City of Kamakura

City of Kamakura

If at all possible, visit Kamakura between Monday and Friday. Weekends are extremely crowded and the waiting time to enter any sightseeing spot, including temples, is likely to be extremely long.”Kamakura is a small town in Kanagawa Prefecture less than an hour from Tokyo by train. Kamakura is saved from obscurity mainly by its history and the legacy of that history.

Kamakura was the place where, in the twelfth century, the leader of the almost annihilated Minamoto clan, Yoritomo, established himself in 1180 in his struggle against his clan’s great rival, the Taira. Upon his final victory in 1192, Kamakura became the center of the nation’s power.

Today, Kamakura is a small city and a very popular tourist destination. Sometimes called the Kyoto of Eastern Japan, Kamakura offers numerous temples, shrines and other historical monuments. In addition, Kamakura’s sand beaches attract large crowds during the summer months.

Kamakura as a geographical location has a special feature of being surrounded to the north, east and west by mountains and to the south by the open water. On sunny days, you can see Mt. Fuji which can be said is a symbol of Japan. Kamakura is famous for its many seasonal flowers whose colours paint the city in a kaleidoscope of natural beauty.


The oldest pottery fragments found come from hillside settlements of the period between 7500 BC and 5000 BC. In the late Jōmon period the sea receded and civilization progressed. During the Yayoi period (300 BC–300 AD), the sea receded further almost to today’s coastline, and the economy shifted radically from hunting and fishing to farming. The extraordinary events, the historical characters and the culture of the twenty years which go from Minamoto no Yoritomo’s birth to the assassination of the last of his sons have been throughout Japanese history the background and the inspiration for countless poems, books, jidaigeki TV dramas, Kabuki plays, songs, manga and even video games; and are necessary to make sense of much of what one sees in today’s Kamakura.

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Places Not To Miss:

  • Daibutsu:
  • Hase-Dera:
  • Kamakura Hiking Trails:
  • Zeniarai Benten Shrine:
  • Tsurugaoka Hachimangu:
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