If you’re in Tokyo and planning only one trip out of the city, make it a trip to Kamakura. Kamakura is one of the beach-getaways for Tokyo residents, although you won’t find many people on the beach if it’s not “officially” summer which ends on the 31st of August. As you can see in my pictures our trip in October was accompanied by rather grey weather.
There’s a direct train from Shinjuku to Kamakura (Shonan-Shinjuku Line to Zushi) and the journey takes about 1 h. In Kamakura, change to the train to Hase station, close to both Hase-dera (Great Kannon) Temple and Kotoku-in Buddhist Temple.
Train to Hase:
We first went to see Kotoku-in Temple known for an approximately 13 m tall bronze Buddha statue. It was originally placed inside the temple, but a tsunami in 1498 destroyed the wooden building. It’s also hollow and you can have a look inside, but we opted for some pictures in front of it. A small garden surrounds buildings and the statue.
Finding inner symmetry with Buddha:
My brother Lucas:
As in Japan after a temple visit is before a temple visit, we went on to see Hase-dera that is located uphill and allows beautiful views over Kamakura and the coastline. When walking through the gardens belonging to the temple you notice a large number of small statues with child-like round faces. These are Jizo statues. Jizo is a protector of children, especially unborn children. According to our guide women who lost a child (or – quite common – had an abortion) are donating a Jizo statue that will help them to heal. He also protects travellers, women, and weak people.
Hase-dera Temple (me for scale):
Snack sold inside the temple:
At the gardens entrance:
More of them:
View over Kamakura:
Windsurfers in the distance:
After a brief stop at the beach, we spent our afternoon roaming Kamakura. Our first stop was of course a restaurant. Kamakura is known for its fresh whitebaits from Koshigoe Fishing Port, so we gave those a try.
Very inviting in October:
View into the kitchen at the restaurant we chose for lunch:
Whitebaits (not rice) and tuna plus sides: