Tokyo Getaway: Kamakura Day Trip in Trendy Shonan

October 18, 2019


Just one hour outside of Tokyo lies the beautiful coastal town of Kamakura. Famous for Kotoku-in temple's 42-foot "Great Buddha", the area is filled with dozens of Zen Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines making it the perfect traditional Japanese getaway outside of Tokyo.


My friends and I decided to take a day trip to Kamakura and had the chance to ride the private railway near Enoshima. The Enoshima Electric Railway is a private railway that connects Kamakura station and Fujisawa station. It's train cars make it one of the most unique train experiences in Japan. If you're not familiar with the Enoshima area, it is a beautiful island just across the coast that I also recommend visiting, located about 45 minutes away from Kamakura city.


For lunch, my friend recommended we have some traditional Japanese food, so we had fish, rice and the famous shirasu! The kamakura area is known for "shirasu" which are small whitefish, specifically boiled young katakuchi-iwashi (Japanese anchovy), ma-iwashi (Japanese sardine) and urume-iwashi (round herring). You can see them in the green dishes. They tasted a little bit salty, but not bad at all if you like fish or seafood! The food was delicious.


I particularly loved this restaurant because of the traditional Japanese feel and the beach view of Enoshima island. We also got to take off our shoes and sit on the tatami mats to eat, which I love! The food was reasonably priced and this atmosphere felt a little bit fancy! I definitely recommend checking out this place for traditional Japanese cuisine. The menu is all in Japanese, but you can ask for an "osusume" (recommendation) and your server can pick the best thing on the menu for you if you're adventurous.

Restaurant & Location:

池田丸 (いけだまる)
Address: 2 Chome-12-10 Koshigoe, Kamakura, Kanagawa 248-0033


After that, we started heading towards the Big Buddha (大仏) and picked up some tako senbei (octopus crackers) basically a flattened octopus! The kamakura area is really famous for this snack and you'll see many visitors walking down the street eating tako senbei.





Next we stopped by Hasedera (Hase Temple) which had so many beautiful statues along with small hiking trails, beautiful views, shops, and ice cream vending machines!


We also decided to do Ema (絵馬) to write our wishes on for ¥500 (about 5 US dollars). 

What are Ema?
"Ema (絵馬, lit. "picture-horse") are small wooden plaques, common to Japan, in which Shinto and Buddhist worshippers write prayers or wishes. The ema are left hanging up at the shrine, where the kami (spirits or gods) are believed to receive them."


It was a really fun experience to do with my friends and it's really common for Japanese people to write their prayers and wishes on the wooden plaques whether they are religious or not, so next time you visit a temple or shrine, try writing your own!


After a lot of walking, we finally made to the BIG BUDDHA! The Daibustu or Great Buddha was completed in 1252 and is the second tallest bronze Buddha statue in Japan. I have seen in so many photos, so I was excited to finally see it in real life and take pictures. Thankfully the area wasn't too busy, so it was easy to get a few great shots and then explore the area. 

Location:

Kōtoku-in Temple, Great Buddha of Kamakura 
Address: 4 Chome-2-28 Hase, Kamakura, Kanagawa 248-0016


My friends and I had such a great time and I definitely recommend visiting this area as it is so different from modern Tokyo. It was easy to feel that Kamakura has been around for a very, very long time and being from America, it's amazing to visit places that have a long history.

Thanks for reading! And enjoy a few more photos ;)













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