Kamakura Pictures Guide, Japan

Kamakura's Big Buddha, Japan travel

The bronze Daibutsu, i. e. Big Buddha, leading attraction in Kamakura,  constructed in 1252 and originally inside a building that was deleted by a tsunami in 1495. Photo by Sailko.

Visiting Kamakura

Kamakura is on the coast about an hour from Tokyo and is one of Japan’s oldest capitals but hardly even a city now), dating from the 12th – 14th centuries. This ancient and attractive town, though generally jammed with tourists, is scattered with more than 70 well-preserved Buddhist shrines and temples. Unless you have organised a tour package – which is not a bad idea considering the complexity of Japanese transport systems – you will be jumping trains.

Kamakura Attractions

Tsurugaoka Hachiman Shrine, Kamakura, Japan

Tsurugaoka Hachiman Shrine. Photo by E64.

Kamakura, Jizo memorial figurines, Japan

The Hasa-dera temple is home to a 9 metre statue of the Goddess of Mercy, a vast rotating prayer wheel, a prayer-cave network, a terrace overlooking the town and coastline and thousands of sad little Jizo figures left in memory of deceased babies and children. Photo by Chris73.

Hasa-dera bamboo garden. Kamakura, Japan

Hasa-dera’s bamboo garden.

Anyo-in temple's Main Hall. Kamakura, Japan

Anyo-in temple’s Main Hall.

Jomyo-ji's sand garden. Kamakura, Japan

Jomyo-ji’s sand garden.

The Main Hall of Sugimoto-dera, the oldest temple in Kamakura, Japan

The Main Hall of Sugimoto-dera, the oldest temple in Kamakura.

Kamakura coastline

Zaimokuza beach, Kamakura, Japan

And after temple overload you could head for Kamakura’s not very appealing Zaimokuza beach, or go west a little to. . .

View of Mt Fuji from Enoshima beach, near Kamakura, Japan

. . . Enoshima beach which is also coated with grey, muddy sand but is more spacious and activity-oriented. However, to see Mt Fuji from Enoshima beach/shrine you’ll need a very long lens and a bit of height.

Getting to Kamakura

The most convenient line from Tokyo is JR (Japan Railways) Yokosuka line, but there are others.
From both Kamakura and Kita (north)-Kamakura stations there are fine walks around ancient buildings, through alleys and parks and up green hills, though do expect the usual pile of concrete monstrosities, plastic housing and overhead cables mixing it with Buddhist, Shinto and Zen delights.
Bicycles can also be rented from various locations, rickshaws too, for the affluent.

Odawara castle

Another popular day trip out of Tokyo is an hour on the Odakyu line to Odawara castle, just west along the coast from Kamakura, past Enoshima beach and shrine. Grandly styled, with imposing presence and home to a small, interesting museum of classic Japanese weaponry Odawara castle is hardly a must-see but could be the first stop of a busy day viewing the mountainous and scenic Hakone province, with views of Mt Fuji to boot. Odakyu rail stations sell a Hakone Free Pass for tourists which is good for all transport, including cable cars and boats across Ashinoko Lake.