History / Culture / Tour Spots in Kanagawa Area

  • Kotoku-in Temple (Kamakura Daibutsu)
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    4.5
    3021 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kanagawa Pref. Kamakurashi Hase 4-2-28
    A Pure Land Buddhist temple founded by the great priest Honen. The 11.3 meter tall, 121 ton giant copper Buddha statue known as the Kamakura Daibutsu, a National Treasure, is the temple’s principal object of worship and depicts a seated Amitabha. The original daibutsu was made of wood and was destroyed by a typhoon. The copper form of the current statue first began to be cast in 1252. This figure, too, was damaged by typhoons and earthquakes but was repaired each time, leading to its current excellent condition. The interior of the statue can be viewed and from here visitors can see evidence of the repairs that have been made.

    Kotoku-in temple is famous for its Great Buddha (Daibutsu). And its worth. The Buddha is quite big (13m tall) and (at least when I was there it wasnt too crowded). If you pay 20yen you can get...

  • Kenchoji Temple
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    4.5
    531 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kanagawa Pref. Kamakurashi Yamanouchi 8
    A 15 minute walk from Kita-Kamakura Station. This celebrated Buddhist temple, the head temple of Rinzai Kenchoji Buddhism, is the first of the “Kamakura Gozan” (Five Mountain Temples of Kamakura) and was also Japan’s first Zen Buddhist temple. The temple was founded by Hojo Tokiyori, the fifth shogun of the Kamakura shogunate, and the monk Lanxi Daolong. The highlight of the temple is its garden, which was designated a national Place of Scenic Beauty and Historic Site in 1932. The ancient Chinese junipers growing in front of the temple and the garden pond behind the abbot’s chamber are particularly famous for their beauty. The temple also periodically holds sutra copying and zazen meditation sessions which enable average people to experience Zen training.

    Kencho-ji is one of the 5 big zen temples in Kamakura. Its quite big and very well taken care of. The area is very calm and its very nice to walk around. In addition to the main temple area, there...

  • Zeniarai Benzaiten Ugafuku Shrine
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    4.0
    433 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kanagawa Pref. Kamakurashi Sasuke 2-25-16
    Popularly known as “Zeniarai Benzaiten,” the Zeniarai Benzaiten Ugafuku Shrine is located in the Sasuke district of Kamakura City. According to legend, the shrine was founded when, in the evening of the Day of the Snake in the Month of the Snake in 1185, Minamoto no Yoritomo was told in a dream that “If you pray to the Shinto deities and to the Buddha at this spring, peace will come to the land.” Subsequently, after the local ruler Hojo Tokiyori washed coins in the spring while praying for the prosperity of his clan, the belief spread that washing coins in the spring inside the cave would cause that money to increase. This practice is believed to be particularly effective if performed on the day of the temple festival dedicated to the goddess Benten, so the Shrine is usually thronged with worshippers on that day. The spring at the Zeniarai Benzaiten Ugafuku Shrine is classed as one of the “Five Famous Springs of Kamakura.”

    We actually found the place accidentally on our way back to the Kamakura station. It is really nice and something special made in a cave and with the water flowing from the stone down. The nicest...

  • Engakuji Temple
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    4.5
    468 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kanagawa Pref. Kamakurashi Yamanouchi 409
    Located in Yamanouchi, Kamakura City, this is the head temple of Rinzai Engakuji Buddhism. The temple is also considered the second of the “Kamakura Gozan” (Five Mountain Temples of Kamakura). The temple was built by the eighth shogun regent Hojo Tokimune in order to spread Zen Buddhism and impartially memorialize, without distinction between enemy and ally, those who died in the Mongol invasions of Japan. Today, the temple is still used to train Zen priests; ordinary people can also experience weekend zazen meditation sessions and other Zen training here as well. In addition, the Butsunichian and Nyoian temples on the grounds have a café and “amamidokoro” Japanese-style sweets café where customers can enjoy matcha powdered green tea and sweets.

    I came here with a Japanese friend on a rainy Saturday afternoon towards the end of November. At the time we were there most of the buildings were closed, but still it was a lovely spot to have a...

