"Day trip to Kamakura (about an..." Kamakura - Day Trip Tip by bridezhead

Kamakura - Day Trip, Tokyo: 24 reviews and 26 photos

Day trip to Kamakura (about an hour south of Tokyo station)
As most guide books rightly say, Kamakura is the most rewarding cultural day trip from Tokyo, without question. It's a smallish city on the coast noted in the annals of history as the capital of Japan from 1185 to 1333, hence the name of Japan's first samurai era, the Kamakura period. This is where it all started.

Kamakura is noted for its many temples and shrines (there are literally dozens of magnificent and well-situated shrines and temples), but most come to pay homage to the Great Buddha (or Daibutsu). I went to Kamakura the first time because of its religious and architectural importance, but I came back (and keep going back) because of the incomparable natural beauty of the area.

This traveler suggests getting off the train at Kita-Kamakura (i.e. north Kamakura), which is one stop before the main station. Apart from the many splendid temples buried in refreshing sylvan glades, Kita-Kamakura is great because there is a path you can catch here that leads you through some spectacular scenery and deposits you at the foot of the Great Buddha (nearly), in central Kamakura (hiking/walking time between 40min and 1hr 30min). If you opt for the walking tour through the lush hills, make sure to wear appropriate footwear and take the obvious along with you, i.e., water, rain slick, etc.

There is a small pedestrian friendly road that extends radially from the east side of Kamakura train station that is lined with interesting and cozy shops, mostly of the antique and arts and crafts variety. If you follow this road to the end you'll find yourself at the footsteps of the main shrine of Kamakura, Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gu (although, the stairs you come to are actually at the back of the shrine...but not to worry). I suggest you climb the steep steps to this shrine, turn around and gaze out over the tree-covered environs and then breath deeply?the majesty of the place will consume you!

Most importantly, however, your day trip to idyllic Kamakura should include an hour or two of simple, aimless wandering: many streets are edged by rows of towering cherry and Linden trees, among many other varieties...and the lush green hills that seem to surround you are heavenly. Kamakura is my favorite place in Japan, rivaling in my mind even Kyoto and Nikko!

Address: Kamakura-shi, Kanagwa-ken
Directions: The Yokosuka line has frequent trains to Kamakura from Tokyo (about 900 Yen, 55 min), Shimbashi and Shinigawa stations. You can also catch a train from Yokohama
othercontact: There is a small pedestrian frie
Website: http://www.kcn-net.org/kamakura/

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Feb 25, 2003
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