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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.



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 in Enoshima.

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.

Kamakura Daibutsu(鎌倉大仏)
Location:〒248-0016 4-2-28 Hase, Kamakurashi, Kanagawa.  Google Maps
Phone: 0467-22-0703
Hours:
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.)
Official Website

#2. Hasedera Temple(長谷寺)



Hasedera Temple 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!"

長谷寺(長谷寺)
Location:〒248-0016 3-11-2 Hase, Kamakurashi, Kanagawa Google Map
Phone:0467-22-6300
Hours:
March to Septemer 8:00 – 17:00
October and February 8:00 – 16:30
Price: Adults: 300 yen |12 and Under: 100 yen
Official Website

#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.

Houkokuji Temple(報国寺)
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

#7.Yuigahama Beach(由比ヶ浜)



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!

Yuigahama Beach(由比ヶ浜)
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!



Hope you liked our recommendations! With all the beaches and hydrangeas, if Enoshima seems like a good place to spend a lot of time, there's plenty more to do.

Take a look at a few of our related posts for more things to do around the area, or more details on places we've already mentioned, to plan your next trip to Kamakura and Enoshima.

Trip to Memorial Spot of Slam Dunk in Enoshima/ Kamakura

TOP THINGS TO DO ★ Bringing lucks home~ Gokuraku-ji (極楽寺)

 

Be sure to look out for more exciting articles every day at JAPANKURU!
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      Hokkaido (北海道) is the northernmost of the four main islands that make up Japan. The area is famous for Sapporo Beer, plus brewing and distilling in general, along with fantastic snow festivals and breathtaking national parks. Foodies should look for Hokkaido's famous potatoes, cantaloupe, dairy products, soup curry, and miso ramen!

    • Niki, in south-west Hokkaido, is about 30 minutes from Otaru. The small town is rich with natural resources, fresh water, and clean air, making it a thriving center for fruit farms. Cherries, tomatoes, and grapes are all cultivated in the area, and thanks to a growing local wine industry, it's quickly becoming a food and wine hotspot. Together with the neighboring town of Yoichi, it's a noted area for wine tourism.

    • Niseko is about two hours from New Chitose Airport, in the western part of Hokkaido. It's one of Japan's most noted winter resort areas, and a frequent destination for international visitors. That's all because of the super high-quality powder snow, which wins the hearts of beginners and experts alike, bringing them back for repeat visits. That's not all, though, it's also a great place to enjoy Hokkaido's culinary scene and some beautiful onsen (hot springs).

    • Otaru is in western Hokkaido, about 30 minutes from Sapporo Station. The city thrived around its busy harbor in the 19th and 20th centuries thanks to active trade and fishing, and the buildings remaining from that period are still popular attractions, centered around Otaru Canal. With its history as a center of fishing, it's no surprise that the area's fresh sushi is a must-try. Otaru has over 100 sushi shops, quite a few of which are lined up on Sushiya Dori (Sushi Street).

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      Sapporo, in the south-western part of Hokkaido, is the prefecture's political and economic capital. The local New Chitose Airport see arrivals from major cities like Tokyo and Osaka, alongside international flights. Every February, the Sapporo Snow Festival is held in Odori Park―one of the biggest events in Hokkaido. It's also a hotspot for great food, known as a culinary treasure chest, and Sapporo is a destination for ramen, grilled mutton, soup curry, and of course Hokkaido's beloved seafood.

    • Consisting of six prefectures, the Tohoku Region (東北地方) is up in the northeastern part of Japan's main island. It's the source of plenty of the nation's agriculture (which means great food), and packed with beautiful scenery. Explore the region's stunning mountains, lakes, and hot springs!

