Kamakura is a popular destination, and there are many things to do. It is a must-see destination in Japan.
Tokyoites, once the real battlefield of Ninja and Samurai, now flock to the coast every weekend to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. They also enjoy fresh seafood and see temples.
The Best Things to Do in Kamakura
I was fortunate to be offered a volunteer job in a 200-year-old traditional Japanese home in Inamuragaski, where I started my explorations.
Although working at Airbnb is not something you would be proud of, it was enough to inspire a full-length Ghibli movie.
One thing is sure: if you visit Kamakura, you should watch the sunset behind Mt. To see the black volcanic sand shining like diamond dust, walk along the beach at night to Fuji. Continue reading: Top Day Trips From Tokyo.
Kamakura has so many things to see that it takes time to choose where to go. Here is my “if this, you didn’t go” list.
Kamakura Shopping Street
JR Kamakura Station has a swarm of shops selling everything, from specialty foods to patterned handicrafts.
Continue straight towards the red torii gate. You will find yourself at Komachi Street’s entrance. Be prepared to take out your wallet.
The story begins with a Ghibli shop packed with memorabilia (giant Totoro plushie, anyone?). It then progresses to chopsticks, jewelry, colored cloth, art, and street food.
Many Kimono rental shops are available to help you dress up for a traditional day.
Concerned about cultural appropriation, I asked many Japanese friends if they thought foreigners in traditional Japanese attire were offensive. They all agreed that tourists were participating in Japanese culture.
After a few hours, wooden shoes (called “geta”) can start to cause pain to your toes!
You can spot the mysterious chihuahua woman if you are fortunate. No one will ever understand why he has so many tiny canines.
Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine
The shrine is approximately 20 minutes from the shopping area and through two massive torii gates.
The striking stone staircase leading to the main scarlet shrine makes it worthwhile.
Head left after climbing the steps and enjoy people-watching at the most beautiful public Japanese lily pool I have ever seen.
Children and adults will often be seen feeding giant koi and small-sized grass turtles in summer and early autumn with great enthusiasm.
Autumn and winter see the turtles and lilies disappear, but the koi are still as hungry and fat as ever.
Two monks created two elaborate statues of Kannon, the god of mercy, out of one giant tree trunk.
One statue was thrown into the sea and carried prayers for good luck to all who saw it. The wooden Kannon washed up at the Kannonyama mountain shores many years later.
The Hase-Dera temple was constructed in honor of the good men. Kannon’s statue was enshrined, covered with a brilliant gold leaf, and placed at the Hase-Dera temple.
This is my absolute favorite temple in Japan.
It has a stunning view of Kamakura and a small cave network for women. There are also thousands of Jizo statues and more than 2500 Hydrangea species.
It is always in bloom and beautiful. This temple is the best.
The shrines on the small island of Enoshima far outnumber their residents. You’ll find street food stalls and restaurants selling fresh seafood at the lowest level.
You should try the pressed octopus crimper called ‘takosenbei,’ which is squeeeeee when pressed into shape.
Every level on the island is stunning, but the highest point is the most impressive.
The Sea Candle is a structure that sits at the island’s top. It serves as a lighthouse for boats and tourists and a tower for cell phones.
View Of Mount Fiji
The view from the top of Mt. You can see Mt. Fuji from the top, as well as endless views of the ocean beyond.
If time is not a problem, the island has a fantastic onsen and spa with traditional split-onsen baths and a diverse outdoor hot pool that requires you to wear a bathing suit.
Indoor onsen also has a carbonated pool.
Fun Fact Enoshima will host the 2020 sailing Olympics.
Inamuragaskai Park And Beach
Even though I find Inamuragasaki Park picturesque every day, even when it rains sometimes, the sunset shines in it.
It is located on the coast and has a vast rocky overhang that gradually slopes into dramatic crashing waves. Photographers flock to this rock to capture a picture of Mt. Fuji in the shadow of the setting sun.
It is a popular location for romantic confessions and heartfelt reconciliation.
Kamakura was my home. I went to the beach daily with ice cream, Japanese beers, or green tea and watched the sun sink below the waves.
For Photographers, Here is where you can find the mysterious’ Diamond Fuji.’ The setting sun touches the summit making the volcano look almost like a diamond ring.
Other Cool Things to Do in Kamakura
These are optional to be reached, but I recommend that you do so if you plan on staying longer than one day.
Secret Retro Base
Enjoy a Ramune drink with a sugary flavor and enjoy old games on your classic consoles. Or, you can try your hand at the Japanese board game.
This Japanese store owner loves his shop and leads a simple but exciting life. It’s worth talking to him over Super Mario and learning his story.
This store is a hidden gem. However, you can ask the owner for directions.
Kotoku-In Temple – Kamakura Buddha
Kamakura is home to the Great Buddha at Kotoku In Temple, one of Japan’s giant sitting Buddhas.
The roof and walls of the Buddhist temple were blown away by a strong storm. Since then, the bronze Buddha has been outside.
Stop by to discover the bamboo forest or to relax with a green tea ceremony.
Kamakura offers many things to do outdoors. Also, the bamboo forest is beautiful. Kamakura is also a great place to visit during cherry blossom season.
Zeniarai Benten Shrine
You can wash your money in a natural spring, which will multiply into wealth.
Surfing on Inamuragaski Beach
Rent a board if you are a good surfer. Local surfers are always willing to share a wave.