Elle Chu Temple Japan

A Day Trip to Kamakura

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Koto-kuin, “The Big Buddha”

Of the many day trips you can take from Tokyo, Kamakura is one of the easiest ones to access! If you make your way to Tokyo Station, you can take a quick peek at their “character street” (as they have a Ghibli store, Hello Kitty store, etc.) and then ride onto the Yokosuka Line straight to Kamakura Station. Or, if you want, you can head there earlier to get a headstart on some of the hiking trails. Either way, there’s a bunch to be seen and explored!

Even in the autumn/winter season, the days can be really nice. When I went, it was only about 15 degrees Celsius (about 60 degrees Fahrenheit), so we didn’t have to go around lugging our heaviest jackets (Tokyo is actually not that cold yet — just some windier days). The grounds of Kamakura show the seasonal changes:

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Autumn leaves on the temple grounds

Close by is Yuigahara Beach, which is really refreshing to see when you’ve been in the city for so long!! Even though the back looks a little like an abandoned fishing town…

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Yuigahara Beach

The shoreline is really smooth and everyone really enjoys the open ocean air. Weirdly, it didn’t smell as salty as you’d imagine an ocean to normally smell like… the air felt very clean and brisk!

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The shoreline

After Yuigahara Beach, we walked back up to take a bus to Kamakura Station, and then walked through Komachi Street (another alley of street vendors and gift shops) to visit Hokokuji Temple.

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Many people have made many prayers and wishes here
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I’m not sure what these say, but they’re hanging on a bamboo grove, which is one of Hokokuji’s treasures

Seeing the gate, I think this is one of the biggest temples in Kamakura…

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The gate to Hokokuji Temple

This isn’t quite as mountainous as the pictures might make you think… I came here dressed as if I was going to go hardcore hiking/camping, but if you avoid the trails, it is really easy to stay on the concrete sidewalks. Still, there is much to be walked and you should be ready to walk up and down a lot of stairs at the temples and Komachi Street. But I guess this is good because (if you’re like me), you’ll constantly be snacking on all the delicious foods at Kamakura!

A few of the tastiest, most interesting snacks I sampled in Kamakura:
– Hokkaido purple potato soft serve ice cream
– Apple peanuts (which I really regret not buying…)
– Flattened octopus crackers
– Almond & chocolate pancake sandwich

To be honest, I think the stores that sell the peanuts and dried fruits are where it’s at. They have so many different kinds of flavors and everything tastes really fresh — definitely recommend buying some while you’re there!!


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