  • Meigetsu-in Temple
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    4.0
    418 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kanagawa Pref. Kamakurashi Yamanouchi 189
    A Rinzai Kencho-ji Temple Buddhist temple located in Kamakura. The temple’s honorific mountain name is Fukugensan. The temple is also known as the Hydrangea Temple and during the rainy season the approach to the temple is covered with French hydrangea blossoms. The temple was once a sub-temple to the Zenko-ji Temple, but this temple was abolished in the early years of the Meiji period and now only the Meigetsu-in remains. A large circular window is built into the head priest’s chamber which gives a spectacular view of the garden. The window represents the cosmos and the mind and the unique view it provides has made it a popular subject for photographs.

    My Japanese friend and I came here after lunch on a miserable Saturday mid-November. I was really impressed with the place. So much character and some lovely gardens including a bamboo forest and a...

  • Hakone-jinja Shrine
    Travel / Tourism
    Kanagawa Pref. Ashigarashimogunhakonemachi Motohakone 80-1
    Since ancient times, this shrine has been patronized by generations of military commanders who came to pray for the earnest realization of their wishes during battle. This shrine is said to be one of the best power spots in the Kanto region where one can “conquer a state when Hakone has your back”. The deity of love, Kuzuryu’s newly constructed shrine is also next to Hakone Shrine. Get off the Izu Hakone bus at “Moto-Hakone” or otherwise get off the Hakone Tosan bus at “Moto-Hakone Port” and the temple is a 10- minute walk away.
  • Sasuke Inari Shrine
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    4.0
    151 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kanagawa Pref. Kamakurashi Sasuke 2-22-12
    According to legend, prior to the establishment of the Kamakura Shogunate by Minamoto no Yoritomo, an Inari spirit (in the form of a white fox) appeared to Yoritomo in a dream and told him the best time to launch an attack on his enemies the Heike clan. Following this advice, Yoritomo succeeded in crushing the Heike and became the first Shogun of the Kamakura Shogunate. In gratitude, Yoritomo had the Sasuke Inari Shrine built. Due to the influence of this legend, worshipping at the Sasuke Inari Shrine is believed to be helpful for one’s work and future career prospects.

    Impressive, historic, sublime Shrine and grounds. Very well preserved Shrine with inspiring natural grounds, recommended if you are visiting the Kamakura area.

  • The Hakone Open-Air Museum
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kanagawa Pref. Ashigarashimogunhakonemachi Ninotaira 1121
    This was Japan’s first open-air Museum which was founded in 1969. Located on the grounds of a 70,000 meters squared premises with Hakone’s nature as a backdrop, the museum has a permanent display of approximately 120 masterpieces by modern and contemporary sculptors. Such large scale works of art couldn’t be displayed but for the outdoor space; there are also works of art which children can enter and play in, and you can touch the pieces of art as much as you want. At the Picasso Pavilion, there is the world’s top collection of 300 plus works which are open to the public. The hot spring foot bath which flows from the source is also popular. Alight at the Hakone Tozan Railway at Chokoku-no-Mori Station, from which it is a two-minute walk to the museum.
  • Fujiko F Fujio Museum
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kanagawa Pref. Kawasakishi Tama-ku Nagao 2-8-1
    A museum in Kawasaki City, Kanagawa Prefecture which exhibits drawings by the manga artist Fujiko F Fujio, as well as related materials. Standing displays of color drawings from the museum’s collection of approximately 50 thousand are changed on a regular basis and include examples from popular series such as Doraemon, Perman, and Kiteretsu Daihyakka. Special exhibits are also held regularly which give visitors the chance to view rare drawings and other materials never allowed to leave the museum. The museum also has many other points of note, including a recreation of the artist’s work desk, an area where visitors can read the actual manga, and a popular gift shop.
  • PACIFICO Yokohama
    Travel / Tourism
    Kanagawa Pref. Yokohamashi Nishi-ku Minatomirai 1-1-1
    This convention center is in the Minato Mirai area. The Pacific Convention Plaza Yokohama is one of the largest international conference halls in the world and hosts big global gatherings. It's connected to the Yokohama Grand Intercontinental Hotel and the National Convention Hall, the only national conference hall in Eastern Japan. It's also a MICE complex and holds a wide variety of events.
  • Kanagawa Prefectural Museum of Natural History
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    4.5
    157 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kanagawa Pref. Odawarashi Iryuda 499
    First opened in 1995, here visitors can learn about the 4.6 billion year history of the Earth and the diversity of life found on her. The museum’s standing exhibition is divided into four themes—the Earth, life, Kanagawa, and symbiosis. The exhibition includes over 10 thousand real specimens, including a meteorite in the shape of a globe, ancient dinosaur fossils, mammals, plants, and inspects. One of the highlights of the museum is its showroom filled with 27 of 3.2 meter tall giant encyclopedias containing various exhibits. The museum’s theater, showing nature documentaries and science-based quizzes, is also a popular attraction. A restaurant and museum shop can also be found inside. The closest station is Iriuda Station.

    We went with our young kids and really enjoyed a couple of hours here. Adults are 510 yen and kids under 4 are free. There are a couple of food options but also places to have a picnic if you bring...

  • Jochi-ji Temple
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    4.0
    137 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kanagawa Pref. Kamakurashi Yamanouchi 1402
    Founded in 1281, the Jochi-ji Temple ranks fourth among the “Five Mountains of Kamakura” (i.e. the five most prestigious temples in Kamakura). According to tradition, the temple was built in commemoration of Hojo Munemasa (the third son of Hojo Tokiyori), who died young. At the entrance to the temple precincts is the famous “Well of Sweet Dew,” one of the “Ten Wells of Kamakura.” The San-mon (main gate) has a rare Chinese-style bell-tower; the Jochi-ji Temple is the only temple in Kamakura where this kind of bell-tower can be seen.

    Turns out Jochiji Temple is a graveyard. Its a very small temple and located in a small area too. You have to walk about 15-20 minutes from the nearest station to get there. You can find the...

  • Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kanagawa Pref. Yokohamashi Kouhoku-ku Shinyokohama 2-14-21
    This food theme park, which opened in the Shin-Yokohama district in 1994, was built around the concept of being able to eat ramen from all over the country without having to fly there. The interior, which recreates a Showa-period retro townscape, hosts famous ramen shops from not just all over Japan but from around the world. Attractions other than eating ramen include a gallery featuring exhibits on the history of ramen, a museum shop that offers souvenir ramen kits, a retro candy shop, events including live music, street performances, and picture story shows, and more. It is located a five-minute walk from JR Shin-Yokohama Station.
  • Tsurugaoka Hachimangu
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    3.5
    15 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kanagawa Pref. Kamakurashi Yukinoshita 2-1-31
    A Hachimangu Shinto shrine which is considered the guardian shrine of Kamakura warriors. The shrine’s origins date back to when Minamoto no Yoriyoshi prayed for protection before setting out for battle at the Iwashimizu Hachimangu in Kyoto, the patron shrine of the Minamoto clan; after successfully suppressing the Northern Fujiwara clan, he built a shrine dedicated to the god of the Kyoto shrine in Yuigahama in thanks. Later, when the Minamoto clan was again ascendant after a period of waning power, the shrine was moved to its current location in the Yukinoshita neighborhood and was rebuilt as a magnificent structure befitting the leaders of the Kamakura shogunate. Connected to the samurai Minamoto clan and the famous Minamoto no Yoritomo, the shrine is still popular today and is considered one of the three greatest Hachimangu shrines. One of the shrines most popular events is the yabusame horseback archery, which is conducted each year in the spring and fall by participants dressed in traditional Kamakura period hunting costumes.

    日曜日の午後、鶴岡八幡宮にお参りした後にこちらを利用しました。お手洗いがあったのでとても助かりました。

  • Suzuhiro Kamaboko Museum
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    4.0
    149 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kanagawa Pref. Odawarashi Kazamatsuri 245 Suzumiya inside Kamaboko
    This hands-on workshop facility is in Kazamatsuri, Odawara City. Each floor is divided into themes such as tradition and technique and food and chemistry. Guests can observe the manufacturing process and try their hands at making kamaboko and chikuwa fish cakes. On the second floor there is also a permanent gallery of work from their International Small Art Exhibition, Suzuhiro Kamaboko Board Painting Contest Besides kamaboko, original souvenirs are also for sale.

    Checking out from Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo we drove to Odawara, a city in Kanagawa, and the first stop was this famous producer of fish cake, or kamaboko, a traditional Japanese delicacy dating back to...

  • Hōkokuji Temple
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    4.0
    22 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kanagawa Pref. Kamakurashi Joumyouji 2-7-4
    The Hōkokuji Temple (famous in Japan as the “Bamboo Temple”) was founded in 1334 on the orders of Ashikaga Ietoki, the grandfather of Ashikaga Takauji (the first Shogun of the Ashikaga Shogunate). Visitors can drink tea in the Kyuko-an teahouse while viewing the bamboo grove. The writing table that the literary giant Kawabata Yasunari used while writing “The Sound of the Mountain” is preserved in the Hon-do (Main Hall). Zazen meditation sessions are held in the Kasho-do hall on Sundays; beginners are welcome.

