Kamakurayama, Japan

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Kamakurayama, Japan

Region: Kanagawa


Geographic Coordinates: 35.319700, 139.553000
Temperature Range: -10.0°C to 30.0°C (14°F to 86°F)
Climate: Seasonal.
Population: 172929
Language: Japanese

Kamakurayama is a charming mountain town located in Japan’s Kanagawa prefecture. The town is situated on the eastern side of Kamakura city and offers picturesque views of Sagami Bay. Kamakurayama is renowned for its stunning natural beauty, Hiking trails, And historic temples. One of the most popular tourist attractions in Kamakurayama is Mount Ōyama, Which towers at 1, 252 meters tall. Visitors can hike up to the summit to enjoy breathtaking views of Sagami Bay and the surrounding countryside. Several hiking trails lead up to the summit with varying levels of difficulty.

Hikers can take breaks at rest areas or shrines along their way. Ōyama Afuri Shrine is another famous landmark in Kamakurayama that was established over 2, 000 years ago. The shrine sits on a hillside overlooking Sagami Bay and provides visitors with panoramic views of the area. Visitors can reach the main hall by climbing steep stairs or taking a cable car for an easier ascent. Kamakurayama has several other historic temples worth visiting such as Kōtoku-in Temple that houses one of Japan’s most iconic landmarks – The Great Buddha statue (Daibutsu).

This bronze statue stands at over 13 meters tall and weighs around 93 tons making it one of Japan’s largest Buddha statues. The town also boasts numerous hot springs (onsen) where visitors can relax after exploring nature trails around Mt Oyama or visiting temples like Kencho-ji Temple (the oldest Zen temple in Japan) that dates back over 750 years old. Apart from its natural beauty and cultural attractions, Kamakurayama offers delicious local cuisine such as fresh seafood caught from Sagami Bay including sashimi made with squid or octopus caught off nearby shores served with local rice and vegetables.

Overall, Kamakurayama is a serene and beautiful mountain town that allows visitors to explore Japan’s rich history and culture while enjoying stunning natural scenery. Whether you are interested in hiking, Visiting temples or relaxing in hot springs, Kamakurayama has something for everyone.



Important Landmarks

  1. Daibutsu (Great Buddha) – a bronze statue of Amida Buddha located at Kotoku-in temple.
  2. Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine – a Shinto shrine dedicated to Hachiman, the god of war and patron saint of samurai.
  3. Hokokuji Temple – a Zen temple famous for its bamboo grove and teahouse.
  4. Engakuji Temple – one of the most important Zen Buddhist temples in Japan.
  5. Kamakura Museum of National Treasures – houses many treasures from local temples and shrines including swords, armor, ceramics, and calligraphy.
  6. Hase-dera Temple – known for its large wooden statue of Kannon Bosatsu (the goddess of mercy) and beautiful gardens.
  7. Komachi-dori Street – a bustling shopping street with many souvenir shops selling traditional Japanese crafts and snacks.
  8. Yuigahama Beach – A popular beach spot with crystal clear waters perfect for swimming or sunbathing.
  9. Enoshima Island- A small island off the coast that is home to Enoshima Shrine, Samuel Cocking Garden & Sea Candle observation tower offering panoramic views over Sagami Bay.
  10. Kamakura Performing Arts Center – A cultural center hosting various events such as concerts & plays throughout the year.

Noteable History

  1. Kamakura period (1185-1333): Kamakura was the capital of Japan during this period, and it was a time of significant change in Japanese society. The samurai class emerged as a powerful force, and Buddhism became more widespread.
  2. Takeda Shingen (1521-1573): Takeda Shingen was one of the most famous daimyo (feudal lords) in Japanese history known for his military prowess and his rivalry with Uesugi Kenshin.
  3. Battle of Sekigahara (1600): This battle marked the beginning of the Tokugawa shogunate’s rule over Japan for over 250 years until 1868.
  4. Matsuo Basho (1644-1694): Matsuo Basho was a well-known haiku poet who lived during the Edo period and is considered one of the greatest poets in Japanese history.
  5. Great Kanto Earthquake (1923): This earthquake devastated Tokyo and surrounding areas, including Kamakurayama.
  6. Yokozuna Wajima Hiroshi: Wajima Hiroshi was a sumo wrestler who achieved yokozuna status in 1973 and won seven top division championships during his career.
  7. Kamikaze pilots: During World War II, many kamikaze pilots were trained at airfields near Kamakurayama before being sent on suicide missions against Allied forces.

