Kamakura is located south of Tokyo, this exquisite seaside Japanese historical city features dozens of Buddhist Zen temples & Shinto shrines.
I visited Kamakura from Tokyo. I had only half a day to visit the prominent landmarks of this sumptuous coastal town. Needless to mention, Kamakura is widely acknowledged as an extremely popular tourist destination. Moreover, Kamakura offers numerous shrines, temples, and historical monuments that attract worldwide travellers and enthusiastic tourists to this place. It even features a laid-back, peaceful, tranquil, and earthy vibe atmosphere. In this article, I’ll share my personal travel journal and top 5 things to do in Kamakura, Japan for a day trip.
1. Kotoku-in (Kamakura’s Great Buddha):
Kotoku-in is a top-notch tourist destination in Kamakura. The bronze statue of Amida Buddha is present on the grounds of famous Kotoku-in Temple. The Amida Buddha statue is the 2nd tallest bronze Buddha statue in Japan, featuring a height of around 13.35 meters. Once housed in a large hall, the statue is now situated in the open-air, since the hall had been washed away by a devastating tsunami in 1498. From my personal opinion, Kamakura’s Great Buddha statue is one of the most iconic sights that I have ever observed.
2. Hase Kannon (Hase-dera):
Hase-dera is a temple of the Jodo sect. It is widely famous for its unique eleven-headed statue of Kannon that is also known as “goddess of mercy”. The largest and gilded wooden statue (present inside the premise of Hase-dera) is regarded as one of the tallest wooden sculpture in Japan. Plus, I have visited Kannon Museum which is situated adjacent to the main hall. This place comprises of various temple’s treasures, such as Buddhist statues, picture scroll, and a temple bell. Sculptures of Benten (goddess of feminine beauty & wealth) and other gods can be found inside a small cave (Benten-kutsu) next to the main hall. Hase-
Hase-dera was originally built along the slope of a primaeval hill. Therefore, it also offers an incredible view of the entire temple from the top of the temple hill.
3. Prefectural Shonankaigan Park:
This beach features a stunning coastline with beautiful rocky areas. I really enjoyed the amazing scenery of this place. Shonankaigan is well-known for its spectacular beaches. If you really love surfing, don’t forget to visit this place.
4. Kōmyō-ji: Kōmyō-ji:
Kōmyō-ji: Kōmyō-ji, situated in the Northern Higashiyama district, features to be one of the favourite places among the tourists. It has some truly lovely halls & a fine pond. From my perspective, the Kōmyō-ji temple efficiently combines the elements of serenity and peace.
5. Roaming Around Random Streets in Kamakura:
It took approximately 5 – 6 hours for visiting the aforementioned destinations. For the rest of the day, I roamed around random streets in Kamakura. I was deeply impressed by its laid-back, relaxed, tranquil, and peaceful atmosphere.
How to get to Kamakura from Tokyo:
The Shonan Shinjuku Line (湘南新宿ライン, Shōnan Shinjuku Line) has a direct connection from Shinjuku to Kamakura. The Shonan Shinjuku Line runs parallel to the Yamanote Line but stops only at Shinjuku, Shibuya and Ebisu Stations. If you are from Shinjuku or Shibuya, take the Shonan-Shinjuku Line to Ofuna. Change at Ofuna to Yokosuka Line to Kamakura. From Tokyo, take the Yokosuka Line train straight to Kamakura, or the Tokaido Line and change at Ofuna.
No advanced tickets required.
It is a regular commuter train, so you have a bunch of them per hour, more options if you include taking the Tokaido Line with a transfer at Ofuna, but you can also take the Yokosuka Line direct from Tokyo Station as well. Just take any available free seat in the regular portions of the train.