is a city located about 15 km south-southwest of Yokohama and at the
east end of Shonan Coast facing Sagami Bay.
From the late 12th century (generally 1192) to 1333, the government had been placed here.
The founder of the government was Yoritomo Minamoto, the Shogun.
After his administration, Hojo family had held real power, then they built many Zen temples in Kamakura.
In the early 14th century, Emperor Godaigo in Kyoto planned to
government to regain the government by Emperor.
But the plan was exposed, then he had been exiled to an island.
After that, his sympathiers destroyed Hojo family in 1333, then it lead to the end of Kamakura Period.
Until the middle of the 15th century, Kamakura was the central city in
But some wars had often occured in this area, then Kamakura had declined.
Instead, Kamakura has become a tourist city.
The central area in Kamakura is surrounded on three sides by low but
mountains and on the south side by Sagami Bay.
Therefore here was a natural stronghold.
When you tour around the city on foot, probably you must pass several slopes.
Kamakura is a historic city, but has no historic cityscape.
Many temples and historic spots are dotted in the city, and they are decorated with surrounding small mountains and forests.
In Japanese, we say
It is a Shinto shrine and is located about 1 km northeast of JR Kamakura station, and is at the northen end of central Kamakura.
It was founded in 1063, and since Yoritomo Minamoto, the founder of
Kamakura government, came here in 1180, he had built many governmental
facilities around this shrine.
And in the 17th century (Edo Period), many buildings of Buddhist temple had been built, then here became a great Shinto shrine mixed with Buddhism.
But in 1870, Meiji government forced all Shinto shrine to abandon Buddhism, so most of the buildings about Buddhism in this shrine had been destroyed.
Now many structures of this shrine are designated as a nationally important cultural properties.
a the main approach of Tsurugaoka Hachiman shrine.
It runs through central Kamakura area from north to south, and the south end is located near Yuigahama beach facing Sagami Bay.
The length is about 1.8 km, and there are 3 Torii gates on this street.
And along this street, many cherry trees are planted, so here is one of the major cherry blossom-viewing spots.
The section from near Kamakura station to the shrine (about 0.5 km) is
The approach for pedestrian is constructed a little higher than the roadways along both sides. It is called "Dankazura".
is a shopping street running about 100 meters west of Wakamiya-oji.
There are many souvenir shops, cafes and restaurants.
It is one of most popular spots in Kamakura, so it is always crowded with visitors.
temple is located about 1.3 km west of Kamakura station.
It is said that the temple was founded in the 12th century. But it is not known why this Great Buddha, the principal image of Koutokuin, was built.
In Japanese, Great Buddha is called "Daibutsu".
It is said that this Buddha was first built of wood in 1243 and began
to rebuild of bronze in 1252.
And originally it had been placed in a building, but it is said that the building was destroyed by the typhoon in 1369 and the great earthquake in 1498. Since that, this has been sitting here.
The height is about 11 meters, and the height including the seat is
about 13.4 meters.
We can enter the inside of the Buddha for a fee.
It is a
Buddhist temple located about 0.5 km south of the Great Buddha.
This temple has the wooden statue of the Goddess of Kannon with 11 faces. It is one of the biggest wooden statues in Japan, and is 9.18 meters high.
In 721, two Kannon statues were created from a big tree.
One was enshrined in Hase temple in Nara Prefecture. And the other was floated in the sea.
The statue was washed up on the shore near Kamakura 15 years later.
It is said that this temple was founded for the statue in 736.
A route runs to northwest from
Tsurugaoka Hachiman shrine.
Between the shrine and JR Kita-Kamakura station, there are several popular temples along the route for about 2 km.
By JR Yokosuka Line, to Kamakura
station, about 52-58 minutes from Tokyo, about 24-28 minutes from
Kita-Kamakura is next to Kamakura station. Between both stations, it takes about 3 minutes.
The terminal stations are Kamakura
and JR Fujisawa on Tokaido Line.
The train runs from Kamakura, through Shichirigahama and Enoshima, to Fujisawa.
It takes 34 minutes from Kamakura to Fujisawa.