top 10 kamakura is a useful tool in case you are trying to make the best of this very interesting japanese town.
located at a mere 50 km away from tokyo, kamakura is one of japan’s former capitals. i believe you should allocate at least one full day to visit it. i love it and i’m certain i will go back some day soon.
my advice would be that you get off at the kita kamakura station and then walk over the hill to kamakura – see point 6 for more details.
10. the first thing right outside the train station is a zen buddhist temple complex. it’s called zen eugaku ji and it’s worth at least a quick tour.
9. since it’s located on the edge of the pacific ocean, kamakura has surf culture. yeah, i guess it’s a little unexpected but it exists nonetheless. click here for more details.
8. while we managed to miss the local specialty violet potato icecream, i must tell you that the flavours we tasted were great. i liked the cassis sorbet and the mango icecream. yum!
7. one of the most interesting starbucks in japan is located on the site of the former house of a mangaka. his name is ryuichi yokoyama and he was best known for fuku-chan which was animated in the 80s. the interior is nice but the wisteria covered swimming pool outside is the perfect place to chill. here’s the map.
6. we hiked along the daibutsu hiking trail. it takes about one hour and a half to get from kita kamakura to daibutsu. it’s a hilly forest trail so wear supportive shoes.
5. at some point during our stay, we jumped into this old train called enoden. i enjoyed the very scenic 10 km route.
4. hasedera temple belongs to the buddhist jodo sect. this beautiful complex includes a cave, gardens, a restaurant as well as a viewing platform over the beach.
a special thing i have only seen in here is the numberless jizo statues. people dedicate a statue to their stillborn babies or to the aborted fetuses. i found it touching to see gifts such as candy and toys. i may be ignorant, but this is the only time i heard that religion acknowledges the pain of this kind of loss and allows the celebration of the memory of such children.
3. the seated buddha or amida nyorai or kamakura daibutsu is a national treasure. it weighs 121 tons and it’s 13.4 m high with its pedestal. it’s so big you can visit its insides and i’m not kidding. it is located on the ground of kotokuin temple. one of my favourite things is buddha’s pair of slippers.
2. hokokuji temple is this secluded place you just need to find and visit. it is placed within a wonderful bamboo forest. at one of its remote corners, find the teahouse and enjoy a cup of matcha in silence. this is a magical place and i’m not saying that lightly.
1. my best kamakura moment was definitely feeding hawks on the beach! find the whole story here, at number 1.
yokohama. although it may seem the other way around, since it is the second biggest city in japan, i believe your day is best spent in kamakura. but if you have sufficient time though, take a walking tour of yokohama.
do not miss kamakura if you can. i’m pretty sure you’ll love it!
photo credits: little aesthete