Kamakura is a historical and one of the most popular tourist destinations in Kanagawa Prefecture. On holidays, it attracts many tourists from Japan and abroad. The area is a perfect combination of historic streets and modern stores. Today, we are going to introduce our recommended 1-day trip model course.
10:30 Kamakura Station
Let’s start our journey from Kamakura Station! Kamakura Station is about an hour from Tokyo Station by regular train (940 yen, as of 2021). Kamakura Station is famous for its pointy hat clock tower. First, exit from the east exit where the bus terminal is located.
10:40 Stroll Komachi Street
Komachi Street (Google Maps) / 40 min (It takes 15 min just to walk through.)
As soon as you go out from the east exit of the station, you will find Komachi Street. This shopping street has many stores and restaurants: souvenirs, snacks, cat cafes, owl cafes, and so on. The back streets also have a different atmosphere from the main street, and it is fun to take a side trip.
11:20 An early lunch at Kamakura Yamaji (Soba noodle restaurant)
Kamakura Yamaji (Google Maps) / 50 min / 1,000 – 2,500 yen
It is a popular place to enjoy delicious soba in a traditional Japanese atmosphere. As it is a traditional Japanese building, you have to take off your shoes at the entrance. Enjoy the relaxed atmosphere as if you were visiting an old Japanese house.
For more information, read this article:
Kamakura Yamaji (Soba Noodle Restaurant) in Kamakura, Kanagawa
12:20 Visit Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine
Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine (Google Maps) / 30 min
The history of Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine began long ago during the Kamakura Shogunate (1185 – 1333), which was established in this area. The beautiful scarlet color of this shrine harmonizes with nature, which changes with the seasons. The symbol of this shrine is a dove. The doves are also hidden in the letters “八幡宮 (Hachimangu /Hachiman Shrine)” written on the shrine sign. Can you find them?
Try the dove fortune teller “鳩みくじ (hatomikuji)” (200 yen as of May 2021) (written in Japanese). It contains a piece of paper that tells your fortune and a cute little dove charm.
12:50 Return to the station by a different route
30 min (It takes 12 min just to walk through.)
Go back to the station through the avenue that stretches right in front of the shrine. It has a different atmosphere from the Komachi shopping street. Toshima-ya, which sells Hato Sable, one of Kamakura’s most famous souvenirs, is also located on this avenue.
13:25 Take Enoden from Kamakura St. to Hase St.
Let’s take Enoden (Enoshima Electric Railway) to Hase, the coastal area where the Great Buddha is located. Enoden runs every 12 minutes, and Hase station is the third stop and takes about 4 minutes (200 yen as of 2021). This is a unique train that runs between the houses. The trip is short, but you can enjoy the view from the train window.
13:40 Explore Hase
The Hase area is known for the Kamakura Daibutsu (Great Buddha of Kamakura) and Hasedera Temple and has cool cafes and places where you can experience glass making and pottery making. I like to buy a big rice cracker at Raijindo and eat it while walking.
You will also find the beach of Yuigahama near the station. The view is great on a clear day or at sunset.
Hasedera Temple (Google Maps) / 50 min / 300 yen / 8:00 – 16:30
Hasedera Temple, also known as the “Temple of Flowers,” is a temple where a variety of flowers bloom each season. If you have enough time and energy, you can go up to the observatory and enjoy the view of the city of Kamakura and the sea.
*The temple is famous for its hydrangeas and gets very crowded during the hydrangea season (around June). You may have to wait up to an hour just to get in, so keep that in mind.
Kamakura Daibutsu (Great Buddha of Kamakura) in Kotoku-in Temple
Kamakura Daibutsu (Google Maps) / 30 min / 300 yen / 8:00 – 17:00
The Great Buddha of Kamakura is a huge statue of Buddha, 11.312 meters high and weighing about 121 tons. The exact year is unknown, but it is said to have been built around 1250. In the past, visitors could go inside the Great Buddha, although it is currently closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
15:30 Go back to Kamakura Station
If you still have some energy left, you can walk back to Kamakura Station. It is about 2 km long and takes 30 minutes to an hour. There are many fun stores along the way. (If you are exhausted, take a bus back to Kamakura Station. Buses leave every 15 minutes in front of Kotoku-in Temple, where the Great Buddha is located. The ride takes about 15 minutes and costs 200 yen, as of 2021.)
If you are walking back to Kamakura Station from the Great Buddha, go back the way you came from Hase Station, and at the Hase Kannon Mae intersection (長谷観音前交差点), turn left toward the main street (Yuigahama Odori / 由比ヶ浜大通り). From there, walk along the road for about 1.3 km and you will see a railroad crossing. Turn left before the crossing, and you will see a street called Onari-dori (御成通り). This street will lead you to the west exit of Kamakura Station. This shopping street is more compact than Komachi-dori, which I mentioned earlier, and has a relaxed atmosphere where you can feel time passing slowly.
Let’s take a break at CHABAKKA TEA PARKS
CHABAKKA TEA PARKS (Google Maps)
If you are a Japanese tea lover, this is the place for you! With the concept of “Japanese Tea Entertainment”, this store proposes a new way to enjoy fine Japanese teas collected from all over Japan. The style of pouring the tea “from the beer server by yourself” is innovative and interesting, even for a Japanese person like me. The tea has a creamy foam on top, which I have never seen before. The slightly sparkling tea is a perfect drink for the hot season.
You can bring in outside foods here, so if you find some delicious snacks in Kamakura, you can eat them here with your favorite tea.
For more information, please see this article:
CHABAKKA TEA PARKS (Japanese Tea Cafe) in Kamakura, Kanagawa
Our Recommendations for Souvenirs
Toshimaya “Hato Sable”
Toshimaya (Google Maps) / 9:00 – 19:00
This sable is in the shape of a dove, which is the symbol of Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine. It has been loved since around 1897 and is the most famous souvenir of Kamakura now.
Sables might break in a suitcase, so I recommend the ones in canned containers as a souvenir for your home country. In addition, their dove-designed stationery is also popular for souvenirs.
鎌倉の味 鳩サブレ― 豊島屋 (Japanese)
Mikura Tsukemono (Japanese Pickles)
Mikura (Google Maps) / 10:00 – 18:00
Mikura is a popular Japanese pickles shop located on Komachi Street. Not to mention the standard daikon, Chinese cabbage, and cucumber pickles, they also offer a variety of types of pickles. The most popular product is called “Ume Garlic”. It’s my favorite, too. My Arab friend also loved it and bought several packs for his family.
It can be stored at room temperature, so it is perfect as a souvenir.
*Depending on the country you are bringing it back to, it may be confiscated by phytosanitary authorities. Please confirm it in advance.
鎌倉小町通りの漬け物専門店 味くら（みくら） (Japanese)
OKASHI0467 (Cafe and Confectionery Store)
OKASHI0467 (Google Maps) / 11:30 – 21:00
OKASHI0467 is a cafe and confectionery store that was renovated from an old house built over 80 years ago. You can sense its history on the walls and ceiling. It is located on the way back to Kamakura Station from the Hase area. It is a great place to relax and take a break when you feel tired from exploring the area.