashita Park, admire the statue of the Great Buddha of Kōtoku-in, and partake in a hike that will take them across the picturesque Yushin Valley. And if that wasn’t enough, travelers can enjoy a marvelous shopping experience at Marine & Walk Yokohama, support their favorite rugby team at Nissan Stadium, and sample delicious pancakes at Cafe Sakanoshita. Check out our comprehensive list of things to do in Kanagawa, Japan - and plan your trip accordingly!
1. Get views of the glittering city from Kawasaki Marien
Kawasaki Marien is a modern community and sporting facility that locals and visitors can visit daily. It’s also a good place to view the neon-lit skyline of Kanagawa during the evenings. But if you’re planning on spending a significant amount of time here, then you’ll want to check out its indoor and outdoor facilities. There’s a barbecue area, beach volleyball area, bike rental, conference room, green spaces, gymnasium, tennis court, and a theater.
Address: 38-1 Higashiogishima, Kawasaki Ward, Kawasaki, Kanagawa 210-0869, Japan
Website: Kawasaki Marien
Opening hours: 9am - 9pm (daily)
2. Slurp up flavourful ramen at Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum
It’s no secret that Japan is a culinary powerhouse that attracts travelers for its excellent and unique cuisine. Some come for its wide range of seafood delicacies, while others want nothing more than a bowl of tasty ramen. And, what better place to sample this dish than at the Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum? Here, you’ll learn about the history of ramen and have an opportunity to order a bowl of ramen from the restaurant such as Hacchan Ramen, Muku Zweite, Shina Soba-ya, Ryu Shanghai Honten, Ryukyu Shinmen Tondou, and Tori Paitan.
Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum
Address: 2 Chome-14-21 Shinyokohama, Kohoku Ward, Yokohama, Kanagawa 222-0033, Japan
Website: Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum
Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 11am - 10pm; Sat: 11am - 10:30pm; Sun: 10:30am - 10pm
Price: 3 USD
3. Cheer on your favourite team at the world-class Nissan Stadium
Nissan doesn’t just make cool motor cars, but they also own sports stadiums such as this one. The Nissan Stadium is a world-class facility that hosts a wide variety of sporting events; from athletics through to rugby. Moreover, it’s often used to film commercials, movies, and TV shows and where the 2002 Fifa World Cup took place. It will also host the 2019 Rugby World Cup™ and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games soccer for boys.
Address: 3300 Kozukuecho, Kohoku Ward, Yokohama, Kanagawa 222-0036, Japan
Website: Nissan Stadium
4. Enjoy upscale shopping at Marine & Walk Yokohama
Are you sick of enclosed and stuffy shopping malls? Then, Marine & Walk Yokohama will feel like a breath of fresh air. This upscale mall is situated in the waterfront district and aims to give visitors the shopping experience of the high street. It features several boutique stores, lifestyle emporiums, and trendy restaurants that should put you into a spending mood. Now, if you don’t feel like purchasing anything, then you can just walk around the premises and take in its sophisticated ambiance and charm.
Marine & Walk Yokohama
Address: 1 Chome-3-1 Shinko, Naka Ward, Yokohama, Kanagawa 231-0001, Japan
Website: Marine & Walk Yokohama
Opening hours: 11am - 8pm (daily)
5. Stop and smell the roses at Yamashita Park
The most renowned park in Yokohama is none other than Yamashita Park, which was reconstructed after the Great Kanto Earthquake. It opened in 1950 and has attracted locals and foreign visitors who come here to view the beautiful roses that cover the grounds. After spending time at the flowerbed, you’ll want to move along and check out its many monuments such as the “Guardian of Water” and “Gull of the Seagull”.
Address: 279 Yamashitacho, Naka Ward, Yokohama, Kanagawa 231-0023, Japan
Website: Yamashita Park
Opening hours: 12am - 12am (daily)
6. Have tea in the Barbie world of Pink Holiday
Barbie dolls have left their mark in the toy world, and there are a ton of fans and collectors of these dolls across the globe. And, Japan is one of those countries where Barbie has inspired young and old alike. So, if you’re in the Yokohama area, then pop into Pink Holiday Cafe to see what all the fuss is about. Inside the cafe, there are over 200 dolls on display, which include modern and vintage variants. On top of that, you can purchase dolls or order a refreshing cocktail or a delicious cake.
