Kamakura 鎌倉is one of my favorite places in the world. It’s hard to recommend a trip to Tokyo without a day trip to one of Japan’s most enchanting cities. Kamakura was the site of the shogunate from 1185 to 1333 and today, it’s one of the few places near Tokyo where you can walk back in time. A trip to Kamakura is the perfect complement to the bustle of Tokyo.
Kamakura is perfect for a day of hiking, nature, and traditional Japanese adventures. You can find a lot more about Kamakura in my book, The Hidden Tokyo Neighborhood Guidebook. I have an entire chapter devoted to exploring Kamakura’s rich and beautiful offerings.
Traveling to Kamakura Station From Tokyo
Your JR Pass will cover your trip to Kamakura from Tokyo via the JR Yokosuka and JR Shonan-Shinjuku Lines. Purchase your JR Pass here.
Kamakura is located south of Tokyo in the Kanagawa Prefecture.
Use Hyperdia or Google Maps to calculate train times to either Kamakura Station or Kita-Kamakura Station. Kamakura Station is the main entry point, but both stations are relatively close to each other and it’s often nice to walk from Kita-Kamakura if you have the time. It’s about a 30-minute walk from Kita-Kamakura Station southwards towards Kamakura Station.
The area around Kamakura almost looks like a triangle in its perimeter with Kita-Kamakura to the north, Kamakura on the southern right tip, with Hase to the direct west of Kamakura, or on the bottom left point of the triangle. And directly east of all of these places is where you can find the beautiful bamboo forests of Hokoku-ji. This guide segments Kamakura into each of these locations for better organization and clarity.
Here’s a useful PDF that contains both an English map of Kamakura as well as the various bus stations and times of the year for Kamakura’s most popular flowers and blooms.
Once you arrive in Kamakura, you have the option of walking or taking the bus or train to all the various temples around the city. There’s also a useful pass called the Kamakura Free Kankyo Tegata which allows you to ride unlimited in Kamakura around 5 bus and train lines. It also offers discounts at participating shrines, temples and museums.
TIP: If you’re a vegan or a vegetarian, Kamakura is ripe with food options because of the local Buddhist dietary requirements.
Kamakura Station Exits
If you take the train to Kamakura Station from Tokyo, you can exit either the East or the West exits. Both are ripe for exploration. The East Exit takes you to the main shopping street and Tsuruoka Hachimangu temple.
I love to walk down the main street and hit up one of the best hidden souvenirs in Tokyo – flavored honey at Sugi Bee Garden. Go in for a taste of yuzu, cherry, grape and more. My personal favorite is a mixture of honey and cold water. This makes the perfect drink on a hot mushi atsui summer day.
If you’re heading to Tokyo, I recommend my guidebook, Hidden Tokyo. It’s an original neighborhood guide that takes you into over 20 of Tokyo’s most interesting neighborhoods. It’s over 400-pages full of advice, earned from 4 years of relentless exploration. Take your trip to the next level and unlock its magic. Get it now.