CultureKamakura-Viviene in Japan Vol.6

6th report by Viviene from Italy.

One of my top favorite destinations in Japan

I will easily categorize Kamakura as one of my top favorite destinations not only of the confined destinations of Tokyo but of Japan. It’s great for a one day trip outside of Tokyo’s borders and is easy to tour. It is also the nearest town to the capital city to provide a nice beach to have fun as well as being one of the main historical towns and once one of the homes of the shogunates during the 12th century! From temples to shrines enriched by greenery landscapes and among the first places where zen was first introduced, are all features for which people often relate this place as “a small version of Kyoto”.

Temples

One stop prior to Kamakura station, you can drop off and visit the Engakuji and Kenchoji temple (the oldest zen training monastery in Japan). Both ranked as one of the top five temples of Kamakura, the road that leads towards these two sacred places shows many features of the origins of Japan. There will be several temples to visit but I really felt at peace when visiting these two. It gave the impression to be in a small village. And to make it more exciting, you might also hear out religious rituals from monks in the Hojo building of Engakuji for a spiritual sensation.

Kamakura Daibutsu

There was only enough time for one last visit. I could not possibly leave without seeing the most iconic attraction of this town “The Great Buddha” also known as Kamakura Daibutsu. Placed in the grounds of Katakuji Temple, you can reach the temple within an hour walk or by bicycle and escape the hustle and bustle! This emblematic outdoor statue of 13.35 meters height, will be impressed in your minds! The beauty of this sculpture is supported by the nature from which it is beautifully surrounded with a backdrop of green landscapes and hills bringing a pleasant and relaxing atmosphere.

Beach

Whilst many might think that this is the only appeal in Kamakura, I strongly recommend to have a great walk around the area. You will soon realize that the structure of this town has also influences from overseas when approaching the Yu-ga-hama Beach. If you are a sea person, this is your chance to plunge into the Pacific Ocean! It might not have the clearest water compared to the Okinawan Sea, but just enough to enjoy your day and have a bath and why not give surfing a try! Besides, the place is full of pubs to stop by, foreigners wand surfers that will add a foreign look! If you’re still on time, heading back to Kamakura station you can have a quick glimpse at the Onari-Dori district with plenty of shops.

I personally think there is so much more to this place than you think, and has a great combination between traditional and foreign style! Definitely worth a second visit and don’t forget to buy some souvenirs as a reminder of your trip to Kamakura!

Cheers!

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