Spots in Shonan / Kamakura 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...

  • Enoshima
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    4.5
    1085 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kanagawa Pref. Fujisawashi Enoshima
    Enoshima is a tied island connected to the mainland via a sandbar. Known for its picturesque scenery since ancient times, the island is also home to Enoshima-jinja Shrine and numerous other historic Shinto shrines. Sightseeing spots have continued to accrue on the island over time, including the Samuel Cocking Garden as well as a stone monument dedicated to the 1964 Olympics. The Enoshima Sea Candle lighthouse, which is lit up beautifully at night, is a more recent addition. In times past and today, Enoshima remains a popular tourist destination visited by countless travelers.

    We took the nostalgic Enoden train from Kamakura station to Enoshima Island, and walked a short distance through town and across the causeway to Enoshima Island. The causeway was very breezy and...

  • Enoshima Aquarium
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    4.0
    655 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kanagawa Pref. Fujisawashi Katasekaigan 2-19-1
    Nicknamed the “Enosui” by locals, this aquarium is located inside Shonan Kaigan Park. The aquarium’s beautiful exhibits, designed to evoke a wondrous undersea world, are quite popular. The spherical “Jellyfish Planet” aquarium houses 14 varieties of jellyfish lit up with beautiful lighting. Once every hour, the world’s first 3D projection mapped jellyfish show is held throughout the entire floor. Enoshima Aquarium is filled with entertainment. A school of some 8,000 Japanese sardines can be seen swimming in a giant aquarium replicating the environment of Sagami Bay. An edutainment facility, another exhibit at the aquarium maps ocean currents and presents the various sea life which visits the area seasonally.

    It’s crowed! Lots of families and students coming over and it’s great! The aquarium layout is so beautiful, made with artistic sensibilities and to be a reachable display to everyone. We made it out...

  • 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...

  • Enoshima Island Spa
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    4.0
    241 Reviews
    Accommodations / Hot Spring
    Kanagawa Pref. Fujisawashi Enoshima 2-1-6
    A spa resort facility where visitors can enjoy over 10 types of baths, including ones that allow bathing suits. The spa is supplied by Enoshima’s only natural hot spring, which wells up from 1,500 meters below the surface of the island. The hot spring waters have a high salt content, good for helping to retain warmth, and the facility is accordingly popular with women for the benefits this water provides with aiding intestinal health. Built facing the sea, bathers in the outdoor pool can enjoy a sweeping view of Sagami Bay. The spa does not have any lodging facilities, but combination plans are offered in conjunction with various hotels. Enoshima Island Spa is located at the entrance to the island just past Enoshima Ohashi Bridge.

    This is a fantastic place. A little expensive but well worth it if youve never visited an onsen. They have a reduced evening rate from 6pm, HOWEVER if you book on their Japanese site you can get the...

  • 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.

  • 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。

  • Kamakura Park Hotel
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    4.0
    150 Reviews
    Accommodations / Hot Spring
    Kanagawa Pref. Kamakurashi Sakanoshita 33-6
    A 10 minute taxi ride from JR Kamakura Station or a 13 minute walk from Enoshima Electric Railway Hase Station. The hotel takes pride in its guest rooms outfitted with implements and furnishings imported from Italy. Sagami Bay unfolds right in front of the Ocean Twin room, giving guests the chance to have this beautiful view all to themselves. The hotel’s popular enzyme baths have a detoxifying effect, beautifying the skin, relieving stress, aiding in recovery from fatigue, and promoting fat loss.

    We loved staying at this hotel. Its on the water, has views of the bay and the windows open - fresh air! This was our first time staying in Kamakura - we have visited before but never stayed...

  • Shonandaira (Komayama Park)
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    4.0
    84 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kanagawa Pref. Hiratsukashi Manda 790
    Komayama Park crosses Hiratsuka City and Oiso Town in Naka County. It is divided into multiple areas; there is a TV tower and a rest house viewing platform in the Shonandaira Zone. The Children's Forest Zone is a good place for a barbecue, and the Asama Volcano Zone lets you get in touch with nature. It's a great spot for viewing the cherry blossoms in spring and the nightscape when the sun goes down.

    2020.03.28 本日は桜吹雪です。 登る道中は桜のトンネルで、ドライブだけでも楽しめます。 お天気なら肉眼で東京タワーやスカイツリーも見えます。望遠鏡が無料で昼間は売店やレストランも開いてるし無料Wi-Fiもあります。 現在、子供の森は倒木のため閉鎖されています。 ブランコのあるところまでは行けます。 夜はよくイノシシを見かけますので、刺激しないようにお気をつけ下さい。

  • 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...

  • 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.

  • 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...

  • bills Shichirigahama
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    4.0
    372 Reviews
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Kanagawa Pref. Kamakurashi Shichirigahama 1-1-1WEEKENDHOUSEALLEY2F
    This is the first “bills” in Japan, an Australian all-day casual dining experience found in the fashionable “WEEKEND HOUSE ALLEY” along Shichirigahama Beach. One can enjoy select fresh seasonal food while sitting on the terrace with an unbroken view of Shichirigahama Beach.

    Probably the best views of any place around here, but not cheap. Id get there early to avoid having the queue.

  • 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.

  • Gokuraku-ji Temple
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    3.5
    106 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kanagawa Pref. Kamakurashi Gokurakuji 3-6-7
    This Buddhist temple was founded in 1259 by the samurai Hojo Shigetoki. The temple was once one of the greatest in Kamakura, but earthquakes, fires, and other tragedies have resulted in only the Kissho-in, the main temple building, still standing today. The temple’s principal object of worship, a figure of Gautama Buddha in the Seiryo-ji Temple style, is a designated Important Cultural Property and is only revealed to the public for three days each year starting on April 7 and overlapping with the Hana Matsuri (celebration of the Buddha’s birthday) on April 8.

    It might be small, but its wonderfully empty after youve visited the more popular temples of the area. Very easy to find if you take the Enoden Line to Gokurakuji Station (we actually walked from...

  • Egara Tenjin Shrine
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    4.0
    88 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kanagawa Pref. Kamakurashi Nikaidou 74
    Located in Nikaido, Kamakura City, Egara Tenjin Shrine enshrines the deity of learning Sugawara-no-Michizane, and along with Dazaifu-tenmangu Shrine and Kitano-tenmangu Shrine, it is counted as one of Japan’s three largest Tenjin shrines. The plum tree in front of the main building is known to be the earliest blooming plum tree in Kamakura, and one can see its red flowers in January when it is the season for Japanese students to take entrance exams. There is also the Kappa Fudezuka (Kappa brush monument) built as a memorial to the favorite paintbrush of manga artist Kon Shimizu, and behind that is the Efudezuka monument upon which 154 cartoonists including Ryuichi Yokoyama have added different pictures of kappa created in homage of Shimizu.

    Masses crowded here for their new year activities. Managing the crowds had the police on duty busy, though the crowds were very orderly and abiding.

Kanagawa Areas

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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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