Here is a list of the stops on the route we just took.
First, let's purchase the "Kamakura Free Kankyo Tegata!"
The "Kamakura Free Kankyo Tegata" is sold within 3 areas - Kita-Kamakura, Kamakura, and Hase.
The price of the "Kamakura Free Kankyo Tegata(a.k.a. Yoritomo Ticket)" is ¥570 for adults, and ¥290 for children.
Detailed information for designated areas:
- [Trains] Enoden Kamakura Station ~ Hase Station
- [Buses] Sections including areas up to Kita-Kamakura Station, up to Daitonomiya, up to Jomyo-ji, up to Daibutsu mae, up to Nagoe
(on Keihin Kyuko Bus and Enoden Bus lines originating from Kamakura Station)
- [Ticket purchase locations]
- ・Kamakura City Tourist Information Center
- ・Shonan Keikyu Bus: Kamakura Service Office, Kamakura Station Information Center
- ・Enoden Kamakura Information/Enoden Kamakura Station/Hase Station
- ・Kiosks at Enkaku-ji
- ・Kita-Kamakura Old Private House Museum
- ・Special benefits including discounts on admission fees to cosponsoring facilities
- ・Not valid during the period of January 1~3
- ・For more information see→About Kamakura City/Kamakura Free Kankyo Tegata
This recommended route starts at Kita-Kamakura Station, so buy your ticket after disembarking at the station. Locations where you can purchase tickets in the Kita-Kamakura area are the kiosks at Enkaku-ji and the Kita-Kamakura Old Private House Museum.
Both locations are near Kita-Kamakura Station, but when purchasing at Enkakuji, you will be required to pay an extra admission fee.* Includes a special bonus postcard
・Enkaku-ji kiosks (Business hours: December-February 8:00〜16:00, March-November 8:00〜16:30）
・Kita-Kamakura Old Private Museum (business hours：10:00〜17:00）
If you are getting an early start, before 10 a.m., it might be nice to purchase your ticket at Enkaku-ji and enjoy a stroll on the grounds.
For this trip, we purchased our tickets at the Kita-Kamakura Old Private House Museum, and then took a walk to Meigetsu-in, a temple famous for its hydrangeas.
* From Kita-Kamakura Station to Meigetsu-in, it's a flat level path which will take about 10 minutes to walk. The prefectural road(highway) is narrow, and there is usually plenty of traffic. It is much safer to walk along the left side of the road heading in the direction of Kamakura.
From Kita-Kamakura to Meigetsu-in
Meigetsu-in is famous for the hydrangeas at its temple gates, but when we visited in December, naturally there were none to be found. However, there were many little details we could notice(because it was winter, in fact), such as the gentle craters in the stone steps which must have occurred over the course of many long years.
From the famous round window, we enjoyed the view of the autumn leaves. Also called the "window of enlightenment," its round shape is said to symbolize the universe.
We also enjoyed the sight of many cute little animals. Squirrels ran throughout the grounds, cats were napping, and there were birdhouses and rabbit cages arranged there as well. In addition, the several jizo statues dotting the grounds wore winter clothes made of yarn. The atmosphere of this temple was gentle and adorable, and gave the place a very heartwarming feel.
Access： 10 minute walk from the JR Yokosuka Line "Kita-Kamakura Station."
Address： 189 Yamanouchi, Kamakura City, Kanagawa Prefecture
Admission hours： 9:00～16:00 (8:30～17:00 in June)
Admission fees： ¥300. ¥500 in June. (Special garden admission fees charged in June and during autumn leaves season *Extra charge: ¥500)
You won't want to miss this when touring Kamakura! Go to Tsuruoka Hachimangu.
When returning from the road taken to Meigetsu-in, you'll see a railroad crossing. Cross it and after a bit along the prefectural road you'll see a bus stop to the right(Enoden Bus) for "Meigetsu-in." From here, board the bus headed to Kamakura Station, and we're headed next to Tsuruoka Hachimangu.
* The bus from Kita-Kamakura to Kamakura comes along at a rate of about once every 20 minutes, so you might want to check the schedules beforehand.
If you have your ticket, you won't have to worry about how much you have left on your IC card, or need to search for loose change. How convenient! Disembark the bus at "Kamakura Hachimangu mae(in front of Kamakura Hachimangu)."
This shrine is affiliated with Minamoto No Yoritomo, who launched the Kamakura shogunate government, so it's definitely a place you won't want to miss when touring Kamakura!
After climbing the steps to the main shrine, look back and you'll see the approach that leads straight from Yuigahama Beach, a wide and refreshing view.
Within the grounds, there is a large pond called the Genpei Ike, where visitors can enjoy the highlights of the seasons with the colors of cherry blossoms, wisteria, lotus flowers, and autumn leaves, as well as the many migratory birds which pass through in winter.
From the beginning of the year until early February, visitors can enjoy the sights of over 100 different types of winter peony flowers in the peony gardens.
Access： 10 minute walk from the JR Yokosuka Line "Kamakura Station" East exit.
