• Kamakura, the old Capital's photo

Kamakura, the old Capital

Kamakura


Surrounded by mountains and ocean, this is the old eastern capital of Japan

Kamakura, the old capital of Japan, is located near the coast of the Pacific Ocean in southern Kanagawa. Although it is a smaller area than Kyoto or Nara, it has a long history, with Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine in the center of the city being built in the year 1063. The shogunate ruled Japan from Kamakura from 1192 to 1333. Japan’s capital changes locations from one to the next throughout its history, and after Nara and Kyoto, Kamakura became the capital. There are still many famous temples in Kamakura, and the Great Buddha of Kamakura is one of the most famous spots among these. The Great Buddha is 13.35 meters high including the dais, weighing approximately 121 tons. It resides on the grounds of Kotoku-in Temple, and is a place of historic interest. Be sure to start your tour of Kamakura by greeting the Great Buddha.

  • Kamakura, the old Capital's photo
  • Kamakura, the old Capital's photo
  • Kamakura, the old Capital's photo
  • Kamakura, the old Capital's photo
  • Kamakura, the old Capital's photo
  • Kamakura, the old Capital's photo
  • Kamakura, the old Capital's photo

Japan’s most famous bamboo surrounded temple, Hokoku-ji

Kamakura is packed with unique temples. They are all famous, venerated temples, including Hase-dera Temple, which is a popular spot with overseas tourists for its brilliantly blooming hydrangeas in June, the beautiful vermillion-lacquered main building of Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Temple, and Zeniarai Benzaiten Shrine where you can pray for financial gains by washing your coins in the spring water from the cave. One of the most famous places to visit is bamboo-surrounded Hokoku-ji Temple built in 1334. The bamboo garden surrounding the temple on all sides boasts over 2,000 stalks! At this temple you can truly experience Japanese culture with all five senses, whether while sipping on green tea while gazing at the forest, or participating in the early Sunday morning zen practice.

  • Kamakura, the old Capital's photo
  • Kamakura, the old Capital's photo
  • Kamakura, the old Capital's photo

A coffee shop created by youngsters who truly love the old capital

Visiting the old temples isn’t the only way to enjoy Kamakura. Another way is to visit the unique shops run by the younger generation who love Kamakura. The Good Goodies is one shop in the relaxed atmosphere of the Onari-dori shopping district. Opening at 7:00 A.M., this coffee stand has a variety of attractive baked goods including cookies and muffins. Mornings in Kamakura offer a rare glimpse into the everyday life of the town. Why not arrive early and have a cup of coffee at The Good Goodies? Grab a cup of coffee to go and take a walk around the marketplace of the Kamakura Farmers Market.

  • Kamakura, the old Capital's photo
  • Kamakura, the old Capital's photo
  • Kamakura, the old Capital's photo
  • Kamakura, the old Capital's photo
  • Kamakura, the old Capital's photo
  • Kamakura, the old Capital's photo
  • Kamakura, the old Capital's photo
  • Kamakura, the old Capital's photo

For reference

The Great Buddha of Kamakura

  • Address
    4-2-28 Hase, Kamakura-shi
  • Telephone
    0467-22-0703
  • Open
    7:00 A.M. to 5:30 P.M.
  • Price
    200 yen admission, +20 yen to see inside the Great Buddha
  • Access
    Keikyu Airport Line from Haneda Airport to Shinagawa Station: 25 min.
    Keihin-Tohoku Line from Shinagawa Station to Yokohama Station: 30 min.
    Yokosuka Line from Yokohama Station to Kamakura Station: 25 min.
    Enoshima Electric Railway Line from Kamakura Station to Hase Station: 5 min.
    The Great Buddha is a 5-minute walk from the station.

Hokoku-ji Temple

  • Address
    2-7-4 Jomyoji, Kamakura-shi, Kanagawa-ken
  • Telephone
    0467-22-0762
  • Open
    9:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M.
    Open 365 days a year
  • Price
    200 yen green tea, free for zen meditation practice
  • Access
    Keikyu Airport Line from Haneda Airport to Shinagawa Station: 25 min.
    Keihin-Tohoku Line from Shinagawa Station to Yokohama Station: 30 min.
    Yokosuka Line from Yokohama Station to Kamakura Station: 25 min.
    The temple is a 20-minute walk from the station.

Recommended season: Anytime of the year

  • Address
    10-1 Onarimachi, Kamakura-shi, Kanagawa-ken
  • Telephone
    0467-33-5685
  • Open
    7:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M.
  • Closed
    Wednesdays, last Tuesday of each month
  • Price
    Original blend coffee from 390 yen
  • Access
    Keikyu Airport Line from Haneda Airport to Shinagawa Station: 25 min.
    Keihin-Tohoku Line from Shinagawa Station to Yokohama Station: 30 min.
    Yokosuka Line from Yokohama Station to Kamakura Station: 25 min.
    The shop is a 1-minute walk from the station.

Map

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