A daytrip in Japan: Kamakura

22 February 2023

Tiffany Chan's blog post on why Kamakura (鎌倉) is one of the best places to visit for a day-trip fromTokyo

I hope you enjoyed my last blog about a weekend getaway at Hakone. If you are looking for something that’s short and sweet, then this is the place for you! Kamakura (鎌倉) is one of the best places to visit for a day-trip in Tokyo. It’s located in the Shōnan region along the Sagami Bay in Kanagawa Prefecture. It takes roughly 1 hour to travel to Kamakura from central Tokyo (Shinjuku), making it an easily accessible place. Here are some of my recommendations of Kamakura! 

1. Hokokuji Temple (報国寺)

This is a small Buddhist temple, that is famous for its bamboo path, filled with more than 2000 bamboo stalks. It might look unamusing from the outside, but once you walk in and immerse yourself into the surrounding, the stunning greenness of the bamboos alongside the natural scenery is something remarkable. There is also a small tea house inside the temple, where you can enjoy a cup of freshly made matcha. 

2. Hiking Trails 

The hiking trails in Kamakura connect from temple to temple, so if you’re looking to visit temples and going on a hike, this is for you! There are three main network of hiking trails, the western hills, northern hills, and eastern hills. 

I recommend the Western Hills, which is also known as the Daibutsu (大仏) Trail. This course takes up to 90 minutes to complete but is a light and easy walk! The trail connects the famous Great Buddha (大仏) and Jōchi-ji (浄智寺) Zen Temple. What’s best about this trail is that it passes through a “money washing” shrine: Zeniarai Benten Shrine (銭洗弁天). Locals and tourists stop here to wash their money because they believe that once the money is washed in Spring here, it will double in Winter. This shrine is also famous for its one of the examples of a surviving temple that is a fusion of Buddhism and Shinto. For more information about hiking trails, visit the link here. 

3. Komachi-dori Street (小町通り)

Feeling hungry after a hike? Want to buy some souvenirs? This is the place for you! This street is located near the East exit of Kamakura station, and you can spot it easily with the eye-catching red gate. Not only does it have hand-made souvenirs like chopsticks, but also delicious street food can be found! One of my recommended shops is Kamakura Chacha, where Matcha soft serve and puddings are served. (Definitely, one of the best soft serves you’ll ever have!) Another recommendation for souvenirs is the Ghibli Shop located near the entrance of this street. You can find a lot of special character-based products such as puzzles, mugs, and postcards. 

There’s so much more Kamakura has to offer apart from what I recommended so do make sure to check it out when you’re in Tokyo!