Pink Holiday Cafe
Address: 1-8, Hinoide- cho, Naka-ku, Yokohama, Japan
Website: Pink Holiday Cafe
Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 12pm - 6pm; Sat - Sun: 11am - 6pm
Price: 5 USD
This contemporary hotel will blow you away with its spacious and luxurious rooms, and amazing views of Yokohama Bay and Yamashita Park. It’s also within close walking distance to Motamachi-Chukagai Subway Station, Minato-Mira area, and Yokohama China Town, making it super convenient for shoppers and sightseers. Furthermore, it comes with a plethora of niceties such as free WiFi access to surf the web, several salons to enjoy massages, and upscale restaurants to sample local and international cuisine.
8. Get hands-on with dolphins at Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise
Japan is technically an island, which means that it’s surrounded by a wide range of sea life. And, one of the best ways to learn about and view this sea life is to visit an aquarium such as Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise. Here, you’ll have an opportunity to see our sea-dwelling friends such as dolphins, jellyfish, sharks, and many more. The aquarium regularly hosts events throughout the year to excite the kids, and there are also many restaurants and fast-food outlets on site.
Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise
Address: Hakkeijima, Kanazawa Ward, Yokohama, Kanagawa 236-0006, Japan
Website: Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise
Opening hours: 8:30am - 10:30pm (daily)
Price: 48 USD
9. Pick splendid poppies at Kurihama Flower Park
If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy the natural wonders of Kanagawa, then head over to Kurihama Flower Park. Here, you’ll get to enjoy a plethora of beautiful flowers that cover most of the topology of the park. You can walk around the park if you’re feeling energetic or take a tour with the Flower train if you prefer a more relaxed pace. There are also several ice-cream vendors, a golf course, adventure shop, air rifle grounds, archery grounds, herb garden, kids park, and even a towering statue of Godzilla, which will excite some and frighten others!
Kurihama Flower Park
Address: 1 Shinmeicho, Yokosuka, Kanagawa 239-0832, Japan
Website: Kurihama Flower Park
Opening hours: 12am - 12am (daily)
10. Lunch on legendary Navy Curry at Yokosuka Navy Curry Honpo Restaurant
Let's try Yokosuka Kaigun Curry!! It is a traditional to serve Karē raisu (Curry rice) on JMSDF ship or in their...Posted by WW2 Japanese & Axis army on Friday, 12 January 2018
If you love a good curry, then you can’t go wrong by paying a visit to the Yokosuka Navy Curry Honpo Restaurant. This legendary restaurant specializes in over 10 types of delicious curry dishes, and even sells souvenirs to take back home to your family and friends. Yokosuka is the home of “curry rice” that’s become a staple of Japanese households and the former Japanese Navy. And, given that Yokosuka’s heritage is tied to the navy, the city has become synonymous with Navy Curry since 1999.
Yokosuka Navy Curry Honpo Restaurant
Address: Yubinbango238-0007, Yokosuka 1-11-8 Wakamatsucho, Kanagawa, Japan
Website: Yokosuka Navy Curry Honpo Restaurant
Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 11am - 4pm; Sat - Sun: 11am - 8pm
Price: 13 USD
11. Feast on juicy tuna at Misaki Fishing Port
If you love fish, especially tuna, then head over to Misaki Fishing Port. Here, you’ll find the Misaki Fish Market, which operates with a bid system to buy and sell tuna. This is different from Tokyo’s famous Tsukiji market that utilizes auctions for all its fish trade. As you can imagine, dealers can get extremely competitive and nervous as they bid on the heaviest and most delicious tuna. If you want to observe the bids, then you’ll have to get here early, and then conclude your stay with a tuna dish at one of the nearby restaurants.
