VIDEO| Virtual Vacation: Kamakura, Japan

Photos by Takahiro Takiguchi
Photos by Takahiro Takiguchi

VIDEO| Virtual Vacation: Kamakura, Japan

by Takahiro Takiguchi
Stripes Okinawa

Whether you’re working from home, sheltering in place or just staying home, if you’re like us, you’re probably dreaming of open skies, sandy beaches, tall mountains, or perfect powdery slopes. Our travel plans may be on hold, but that doesn’t mean we can’t dream up where we’ll go next.

Welcome to virtual vacation video series where we can explore destinations from the comfort of our homes.

Join us as we take a short virtual journey to Kamakura, Japan.

The great thing about this destination is that it is easily accessible within an hour from Tokyo and most of U.S. military bases in the Kanto Plain by car or via JR train. 

Known as Japan’s oldest samurai capital, Kamakura is a top-notch attraction. Here you’ll find unique samurai heritage, Daibutsu big buddha, numerous Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines, along with a beautiful coastline and Enoshima Island, which make Kamakura a great getaway.

Some of the must-see spots in Kamakura include:

・Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine - Founded by the first Shogun Minamoto Yoritomo in 1063, Tsurugaoka Hachimangu is a Kamakura's most important Shinto shrine. During the New Year holidays, over two million people make their hatsumode visit to the majestic shrine searching for good luck for the year. The main hall stands high on a terrace at the top of a wide stairway. Don’t miss the National Treasure Museum in the shrine field as it has an amazing collection of sculptures on display from artists based in the Kamakura and older eras. Nearby, Komachi-dori street is a popular street packed with shops selling many goods and souvenirs including tea, rice cookies, honey, origami and miniature figurines.

 

・Daibutsu (Great Buddha) - Built in 1252, Daibutsu, also known as Great Buddha is a large bronze statue sitting at 365 feet high and weighing 121 tons. This iconic landmark inside Kotoku-in Temple is in harmony with the surrounding landscape giving an air of Zen for the thousands of visitors it receives each year. You can even enter the inside of the statue to check out the traces of repeated reinforcement work and how the casting of this buddha has lasted hundreds of years.

 

・Enoshima Island - Enoshima Island is a small landmass about 3 miles in circumference off Shonan Beach. The scenic and historical location attracts tourists year-round while the island has been considered a holy place and a power spot – people believe that visiting it brings them happiness and fortune, along with progress in arts and studies since ancient times. “Escar” is a set of escalators which will take you up to the top of island in about four minutes. Enoshima is famous for its many cats, and their lovable gestures have repeatedly made them Instagram stars.

While you're there, don't forget to sample “Shirasu-don” an Enoshima classic of whitebait served over rice. This interesting popular local dish is rich in flavor and texture, so make sure you give it a try!

I hope you enjoyed a look at Kamakura through my travel photos and that it's inspired your next trip. Stay safe and get ready to travel with us in our next video. Thanks for watching!

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