Kamakura

Japan's de facto cultural and political capital from 1192 until its bloody and violent razing of 1333, Kamakura is a treasure trove of eccentric temples and interesting shrines.

Kamakura Map

“My favorite activity in Kamakura is walking along the beach to visit the shrines and temples (my favourite being Egara Tenjin Shrine). I love nothing better than buying some good bread on the way (Kibiya is my favourite), stopping for lunch and getting stuck into a good book while I'm there.”

Nanao Carey, Reservations & Admin

Located on the Pacific coast, Kamakura is a haven of peace and quiet. This is the perfect place to escape the stresses of Tokyo - where the only sea is one of people!

The most famous and revered sight at Kamakura is the giant seated Buddha who has meditated calmly here for over eight hundred years, framed by trees and (nowadays, at least) groups of camera-clicking tourists. He has survived fire, floods, tidal waves, typhoons and even the great earthquake of 1923, so it is no surprise that he is looking a little weather-beaten these days.

Famous the world over, the Buddha often overshadows some of Kamakura's more unusual temples and sights of interest, many of which are well worth your time. Thanks to its important position as one of Japan's former capitals (serving as the seat of shogun Minamoto Yoritomo's military government from 1192 to the mid-14th century), Kamakura boasts a number of interesting historical sites.

The Tokei-ji temple in Northern Kamakura, for example, is better known as the "divorce temple". In the days before women could apply to be separated from their husbands, they could seek refuge from domestic instability at this temple. After three years there, they were automatically granted a divorce.

At the Zeniara Benten Shrine, meanwhile, the Goddess of Fortune can help you double your money. If you wash your Japanese yen here and spend it quickly it will double its face value! Or so they say...

Another unusual little shrine is dedicated to the god of harvest, Inari, who manifests himself as a fox. Located deep in the forest, an avenue of torii gates wind their way up a hillside to the main shrine. All the time the lonely pilgrim is watched by tiny fox statues who peep out of the undergrowth.

With lots of hidden secrets, Kamakura is a charming town and makes for a fabulous day trip from Tokyo - or better still, an overnight stay.

Recommended Accommodation in Kamakura

The following are our favourites from among the western-style hotels and Japanese-style inns of Kamakura.

Experiences in Kamakura

Kamakura offers a wealth of exciting experiences that will help you get beneath the surface of Japan's fascinating culture. See below for a few of our favourites

Weather in Kamakura

The Climate Guide for Kamakura, Japan is perfect for planning your holiday. Monthly weather averages give the best indication of what the weather is usually like for every month of the year including figures for temperature, rainfall and sunshine.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max Daytime Temperature (°C) 10 10 13 18 22 24 28 30 26 22 17 13
Min Night-time Temperature (°C) 2 2 5 10 14 18 22 23 20 14 9 4
Hours of Sunshine (Daily) 5 5 5 5 6 4 5 6 4 4 5 5
Hours of Daylight (Daily) 10 11 12 13 14 14 14 13 12 11 10 10
Heat and Humidity Discomfort None None None None None Low Moderate High Low None None None
Days with some Rainfall 11 13 18 17 16 19 18 15 19 17 14 11
Monthly Rainfall (mm) 65 81 153 154 136 196 154 138 238 197 121 53
UV Index (Maximum) 3 4 6 8 9 10 10 10 8 6 3 2