Address： 2-1-31 Yukinoshita, Kamakura City, Kanagawa Prefecture
Admission hours： 6:00〜20:30
Admission fees： Free(the Kamakura Museum of National Treasures, Treasure Hall, and the Peony Garden charge admission fees)
Jomyo-ji - Enjoy an elegant Kamakura style lunch
Now then, from the Hachimangu mae bus stop, we'll board the Keikyu Bus and head towards Jomyo-ji. The area to the eastern side of Kamakura, where Kamakura-gu, Sugimoto-dera, Komyo-ji, and Hokoku-ji are located, is distant from the train station, and rather difficult to get to by foot.
But, with this "Kamakura Free Kankyo Tegata," you can get to the entrances of each temple by bus, so it definitely comes in handy!
And so, we decided to travel to this area. First, we head to Jomyo-ji(* Note, the bus stop name is written as "浄明寺" - in different kanji characters). Please board the Keikyu Bus headed towards Tachiarai, Kanazawa-hakkei, or Highland.
* Although it's not included in this route, if you are headed towards Kamakura-gu, please board the bus headed towards "Daitonomiya."
Jomyo-ji is one of the Five Mountain System temples in Kamakura, and as the family temple for the Ashikaga clan, retains a noble atmosphere befitting of a samurai family. There is a famous restaurant in a house located on the grounds here.
After paying your respects at the main shrine, head to the far left, past the tea house with the Zen rock garden, down the steps and then walk up a slope, where you will see a ritzy Western style building and English garden - a stark contrast with the Japanese scenery that came before it.
The name of the restaurant is "Ishigama Garden Terrace," and recommended dishes are the bread baked in the stone oven, and delicious entrees made with vegetables from Kamakura. A very popular spot with the madams of Kamakura.
When the weather is nice, we recommend sitting outside on the terrace. Why not relax and have a luxurious lunch while enjoying the seasonal flowers blooming in the English garden and the view of Kinubari Mountain.
* At Jomyo-ji, you can receive a special postcard when you show your "Kamakura Free Kankyo Tegata."
Access： From Kamakura Station, board the Keikyu Bus to "Jomyo-ji," and afterwards walk for 5 minutes.
Address： 3-8-31 Jomyo-ji, Kamakura City, Kanagawa Prefecture
Admission hours： 9:00～16:30
Admission fees： ¥100 (¥50 for grade school children)
Ishigama Garden Terrace
Access： A 3 minute walk after entering the temple gate of Jomyo-ji.
Address： 3-8-30 Jomyo-ji, Kamakura City, Kanagawa Prefecture (within the Jomyo-ji grounds)
Holidays： Mondays(If Monday is a public holiday, the following day will be closed), closed during summer and New Year's holidays
Admission hours： 10:00～17:00 *Dining and beverage services will vary according to season.
Website： Ishigama Garden Terrace
To the temple of bamboo, Hokoku-ji
After lunch, return to the bus route, where we next head to the opposite side, where Hokoku-ji is located.
This temple is famous for its bamboo grove, so regardless of the season, and even in winter, visitors can enjoy the views from the garden.
The bamboo grove extends from the far end of the main temple. The refreshing sight of over 1000 bamboo trees standing straight and tall in this forest is, indescribable... Seeing them makes us want to stand up straight and snap to attention.
At the end of the bamboo grove is a tea house where visitors can enjoy matcha tea and sweets.
* Please purchase a ticket at the entrance, which costs extra in addition to the admission fee.
Enjoy delicious matcha tea in this moment of tranquility, as you view the swaying bamboo trees and drift into thought. Time will seem to pass by in an instant.
Within the grounds are the remains of towers, including several Gorinto towers. Meigetsu-in, which we visited earlier, also had towers on its grounds as well. Many of the towers seen in the temples and shrines of Kamakura house tombs which date back to the Middle Ages. and as Kamakura is surrounded by mountains from three directions, there are many small valleys within the gorges, which are a distinct and unique feature of this area.
* At Hokoku-ji, you can receive a historical record of the temple when you show your "Kamakura Free Kankyo Tegata."
Access： From Kamakura Station, board the Keikyu Bus to "Jomyo-ji," and afterwards walk for 3 minutes.
Address： 2-7-4 Jomyo-ji, Kamakura City, Kanagawa Prefecture
Holidays： December 29 - January 3
Admission hours： 9:00～16:00 *tea house entry until 15:30
Admission fees： ¥200, tea house admission(includes dried sweets) ¥500
Website： Hokoku-ji： HOUKOKUJI [official]
Ride the Enoden train to Hase-dera
After visiting Hokoku-ji, we next return to Kamakura Station by bus, and then ride the Enoden train towards Hase. (By the way, at this point we've already ridden the bus 3 times, so we've already gotten our money's worth for the unlimited ride pass!)
* The bus between Jomyo-ji and Kamakura Station runs about once every 10 minutes during the day.
After arriving at Kamakura Station, we next board the Enoden train.
The unlimited ride area is valid up to Hase Station. The Hase area is filled with many wonderful spots unique to Kamakura. Let's go and have a look!
First, we head to Hase-dera, which is also famous for its hydrangea flowers.
