Exploring Kamakura - 鎌倉の探検

Hey guys! As I mentioned in an earlier post, I'll be updating the blog with places and events that have taken place in the last few years that I failed to document. They will not all necessarily be in order of when I traveled to these places, and I of course will be updating on current events and travels as well in between. But as promised, here is Kamakura!

Giant Buddha in Kamakura
The Daibutsu, or Giant Buddha in Kamakura

To give a brief description of the cultural importance of Kamakura, it was considered the de facto capital of Japan during the Kamakura Period of Japanese history. While it is considered a small town by modern Japanese standards, the abundance of temples and beaches, as well as its close proximity to Tokyo, make it a popular attraction for many.

I first traveled to Kamakura in July of 2011. It is about a three hour train ride from Utsunomiya to get to Kamakura, so it is nice for a day trip.

Welcome to Kamakura

Right off of the train and out of the station, one is met with maps and information about what to do and where to go in Kamakura. Close to the train station exit is a shopping district so amply named:

Kamakura Shopping Town

You find numerous shops with themed souvenirs. Some items of note were the umbrellas for sale. Some were fashioned like samurai swords, while others changed patterns if they were to get wet. 

Leaving the shopping district, I headed toward the nearest of the numerous temples that Kamakura hosts, and encountered a nice little shop:

Amish Cooking in Kamakura
I've learned long ago not to question anything in Japan anymore.

The first temple was nice and provided a neat lily pond on the way.

Temple in Kamakura

Lily Garden in Kamakura
The lilies were quite huge!

After that, I spent the next few hours walking the streets and slightly wooded areas of Kamakura exploring different temples and just taking in the small town atmosphere. I love doing this wherever I go because I encounter great gems like this:

Monks walking in Kamakura

Monks walking in Kamakura

I saw a few groups of these guys just going about their daily business and commute to the temples around. 

Finally, after walking for what seemed like hours, I made it to the main attraction of Kamakura, the Daibutsu, or Giant Buddha. It really is a marvel to see such a statue. It is one of the most recognizable images of Japan. 

Giant Buddha in Kamakura

Giant Buddha in Kamakura

One of the most interesting aspects of the statue, which I had no clue about beforehand, was you can go inside of it! People often put money inside for good luck.

Inside the Giant Buddha in Kamakura
I finally see the inside of the head of Buddha and it's empty. Very Zen-like indeed!

I also explored some of the beaches in the area, but I didn't have time to visit them that day. The weather also wasn't ideal for the beach as it looked as if it were going to rain soon.  I did however return to Kamakura this summer and visit the beaches. 

If you love temples and Japanese culture, or just want to go to the beach for the day, Kamakura is a nice day-trip if you're in the Tokyo area. There's definitely a lot to see, and I haven't explored all of it yet, so I do want to return and see more of what it has to offer!

Here are all the photos from the trip!


Exploring Kamakura - 鎌倉の探検 Exploring Kamakura - 鎌倉の探検 Reviewed by Shea Roberts on 7:32 PM Rating: 5
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