    The entrance is 300¥ and if you want also green tea 900¥ in total. Not worth it. Sagano bamboo forest in Kyoto is way better and for the tea you have to wait a lot and not many places to see the...

  • Sugimoto Temple
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    4.0
    113 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kanagawa Pref. Kamakurashi Nikaidou 903
    According to tradition, the Sugimoto Temple was founded in 734 by the bodhisattva Gyoji, making it the oldest Buddhist temple in Kamakura; it is the first temple on the Bando Sanjusan Kannon pilgrimage circuit (of temples dedicated to Kannon, the Goddess of Mercy). Visitors approach the temple up a flight of moss-covered stone steps, bordered by banners that help to create a solemn and sacred atmosphere, before reaching the Niomon Gate, with statues of two Deva Kings (guardian deities) that are said to have been carved by the famous sculptor Unkei. In the Hon-do hall there are three statues of the goddess Kannon with 11 faces; of these three statues, the one that according to tradition was carved by Ennin and the one that is reputed to have been carved by Genshin have both been designated as National Important Cultural Properties.

    One of the smaller temple in Kamakura but really lovely and a lot quieter than some of the most popular temples. Full of charms and small details. Delightful.

  • Cupnoodles Museum
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kanagawa Pref. Yokohamashi Naka-ku Shinkou 2-3-4
    Cupnoodles Museum is an interactive museum that arouses creativity and curiosity through exhibitions and experiences related to instant noodles. At the museum, you can experience the creative thinking of Momofuku Ando, who developed the world’s first instant noodle. There are also many attractions which can be enjoyed by children as well as adults such as a workshop where you can make the world’s first “original cup noodles” and “chicken noodles”, leisure facilities where you can experience the manufacturing process of instant noodles and a food court where you can taste noodles from countries all over the world.
  • Kamakura-gu Shrine
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    4.0
    105 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kanagawa Pref. Kamakurashi Nikaidou 154
    A Shinto shrine located in the Nikaido neighborhood of Kamakura. The shrine is also called Otonomiya (Great Tower) Shrine. The shrine is dedicated to Prince Moriyoshi, son of Emperor Go-Daigo, who toppled the Kamakura shogunate and brought about the Kenmu Restoration. The shrine was founded in 1869 by Emperor Meiji. Protective lion mask charms are sold at the front shrine. These charms are derived from Prince Moriyoshi, who hid a lion mask charm inside his helmet when he went to battle to ensure his safety. There is also a dungeon behind the main shrine building where Prince Moriyoshi is believed to have been imprisoned for nine months. A 30-minute walk from the East Exit of Kamakura Station. There is also a bus bound for Kamakura-gu (Otonomiya) Shrine which leaves from the station.

    Kamakuragu is not the most famous and popular shrines for new year visit to pray in Kamakura; but it is good. Not too crowded; but they have all elements as a Kamakura shrine. It is sufficiently...

  • Goryo-jinja Shrine
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    4.0
    109 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kanagawa Pref. Kamakurashi Sakanoshita 4-9
    A five-minute walk from Hase Station, this Shinto shrine is dedicated to the samurai Kamakura Gongoro Kagemasa and is thus nicknamed Kamakura Gongoro Shrine. According to legend, Kagemasa continued to defeat his enemies in battle even after losing his left eye mid-fight, and thus this shrine is believed to provide good fortune in achieving victory as well as in educational endeavors. The shrine is also famous for its French hydrangeas, and many visitors like to take photos of the Enoshima Electric Railway running in front of the shrine together with the hydrangeas. During the Masked Parade, a prefecturally designated Intangible Folk Property held in September, participants march past wearing tengu goblin and old man masks to pray for large harvests and easy childbirth.

    Small but well formed old shrine tucked away in the back streets of Kamakura and over a small crossing on the Enoden.

Kanagawa Areas

around-area-map

Kanagawa prefecture acts as an extension of the Tokyo metropolis that spills over into coastal towns, most notably Yokohama city, heavily populated and known for its Chinatown and seaside attractions. Just the right distance for a day trip out of Tokyo, Kanagawa is home to some of Tokyo’s most accessible beaches, including around Kamakura, best known for its Big Buddha. Visitors can also travel a little farther afield for a weekend at Hakone onsen town.

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