If you’re looking for a day trip outside Tokyo, I highly recommend Kamakura. Located an hour from Tokyo in Kanagawa Prefecture, it is home to the Great Buddha Hall and other majestic sites.
Below is the route we took exploring the different temples in Kamakura. Does this involve too much walking? Pretty much. But hey, I assure you that every temple is worth the exercise.
Tokyo to Kamakura
Kamakura is served by two railway companies, JR East and Enoden. The quickest way to the city is by JR Yokosuka Line from Tokyo Station (i.e. enjoy the view during the one-hour ride). Get-off at the Kita-Kamakura Station. From here, take a 2-minute walk to Engakuji Temple.
1. Engakuji Temple
Engakuji Temple (円覚寺) was founded in 1282. It ranks second out of the five Zen temples in the area. More so, it was built to pay respect to the fallen Japanese and Mongolian soldiers after the second invasion attempt by the Mongols.
Recharge With A Hearty Meal
On our way to Kenchoji Temple, we passed by the Ever Green Cafe serving meals perfect for the weather. It’s just impossible to resist!
2. Kenchoji Temple
Founded in 1253, Kenchoji (建長寺) is the oldest temple in Kamakura. It is also the top ranking Zen temple out of the five great Zen temples in the city. If you want to chill, this place is just perfect.
3. Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine
4. The Great Buddha of Kamakura
A trip to Kamakura is not complete if you miss the Great Buddha of Kamakura (鎌倉大仏, Kamakura Daibutsu). It is the only statue of Buddha in Kamakura that is designated as a national treasure. That alone makes it worth the visit!
If time permits, I encourage you to visit Hokokuji Temple. We weren’t able to stop by this site since it began raining snow while we’re still at Daibutsu.
So? Are you convinced? If yes, then go visit Kamakura. If no, then go visit it anyways. I am pretty sure you’ll love it! 🙂