Just south of Tokyo and leading to Enoshima Island, Kamakura is a seaside city that was the most populated during the Kamakura period. Today, it is a popular travel destination for tourists.

Kamakura was chosen as Japan’s political centre in the 1100s when Minamoto no Yoritomo founded the Kamakura shogunate. This became the first Japanese military government and ruled much of the country until the early 1300s. The shogunate established power and protection of Japan until attacks by the Mongolian Empire in the late 1200s led to its collapse.

During the Kamakura shogunate, Shintoism and Buddhism flourished, with many temples built to honour these faiths. Kamakura was also the birthplace of samurai culture in Japan. The samurai adopted their culture through soul discipline with paintings, sculpture, and tea. They established the shogunate and embraced Chinese culture, including Zen Buddhism, which eventually shaped the samurai culture.

Kamakura is a place of rich history, and while it is known today as a lovely, calm seaside city, there is much more to it. This city is significant to the culture, religion, and government of Japan. While visiting Kamakura, be sure to absorb as much of the culture and history as you can.

Best Things to Do in Kamakura


Kamakura Kotoku- in

While there are many Buddhist temples in Kamakura, none quite compare to the Great Buddha. Known for its unusually large Buddha statue, this temple is popular for its teachings that everyone should be free, regardless of the person’s past, sex, age, or social standing.

The copper Amida-butsu is breathtaking in its sheer size. There is also a mystery surrounding its creation, as the artist remains unknown. The original statue, built in the Daibutsu-den hall, was destroyed by typhoons. The temple grounds feature many stone statue monuments with inscriptions from famous authors and historical figures, as well as commemorative trees and other donated items.

Everything within the temple holds meaning, whether related to Buddhism or the history of Kamakura. It is a beautiful place to visit, pray, and learn about the city’s history.

Address: 4 Chome-2-28 Hase, Kamakura, Kanagawa 248-0016
Hours: 8:00 AM- 5:00 PM

Hokokuji Temple

Kamakura Hokokuji Temple

This temple, located in a more secluded area of Kamakura, allows you to connect with the temple and the surrounding nature. Dedicated to the Rinzai Sect of Zen Buddhism, it became a family temple of the Uesugi Clan.

Notable features include the bell tower, which originally had a straw roof before it was destroyed by fire, and a bamboo grove with over 2000 bamboo stalks behind the main hall. Visitors can walk through the grove to a tea house and enjoy tea while overlooking the bamboo forest. Hokokuji Temple’s hidden details make it a unique and enjoyable experience.

Address: 2 Chome-7-4 Jomyoji, Kamakura, Kanagawa 248-0003
Hours: 9:00 AM- 4:00 PM

Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gu

Kamakura Tsurugaoka Hachiman- gu

This Shinto shrine is arguably the most important in Kamakura. It serves as a cultural focal point, hosting many festivals and housing two museums. Founded by the first shogun, Minamoto Yoritomo, the shrine is dedicated to the god of the shogun’s family and the samurai.

It features two ponds representing the Minamoto and Taira Clans, surrounded by gardens known for their peonies, which are open in spring and winter. Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gu is a significant part of Kamakura, worth visiting for its historical landmarks, art galleries, and museums.

Address: 2 Chome-1-31 Yukinoshita, Kamakura, Kanagawa 248-8588

Hours: 8:00 AM- 8:30 PM


Kamakura Hasedera

This beautiful Jodo sect temple is best known for its statue of Kannon, the goddess of mercy. The 9.18-metre-tall wooden statue with eleven heads is a common offering spot and an attraction to see.

There is a legend that this sculpture is made from the same tree as the Kannon statue at the Hasedera temple in Nara. The temple also has a small museum selling Buddhist statues, temple bells, scrolls, and other memorabilia.

The temple features a garden, pond, and a small cave with sculptures of Benten, the goddess of feminine beauty and wealth. Hasedera offers a great view of Kamakura and is worth the climb.

Address: 3 Chome-11-2 Hase, Kamakura, Kanagawa 248-0016

Hours: 8:00 AM- 5:00 PM

Komachi Street

Kamakura Komachi Street

Komachi Street is the main pedestrian street in Kamakura for shopping. Unlike the rest of Kamakura, which is cultural and historical, this street focuses on today’s fashion and trends. It features boutique shops, souvenir shops, bakeries, cafes, and restaurants.

Visitors can rent a kimono and walk around in style or take a rickshaw ride. With an average of 18 million visitors annually, expect it to be crowded most of the day.

Address: 1 Komachi, Kamakura, Kanagawa 248-0006

Hours: 10:00 AM- 7:00 PM

Yuigahama Beach

Kamakura Yuigahama Beach

Selected as one of Japan’s best sunbathing beaches, Yuigahama Beach is popular among locals and tourists in Kamakura. It can get crowded in the summer, but it is a beautiful location with calm waves suitable for swimming.