Misaki Fishing Port
Address: 5-245-7 Misaki, Miura, Kanagawa, Japan
Website: Misaki Fishing Port
Opening hours: 5am - 10am (daily)
Price: 11 USD
The Hayama Hotel Otowa No Mori is slick, stylish, and elegant, but that’s only a part of its charm. It’s in an excellent location overlooking the tranquil waters of Yokosuka. And, what better way to enjoy those breathtaking sea views, than with a tasty continental breakfast in your room. But if you still can’t get enough of those views, then you’ll probably spend plenty of time at the hotel’s terrace area. Furthermore, it features WiFi access to surf the web, free parking on the premises for your vehicle or rental, and a safety deposit box to store valuables. Various attractions such as Riviera Zushi Marina, Soleil Hill, and Zushi Beach are all nearby.
13. Visit the colossal Great Buddha of Kōtoku-in
To the casual observer, Japan may not seem like a particularly religious country. But that’s not the case, as Buddhism is one of its two major religions, the other being Shinto. So, what does one do when traveling to a country that practices Buddhism? Well, visiting a site with a giant statue of Buddha is a good place to start! And, the Great Budda of Kōtoku-in, which is a representation of Amitabha Buddha and made from copper should give you a greater appreciation for this fascinating and mystical religion.
Great Buddha of Kōtoku-in
Address: 4 Chome-2-28 Hase, Kamakura, Kanagawa 248-0016, Japan
Opening hours: 8am - 5pm (daily)
Price: 3 USD
14. Admire beautiful hydrangea blooms at Meigetsuin Temple
After visiting the Great Buddha of Kōtoku-in, you may want to drop by the many gorgeous temples that dot Kanagawa’s landscape. Meigetsuin Temple is worth a visit due to its long and illustrious history, stunning landscaped gardens, and eye-catching hydrangea. You’ll find the latter in front of the Sanmon when its hydrangea season. But be aware that the temple also attracts many other visitors during this season, so it may not always be easy to take the perfect snapshot of the hydrangea blooms.
Address: 189 Yamanouchi, Kamakura City, Kanagawa Prefecture 247-0062, Japan
Website: Meigetsuin Temple
Opening hours: 9am - 4pm (daily)
Price: 3 USD
15. Wash your money at Zeniarai Benten Shrine
Are you superstitious and have some change to spare? In that case, head over to Zeniarai Benten Shrine to wash your cash in the shrine’s spring. Now, why would you want to do that? Well, it’s believed that you’ll be blessed and your money will double in value. Whether that’s true or not, it’s worth the trip just to enjoy the beautiful surroundings and trees that tower over the shrine.
Zeniarai Benten Shrine
Address: 2 Chome-25-16 Sasuke, Kamakura, Kanagawa 248-0017, Japan
Website: Zeniarai Benten Shrine
Opening hours: 8am - 4:30pm (daily)
16. Sip green tea amidst the bamboos of Hokokuji
Matcha or Japanese green tea is super tasty and very healthy. While you can enjoy a cup of matcha anywhere, and even some of the finest restaurants serve it nowadays, you can’t go wrong with a more natural environment. Hokokuji in Kamakura is this kind of environment since it features a Rinzai Buddhist temple surrounded by towering bamboos. Not only are these grounds picture-perfect, but it only makes sense to enjoy a cup of matcha with dried confectionery in such serenity.
Address: 2 Chome-7-4 Jomyoji, Kamakura, Kanagawa 248-0003, Japan
Opening hours: 9am - 4pm (daily)
Price: 6 USD
17. Browse priceless literary artifacts at Kamakura Museum of Literature
Established in 1985, the Kamakura Museum of Literature that preserves and displays literary works dating back to the Meiji period. The museum is constantly expanding the range of content it keeps, and many modern Japanese writers, poets, and singers will likely find their work here. Apart from attracting culture vultures, the museum will also impress lovers of flora and fauna since it’s surrounded by beautiful flowers and trees.
Kamakura Museum of Literature
Address: 1 Chome-5-3 Hase, Kamakura, Kanagawa 248-0016, Japan
Website: Kamakura Museum of Literature
Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 9am - 5pm (closed on Mon)
Price: 4 USD
18. Sit down to fluffy pancakes at Cafe Sakanoshita
Tokyo is chockful of establishments that specialize in delicious crepes and pancakes. But what if you’re in Kanagawa and have a craving for pancakes? Then, you should visit Cafe Sakanoshita since it’s renowned for its assortment of fluffy pancakes. Here, you’ll have an opportunity to sample some of the cafe’s various flavors, which include Original Saka, Matcha, and Plain with Maple Syrup. They go well with a cup of coffee, chai, or even fried eggs with bacon.
