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Kamakura was once Japan’s capital from 1100’s to 1300’s.  Today it is more of a cultural town and where it’s home of the Great Buddha.  Tourists and locals alike tend to visit Kamakura as a day trip because of its easy accessibility from the JR Yokosuka Line.  Temples, shrines, historic buildings, and beaches make a Kamakura a great place for retreat from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo.

Getting there

Train: Taking the JR Yokosuka Line from Yokohama or Tokyo Station to Kamakura should only take approximately 55 minutes.  This is probably the easiest route.


Shrines & Temples

Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gu Shrine: This shrine is the largest shrine was built by Yoritomo Minamoto who was founder of the Kamakura Shogunate and the first Shogun in the Kamakura Period, from 1185 to 1333.  Many festivals, rituals, and dances occur at this shrine.  Locals love to come here for the New Years to watch the sunrise.

Kōtokuin: Known as the Great Buddha, this is a bronze statue of Amida Buddha that stands at 11.4 m or 37.4 feet and is the second largest Buddha in Japan.  The first is that in of Nara’s Todaiji, however many say this statue is much more powerful and artistic.  The Buddha was supposedly built in the 1200’s and was housed in a huge hall until a tsunami destroyed the hall. 

Zeniarai Benten Shrine & Hasedera: The Hasedera houses the largest wooden statue in Japan.  It represents the Buddhist deity Kannon.  There is an interesting set of caves here filled with statues of Benzaiten. The Zeniarai Benten Shrine is dedicated to Benzaiten.


Aside from Kamakura’s historic sites are its beautiful and relaxing beaches.  Set on the Shonan Coast is the Yuigahama, Inamuragasaki, and the Shichirigahama beaches.  These famous beaches are great places to relax and lounge at during the summer time heat.


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