Kamakura Day Trip: Things to Do

Last Updated on 25/05/2020 by secretmoona

Kamakura is a beautiful town located on the Shōnan coast of Kanagawa Prefecture. It’s very popular with Tokyo residents because of the seaside. Thanks to its location close to Tokyo (about an hour) the coastal town of Kamakura makes a perfect destination for a day trip from Tokyo.

The many Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines, green spaces and mountainous landscapes make it not only a winner with Japanese but with foreigners too.

Day trip int the cultural town of Kamakura

I combined my day trip to Kamakura with a trip to the quaint Enoshima. I travelled with my Japanese friend Chihiro on a sunny Autumn day. We decided to visit Kamakura first as it’s often busy with tourist. Chihiro had been to Kamakura on a school trip years ago however it was my first time.

Let’s explore the things to do in Kamakura on a day trip from Tokyo.

What to do on a day trip to Kamakura

Admire the Great Buddha of Kamakura

We first made our way to Kotoku-in, home to the giant Buddha which to my opinion is like the symbol of the town. The temple is less than a 10-minute walk from Hase Station on the Enoden railway line.

The Great Buddha (鎌倉大仏) is the most popular attraction in Kamakura, and you see why when faced with the big statue.  The seated statue called Daibutsu is over 12 metres (43 feet tall) and is the second tallest bronze Buddha after the one in Nara. The original sculpture was created in 1252 and used to be inside the temple however after an earthquake; it was moved outside the temple grounds.

You can even look inside the giant statue for 20 yen in addition to the 200 yen temple entry fee. So I was keen to do that however it was jam-packed at the time. The temple with packed with primary school children on school trips, so we didn’t waste too much time there and headed straight to Hasedera. I heard that it wasn’t worth visiting the inside as there isn’t anything to see really.  However, for people who enjoy art, you can admire the craftsmanship that has gone into creating this giant figure.

Hase-dera Temple

After visiting the great Buddha, we made our way towards Hasedera temple.

Kotoku-in is not the only temple with a big statue. Hasedera (長谷寺) temple is home to the eleven-headed statue of Kannon, the goddess of mercy. The 9 meter tall statue can be seen in the temple’s main building, the Kannon-do Hall.

I had fun exploring the garden with lovely ponds and seeing the small statues of the Jizo Bodhisattva. There’s a small temple in the garden dedicated to Benten (or Benzaiten), a goddess of beauty and wealth. 

Preparing your day trip to Kamakura

Getting the transport in Tokyo can be overwhelming sometimes with the number of choices. However, once you know your way around. Both JR lines will take you straight to Kamakura Station about an hour.

  • JR Shonan Shinjuku Line from Ikebukuro, Shinjuku, or Shibuya Stations (920 yen – one way)
  • JR Yokosuka Line from Tokyo or Shinagawa Stations (920 yen – one way)
  • Enoshima Kamakura Free Pass from Shinjuku (1,470 yen – return)

The cheapest option if you have a JR Rail Pass, will be to take either the JR Yokosuka Line or the JR Shonan Shinjuku Line. The JR Pass gives you unlimited access to all Japan Rail trains.

If you feel like a day isn’t enough to explore this charming town, and decide to stay overnight, then you can use the search box on the right to find your accommodation in Kamakura.

If you are planning a trip o Tokyo, you should consider visiting the beautiful coastal town of Kamakura. It’s a great day tip option.

If you’d like more Japan travel ideas, you can check out some of the articles below.

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Hi there! I'm Mayi. Welcome to my blog SecretMoona! I hope to share with you the hidden secret of places I visit.

9 thoughts on “Kamakura Day Trip: Things to Do

  1. This is so beautiful! I haven’t had a chance to explore Japan but we lived in Korea and this reminds me so much of one of my favorite temples that was in a small town up a large climb. I would love to visit one day!

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