Address: 21-15 Sakanoshita, Kamakura, Kanagawa 248-0021, Japan
Opening hours: Tue - Fri: 10am - 5pm; Sat - Sun: 10am - 6pm (closed on Mon)
Are all those modern Japanese buildings getting to you? Do you want to get away from all those glass structures and spend time in a more rustic and traditional environment? Then, Guest House Kamejikan may be what the doctor ordered! This abode is almost a century old and features a tatami floor and futon bed to make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time. You won’t have to forego too many current day conveniences since you’ll have WiFi access to surf the web, air conditioning to stay cool during those sweltering days, and a safety deposit box to store valuables. Hasedera Temple, Kamakura Station, and Riviera Zushi Marina are all in the immediate vicinity.
20. Savour walnut pastries from Kamakura Beniya
Japan has a long tradition in the confectionery business, which should excite those that have a bit of a sweet tooth. Now, you can get tasty treats just about anywhere in Japan, but if you want the best, then you should head over to Kamakura Beniya. This chain of highly-regarded confectionary shops specializes in a wide range of delicacies that have that quintessential homemade feel. Some of our favorites include their Kurumiko walnut pastries that also have butter and caramel as their core ingredients.
Address: 1-Chome-6-31 Minamisaiwai, Nishi-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa 220-8601, Japan
Website: Kamakura Beniya
Opening hours: 10am - 8pm (daily)
Price: 7 USD
21. Snap photos with the lovely hydrangeas around Mitama Shrine
If you haven’t had your fill of shrines in Kanagawa, then there are several more that you should explore. Mitama Shrine is another good option due to its serene ambiance, eye-catching wooden gates and pagodas, and beautiful hydrangea blooms when in season. On top of that, it’s a Shinto shrine that’s represented by cute cat mascot known as Meiyo Guji-san, which should appeal to the little ones. It’s not very touristy and usually quiet, and you can enter the grounds without having to purchase a ticket.
Address: 4-9 Sakashita, Kamakura City, Kanagawa Prefecture 248-0021, Japan
Website: Mitama Shrine
22. Receive good health blessings at Enoshima Shrine
Enoshima Island is another worthy destination for those visiting Kanagawa. The reason for this is that you’ll find Enoshima Shrine here, which is made up of three shrines spread across the island. At the access point of the island, you’ll come across the Hetsunomiya shrine. After you climb its nearby stairs, you’ll arrive at the blessing circle, and if you walk through this circle three times, you’ll receive blessings for good health. Don’t forget to visit the other two shrines; namely, Nakatsunomiya and Okutsunomiya.
Address: 2 Chome-3-8 Enoshima, Fujisawa, Kanagawa 251-0036, Japan
Website: Enoshima Shrine
Opening hours: 8:30am - 5pm (daily)
23. Catch breathtaking seasonal illuminations at Lake Sagami Pleasure Forest
If you’re traveling with kids, then you’ll want to treat them to a theme park that’s a bit different from the norm. Lake Sagami Pleasure Forest has much to offer visitors, and especially the little ones since it features a wide range of facilities and special events aimed at them. These include an amusement park, barbecue area, camping site, hot spring, and a petting zoo. Most of the special events are anime-themed, which appeal to most kids nowadays. And, if you’re heading there during the evenings, you’ll want to check out the impressive seasonal illuminations.
Lake Sagami Pleasure Forest
Address: 1634 Wakayanagi, Midori Ward, Sagamihara, Kanagawa 252-0175, Japan
Website: Sagamiko Resort Pleasure Forest
Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 10am - 4pm; Sat - Sun: 9am - 5pm
Price: 2 USD
24. Hike along the emerald waters of Yushin Valley
There is no shortage of natural attractions in Kanagawa, and one of the most notable is Yushin Valley. It’s located near the Kurokuragawa River, which has a distinctive emerald green color and white pebbles nestled on its river bed. But many travelers descend on the valley for its meandering hiking trail. And, it’s a trail that will leave hikers in awe since they’ll encounter stunning autumn leaves and shrubs along the riverside, and plenty of interesting tunnels that add a dramatic twist.
