Getting a little tired of the crowds? Catch your breath in Kamakura.
A Trip to the Suburbs of Tokyo! Will Enoshima, and the rest of Kamakura, be your next destination this summer?
Whether you’re planning your next visit or you’re already here in Japan, sure you might have Tokyo all planned out, but do you know about these two spots just a short trip from the big city? Kamakura City and Enoshima are two destinations you can’t miss near Tokyo.
Kamakura is known as “The Kyoto of the East,” and is most famous for its "Daibutsu" (大仏), or huge Buddha. Run right over to Enoshima, and the area is so like Miami Beach that they're even sister cities! So a trip to the area gives you the best of both worlds. Plus, for those big fans of the manga Slam Dunk (we know you're out there!), you're bound to enjoy yourself in the setting of so many important scenes.
- Let us introduce you to the must go spots of Kamakura and Enoshima.
Finding your way to Kamakura and Enoshima.
You can get to Kamakura and Enoshima straight from Haneda Airport using the shuttle bus
if you're ready to relax right off the bat. Otherwise, just catch the train over from Tokyo. To get into the heart of things you’ll need to change to the Enoden Line at Fujisawa Station, which you can take over to Enoshima station. This takes about an hour and a half from stations within Tokyo.
The question is, shall we start from Kamakura? Or shall we go right to Enoshima? The Odakyu Line will take you from Katase-Enoshima Station into Kamakura, or you can get the Enoden from Kamakura over to Enoshima Station, so it's an easy trip between the two areas!
The Enoden Line will take you through some beautiful scenery on the way in from Kamakura, but don't push it and leave Kamakura City too late. You should definitely try to make it in time for the sunset by the beach
So, what are we waiting for... let’s start our tour!
#1. The Kamakura Daibutsu（鎌倉大仏殿高徳院）
Located 10 minutes away from the Enoden Line's Hase Station（長谷駅）is this gigantic Daibutsu!
This Great Buddha is a Japanese national treasure. It weighs in at 121 tons, and stretches up to 11.4 meters (37.5 ft) in height.
(Of course, if you're on a search for huge Buddhas around Japan, the biggest one made of stone is on Mount Nokogiri
- You can pay 20 yen to get inside of the Daibutsu.
- A pair of zori, or Japanese sandals, made to fit the Daibutsu.
One of the unique features of this Daibutsu in Kamakura is that you can actually get inside of it. It's definitely worth 20 yen to take a look around. You can be one with the Buddha without ever reaching enlightenment.
Location：〒248-0016 4-2-28 Hase, Kamakurashi, Kanagawa. Google Maps
April to September, 8:00 - 17:30
October to March, 8:00 - 17:00
(Last entry is 15 min before closing.)
Prices: Adults: 200 yen | 12 and Under: 150 yen
(Seeing inside the Daibutsu is an additional 20 yen.)
Daibutsu Entry Hours: 8：00 - 16：30
(Last entry 10 min before closing.)
#2. Hasedera Temple（長谷寺）
was originally built the Kamakura Era, which means that it dates back to the 1100s! (Even more intriguing, there are legends saying that it originates from 500 years earlier than that!) It is located in a spot with a great view out front, looking out over the ocean and the whole local town.
- The view of Kamakura from the observatory of the temple.
- It is said that it brings you good luck to take a photo of this Jizo, or Japanese stone statue diety, and keep it with you.
From this fantastic viewpoint, during the summer you will be able to see 2,500+ hydrangeas
, and during the autumn season, the area gets surrounded by Japanese Maples with leaves blushed bright red. Flower-viewing might be a big part of Japanese culture, but going out to admire the beauty of autumn leaves is immensely popular as well. There's even a word just for it, "koyo" (紅葉).
There are three jizo statues to find within the temple, and finding all of them brings you good luck! Instead of wishing you luck searching them out, we'll just say "ganbatte!" (頑張って), "you can do it!"
Location：〒248-0016 3-11-2 Hase, Kamakurashi, Kanagawa Google Map
March to Septemer 8:00 - 17:00
October and February 8:00 - 16:30
Price: Adults: 300 yen |12 and Under: 100 yen
#3. Houkokuji Temple（報告寺）
Houkokuji is another temple nice to visit in summer. The surrounding groves of bamboo keep the area nice and cool. Of course, we mean the temperature, but it looks pretty cool as well.
- The matcha costs just 500 yen.
- Have a cup of tea in the bamboo forest.