You can rent a board and wetsuit for surfing or bodyboarding lessons. The beach faces Sagami Bay, providing a great view and a place to relax. During summer, you can enjoy fireworks at night.

Address: Yuigahama, Kamakura-shi, Kanagawa, 248-0014

Engakuji Temple

Kamakura Engakuji Temple

One of Japan’s most important Zen Buddhist temples, Engakuji Temple, ranks second among Kamakura’s Zen temples. It was built to honour fallen Japanese and Mongolian soldiers.

The main hall, rebuilt in 1964 after an earthquake, houses a wooden statue of Shaka Buddha. The Shariden hall, often called a national treasure, enshrines a tooth from Buddha. Engakuji Temple is especially popular in the autumn for its beautiful foliage and is a great place to relax, pray, and enjoy tea.

Address: 409 Yamanouchi, Kamakura, Kanagawa 247-0062

Hours: 8:00 AM- 4:30 PM

Enoshima Electric Railway

Kamakura Enoshima Electric Railway

The Enoshima Electric Railway is perfect for getting around Kamakura and Enoshima while enjoying its retro charm. The coastal railway train car is known for its nostalgic feel, having first run on Christmas Day in the early 1900s.

It is frequently featured in Japanese media. The 30-minute route stops fifteen times and covers 15 kilometres, providing easy access to all prime sightseeing spots along the Shonan coast.

Address: 1 Chome-1-1 Komachi, Kamakura-shi, Kanagawa-ken 248-0006, Japan

Hours: 5:30 AM- 11:15 PM

Kamakura Museum of Literature

Kamakura Kamakura Museum of Literature

Opened in 1985, this Western-style building showcases literary works connected to Kamakura. The museum displays personal belongings, manuscripts, and official documents related to various works, owned or used by the authors.

It also features a vast garden, with a rose garden housing 186 varieties of roses. If you are a fan of literature, history, or culture, this is a great place to visit while in Kamakura.

Address: 1 Chome-5-3 Hase, Kamakura, Kanagawa 248-0016

Hours: Tuesday- Sunday 9:00 AM- 4:30 PM, Closed Monday

Ten-en Hiking Course

Kamakura Ten-en Hiking Course

Kamakura is known for its nature and scenic hiking trails. The Ten-en Hiking Course is popular, usually starting from Kencho-ji Temple, although it can begin at various points such as Zuisen-ji Temple.

The trail features different stone markers, which might be grave markers or signs that a god is watching over you. This is a common feature in Kamakura, adding a unique element to your hike.

Address: 729 Nikaidō, Kamakura, Kanagawa 248-0002

Hours: Open 24 hours

Kamakura Central Park

Kamakura Kamakura Central Park

For a less intense nature experience, Kamakura Central Park is a lovely place to visit. The park features a Shukei pond, botanical garden, children’s forest, outdoor living experience square, walking trails, and more.

It is a large park where you can spend anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours resting or exploring. The park is especially popular in spring for cherry blossom viewing but is enjoyable year-round.

Address: 1667 Yamasaki, Kamakura, Kanagawa 247-0066

Hours: 8:30 AM- 5:15 PM

Top Restaurants in Kamakura


Kamakura Ohama

Ohama restaurant sources all its ingredients from Kamakura daily, changing its dishes according to the season. The restaurant has one chef who cooks and serves, ensuring the food’s quality is excellent. Enjoy seasonal Kamakura speciality dishes that offer a unique taste of the region.

Address:  4-15 Onarimachi, Kamakura, Kanagawa 248-0012

Hours: Wednesday- Friday 5:00 PM- 11:00 PM, Saturday 3:00 PM- 11:00 PM, Closed Sunday- Tuesday 

Ah Goo

Kamakura Ah Goo

Ah Goo is a Kaiseki restaurant that provides customers with fresh ingredients from local distributors, ensuring high-quality food. The menu changes with the seasons, and they offer special dishes for events and celebrations. Ask about any special dishes when you visit.

Address: 93-25 Nikaidō, Kamakura, Kanagawa 248-0002

Hours: Thursday- Tuesday 11:30 AM- 3:00 PM; 5:00 PM- 8:00 PM, Closed Wednesday


Kamakura Rooftops

If you’re missing the taste of Western food and want a meal with a view, this restaurant is perfect. Located on the sixth floor of the Kamakura Mark building, this burger diner and café offers a cosy stop for a fun meal.

The restaurant serves burgers that tower high, whether you want a classic burger or the Kamakura special. The meat is cooked perfectly, and there are various types of burgers to choose from. You can also get a drink and a side for a set price, or fill up on just the burger alone.

