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Exploring the best kamakura gardens

Kamakura has some of the most beautiful gardens and temples around Japan and the Tokyo area. Here are a few of my favorite Kamakura gardens. 

Exploring the Best Kamakura Gardens
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The beautiful garden at the Starbucks in Kamakura

With these last few weeks in Japan, I’ve been insanely busy trying to go back to all the places I love. The awful thing about living in a country so far away is that this place you’ve fallen so in love with is literally on the other side of the world. 

One of the places dearest to my heart is Kamakura. This is one of my favorite places on Earth. I relish the days I go to Kamakura. I’m convinced that in my past life, I had a garden, a beautiful one. Perhaps that explains my affinity for them today. 

But, so much history sits around every corner of Kamakura’s tiny cobblestone streets. 
Kamakura became the political center of Japan in 1192 and is often referred to as an ancient Samurai city, as the government was set up by warriors at the start of the Shogunate. 

Kamakura was the capitol of Japan during the Kamakura period, between 1185-1333 and is also the root of Zen Buddhism in Japan. But history aside, I came here often to eat lunch, stroll the streets, visit ancient temples and go hiking. There’s a ton of great cafes and kissaten cafes too where you can have a traditional Japanese experience. 

From Yokohama, Kamakura is only a short twenty minute train ride. 

Garden House kamakura

A Day in Kamakura
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We hopped off the West side and first went to a restaurant we really like called Garden House Kamakura. It’s a beautiful cafe built into a garden. And today, we decided to take our dog on our little excursion. Aside from sometimes the slow service, the food is pretty awesome. Garden House is one of our favorite cafes in Kamakura.

READ  The Ultimate Travel Guide For The Wisteria Japan Gardens

Garden House Kamakura

Contact

 

  • TEL: 0467-81-5200

  • HOURS: 09:00 – 22:00 Daily

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A Day in Kamakura
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A Day in Kamakura
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Waiting out the rain in the garden shed. This jersey got him about 100 kawaiis (Japanese for “cute”) today.

A Day in Kamakura
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You can’t go wrong with wagyu beef or traditional steak-frites. Excellent meal.

A Day in Kamakura
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Exploring the Best Kamakura Gardens
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We then stumbled upon this Starbucks right next to the Garden House Kamakura. I’ve been here before but never in the Spring. I was in awe with its beautiful blooming Wisteria gardens! The colors were so whimsical. I’m definitely going to hang out here a lot more before we move. 

But all these signs tell you not to step foot near the pool, which was hard for me as I wanted to grab pictures up a lot closer. But it’s probably for the best as crowds of people would totally spoil this tranquil scene.

A day in Kamakura
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A Day in Kamakura
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Walking down the quiet residential homes, we came across this house that looks like the one from The Grudge. It was dark, somewhat muggy and condemned. My husband shied away but it peaked my curiosity. Sad I couldn’t go inside.

A Day in Kamakura
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A day in Kamakura
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We walked about twenty minutes through the neighborhood to Hasedera Temple which houses a famous statue, Hase-Kannon which was first carved by a monk in 721 AD. It then found its way to Kamakura, miraculously, and Hasedera Temple was constructed in honor of it. 

The statue Kannon itself means “the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy,” it’s neither male or female in gender. It’s a Bodhisattva, or a future Buddha destined for enlightenment so it represents compassion, mercy, and love. It’s a highly sacred statue and is impressively over 30 feet tall, but you’re understandably not allowed to take photos of it. 

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But we threw coins into the shrine, lit a votive, and said a few prayers. There’s something about Buddhist temples that I find overwhelmingly peaceful. It’s a positive peaceful energy completely unlike any cathedral or mosque I’ve ever been to.

A day in Kamakura
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A day in Kamakura
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We paid the 500 yen for a votive picture and wrote our wish!

A day in Kamakura
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Exploring the Best Kamakura Gardens
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Exploring the Best Kamakura Gardens
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Exploring the Best Kamakura Gardens
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Do you want to unlock Tokyo’s Hidden Magic? I recommend my book, The Hidden Tokyo Neighborhood Guidebook. It’s filled with hundreds of things to do and a range of activities that only an experienced local can possibly know about. You’ll unlock nearly 30 of Tokyo’s top neighborhoods in over 400 pages, designed to leave you knowing this city on a whole other level. Learn more. 

TAKE YOUR TRIP TO THE NEXT LEVEL. UNLOCK THE MAGIC.

The book Also includes

  • Where to Find the Best Views of Tokyo
  • Awesome Free Views of the City
  • A Photographer's Guide to Tokyo
  • Where to Find the Coolest Bookstores & Libraries
  • Places Frozen in Time | Tokyo Time & Place to Experience Old Japan
  • Architecture You Don't Want to Miss
  • Fascinating Tours of Politics & History
  • Don't Leave Japan Without Doing These Things
  • The Coolest Capsule Hotels
  • Gluten Free Tips & Advice
  • Eating Vegan & Vegetarian in Tokyo
  • Hundreds of Top Food Recommendations
  • Tours to Consider
  • (Kissaten) Craft Coffee Must Try Places
  • Where to Buy Excellent Used Camera Gear
  • The Best Gardens in the City
  • Clubs & Live Music Venues
  • Record Shopping Hot Spots
  • Museums & Must-See Galleries
  • Only in Japan Things to Do
  • 40 Brilliant Souvenir Ideas
  • Amusement Parks & Fun For Kids
  • Where to Find the Best Afternoon Tea
  • The Best Japanese Tea Ceremony Spots
  • Etiquette Essentials
  • Exploring Spirituality
  • A Vintage Shopping Guide to Harajuku
  • And so much more.............
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2 Comments

  1. April 20, 2015 at 3:40 am — Reply

    So beautiful and so peaceful! The rules about keeping away from the pool would be hard just for the reason you mentioned, but I agree that it probably does keep it a lot more tranquil, and lets everyone enjoy the view.

    • April 21, 2015 at 12:17 am — Reply

      Definitely!! It’s amazing how gorgeous this country is.

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