    • Akita Prefecture is on the Sea of Japan, in the northern reaches of Japan's northern Tohoku region. Akita has more officially registered important intangible culture assets than anywhere else in Japan, and to this day visitors can experience traditional culture throughout the prefecture, from the Oga Peninsula's Namahage (registered with UNESCO as a part of Japan's intangible cultural heritage), to the Tohoku top 3 Kanto Festival. Mysterious little spots like the Oyu Stone Circle Site and Ryu no Atama (Dragon's Head) are also worth a visit!

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      Fukushima Prefecture sits at the southern tip of Japan's northern Tohoku region, and is divided into three parts with their own different charms: the Coastal Area (Hama-dori), the Central Area (Naka-dori), and the Aizu Area. There's Aizu-Wakamatsu with its Edo-era history and medieval castles, Oze National Park, Kitakata ramen, and Bandai Ski Resort (with its famous powder snow). Fukushima is a beautiful place to enjoy the vivid colors and sightseeing of Japan's beloved four seasons.

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      Yamagata Prefecture is up against the Sea of Japan, in the southern part of the Tohoku region, and it's especially popular in winter, when travelers soak in the onsen (hot springs) and ski down snowy slopes. International skiiers are especially fond of Zao Onsen Ski Resort and Gassan Ski Resort, and in recent years visitors have been drawn to the area to see the mystical sight of local frost-covered trees. Some destinations are popular regardless of the season, like Risshakuji Temple, AKA Yamadera, Ginzan Onsen's nostalgic old-fashioned streets, and Zao's Okama Lake, all great for taking pictures. Yamagata is also the place to try Yonezawa beef, one of the top 3 varieties of wagyu beef.

    • Japan's most densely populated area, the Kanto Region (関東地方) includes 7 prefectures: Gunma, Tochigi, Ibaraki, Saitama, Tokyo, Chiba, and Kanagawa, which means it also contains the Tokyo Metropolitan Area. In modern-day Japan, Kanto is the cultural, political, and economic heartland of the country, and each prefecture offers something a little different from its neighbors.

    • Gunma Prefecture is easily accessible from Tokyo, and in addition to the area's popular natural attractions like Oze Marshland and Fukiware Falls, Gunma also has a number of popular hot springs (Kusatsu, Ikaho, Minakami, Shima)―it's even called an Onsen Kingdom. The prefecture is popular with history buffs and train lovers, thanks to spots like world heritage site Tomioka Silk Mill, the historic Megane-bashi Bridge, and the Watarase Keikoku Sightseeing Railway.

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      Tochigi Prefecture's capital is Utsunomiya, known for famous gyoza, and just an hour from Tokyo. The prefecture is full of nature-related sightseeing opportunities year-round, from the blooming of spring flowers to color fall foliage. Tochigi also has plenty of extremely well-known sightseeing destinations, like World Heritage Site Nikko Toshogu Shrine, Lake Chuzenji, and Ashikaga Flower Park―famous for expansive wisteria trellises. In recent years the mountain resort town of Nasu has also become a popular excursion, thanks in part to the local imperial villa. Tochigi is a beautiful place to enjoy the world around you.

    • Tokyo (東京) is Japan's busy capital, and the most populous metropolitan area in the world. While the city as a whole is quite modern, crowded with skyscrapers and bustling crowds, Tokyo also holds onto its traditional side in places like the Imperial Palace and Asakusa neighborhood. It's one of the world's top cities when it comes to culture, the arts, fashion, games, high-tech industries, transportation, and more.

    • The Chubu Region (中部地方) is located right in the center of Japan's main island, and consists of 9 prefectures: Aichi, Fukui, Gifu, Ishikawa, Nagano, Niigata, Shizuoka, Toyama, and Yamanashi. It's primarily famous for its mountains, as the region contains both Mt. Fuji and the Japanese Alps. The ski resorts in Niigata and Nagano also draw visitors from around the world, making it a popular winter destination.