Address: 〒248-0006 Kanagawa, Kamakura, Komachi, 1 Chome−6−17 鎌倉 マーク ビル 6F 

Hours: 11:00 AM- 9:00 PM


Kamakura Magokoro

Magokoro is a hemp and organic food café and bar. The restaurant uses hemp from ancient Japan to create new and exciting dishes. They use fresh ingredients like vegetables, fish, grains, and of course, hemp.

They are determined to give you a refreshing and delicious experience that will fill you up and make you feel good. They also have a store that sells hemp-related products, like hemp oil, hemp seed foods, body care products, and more. It is a unique twist that makes healthy foods enjoyable and tasty whether you’re looking for a healthy meal, need a vegan option, or just want to try something new.

Address: 2 Chome-8-11 Hase, Kamakura, Kanagawa 248-0016

Hours: Tuesday- Sunday 11:30 AM- 8:00 PM, Closed Monday

Tamagoyaki Ozawa

Kamakura Tamagoyaki Ozawa

This restaurant takes the classic tamagoyaki dish to the next level with its natural and fresh ingredients. They make the perfect Japanese-style rolled omelette, which is super fluffy and full of flavour.

It is even a little bit sweet, so if you are craving something sweeter for breakfast or lunchtime, this place is perfect. It is a favourite among the locals of Kamakura, so it is common to see a line outside the restaurant. Make sure to get there early to avoid the wait.

Address: Monday- Friday 11:00 AM- 2:30 PM, Saturday 11:00 AM- 3:00 PM, Closed Sunday 

Oxymoron Komachi

Kamakura Oxymoron Komachi

Specialising in freshly made curry, this café restaurant serves sweets, curry, and coffee. The combination of spices and sweetness works very well together.

It is a stylish little restaurant with a limited menu of curry, dessert, and coffee, creating a fun and exciting environment. This restaurant was included in Tablelog’s top 100 best curry restaurants and is highly anticipated due to its other locations being farther outside of Tokyo, in Osaka and Futakotamagawa.

Address:  〒248-0005 Kanagawa, Kamakura, Yukinoshita, 1 Chome−5−38 こもれび禄岸 2F

Hours: Thursday- Tuesday 11:00 AM- 6:00 PM


Kamakura Akimoto

This traditional Japanese restaurant offers seating on tatami mats and serves delicious tempura, shirasu, and vegetables. The head chef sources fresh ingredients daily, ensuring everyone can enjoy the foods that Kamakura has to offer.

They gather seafood and mountain food to provide various flavours of Kamakura. The vegetables are cooked in various ways, depending on your preference—whether with rice, as tempura, grilled, and more. They also serve shirasu, a speciality of Kamakura, which you must try while in the city.

Address: 〒248-0006 Kanagawa, Kamakura, Komachi, 1 Chome−6−15 i-ZA鎌倉 3階

Hours: Friday- Wednesday 11:00 AM- 3:30 PM; 5:00 PM- 9:00 PM, Closed Thursday


Kamakura Ete

If you’re craving something different, stop by this stylish French restaurant. They ensure their customers receive the best tasting and highest quality ingredients for their dishes.

They even import Challans duck from France by air to serve with the best seasonal vegetables it can be paired with. This restaurant aims to provide an enjoyable dining experience where you can relax and focus on having a good meal.

Address: 〒248-0014 Kanagawa, Kamakura, Yuigahama, 2 Chome−7−20 山口ビル 1F

Hours: Tuesday- Sunday 5:30 PM- 9:00 PM, Closed Monday


Kamakura Kaedena

Enjoy delicious rice in a fun and unique way at this earthenware pot rice restaurant. The rice is cooked individually in small pots with a flame applied directly, giving it a fresh and distinctive taste.

The broth, made with kelp and other fresh ingredients, further enhances the rice’s unique flavour. The restaurant offers set meals at a reasonable price, including three bowls of different foods and miso soup.

Address: 〒248-0016 Kanagawa, Kamakura, Hase, 3 Chome−8−13 鎌倉ジェラート

Hours: 11:00- When they run out of supplies; 6:00 PM- 9:00 PM (Reservation only)


Kamakura Gen

This cosy café has a light and charming atmosphere and serves delicious coffee, tea, and sweets. A wall of custom teacups, acquired over the years, lines up behind the bar.

You can choose your favourite tea cup for your drink and pair it with a dessert like cheesecake.

Address: 1-chome-9-24 Yukinoshita Kamakura Kanagawa

Hours: 10:00 AM- 6:00 PM

Iwata Coffee Shop

Kamakura Iwata Coffee Shop

This modern and light café has a relaxing atmosphere and serves delicious coffee, juice, European-style cakes, sandwiches, and more. They are also known for their thick and fluffy pancakes, popular across Japan.

With a wide variety of foods and drinks, this café is perfect for breakfast or lunch, sweet or savoury. You can enjoy your food inside or outside, looking into the beautiful garden that blooms with the changing seasons.

