Top 10 Things to do in Kamakura, Japan

August 5, 2017 Giuseppe Pratt

A village dating back to Yoritomo's shogunate government in 1192, Kamakura lies amid wooded hills filled with Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines. Local university students offer free guided tours leaving from Kamakura station. Visit the Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine, dedicated to the Shinto god of war, patron deity of the shogun's family, and walk inside the Great Buddha.
Restaurants in Kamakura

1. Hase-dera Temple

3-11-2 Hase, Kamakura 248-0016, Kanagawa Prefecture +81 467-22-6300
Excellent
55%
Good
36%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Hase-dera Temple

This temple is most notable for its wooden statue of Kannon, the 11-headed goddess of mercy, but it also has a lovely garden and pond, and a viewing platform with a great city view.

Reviewed By TheOExpress - Hong Kong, China

...temple complex we saw in Kamakura. The main buildings are stunning, the Gardens peaceful and beautiful, and the caves really interesting. Also, in the main hall, the large golden Buddha statue impressed even jaded tourists like us. And though we didn’t have time to go in the museum, we still immensely enjoyed ourselves here.

2. Kamakura Hiking Trails

Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture +81 467-24-8409
Excellent
50%
Good
43%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 264 reviews

Kamakura Hiking Trails

The wooded hills of Kamakura contain numerous hiking trails, many of which connect the various temples.

Reviewed By phl-kc - philadelphia, pa

Highlight of Kamakura for us. Great views at the top. You need to be able to climb 10+ flights of stairs and traverse narrow and slippery terrain in places. Very beautiful trails and shady on a hot summer day. Helps to have a smart phone map to find the trailhead and the ways back to the train.

3. Hokokuji Temple (Takedera Temple)

2-7-4 Jomyoji, Kamakura 248-0003, Kanagawa Prefecture +81 467-22-0762
Excellent
57%
Good
34%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 554 reviews

Hokokuji Temple (Takedera Temple)

Reviewed By lizcyni - Singapore

The temple can be reached by foot (40 minutes walk) or a short bus ride from Kamakura Station which cost ¥200 one way. It took about 10 minutes to reach Jomyoji bus stop and from here is another 5 minutes walk to the temple.
The temple is relatively small. What is special is the beautiful bamboo grove behind the temple. The entrance fee is ¥200.
The bamboo grove is not big but it looks grand with a few thousands tall standing bamboo trees. You can enjoy the serenity of the surroundings while sipping a cup of matcha at the tea house in the garden for a small fee. We saw some caves which carved into the hillside where monks were buried. Peaceful and beautiful garden, worth going!











4. Kencho-ji Temple

8 Yamanouchi, Kamakura 247-0062, Kanagawa Prefecture +81 467-22-0981
Excellent
46%
Good
44%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 411 reviews

Kencho-ji Temple

Founded in 1253 by a Chinese priest, this temple, notable for its bell (a national treasure) and Zen garden, was the first Zen temple in the city and is ranked number one of the city's five most powerful temples.

Reviewed By Cristian C - Burnaby, Canada

Visiting Kamakura I advise in stopping in Kita Kamakura and continue by foot till reaching Kamakura.
So, you'll have the chance to see this wonderful temple, so impressive and so vibrant of history.
Its Gardens together with the temples are uplifting and I bet going there when the cherries are in full bloom can be one lifetime memory.

5. Kotoku-in (Great Buddha of Kamakura)

4-2-28 Hase, Kamakura 248-0016, Kanagawa Prefecture +81 467-22-0703
Excellent
44%
Good
41%
Satisfactory
13%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 2 reviews

Kotoku-in (Great Buddha of Kamakura)

This nearly 47-foot bronze statue of Amida Buddha is the second largest Buddha statue in Japan.