Overall, while there aren’t many specific events or people associated with Kamakurayama itself, its proximity to Tokyo means that it has been affected by many important historical events throughout Japanese history.


Museums and Things To See

  1. Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine
  2. Great Buddha of Kamakura
  3. Hasedera Temple
  4. Kenchoji Temple
  5. Kamakura Museum of Literature
  6. Kotokuin Temple
  7. Kamakura Performing Arts Center
  8. Kuzuharaoka Shrine
  9. Zuisen-ji Temple
  10. Yuigahama Beach



Cultural Events

  1. Kamakura Matsuri: This three-day festival is celebrated in April to honor the city’s history and culture.
  2. Hase no Natsu Matsuri: During July-August, this summer festival takes place at Hasedera Temple with various performances such as taiko drums, traditional dances, and food stalls.
  3. Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Reitaisai: One of the largest festivals held at Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine in September where you can witness traditional Japanese performances like Yabusame (horseback archery) and mikoshi (portable shrine) parades.
  4. Kamakura Fireworks Festival: Every year on July 20th there’s a spectacular firework display on Yuigahama Beach.
  5. Shonan Hiratsuka Tanabata Festival: Celebrated every year from late July to early August where people decorate bamboo trees with colorful paper streamers to celebrate love and wishes.

Please be aware that due to COVID-19 pandemic situations may change or cancel any event or festival so it’s always better to check before planning your visit.


Cuisine

  • Kamakura Goro: This restaurant serves traditional Japanese dishes like sushi, sashimi, tempura, and grilled seafood.
  • Kaiseki Yumotoya: Offering a multi-course kaiseki meal that features seasonal ingredients and showcases the art of Japanese cuisine.
  • Shonan Beer Factory: A brewery that serves a variety of craft beers along with pub food like burgers and fries.
  • Osteria Il Cielo: An Italian restaurant known for its homemade pasta dishes and wood-fired pizzas.
  • Tsujido Burger: A burger joint that offers juicy burgers made with locally sourced beef patties and fresh toppings.
  • Kuroshio Market: A seafood market where you can buy fresh fish to cook at home or enjoy at one of the on-site restaurants serving sushi, sashimi or grilled seafood dishes.
  • Cafe de Paris Kamakura: A French-style cafe serving pastries, sandwiches, and coffee in a cozy atmosphere near the beach.
  • Toriyoshi : This yakitori restaurant specializes in chicken skewers cooked over charcoal fire with various seasonings such as salt or soy sauce marinade.
  • Ramen Kagetsu Arashi : This ramen chain is known for its rich tonkotsu broth topped with chashu pork slices, green onions, and other toppings.
  • Matsubara-an : This traditional Japanese sweets shop offers wagashi (Japanese confectionery) made from red bean paste or mochi (rice cake) filled with sweetened bean paste inside.

  • Parks and Recreation

    1. Kamakura Beach: A well-known beach for swimming and sunbathing.
    2. Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine: An ancient shrine that boasts beautiful gardens and a museum.
    3. Kencho-ji Temple: A Zen temple with stunning gardens and architecture.
    4. Hokoku-ji Temple: A bamboo forest temple featuring a tea house.
    5. Kuzuharaoka Shrine: A small shrine with a hiking trail through the woods.
    6. Yuigahama Beach: Another famous beach for swimming and sunbathing.
    7. Hasedera Temple: A Buddhist temple home to a large statue of Kannon Bodhisattva, along with beautiful gardens.
    8. Enoshima Island: An island off the coast of Kamakura renowned for its beaches, shrines, and seafood restaurants.
    9. Cycling around the city or hiking trails along the hills surrounding it can also be great recreational activities to enjoy while visiting this area!

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