Kamakura is located south of Tokyo in the southern part of Kanagawa Prefecture. It is the first city in Japan to have had a government controlled by the samurai, and there are old temples and shrines everywhere starting with the symbolic Great Buddha. The area is characterized for its many shrines and temples with distinct names such as the Ajisai Temple (Hydrangea Temple) and the Koke Temple (Moss Temple) which are in harmony with nature. Kamakura which is surrounded by ocean and mountains is an area which is packed with many traditional Japanese charms.
Kamakura is a synonym for the National Treasure that is the statue of the Great Buddha which stands 13m tall. There are also numerous historic temples and shrines such as Hase-dera Temple, Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gu Shrine, Hōkoku-ji Temple and Meigetsu-in Temple where you can enjoy the wonderful view from the mountains and also the popular hiking courses around the temples and shrines. The view from the Enoshima Railway running along the coast as you enjoy the sea is one of Japan’s most charming scenes. You can also enjoy shopping and a stroll while having a bite along Komachi Street.
A specialty item of Kamakura is shirasu (whitebait). Along with cooking it in a pot, raw shirasu on rice, or shirasu don, is an exquisite dish. Kamakura ham and sausage are also famous, but along with the souvenirs on Komachi Street, what is also enjoyable is noshing on some food while strolling down the street. The Kita-Kamakura delicacy of inarizushi is perfect as a bento box lunch while hiking, and there are also many proud restaurants using local vegetables and seafood in converted old residences which have taken on a Neo-Japanesque appearance. There are also the venerable souvenirs of Hato Sable biscuits and Kamakura custard.
It’s usual to take the JR from Tokyo Station via Shinagawa Station to head for Kamakura (approx. 1 hour). There are many ways to get around Kamakura whether it is by the Enoshima Railway (Enoden), the periodic tour buses, touring taxis, rental cycles, rickshaws, etc. so that you can make use of the transportation of your choice to reach your destination.
Accommodations can easily be accessed in convenient Kamakura or Ofuna. There are Japanese-style guesthouses along the Enoshima Railway. Fujisawa Station which has taken into consideration the surrounding tourist sites and Enoshima are also recommended.