Best Tours to KamakuraGuided tours of this picturesque seaside city

Tours of Kamakura

Located an hour south of Tokyo, the city of Kamakura was Japan's first feudal capital and demonstrates that time of glory with a wealth of remarkable temples, including the Kōtoku-in temple. This is where you'll find the iconic 13m tall bronze Buddha statue. Finished in 1252, the monumental statue was once enclosed by an equally impressively sized hall that was the victim of a tsunami in 1498. Today the Buddha statue stands out in the open in a serene pose. Perched on a stone pedestal the Buddha appears deep in meditation with the folds of his simple robes weathered with specks of green, grey and white. Evidence points to the fact that this statue was once covered with gold leaf.

It's possible to easily combine a visit to the Daibutsu Buddha statue in Kamakura with a detour to the Hokokuji Temple and its beautiful bamboo grove. Lying behind the temple's main hall, the small grove is dense with some 2000 dark green bamboo stalks that tower above you. Visitors can follow a pathway through the bamboo to a pleasant tea house where you can enjoy a cup of green tea and soak in the calming views.

Kamakura is an easy day trip from Tokyo though with an easy-going ambiance, organic restaurants serving delicious Japanese cuisine and rustic shacks on the beach, the coastal town makes for a pleasant overnight stop as well.

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What to do in Kamakura, Japan

Kamakura, a historic city located just south of Tokyo, is known for its rich cultural heritage, beautiful temples, and scenic coastal views. Here are the three best things to do in Kamakura:

1. Visit the Great Buddha (Kotoku-in)

The Great Buddha of Kamakura, or Daibutsu, is one of Japan's most iconic and revered landmarks. This impressive bronze statue, standing over 13 meters tall, dates back to the 13th century. Visitors can admire the statue's grandeur and even enter inside to see its hollow interior. The serene atmosphere and historical significance make it a must-visit site in Kamakura.

2. Explore Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine

Tsurugaoka Hachimangu is Kamakura's most important Shinto shrine, founded in 1063 by Minamoto no Yoritomo, the founder of the Kamakura shogunate. The shrine complex is beautifully set against the backdrop of wooded hills and features numerous structures, including the main hall, torii gates, and lotus ponds. The approach to the shrine, lined with cherry trees, is particularly stunning during the cherry blossom season in spring.

3. Walk the Komachi-dori Street

Komachi-dori is a lively shopping street located near Kamakura Station. This bustling thoroughfare is lined with an array of shops, cafes, and restaurants, offering everything from traditional Japanese crafts and souvenirs to local delicacies. It's the perfect place to sample Kamakura's renowned street food, such as freshly baked senbei (rice crackers), matcha-flavored sweets, and various seafood dishes. Strolling down Komachi-dori provides a vibrant taste of local culture and cuisine.

Frequently asked questions

What is the best time to visit Japan?

The best time to visit Japan is during the spring (March to May) for cherry blossoms and autumn (September to November) for vibrant fall foliage. Both seasons offer mild weather and beautiful scenery.

What are some must-try foods in Japan?

What are the must-see attractions in Kamakura?

Can I visit Kamakura as a day trip from Tokyo?

Are there any good hiking trails in Kamakura?

What local food should I try in Kamakura?

Is Kamakura crowded with tourists?

Are there any beaches in Kamakura?

What is the significance of Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine?

Is it possible to see cherry blossoms in Kamakura?

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Japan tours: Discover the highlights of Japan

Whilst Japan is full of unforgettable highlights, these are the places that you really can't miss on your trip. From the heaving metropolis of Tokyo to the peaceful, rural tranquility of Miyajima Island and Kyoto - steeped in ancient history. Japan is a land of beautiful contrasts just waiting to be explored.

Kyoto

Japan's cultural capital is home to a plethora of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including some of the country's most famous temples and shrines. It's also the best place in the country to catch a glimpse of the famous geisha, especially the gion district.

Hakone

A stunning national park, home to Japan's most iconic view. Mount Fuji sits atop striking scenes of green woodland, crystal clear lakes, and inviting hot springs. Hike in this scenic region, and spend the night at a traditional ryokan.

Tokyo

Ever-evolving skylines, cosmopolitan corners, and neon-lit streets. Tokyo is a city headed for the future. But look closely for kabuki, sumo, tea, and sushi - tradition is everywhere. Tokyo is huge, so our Signature package tours spend four nights here, allowing you to take it all in.

Miyajima

An idyllic contrast to the chaotic capital, Miyajima is an enchanting island of rural charm, just off the coast of Hiroshima. Home to the floating torii gate of the Itsukushima Shrine, and stunning views of Mount Misen and the Inland Sea.

Himeji

Traveling by bullet train to Himeji, our travelers will get to explore the elegant "White Egret" castle here. It's the best known and most complete example of Japan's traditional tiered castles and even survived heavy bombing during the Second World War.

Hiroshima

A city made famous by all the wrong reasons, a trip to Hiroshima is sobering and emotional, but it's an important and fascinating stop for travelers to Japan. Reflect at the Peace Park and see the A-Bomb Dome, one of just a handful of buildings to survive the atomic bomb.

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