This temple is very popular - so much so that during hydrangea season admission is limited. But the hydrangeas are not the only draw here. the most famous attraction can be none other than the Hase-kannon. This statue of the Kannon is larger than you might imagine, and so beautiful it is simply overwhelming. We definitely urge you to pay a visit.
In addition, there is a museum on the grounds called the "Kannon Museum," which displays treasures such as the 11-faced Kannon Bosatsu and the Thirty three Avatars of Kannon. There is also a 5 minute film available for viewing which relates the history of the Hase-dera temple.
There is an observation platform located in the area housing the Kannon statue - from where visitors can see the city of Kamakura and the ocean. It is a thoroughly beautiful view, and we highly recommend that you stretch your legs and go for a walk up to the "observational walk path!"
You can get a great view of the beautiful shoreline of Yuigahama Beach. The stairs are a bit difficult to climb but you will definitely want to see this view! It's amazing.
Also, you will see these cute little Buddha statues located throughout the grounds of Hase-dera - they are soothing to the soul.
In addition, there is a cave here named "Benten-Kutsu," which provides a bit of a thrill, as it feels like exploring a dungeon. You need to crouch a bit to enter, but inside it expands into a huge maze-like structure. The sight of several Buddha statues illuminated by candlelight provides a very mystical atmosphere.
Hydrangea season is wonderful, but the crisp and clean air of winter provides a clear and far view of the scenery. Since it is less populated at this time of year, you can take your time and enjoy a nice calming walk!
* At Hase-dera, you can receive a special commemorative item when you show your "Kamakura Free Kankyo Tegata."
Access： A 5 minute walk from the Enoshima Electric Railway Line "Hase Station."
Address： 3-11-2 Hase, Kamakura City, Kanagawa Prefecture
Holidays： December 29 - January 3
Admission hours： March - September 8:00～17:00 / October - February 8:00〜16:30
Admission fees： Adults ¥300, children ¥100
Website： Kamakura Hase-dera
The finale has to be the Daibutsu! Plus we recommend some great Kamakura souvenirs.
Now then, we finish our value-packed Kamakura tour using the "Kamakura Free Kankyo Tegata" with a trip to the Daibutsu!
It is located about a 5 minute walk from Hase-dera. There are several souvenir shops along the way, so it makes for an enjoyable stroll. The Daibutsu is located at a temple called "Kotoku-in." You will see the Buddha as soon as you pass through the temple gates.
Every time we see it we marvel at the Kamakura Daibutsu. "It's so huge! Was it always this big?" Today, as it does every day, the Buddha sits there serenely.
By the way, did you know that you can go inside(the interior) of the Kamakura Daibutsu?
There are windows on the back of the statue(like wings) where light can enter, so it isn't too dark inside.
While looking around inside the Daibutsu, it's very interesting because you can easily see how the various parts were connected together.
* At Kotoku-ji, you can receive a historical record of the temple when you show your "Kamakura Free Kankyo Tegata."
Kamakura Daibutsu (Kotoku-in)
Access： A 7 minute walk from the Enoshima Electric Railway Line "Hase Station."
Address： 4-2-28 Hase, Kamakura City, Kanagawa Prefecture
Holidays： December 29 - January 3
Admission hours： April - September 8:00～17:30 / October - March 8:00〜17:00
Admission fees： Adults ¥200, junior high/high school students ¥200, grade school students ¥100
Website： Kamakura Daibutsu Kotoku-in
Now then, since we're here it would be nice to buy some souvenirs!
There are many famous souvenir gifts you can buy from Kamakura like the Hato Sabure(dove shaped cookies) or the Kamakura Custards, but today we would like to recommend these items!
This is the "Kurumi-ko," from Kamakura Beniya, a famous confectionery in Kanagawa Prefecture. Apparently it won the grand prize in a sweets competition. The unique design is replicated on both the packaging and box, and is very cute.
Packed with walnuts and caramel, but not too heavy or sweet, it has the right amount of softness and is delicious!
It's the perfect gift for friends or colleagues.
There are several stores in the Kamakura city area. For this trip we visited the Hase store on the way to the Kamakura Daibutsu from Hase-dera.
Access： A 7 minute walk from the Enoshima Electric Railway Line "Hase Station."
Address： 3-1-16 Hase, Kamakura City, Kanagawa Prefecture
Holidays： None * Closes at 15:00 on December 31, and closed January 1-3, 2017
Business hours： 9:00〜17:00
Website： Beniya, Inc.
And that concludes our 1 day tour of Kamakura using the "Kamakura Free Kankyo Tegata." We'll return to Kamakura Station on the Enoden.
As for the time it took to complete this route, we began the day at 10 a.m. at Kita-Kamakura, and returned to Kamakura Station at 16:30 in the evening.
You could start a bit earlier and stroll around the Kita-Kamakura area, or check out the Goryo Shrine or Kamakura Museum of Literature in the Hase area.
By using the bus, you can dramatically shorten your transportation times, so this unlimited day pass was perfect for visiting the tourist spots of Kamakura!
* The information on the various facilities listed here are from December, 2016.
See here for more details on the Kamakura Free Kankyo Tegata
About Kamakura City/Kamakura Free Kankyo Tegata