Kamakura

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The Great Buddha of Kamakura (鎌倉大仏, Kamakura Daibutsu) is a bronze statue of Amida Buddha, which stands on the grounds of Kotokuin Temple
The Great Buddha of Kamakura (鎌倉大仏, Kamakura Daibutsu) is a bronze statue of Amida Buddha, which stands on the grounds of Kotokuin Temple

Kamakura is a seaside city located in Kanagawa, Japan, approximately 50 km southwest of Tokyo.

Kamakura is a city that is surrounded by mountains in three directions and by the bay of Sagami in the fourth; this land turned Kamakura into a natural fort. During the Heian period it was the main city of the Kanto region. Between the years 1185 and 1333, the shoguns of the Minamoto clan ruled Japan from Kamakura in the period known as the Kamakura shogunate, which was also the first government of the shoguns in the history of Japan. The design of the city is largely due to the Yoritomo Minamoto shogun.

Access : Coordinates: 35.316667, 139.55 / By plane : From Haneda Airport use the airport buses or the trains of the Keikyu Line Airport Express to Shin-Zushi or Kanazawa-Bunko to Ykohama Station. Change there to the JR Yokosuka line./
By train :
From Tokyo Central Station and the major Yamanote Shinbashi  and Shinagawa  train stations via Yokohama on the JR Yokosuka Line, journey time approximately one hour. Coming from the western part of the capital, it is advisable to take the private Tokyu Toyoko line from Shibuya to Musashi-Kosugi and change there to the Yokosuka line. alternative approach with the Odakyu Line from Shinjuku to Fujisawa is attractively priced. There you change to the old “trams” of Enoden, which goes to Kamakura. The total travel time is thus significantly longer with about 90 minutes, but you will be rewarded while driving along the coast with a good view of the island of Enoshima /
By bus : There are long distance buses directly from Kyoto ,
By Car : Use Shuto Express Way to Yokohama. Change to Yokoyoko Line. Exit at Asahina. 204 to Kamakura./
Get around : Kamakura is a bit too big to explore on foot , Taxi companies also offer the possibility to book several hours tourist trips, the price is variable.
Nishi-Kamakura can also be reached by the suspension railway of the Shonan Monorail, which runs between Ofuna and Shonan-Enoshima in 14 minutes./
Enoden operates three sightseeing bus lines that leave from station 3 in front of Kamakura Station. The company also sells day tickets for its line network at the price of ¥ 700 (2018). In the local area there are city buses of this company.
By bike :
Another possibility is to rent a bicycle. Bicycles can be rented in different parts, but prices are high.

Highlights :

  • Kamakura sites are scattered around the city. Most visitors head straight for the Great Buddha of Kamakura and stop at Hase Kannon on the road; these sites can be very busy on weekends and holidays.
  • Great Buddha of Kamakura : With a height of 11.4 meters, it has long been the second tallest bronze Buddha statue in Japan , it was cast in 1252 and originally located inside a temple hall , Kotokuin Temple : Hours , 8:00 to 17:30 -until 17:00 from October to March-Admission 200 yen.
  • Kamakura center : Myohonji Temple ,Temple of the Nichiren sect , The temple was founded by Hiki Yoshimoto in 1260,Hours : 9:00 to 17:00 , Admission : Free
  • Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine , Tsurugaoka Hachimangu , is the most important shrine in Kamakura. Its extensive grounds contain a number of sub-shrines and several museums , Hours : October – March and 24 hours from January 1-3 ,5 am to 8.30 pm (gate closes at 9 pm) April – September ,from 6 am to 8.30 pm , Admission : free. Location : 2-1-31 Yukinoshita ,Kamakura Kanagawa Prefecture 248-8588

Western Kamakura :

  • Zeniarai Benten Shrine , Shrine where visitors wash their money popular shrine in western Kamakura, which people visit to wash their money , Hours 8:00 to 16:30 , No closing days , Admission Free.
  • Hase Temple (Hasedera) : Hasedera is a temple of the Jodo sect, famous for its eleven-headed statue of Kannon , Hours 8:00 to 17:30 ,until 17:00 from October to February , Admission 300 yen
  • Kannon Museum , on the grounds of the temple : Hours 9:00 to 16:30 , Admission additional 300 yen.
  • Kotokuin Temple (Daibutsu) : Kamakura Daibutsu is the only statue of Buddha in Kamakura that is designated as a national treasure , dates from 1252 , Location : 4-2-28 Hase, Kamakura City , hours : April – September…8:00 – 17:30
    October – March…8:00 – 17:00 , Admissions : Adult ¥200 , interior of the Daibutsu ¥20

North Kamakura :

  • Meigetsuin Temple : known as the Hydrangea Temple , is a temple of the Rinzai Zen Sect founded in 1160 in Kamakura.Hours 9:00 to 16:00 -8:30 to 17:00 in June- Admission 300 yen , additional 500 yen for inner garden during temporary openings
    Tokeiji Temple : a small branch temple of the Engakuji school within the Rinzai sect of Zen Buddhism. Hours : 8:30 to 16:30 -until 16:00 October to March- , Admission 200 yen.
  • Engakuji Temple : one of the leading Zen temples in Eastern Japan and the number two of Kamakura’s five great Zen temples. Engakuji was founded by the ruling regent Hojo Tokimune in the year 1282,Hours : 8:00 to 16:30 -until 16:00 December to February- Admission 300 yen
  • Kenchoji Temple : the number one of Kamakura’s five great Zen temples. The oldest Zen temple in Kamakura, Kenchoji was founded by the ruling regent Hojo Tokiyori in 1253 , Hours 8:30 to 16:30 , Admission 500 yen.
    East Kamakura :
  • Hokokuji : a small temple of the Rinzai Sect of Zen Buddhism. Originally founded during the early years of the Muromachi Period , Hours :  9:00 to 16:00 , admissions 200 yen -additional 500 yen for tea service-
  • Sugimotodera temple : A Buddhist temple in Kamakura, one of the oldest temple in Kamakura and, together with Hokai-ji, the only one of the Tendai denomination , admissions 200 yen , hours : 8:00 – 16:30
  • Jomyoji Temple : A Zen temple in the hills of eastern Kamakura. Ranked fifth among the five great Zen temples of Kamakura , Hours 9:00 to 16:30 , Admission 100 yen.
  • Shakado Kiritoshi : Shakado Kiritoshi is an artificial Tunnel and one of the historical and great nature monument in Kamakura. It was build around 1200 by cutting and digging a rock valley for transportation. Gps location : 35.31789,139.56448 ,
  • beaches : Dark lava sand beaches are used for swimming and surfing / Yuigahama : Not far from the homonymous local train station.Surfboards are rented here / 4 Shichirigahama .A few hundred meters southeast of the homonymous local train station.Not necessarily suitable for swimming ( swimming is prohibited ) . surfers enjoy surfing here
  • Inamuragasaki very close to the homonymous local train station. Beautiful sunsets , ideal for photographers and Instagrammers.

Activities : Kamakura Hiking Trails : hiking trails connect various atmospheric temples. Eastern Hills : The Gionyama Hiking Course connects Yagumo Shrine with the Harakiri Yagura – Northern Hills : Tenen Hiking Course connects Kenchoji Temple in Kita-Kamakura with Zuisenji Temple in the east of the city – Western Hills : The Daibutsu Hiking Course connects Jochiji Temple in Kita-Kamakura with the Great Buddha (Daibutsu) in the west of the city. The Zeniarai Benten and the Genjiyama public park with the statue of Minamoto Yoritomo can be found on the trail.  swimming / surfing / sunbathing.

Go next : Enoshima / Odawara

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