Day trip from Tokyo to Kamakura

  • LIVE and WORK
  • RECOMMENDED
  • Tokyo
  • TRAVEL
  • It’s been a little over a month since I’ve been living in Japan and though Tokyo has a lot of nature friendly parks, I’ve been in need of some fresh air, nature and relaxation – so I decided to take a day trip to Kamakura.

    Whether you want to enjoy your day at a shrine or temple, walk through a bamboo forest, or take a walk on the beach – you can enjoy all of these at Kamakura, which is just south of Tokyo and about an hour and a half away from Tokyo by metro.

    Before leaving for Kamakura from Shinjuku Station, I purchased the Enoshima – Kamakura Freepass. This pass is the cheapest option (1,470 yen) for a one day trip from Tokyo to Kamakura by train, however, it is a bit more time consuming compared to other options so explore all available options before leaving!

    My friend and I visited Kamakura on a Saturday so we assumed that Kamakura would be extremely crowded, however, it was raining on and off so lines and waits were not as bad as we thought they would be.

    Here is a list of some places we were able to spend time at and enjoyed a lot!

     

    1. Hokokuji

    Author’s photo

    The first place we visited as soon as we arrived in Kamakura was Hokokuji. This temple is also known as the “Bamboo Temple” because of the bamboo grove behind the temple’s main hall – which you can walk through and even stop by the teahouse and enjoy a cup of fresh, warm matcha tea while sitting and enjoying a beautiful view of the grove. There’s also a small pond with koi along with a zen garden where you can relax. Definitely recommend visiting this temple and relaxing with a warm cup of matcha.

     

    2. Tsurugaoka Hachimangū

    Author’s photo

    Tsurugaoka Hachimangū was an extremely beautiful temple with a beautiful garden and pond in front of it, filled with blooming lotus and koi fish! There’s also a beautiful red bridge on the pond that leads to the small Hataage Benzaiten Shrine. There’s so much to look at and experience around this shrine, from a large display of colorful rice sake barrels stacked on wooden racks to being able to draw an Omikuji (Japanese Fortunes – English translations available). There were definitely more tourists around this area due to Komachi Dori Street being a 10 minute walk away.

     

    3. Kamakura Daibutsu (Great Buddha)

    Author’s photo

    I had heard stories and saw pictures of the Great Buddha, but seeing it in person was definitely a new and amazing experience.  At an impressive height of 11.4 meters, the Great Buddha located in Kotoku-in is the second tallest bronze Buddha statue in Japan, and a 30 minute walk away from the Kamakura Station. Around the temple there are places you could stop by to grab a quick bite along with a souvenir shop right across the street.

     

    4. Kamakura Chacha

     

    View this post on Instagram

     

    A post shared by hiyori (@hiyotangram) on

    Kamakura ChaCha is a gelateria located on Komachi Street that specializes in Matcha gelato! Without hesitating, I would like to say that this place is one of the best Matcha gelato I have tried in Japan. At this gelateria you can choose the amount of richness of the matcha, ranging from levels 1 to 5 whether in a cup or cone! According to their website, their gelato is made from the finest green tea leaves from the Shizuoka Prefecture – I highly recommend visiting if you have the chance.

     

    5. Zaimokuza Beach

     

    View this post on Instagram

     

    A post shared by Aya Petite(アヤ・ペティート) (@petite.no4) on

    With beautiful dark sand and shallow clear waters with mild waves, this beach was a great place to chill and relax at after a busy day of walking around and doing touristy things. There weren’t a lot of people, most likely because of the cloudy weather, which made the beach extremely quiet and relaxing where we could just enjoy the peaceful sound of the waves. The beach is extremely close to and within walking distance to Kamakura Station, and on good days you might even spot some surfers trying to catch some waves.

     

    6. Komachi Dori Street

     

    View this post on Instagram

     

    A post shared by @kwmr723 on

    Komachi Dori Street is a long shopping street in Kamakura where it’s lined up with restaurants, cafes, shops, and so much more.  This street is located right in front of Kamakura Station, just a few feet away from the east exit. It’s a great place to shop for souvenirs or to choose from a large variety of food options if you’re hungry. There are also cute shops like the Ghibli shop where you can find a lot of cute merchandise inspired by Studio Ghibli movies.

    Kamakura is definitely the perfect location for a day trip from Tokyo, that I recommend for those who would like a change of scenery from their everyday life.

    These are just a few locations/spots that I recommend in Kamakura, there is so much more to do!