    • Nagano Prefecture's popularity starts with a wealth of historic treasures, like Matsumoto Castle, Zenkoji Temple, and Togakushi Shrine, but the highlight might just be the prefecture's natural vistas surrounded by the "Japanese Alps." Nagano's fruit is famous, and there are plenty of places to pick it fresh, and the area is full of hot springs, including Jigokudani Monkey Park―where monkeys take baths as well! Thanks to the construction of the Hokuriku shinkansen line, Nagano is easily reachable from the Tokyo area, adding it to plenty of travel itineraries. And after the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics, ski resorts like Hakuba and Shiga Kogen are known around the world.

    • Aichi Prefecture sits in the center of the Japanese islands, and its capital city, Nagoya, is a center of politics, commerce, and culture. While Aichi is home to major industry, and is even the birthplace of Toyota cars, it's proximity to the sea and the mountains means it's also a place with beautiful natural scenery, like Saku Island, Koijigahama Beach, Mt. Horaiji. Often used a stage for major battles in Japanese history, Sengoku era commanders like Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and Tokugawa Ieyasu left their own footprints on Aichi, and historic buildings like Nagoya Castle, Inuyama Castle, and those in Meiji Mura are still around to tell the tale.

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      Niigata is a prefecture on Japan's main island of Honshu, situated right on the coast of the Sea of Japan, and abundant with the gifts of nature. It's known for popular ski resorts such as Echigo-Yuzawa, Japanese national parks, and natural hot spring baths, plus local products like fresh seafood, rice, and sake. Visitors often spend time in the prefectural capital, Niigata City, or venture across the water to Sado Island.

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      Shizuoka Prefecture is sandwiched between eastern and western Japan, giving the prefecture easy access to both Tokyo and Osaka. Not only is it known for beautiful natural attractions, with everything from Mount Fuji to Suruga Bay, Lake Hamanako, and Sumata Pass―Shizuoka's Izu Peninsula is known as a go-to spot for hot springs lovers, with famous onsen like Atami, Ito, Shimoda, Shuzenji, and Dogashima. Shizuoka attracts all kinds of travelers thanks to historic connections with the Tokugawa clan, the Oigawa Railway, fresh eel cuisine, Hamamatsu gyoza, and famously high-quality green tea.

    • Kansai (関西) is a region that includes Mie, Nara, Wakayama, Kyoto, Osaka, Hyogo, and Shiga Prefectures. Kansai contained Japan's ancient capital for hundreds of years, and it's making a comeback as one of the most popular parts of Japan. Kyoto's temples and shrines, Osaka Castle, and the deer of Nara are all considered must-sees. Plus, the people of Kansai are especially friendly, making it a fun place to hang out.

    • Kyoto flourished as the capital of Japan between the years 794 and 1100, becoming a center for poilitics and culture, and to this day it's a great place for close encounters with Japanese history. The cobbled streets of Gion, the atmospheric road to Kiyomizudera Temple, Kinkakuji's golden walls and countless historic attractions, even Arashiyama's Togetsukyo Bridge―Kyoto is a place of many attractions. With new charms to experience throughout the seasons, travelers can't stop themselves from returning again and again.

    • Nara Prefecture's important history reaches back to 710, a time now called the Nara era, when it was once capital of Japan. Called "Heijo-kyo" during its time as a capital, it's said that nara was once the end of the silk road, leading it to flourish as a uniquely international region and produce important cultural properties of all kinds. To make the most of each season, travelers head to Nara Park, where the Nara deer who wander freely, or climb Mount Yoshino, a famous cherry blossom spot.

    • Osaka is known for friendly (and funny) people, but its history is nothing to laugh at, playing a major part in Toyotomi Hideyoshi's 16th century unification of Japan. Thanks to long years of economic activity, it's one of Japan's biggest cities, and Osaka's popular food culture earned it the nickname "The Kitchen of the Nation." To this day Osaka is the model of western Japan, and alongside historic structures like Osaka Castle, it also has major shopping malls like Umeda's Grand Front Osaka and Tennoji's Abeno Harukas. Osaka is a place to eat, eat, eat, with local specialties like takoyaki, okonomiyaki, and kushi-katsu, and for extra fun, it's home to Universal Studios Japan.