Address: Kurokura, Yamakita, Ashigarakami District, Kanagawa 258-0202, Japan
Website: Yushin Valley
Opening hours: 12am - 12pm (daily)
25. Relive the samurai history at Odawara Castle
Japan has many majestic-looking castles dating back to a bygone era. But if you’re in Kanagawa and have an interest in samurai history, then Odawara Castle is worth a visit. It features a reconstructed castle tower, which consists of five floors dedicated to a specific period of the castle’s history. You’ll also want to drop by the Tokiwamon Gate Samurai Hall, which features displays of samurai armor and swords. And, the kids are going to have a blast at the Ninja Pavilion, which will have them engage in action-filled interactive games.
Address: Jonai, Odawara, Kanagawa 250-0014, Japan
Website: Odawara Castle
Opening hours: 9am - 5pm (daily)
Price: 6 USD
While checking out Kanagawa’s many cool attractions is a lot of fun, it’s sure to take its toll on you. So, take time out to relax and rejuvenate by booking into this lovely traditional Japanese inn that doubles up as an onsen. It features spacious rooms with tatami floors, traditional Japanese futon beds, and private toilets. Furthermore, there’s a hot spring bath and a public bath on-site to help you unwind. It also comes with free parking on the premises for your vehicle or rental, full body massage service, and air conditioning to keep your room cool during those sweltering days. Izusan Shrine, MOA Museum of Art, and Yugawara Plum Grove are all in the immediate vicinity.
27. Visit the peaceful oasis of Hakone Shrine
This Shinto shrine was built to honor the deity known as Hakone Gongen. It is located next to Lake Ashi and Mount Hakone, allowing visitors to also view these stunning natural attractions. Hakone Shrine was originally founded in 757 and has become an important heritage site. Much of the mythos surrounding the shrine is about Priest Mangan and how he was able to subdue the nine-headed dragon that resides at the bottom of the lake.
Address: 80-1 Motohakone, Hakone, Ashigarashimo District, Kanagawa 250-0522, Japan
Website: Hakone Shrine
28. Gaze at delicate glass art at Hakone Venetian Glass Museum
The Hakone Venetian Glass Museum houses many magnificent crystal and glass sculptures, making it a unique attraction that everyone should visit at least once in their lives. Its museum area showcases glassworks from the 15th through to the 19th centuries that were only owned by European royal families. There’s also a garden that features stunning glass sculptures, an onsite cafe and restaurant, and even a shop with over 100,000 glass products.
Hakone Venetian Glass Museum
Address: 940-48 Sengokuhara, Hakone, Ashigarashimo District, Kanagawa 250-0631, Japan
Website: Hakone Venetian Glass Museum
Opening hours: 10am - 5:30pm (daily)
Price: 14 USD
29. Enjoy lush mountain scenery aboard the Hakone Tozan Railway
One of the best ways to view Kanagawa’s beautiful mountain scenery is to take a ride on the Hakone Tozan train. This railway service begins at Hakone-Yumoto station and ends in Gora, but there are also various stops along the way where you could potentially end your trip. Another good reason to undertake this train trip is to view the stunning hydrangeas that grow alongside the train tracks.
Hakone Tozan Railway
Address: Kanagawa, Japan
Website: Hakone Tozan Railway
Price: 6 USD
It’s always great fun staying at a ryokan, or traditional Japanese inn if you prefer. While this accommodation does indeed feel like a traditional inn, it also features a few more modern spaces and plenty of handy conveniences to make your stay comfortable. You can expect to find both Japanese and Western-style rooms and an attractive Japanese garden. There’s also an outdoor pool, a massage service, and drink vending machines on the premises. Forest Adventure Hakone, Hakone-Yumoto Station, and the Okada Museum of Art are all in the immediate vicinity.
Kanagawa's wide variety of attractions
There will never be a boring moment in Kanagawa since this prefecture has so much to offer travelers. One can experience breathtaking hiking excursions, culinary delights, upscale shopping experiences, magnificent Buddhist temples, historic Shinto shrines, and memorable train trip, just to name a few.
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