- BEST PLACES TO VISIT IN AND AROUND TOKYO
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Kamakura is a popular tourist destination in the Kanagawa district. It is one of the most tranquil and romantic places in and around Tokyo that you should visit with your significant other. Let go of all the hustle and bustle of City life and enjoy the serene settings of the beach. Today it took us a little under an hour to get there by train.
What Are the Best Things to do in Kamakura?
My girlfriend planned a day trip for us in Kamakura. I was pretty excited because I love being by the ocean and nature, in general. Here’s a list of places which we checked out during our visit.
Kamakura Sites and Attractions
The Great Buddha of Kamakura
My first visit was to see The Great Buddha of Kamakura (also known as Daibutsu in Japanese). Standing at a whopping 13.35 metres this bronze statue is unbelievably resilient as it has withstood typhoons, tsunamis and tidal waves. The temples which used to house the Buddha has been destroyed multiple times, so now the statue stands alone in the open air. This iconic monument dates back to 1252, and remnants of the gold-plated casting around the statue still remains.
The Daibutsu is seated in the meditative lotus position with a beautiful backdrop of forest and greenery. Couples can visit during the springtime when pink Cherry Blossoms are in full bloom. I’ve visited many temples in and around Japan but this one had a truly distinctive aspect and was one of the best. For a small donation, visitors can actually enter the sacred statue and explore the inside. Truly a remarkable experience and one I will remember for a long time.
One of my highlights of traveling in Japan is trying the popular local foods and snacks. Throughout Japan, it’s not common to see many people walking and eating at the same time. The charm of Kamakura is the various souvenir and snack shops located along the road. It’s very common, normal even, to see couples buy snacks from vendors and walk from shop to shop while eating.
Tourists should not miss strolling along the famous street called “Komachi Road”. Walking out of Kamakura station you’ll see a big red pole which marks the beginning. I inquired about these delicious looking rice crackers (senbei). The vendor told us that these are baked fresh daily and then went about to wrap a big sheet of seaweed around the senbei. Flavors range from sweet to salty and I chose the sweet one, Yummy!
The Dove Cookie “Hato Sabure” is also a well-known snack throughout Japan. It’s a dove shaped butter shortbread cookie that Kamakura is famous for. These make great gifts but in my opinion, do not offer anything extraordinary taste wise. There are hidden cafes, restaurants and dessert shops which offer red bean cake, deep fried korokke and soft serve ice cream. I didn’t have time to try these but maybe on my next outing?
Yuigahama and Zaimokuza Beach
Time to head to the beach! There are several popular sand beaches in Kamakura. Two of the most popular being Yuigahama and Zaimokuza because of their nice facilities and ultra-convenient location. Together they span a kilometer across the coastline offering visitors a chance to surf, sunbathe and swim. These beaches get super crowded during the official beach season from July to Aug. Amenities include rental shops, huts and changing rooms.
If you’re still snacking though, watch out for aggressive birds swooping from above trying to grab a quick meal. For seafood lovers, there’s a fishing village nearby which offers a bento box for tourists who want to catch the amazing sunrises. Alternatively, couples can take a romantic stroll while watching the beautiful sunset. That’s what we did that day while picking up seashells by the beach.