An Ocean Paradise Just an Hour from Tokyo. The Miura Peninsula of Japan

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The ancient capital of Kamakura, nestled between the mountains and the sea, is one of Japan's most enchanting destinations. Visit over four hundred historical sites while taking in the natural beauty of the four seasons.

Don't Miss It!

First off, the great thing about Kamakura is that it's so close—just an hour from Tokyo. Kyoto is really crowded, which can get really tiring, but Kamakura isn't like that at all. It's great to be able to stroll around this beautiful city and take in temples and other fascinating sights!

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Enlighten yourself at an authentic Zen monastery


Known as the most austere of Kamakura's Zen monasteries, Kenchō-ji's stately and solemn atmosphere is sure to make an impression on you. While there, why not treat yourself to an authentic Zen meditation experience? Sit in the proper posture, relax your mind and heart, and you just may find yourself getting closer to enlightenment. Sessions are held on Friday and Saturday evenings, with an English session available once a month (reservation required).

Address/8 Yamanouchi, Kamakura, Kanagawa, Japan
Hours/8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Admission Fee/Adults (including high school students): 500 yen Children (elementary or middle school students): 200 yen.
Getting There/20 minutes on foot from JR Kita-Kamakura station (JO/JS08), or take a bus from the station to the Kenchō-ji stop.

Marvel at this stunning vermilion shrine that is the face of Kamakura

Tsurugaoka Hachimangu

Built in the Kamakura Period by the first shogun, Minamoto no Yoritomo, this shrine is known for its vermilion-hued pavilion, which contrasts beautifully with the mountain greenery that surrounds it. It stands majestically in the city center as a symbol of Kamakura. With cherry blossoms and peonies in spring, lotus in summer, and striking foliage in the fall, it's truly a destination for all seasons, and visitors flock here year-round to recharge their spiritual energies.

Address/2-1-31 Yukinoshita, Kamakura, Kanagawa, Japan
Hours/6:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Admission Fee/Admission to the shrine grounds is free.
To enter the shrine museum, a fee of 200 yen (100 yen for children) is required. The peony garden (open seasonally) has a fee of 500 yen (200 yen for junior high and high school students).
Getting There/10 minutes on foot from Kamakura station on the JR Line (JO/JS07) or Enoshima Electric Railway (EN15) Lines.

Behold this colossal image of the Buddha, a beloved symbol of the ancient capital

Kotoku-in and the Great Buddha of Kamakura

When people think of Kamakura, the first thing that comes to mind is surely the Great Buddha. Designated as a national treasure, this massive, 13-meter high statue erected in the thirteenth century is truly a wonder to behold. Note the traditional depiction of the Buddha's deep blue eyes, which are said to see through all things. For an additional fee of a mere 20 yen, you can also go inside the statue.

Address/4-2-28 Hase, Kamakura, Kanagawa, Japan
Hours/April to September: 8:00 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. October to March: 8:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.
Admission Fee/Adults: 200 yen Children (elementary school age and younger): 150 yen
Getting There/7 minutes on foot from Hase station (EN12) on the Enoshima Electric Railway Line.

Enjoy tempura soba and other Japanese culinary delights

Seasonal Cuisine Aratama

Just a short walk from the Tsurugaoka Hachimangu shrine, you'll find this delightful authentic Japanese restaurant. There's traditional seating and private rooms inside, but given the beautiful location, the outdoor terrace is a popular choice. The lunch menu includes traditional kaiseki boxed lunches, soba noodles, and more. For a truly Japanese selection, give the tempura soba a try.

Address/1-8-23 Yukinoshita, Kamakura, Kanagawa, Japan
Hours/11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Admission Fee/Menu includes tempura soba (1,400 yen) and a wide variety of other dishes.
Getting There/10 minutes on foot from Kamakura station on the JR Line (JO/JS07) or Enoshima Electric Railway (EN15) Lines.

Feast your eyes on beautiful blossoms at the Temple of Hydrangeas


Though it's especially famous for its hydrangeas, numerous flowers bloom at this stunning temple year-round, enchanting its visitors. The round window in the main hall is known as the "window to enlightenment," symbolizing an understanding of truth and the greater universe. Seen through this lens, the ethereal beauty of Japan may seem like an entirely different world.

Address/189 Yamanouchi, Kamakura, Kanagawa, Japan
Hours/June: 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. All other months: 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Admission Fee/Adults: 500 yen Children (elementary and middle school age): 300 yen In June and December, you may also tour the rear garden for an additional 500 yen.
Getting There/10 minutes on foot from Kita-Kamakura station (JO/JS 08) on the JR Yokosuka or Shōnan–Shinjuku Lines.

Clear your mind at this temple famed for its rock garden and bamboo grove

Hōkokuji Temple

Also known as the Bamboo Temple, Hōkokuji boasts a long history, having been constructed in the thirteenth century. The otherworldly beauty of its bamboo grove has captured the hearts of many visitors from across the world. Partake in matcha (traditional Japanese green tea) in the midst of stillness, and feel your heart come to rest. The Zen rock garden next to the bamboo grove is also a sight to behold, with its striking contrast between the white sand and deep green moss. Zen meditation sessions are held every Sunday morning.

Address/2-7-4 Jomyoji, Kamakura, Kanagawa, Japan
Hours/9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (Matcha served until 3:30 p.m.)
Admission Fee/200 yen (You can enjoy matcha and traditional Japanese sweets for 500 yen.)
Getting There/Take the Keikyu Bus from JR Kamakura station (JO/JS07) to the Jomyoji stop, and walk three minutes.

Get in touch with Buddhism at this historic temple

Hasedera Temple

The statue of the eleven-headed Kannon enshrined here is the largest wooden image of the Buddha in all of Japan. Known as the Temple of Flowers due to the many and myriad blossoms that bloom year-round, this temple also boasts beautiful panoramic views of Sagami Bay, Here, you can try your hand at transcribing a sutra, just as the monks do. Clear your mind, and write the characters one by one in this sacred place, and you're sure to come away with a new understanding of Buddhism.

Address/3-11-2 Hase, Kamakura, Kanagawa, Japan
Hours/March to September: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. October to February: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Admission Fee/Adults: 300 yen Children (elementary school age): 100 yen
Getting There/Take the bus from JR Kamakura station (JO/JS07) to the Hase-Kannon stop, and walk five minutes. Also five minutes on foot from Hase station (EN12) on the Enoden Electric Railway Line.

Getting to Kamakura from Tokyo

Sixty minutes by train on the JR Yokosuka Line from Tokyo (JO19) to Kamakura (JO07).

For a luxurious stay after touring Kamakura and the Miura Peninsula, treat yourself to a night at the Hotel Maholova Minds Miura on Tokyo Bay.

Savor a delicious meal of freshly-caught tuna and other fare prepared with only the highest-quality ingredients. The spacious guest rooms all offer a spectacular ocean view, and you can even see Mount Fuji on clear days. This lavish resort hotel offers a wide variety of accomodation plans catering to all guests.