top of page
  • Writer's picturelifeofandra

Day Trip to Kamakura

Updated: Jul 1, 2023

day trip to kamakura collage

I landed at Narita Airport late Thursday night and was jetlagged for the next few days. Despite this, I managed to visit Senso-ji Temple the next day and the Japanese Sword Museum on a very rainy Saturday. As the weather was about to be nicer, I decided to focus more on being outside so I paid a quick visit to Kamakura.

Kamakura is a charming coastal city in Kanagawa Prefecture, approximately 35 miles from Tokyo. It used to serve as the capital of Japan during the Kamakura Shogunate (1192 - 1333) and it's now a popular tourist destination.

Before you go, make sure you download Jorudan and Navitime as they will be fantastically useful. I got my train tickets the night before since I was already at the station buying tickets for Mount Fuji, but you can probably just buy it on the day, before boarding. You can buy the tickets from one of the vending machines, go to a booth or simply use your IC card.

The fastest way for me to go to Kamakura from Tokyo station was by taking the Yokosuka Line for Zushi (12 stations). I paid 945 yen one way and arrived there after 56 minutes.

I arrived there just before 12 so I didn't have enough time to explore anything too far from Kamakura Station. Enoshima Island, Hasedera and Engakuji Temples will have to wait until next time.

Kamakura Yuigahama Beach

kamakura yuigahama

I got out of the train station and after walking pretty much straight for 15-20 minutes I arrived at Kamakura Yuigahama Beach. I walked along the beach, enjoying the beautiful sunny day. I wasn't ready to be in the water but it did look like a popular surfing and sailing spot.

kamakura beach

I had a delicious lunch with a sea view at one of the restaurants in Zaimozuka, then continued exploring the temples and shrines in the area (none of which are on the usual tourist trail), before making my way to Kotoku-in Temple.

Temples and Shrines

Kuhongi Temple

kuhongi temple

Kuhongi is a Jodo Sect Buddhist temple open daily from 9 am until 4 pm. It's a 15-minute walk from Kamakura Yuigahama Beach

Nitta Yoshisada, a samurai head of the Nitta Clan lead the attack which defeated the Hojo Clan and captured Kamakura in 1333. The story goes that he built this temple after his attack to lay the souls of his enemies to rest.

kuhongi temple board

Raikōji Temple

Raikōji temple

A small Buddhist temple, Raikōji is open daily from 9.30 am until 4.30 pm and a 5-minute walk from Kuhongi Temple. I had a brief walk around this super quiet place. I had a look around because it happened to be on my way to Kamakura Buddha, otherwise, I wouldn't have added it to my list.

Yakumo Shrine

Yakumo Shrine

Ten minutes away from Raikōji Temple you can find Yakumo Shrine. It's a small shrine with a lot of colourful banners, open 24/7. From here if you walk for about 25 minutes you will reach the Kamakura Buddha.

Yakumo Shrine entrance

The Great Buddha of Kamakura

the great buddha of kamakura

Kotoku-in Temple is the home of the Kamakura Daibutsu, a massive bronze statue of Amida Buddha dating back to 1252. It's the second largest bronze statue, after the one in Todaiji Temple in Nara, it weighs 121 tonnes and it is hollow. The entrance to the temple is 300 yen and if you want to have a look inside the Buddha it's an extra 50 yen.

I had to queue for about 10-15 minutes to enter the statue, but it all moves pretty quickly so I can't imagine having to wait too long. The inside isn't too spectacular but I would still recommend you see it as an experience. I don't know how many other Buddha statues you're allowed to enter generally, but I can imagine not that many.

While you're inside you won't have much time, so if you do want to take any pictures make sure you're quick as the queue will make you get out quite quickly.

The same side entrance doubles as the exit, so if you do plan to visit, make sure you don't have any luggage or bulky backpacks as I'm not sure that is feasible.

After seeing the inside I bought a few souvenirs from the shops near the temple. There's a vast selection, catering to various budgets, However, I had to constantly remind myself about the limited space in my luggage. Travelling for a month means an abundance of items bought - hence why I ended up adding another piece of luggage to my flight back.

the great buddha of kamakura front

I spent a while longer sitting on a bench, admiring this beautiful statue, and then I headed back to the beach, trying to soak up a bit more sunshine before I returned to Tokyo.

Kamakura has a lot to offer and I think it is perfect for a day trip from Tokyo. Next time I will try and get there earlier as I still have much more I want to explore.

Have you ever been to Kamakura? If so, I would love to hear about your experience in the comment section below.

I hope life is treating you well.

Take care

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page