Taking a walk through the ancient streets in Kamakura, cherry blossoms lining along on both sides as they shower you with soft pink petals that scatter down upon your hair. Gentle breezes of spring then sweeps them from the ground to a journey ahead. Cherry blossom in Japan symbolizes a time of renewal and the fleeting nature of life.
People have cherry blossom parties that are called “hanami” which is translated into “watching blossoms”. During spring in Kamakura, there are various cherry blossom viewing spots to choose from and much, much more for you to explore.
Aki from MyProGuide- Being mistaken as a local Japanese is just how local he is!
Aki has been living in Japan for many years, and his story with Japan starts from his major in Japanese. A misfortunate accident happened to Aki a long time ago, while he had to stay in bed and recover. His professor suggested him to study to become a tour guide, and so his adventure began.
Putting his major and his interests together, Aki has become a tour guide in both Taiwan and Japan. With his many experiences, people sometimes even mistake him as a local Japanese. Aki knows his way around beautiful spots and will be giving us some tips on how to explore the wonder of Kamakura in spring.
Highlights of Kamakura
Below are some must-visit sights in Kamakura that you simply shouldn’t miss.
The most important shrine in Kamakura. The shrine is dedicated to Hachiman, the patron god of the Minamoto family and of the samurai in general. Various events are being held in Tsurugaoka Hachimangu throughout the year, and is fully crowded on 1st-3rd January when people go there for Hatsumoude (New Year’s first visit). The shrine is famous for the magnificent red torii gate on front and the main hall after climbing up the stairs.
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The Great Buddha
The great Buddha is a bronze statue of Amida Buddha, which stands on the grounds of Kotokuin Temple. With a height of 11.4 meters, it has long been the second tallest bronze Buddha statue in Japan, originally being built inside a large temple, due to multiple times of building destruction, it is now out in the open air.
A small Zen temple, known for its bamboo grove formed with about 2,000 bamboo trees. People come to have a walk among the bamboo trees to clear their mind. You can also have a cup of tea here from the Japanese style cafe inside and watch the silent bamboos. It is a place to ease your mind and calm your brain.
How to spend one day in Kamakura
Aki has recommended a one-day itinerary for travelers that will cover the most visited spots as well as places you can shop for souvenirs.
Starting from Kamakura station, your trip has already begun. The public transportation in Kamakura looks slightly different from others in the big city, it has a hint of history inside it.
When you step out from the station, you can head to see the famous Great Buddha and admire the blossoms inside the temple. Although being have to climb a lot of stairs, the reward on top is a beautiful red temple awaiting and a breathtaking view of Kamakura.
Then travel along to Goryo-Jinja Shrine, a wood temple with great views of the sea and a spot to see Enoden trains pass by a torii gate. Heading to our next stop which is Kamakura Koko Mae Station. Here is the place that appeared on a lot of anime, movie, drama and more… , especially it is known by an anime work “Slam Dunk”. With the small trains crossing and a beautiful view of the sea, though not a tourist spot, but it is admired by many people. Unfortunately, the government banned all photo taking near the railway due to safety issues.
If you have time to extend your trip to a bit further from Kamakura. Our tour guide Aki highly recommend you to visit the coastline of Shonan area, especially the Enoshima Island. The small island offers more attractions such as beautiful shrines, observatory, shops, and restaurants. There is also a big aquarium (Enoshima Aquarium) near the island, too.
On your way back to Kamakura station, Komachi Street is where you can find small shops and vendors to purchase postcards and souvenirs.
Kamakura in Spring
Spring is a very ideal season for you to visit Kamakura, different kinds of flowers blooming in the temple yards highlighting their uniqueness and bring out the brightness of spring. With a gentle breeze and the smell of flowers around you, it really is a place to calm down your soul.
Flower blossoms are everywhere to be seen, it’s like snow in spring with a soft scent of calm. Make sure to visit Kamakura with someone experienced so they can show you around.
Customized tours are highly recommended so you don’t miss out on any flower blossom. A tour guide to show you the history of Kamakura, and a customized tour to see through the locals’ eyes, the beauty of Kamakura in spring.
Meet our tour guide:
from MyProGuide Japan
Aki Lu |
Experience authentic Japan!