Off the beaten path from the big cities like Tokyo, Kamakura is surrounded by mountains and the sea with rich in nature and culture. Throughout each season the city transforms, from lightly falling sakura petals in the spring to the orange and red fall colors on the trees.

The temples and shrines in this small city are teeming with history. However, the city also has its modern side; Kamakura is home to modern art museums, as well as stylish restaurants and cafes. Find your favorite things to do and your favorite sightseeing spots, and enjoy a stroll around Kamakura in any season!

Main image: PIXTA

Things to do in any season

Find a bargain on Komachi Street

Photo: PIXTA

Komachi-dori or Komachi Street is located close to Kamakura Station and has all the shopping you could hope for. This charming street is filled with small souvenir shops, gourmet restaurants, popular cafes, and tons of street food stands where you can grab an ice cream or croquette on the go! Once you are done shopping, the street ends at Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine, so you can visit both in one easy trip.

Visit the Great Buddha Statue

We would be remiss if we didn’t first mention the Great Buddha of Kamakura City (also known as the Kamakura Daibutsu). This national treasure is a must-see, as the bronze statue sits at 11.3 meters tall and weighs over 12 tons. The Amitabha Buddha is visited by people from all over the world because it is one of the only statues of its kind to sit outside. There is much unknown about the large statue, the artist and even the funds for its creation are a mystery, but it did sit inside at one point before the hall was destroyed. If you are curious about its construction, you can enter the statue for a fee of just 320 yen, including entrance to Kotoku-in. Though make sure it is a sunny day as there is no light inside and can be hard to see if it is dark or cloudy.

The Great Buddha and Kotoku-in
4-2-28, Hase, Kamakura-shi, Kanagawa

Pray at Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine

The city of Kamakura was built around Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine, so it makes sense that it sits in the heart of the city and is considered a “power spot” filled with spiritual energy. If you walk around Kamakura, you are sure to see this magnificent Shinto shrine with bright red colors. The shrine celebrates the messenger of the Hachiman god, which is the pigeon, so it is sometimes colloquially called the “Hato Shrine” as “hato” means pigeon in Japanese.

Tsurugaoka Hachimangu
2-1-31, Yukinoshita, Kamakura-shi, Kanagawa

Visiting the Ancient Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine

Eat the local specialty: Shirasu

Photo: PIXTA

No matter where you go in Kamakura, you are sure to find the local specialty “shirasu.” Shirasu is the name for small, young, white sardines, and Kamakura’s location close to the sea makes it the perfect spot to try them. Don’t let these little g…

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