The temple serves a delicious bowl of matcha with a side of wagashi, traditional Japanese sweets, in the garden of the bamboo forest.
Location：〒248-0003 2-7-4 Jomyoji, Kamakurashi, Kanagawa
Price: 200 yen for entrance and 500 yen for a bowl of matcha.
#4. The Tsuruoka Hachimangu（鶴岡八幡宮）
The jinja, shrine, that represents Kamakura!
The Tsuruoka Hachimangu Shrine was built in 1063 by Minamoto-no-Yoritomo, a Japanese Shogun of the time, by transferring a division of the Iwashimizu Hachimangu Shrine from Kyoto over to the area, creating a new branch.
Since the shrine owes its creation to the Minamoto family, the historical figures have become "ujigami" (氏神) at Tsuruoka Hachimangu, or local Shinto deities.
- Omikuji are fortunes that you can find at many of the shrines in Japan.
- Sometimes your fortune isn't particularly lucky, but that means you just have to tie it up before you leave.
If you're wondering how your trip to Japan is going to turn out, don't miss out on this chance to get yourself an omikuji fortune. Hopefully the results will bode well for your return trip as well!
Tsuruoka Hachimangu Shrine（鶴岡八幡宮）
Location：〒248-8588 2-1-31 Yukinoshita, Kamakurashi, Kanagawa Google Maps
#5. Goryo Shrine（御霊神社）
The entrance to the Goryo Jinja Shrine is closely located to the Enoden Line. So close, in fact, that you can grab a shot of the train tracks, and the train itself, from within the shrine grounds. This shrine is also one of the parts of Enoshima famous for its beautiful views of many different hydrangeas.
This lovely shrine filled with flowers is conveniently located between Kamakura's Daibutsu Grand Buddha, and Hasedera Temple, so stop by on your way between the two spots.
#6. Kamakurakokomae Station（鎌倉高校前）
The Kamakurakokomae train station is now a fairly well-known spot in the area, since it's been attracting more and more Slam Dunk manga and anime fans in the past few years. Kamakurakokomae (鎌倉高校前) means "in front of Kamakura High School", a school that served as a model for one of the settings of the popular manga, and the high school itself has had problems with tourists forgetting that it's actually a functioning school! So, to all the Slam Dunk fans out there, instead of breaking into a high school, please enjoy this train station as an iconic spot in a beloved story.
Kamakurakokomae Train Station（鎌倉高校前）
Location：〒248-0033 1-1 Koshigoe, Kamakura-shi, Kanagawa
One of the top beaches around Tokyo, where many Tokyoites come to surf, swim, and enjoy the great weather. If you're thinking about renting a car and driving all around Japan
, the roads along the coast also make a nice driving route to see the whole area and the beaches.
- Enoshima Island in the background.
- A famous surfing spot!
On top of all the fun in the sun, if the weather conditions are good, you might even be able to see Mt. Fuji accross the water!
Location：〒248-0014 4 Yuigahama, Kamakurashi, Kanagawa Google Maps
Official Local Government Website
Enoshima Gourmet #1. Shirasu-Don（しらす丼）
Fresh Shirasu-Don! A delicious delight from the local oceans. Shirasu (白子) is the Japanese name for whitebait, little fish that are usually eaten whole. The "don" in shirasu-don means bowl. In the case of dishes like this, it's a bowl of rice. Enoshima is famous for this dish of little fish on rice, and enjoying them raw is a real delicacy of the area.
Just to let you know, you won’t be able to eat the fresh shirasu from January to March, because shirasu fishing is prohibited during this season. However, you can still get cooked shirasu-don during this season, so don’t be disappointed. The little fish are pretty tasty even when they're cooked all the way through.
- Mmm.. fresh shirasu with ginger soysauce.
- With a view of the ocean.
Other kinds of seafood are also famous on this island, including...
Gourmet #2. Tako-Senbei（たこ煎餅）
Another snack to try when you get to the island is tako-senbei. Tako means octopus, and you might have already tried "senbei" crackers elsewhere in Japan. (There are stores like this one in Tokyo
that sell huge varieties!)
Grab one of these large octopus crackers on the way before your stroll around the island, and enjoy the chewy octopus and crunchy cracker surroundings. (Do make sure you don't end up eating in crowded areas and covering everyone in cracker and octopus crumbs. This has been enough of a problem in recent years that local authorities has set forward official rules about it.)
Come visit Kamakura and Enoshima this year!