Address: 1 Chome-5-7 Komachi, Kamakura, Kanagawa 248-0006

Hours: Wednesday- Monday 9:30 AM- 6:00 PM, Closed Tuesday

Bar Kelpie

Kamakura Bar Kelpie

This old-fashioned bar is a comfortable place to unwind after exploring Kamakura. Conveniently located at the end of Yuigahama Street, it is a subtle place with an extensive selection of liquor and cocktails. The relaxing atmosphere and delicious drinks make it a place you’ll want to return to.

Address: 〒248-0016 Kanagawa, Kamakura, Hase, 1 Chome−15−7 2F

Hours: Monday- Saturday 4:00 PM- 1:00 AM, Closed Sunday

Recommended Accommodations in Kamakura

Kamakura Park Hotel (4 Stars)

Kamakura Kamakura Park Hotel

Every room in this beautiful hotel offers a gorgeous view of the ocean, allowing you to relax while looking out to sea. The hotel features European-style rooms, Italian furniture, and traditional Japanese-style rooms.

Guests can enjoy an enzyme rice bath and various body treatments and massages. The rooms come with free Wi-Fi, bathroom amenities, a TV, and an air purifier. The hotel is near Inamuragasaki Park, Gokurakuji, Sakanoshita Alley, and more.

Address: Kamakura Park Hotel, 33-6 Sakanoshita, Kamakura, Kanagawa 248-0021

Check prices/ availability: Kamakura Park Hotel

Kamakura Prince Hotel (3 Stars)

Kamakura Kamakura Prince Hotel

Located on the coast of Shichrigahama, this hotel offers rooms with views of the sea, Enoshima, and Mount Fuji. The hotel features a swimming pool and a driving range for golfing.

The rooms are classically designed, modern, and spacious. The hotel also has a souvenir shop, free Wi-Fi, and rooms equipped with a TV and bathroom amenities. Guests can explore Shichirigahama Beach, the Ancient Shogunal Seat, Tsuruoka Hachimangu Shrine, and more. The hotel is a 10-minute walk from Shichirigahama Station and a 15-minute walk from Inamuragasaki Station.

Address: 1 Chome-2-18 Shichirigahamahigashi, Kamakura, Kanagawa 248-0025

Check prices/ availability: Kamakura Prince Hotel

Tosei Hotel Cocone Kamakura (3 Stars)

Kamakura Tosei Hotel Cocone Kamakura

Tosei Hotel Cocone Kamakura is a simple and relaxing place to stay in this beautiful city. The hotel offers a variety of rooms, from Western-style to Japanese-style, including family rooms.

Guests can enjoy a large communal bath, free Wi-Fi, a TV, a humidifier, an electric kettle, bathroom amenities, and more. Breakfast is served in the morning, and there is a restaurant available all day. The hotel also features a drink corner with free drinks and a comic corner for your enjoyment. It is close to Kamakura Hasedera Temple, Mount Toko Eisho-ji Temple, and Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gu.

Address: 7-10-1 Onarimachi, Kamakura, Kanagawa 248-0012

Check prices/ availability: Tosei Hotel Cocone Kamakura

Hotel Ao Kamakura (4 Stars)

Kamakura Hotel Ao Kamakura

Hotel Ao Kamakura creates an atmosphere of being at home and on vacation simultaneously. Each room is decorated in a different tone of Japanese blue, and the name “ao” means blue in Japanese.

The food and drink are traditional Japanese, pleasant to look at, and delicious to eat. The rooms are luxurious and beautifully designed, offering both Western and Japanese styles. Each room has a minibar with coffee, tea, and other drinks, bathroom amenities, an air purifier, free Wi-Fi, and more. The hotel features a restaurant serving Japanese-style breakfast and, later in the day, refined soba. This hotel is near Koshigoe Beach and the Enoshima bridge.

Address: 3 Chome-1-7 Koshigoe, Kamakura, Kanagawa 248-0033, Japan

Check prices/ availability: Hotel Ao Kamakura

Kamakura: A Historic and Relaxing Retreat Not Far From Tokyo

Kamakura is a beautiful city just outside of Tokyo that is rich in culture, history, religion, and more. Walking around the city, visiting the temples and shrines, shopping, going to the beach, or stopping by a museum, whatever it is you decide to do while staying in Kamakura, you will learn something about it.

The history of samurai and the government of Japan, Buddhism, Shintoism, and more is very centralised in Kamakura. It is a simple yet amazing city that is a wonderful place to visit if you want to take a trip outside of Tokyo or spend time in a quiet neighbourhood with a great view. Kamakura has something for everyone, making it a great place to visit with family as it is very child-friendly. Stay for a day, week, month, or longer and get to know the history and culture of Japan through Kamakura.

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