    • CHUGOKU

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      The Chugoku Region (中国地方) consists of five prefectures: Hiroshima, Okayama, Shimane, Tottori, and Yamaguchi. In Chugoku you’ll find the sand dunes of Tottori, and Hiroshima’s atomic bomb site, plus centers of ancient history like Grand Shrine of Izumo.

    • HIROSHIMA

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      Hiroshima Prefecture has everything, from world heritage sites to beautiful nature and delicious local cuisine, and it's either an hour and a half from Tokyo by plane, or four hours by train. Itsukushima Shrine on Miyajima Island and the Atomic Bomb Dome, two Hiroshima UNESCO sites, are famous around the world, but in Japan it's also famous for food. Seafood from the Seto Inland Sea, especially oysters, Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki, and Setouchi lemons are all popular, and the natural scenery alone is worth seeing.

    • SHIKOKU

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      On the other side of the Seto Inland Sea opposite Japan’s main island, Shikoku (四国) is a region made up of four prefectures: Ehime, Kagawa, Kochi, and Tokushima. The area is famous for its udon (in Kagawa), and the beautiful Dogo Onsen hot springs (in Ehime).

    • Kagawa Prefecture is on the northern part of the island of Shikoku, facing Japan's main island and the Seto Inland Sea. It's known for being the smallest prefecture in Japan, by area, but at the same time Kagawa is called the "Udon Prefecture" thanks to its famous sanuki udon. Aside from Kotohiragu Shrine and Ritsurin Garden, the prefecture's small islands are popular, and Kagawa is full of unique destinations, like Angel Road. They say that if you lay eyes on Zenigata Sunae, a huge Kagawa sand painting, you'll never have money troubles ever again.

    • Located in the most southwestern part of Japan, Kyushu (九州) is an island of 7 prefectures: Fukuoka, Saga, Nagasaki, Kumamoto, Oita, Miyazaki, and Kagoshima. The island's unique culture has been influenced by Chinese and Dutch trade, along with missionaries coming in through Nagasaki's port. Modern-day travelers love the lush natural scenery and fresh food, plus the natural hot springs found all throughout the area (thanks to volcanic activity)!

    • FUKUOKA

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      Fukuoka Prefecture has the highest population on the southern island of Kyushu, with two major cities: Fukuoka and Kitakyushu. Thanks to growing transportation networks, Fukuoka is more accessible than ever, and so are the many local attractions. On top of historical spots like Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine, travelers shouldn't miss Fukuoka's food scene, with motsu nabe (offal hotpot), mentaiko (spicy cod roe), and famous Hakata ramen―best eaten from a food stall in the Nakasu area of Hakata. Plus, it's full of all sorts of destinations for travelers, like trendy shopping centers, and the beautiful nature of Itoshima and Yanagawa.

    • KAGOSHIMA

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      Kagoshima Prefecture played a major role in Japan's modernization as a backdrop for famous historical figures like samurais Saigo Takamori and Okubo Toshimichi, who pushed Japan out of the Edo era and into the Meiji. Because of that, Sengan-en Garden is just one of many historical destinations, and when it comes to attractions Kagoshima has plenty: the active volcano of Sakurajima, popular hot springs Ibusuki Onsen and Kirishima Onsen, World Heritage Site Yakushima Island, even what Japan calls the "island closest to heaven," Amami Oshima. Kagoshima might be found on the very southernmost tip of the southern island of Kyushu, but there's plenty to see.

    • OKINAWA

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      The island chain of Okinawa (沖縄) makes up the southernmost tip of Japan, which is why it's also the most tropical area in the country. Thanks to a history of independence and totally distinct political and cultural events, Okinawa has a unique culture, and remnants of the Ryukyu Kingdom are still visible all over the islands. Food, language, traditional dress, it's all a little different! It's also said to be the birthplace of karate.

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