Reviewed By GlobeTrotters4001 - Brisbane, Australia

It may be a little smaller than the great buddah in Nara, but the entrance fee was cheap and worth a look in the area. Easily accessbile by train from Tokyo.
I was quite impressed with this daibutsu as on our clear day, beautifully framed by the hills and sky. Interesting to read the history of the great buddah and why it now stands out in the open.
Not only was it reasonable to enter the precinct but for a few yen more the children and grandchildren could enter into the buddah itself. A bit of a fun experience for them and also to see the buddah's sandals.

6. Engaku-ji Temple

409 Yamanochi, Kamakura 247-0062, Kanagawa Prefecture +81 467-22-0478
Excellent
40%
Good
47%
Satisfactory
11%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 378 reviews

Engaku-ji Temple

A large temple bell, a teahouse and a shrine that preserves a tooth of Buddha are highlights of this Zen temple, which has been designated a national treasure and is ranked number two of the city's five most powerful temples.

Reviewed By terry h - Houston, Texas

took more than an hour to stroll within the temple complex. the temple is located at the foot of a hill/mountain, with gorgeous views everywhere. you may sit and meditate, looking over the pond. the bell tower with a national treasure old bell/gong is at the top of steep uphill steps. I wish I had an extra day to do za-zen. the engaku-ji is right next to Kita-kamakura station. there are a few more famous temples in the kita-kamakura (north- Kamakura) area within walking distance.

7. Enoshima Electric Railway

Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture +81 466-24-2713
Excellent
39%
Good
46%
Satisfactory
13%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 871 reviews

Enoshima Electric Railway

Reviewed By Federico M - Roma, Italia

Nice old train connecting many coastal cities, and some beautiful sightseeings such as Engaku-Ji, Kotoku-in and Hasedera temples.
It is free for JR pass owners, and quite comfortable, anyway you can't expect it to be the best way to move. It's mainly a tourist attraction, although being used by Japanese people too. If you have time, just try it!

8. Meigetsuin (Hydrangea Temple)

189 Yamanochi, Kamakura 247-0062, Kanagawa Prefecture +81 467-24-3437
Excellent
34%
Good
55%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 331 reviews

Meigetsuin (Hydrangea Temple)

Reviewed By NewYork5555 - Tokyo Prefecture, Japan

Taking JR train from Tokyo in an hour, reached Kitakamakura Station, where another famous Engakuji Temple lies in front of the station.
Meigetsuin is 500 meter away or 10 minutes walk from the station, very suprisingly abundant in green and trees, flowers.Impressive as just 1 hour away from Tokyo, there is place where such nature abounds.Calm and quiet, beautiful and there is traditional Japanese garden,called KARESANSUI, which can rarely be seen in Tokyo areas.Main edifice"HOJHO" is equipped with round window that is famous.Not so many visitors as other famous temples in Kamakura except in June, when flowers bloom fully.
Short trip with local train from Tokyo, recommendable.

9. Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine

2-1-31 Yukinoshita, Kamakura 248-0005, Kanagawa Prefecture +81 467-22-0315
Excellent
31%
Good
53%
Satisfactory
14%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 1 reviews

Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine

This important shrine, dating back to 1063, is a popular site for weddings and other events during the year, and is particularly beautiful during cherry blossom or azalea season.

Reviewed By W7927SH_

Great shrine having hundreds of years of history. Samurai days of Kamakura era can be observed here. The latest atmosphere is also very good. Don’t miss the Red Seal. You can walk around the campus, and the streets around. Good experience

10. Ugafuku Shrine ( Goddess of Money Washing)

2-25-16 Sasuke, Kamakura 248-0017, Kanagawa Prefecture +81 467-25-1081
Excellent
31%
Good
51%
Satisfactory
16%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 360 reviews

Ugafuku Shrine ( Goddess of Money Washing)

Legend has it that washing your money in the spring at this shrine will make it double.

Reviewed By ModerationForMe - South Carolina

This shrine can be reached via the trail system or a walk from town (we came in one way and left the other). It's a small shrine but worth the visit. Our guide discouraged us from money washing since we don't appreciate the full meaning of it.

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