DAYS IN KAMAKURA AND FUJISAWA, KANAGAWA

17 July 2019 Kamakura, Kanagawa, Japan

DAYS IN KAMAKURA AND FUJISAWA, KANAGAWA

After sharing with you all about Yokohama, it's time to talk about my days in Kamakura and Fujisawa, Kanagawa. Yes, another two cities to explore. I'm gonna admit that this post is gonna be a long post because I try my best to share all the info with you guys, so please bear with me until the end, I hope you guys enjoy reading it (even though it is lengthy).


(Kamakura)
Kamakura (鎌倉) is a coastal town in Kanagawa Prefecture, less than an hour south of Tokyo. The town became the political centre of Japan when Minamoto Yoritomo chose it as the seat for his new military government in the late 12th century. The Kamakura government continued to rule Japan for over a century, first under the Minamoto shogun and then under the Hojo regents.
After the decline of the Kamakura government in the 14th century and the establishment of its successor, the Muromachi government in Kyoto, Kamakura remained the political centre of Eastern Japan for some time before losing its position to other cities.
Today, Kamakura is a small city and a very popular tourist destination. Sometimes called the Kyoto of Eastern Japan, Kamakura offers numerous temples, shrines and other historical monuments. In addition, Kamakura's sand beaches attract large crowds during the summer months.


Komachi Street.





Komachi Dori (Komachi Street) is a long shopping street in Kamakura. The street is lined up with numbers of restaurants, cafes, and shops, which is perfect for walking around and spend your time before or after exploring temples and other historical monuments in Kamakura. Let’s check amazing shops and food in Komachi Dori Street!





Komachi Street is shopping heaven! Typical souvenirs to Kamakura’s limited items, the choice is unlimited! There are also several authentic shops selling Kimonos, Japanese knives and galleries. Enjoy shopping in Komachi street.

These chopsticks and chopstick holders are so pretty! They come in a variety of design and each of them is so so unique.




Kamakura Ichibanya is a senbei (rice cracker) shop in Kamakura, with over 60 varieties always available. Each cracker is hand-made and visitors have the opportunity to eat hot, newly made senbei right on the spot.

I bought quite a lot of rice crackers as souvenirs for my family.




Right after entering the Komachi Street, you will find the shop on your right side. The Ghibli shop in Kamakura is a must-visit place if you are a Ghibli lover. Don’t get too excited because the shop is full of Ghibli character goods you may wanna get them all!

Coincidentally, my power bank is  Totoro too! I guess it found its families.


Komachi Street is the place to eat and walk around. There are numbers of snacks sold there but here are some of the most popular and significant ones you may wanna try!

Details
Location : Komachi, Kamakura, Kanagawa.
How to access : Take a EAST exit at JR Kamakura station and walk to the left.

Great Buddha Kotoku-in.



The statue is commonly known as Kamakura Daibutsu (Great Buddha of Kamakura), a colossal copper image of Amida-butsu (Amitabha Buddha), is the principal image of Kotoku-in. The fact that it sits in the open air makes it unusual amongst large Buddha statues in Japan.




The Great Buddha, designated a National Treasure by the Japanese government, is some 11.3 meters tall and weighs around 121 tons. Though in size it falls short of the Great Buddha of Todai-ji Temple at Nara (an image of Rushana-butsu [Vairochana Buddha]), it essentially retains its original form; as such it is an invaluable example of Japanese historical Buddhist art. 

I have been to the Todai-ji Temple at Nara last year, it's great to visit another branch at other prefecture.




The temple gate holds a plaque inscribed with Kotoku-in’s official name “Daii-san.” The gate was moved together with a pair of Nio (Vajrapani) images, enshrined inside the gate, from another location and rebuilt at the beginning of the 18th century.




Temples in Kamakura are especially gorgeous and charming during the blooming season of the hydrangea. They're are in full bloom from about mid-June to early July. Meigetsuin Temple and Tokeiji Temple are best known for their hydrangeas.




At first, we all thought to visit the temple only. Who knows, we were surprised that we took so many beautiful photos with the pretty hydrangeas. What a great haul during the visit.

Kotoku-in (officially known as Daii-san Kotoku-in Shojosen-ji) belongs to the Jodo Sect, a traditional Buddhist sect founded by the priest Honen (1133–1212). Honen was a devotee of Amitabha, Buddha of the Western Pure Land. It is believed that the original vow of Amitabha Buddha is to liberate all beings, irrespective of sex, age or social standing, regardless of whether the individual has engaged in good or evil deeds in their lives. According to the Jodo Sect belief system, one only needs to chant the nenbutsu* to receive the protection of Amitabha and be reborn in his Pure Land. This is the teaching of the Jodo Sect as taught by Honen.

Details
Location : 4-2-28, Hase, Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture 248-0016, Japan.
Opening hours : April - September (8.00am - 5.30pm), October - March (8.00am - 5.00pm)
Admission fees : Adult (200 yen), Children 6-12 years old (150 yen)
How to access : Get off at JR Yokosuka Line Kamakura Station. Change to the Enoshima Electric Railway (bound for Fujisawa) and get off at Hase Station, the third stop (approx. seven minutes from Kamakura). Kotoku-in is a seven-minute walk from the station.


(Fujisawa)



The attraction of Fujisawa lies very much in its rich and varied nature which can be enjoyed all year round, from the blue seas surrounding Enoshima, to the wisteria flowers adorning the city.  Just a few minutes from the fashionable shopping area and other amenities that surround the station are the historic streets of Fujisawa. One of the fifty-three stages along the Tokaido Road, this area was once a flourishing inn town astride the main highway between modern-day Tokyo and Kyoto. Other historic attractions include Yugyo-ji Temple, which is the birthplace of the traditional Japanese Bon festival dance.


Did you know Fujisawa is home to one of the tourist spots included in the Michelin Green Guide?
That place is called "Enoshima". Enoshima has, from long ago, been an island steeped in legend, history, and faith, and is located just 50 kilometres from Tokyo, the island can be reached in a short time.


Enoshima has also been selected as the venue for the sailing competition during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. During the summer months, in particular, the beaches along the Shonan Coast are a popular destination for many young people. From the beaches and flowers to the many festivals, there are lots of attractions which can be enjoyed throughout the year. Making their way from the nearest station over to Enoshima, visitors cross over Enoshima Bentenbashi Bridge, from which the majestic World Heritage site Mt. Fuji can be seen. On the road approaching Enoshima Shrine, visitors can also enjoy fresh seafood from any of a number of restaurants lining the street.


Enoshima Island.
Enoshima is home to historic traditional Japanese inns with public baths and delicious fresh seafood. Come and relax at some of these historic establishments!

Enoshima Shrine.



Enoshima Shrine was first built at Iwaya in 552 upon the imperial order of Emperor Kinmei. Today, three shrines called Hetsunomiya, Nakatsunomiya, and Okutsunomiya, are collectively known as Enoshima Shrine, a name which it has held since the Shinto-Buddhism syncretism during the Meiji Period.



Bronze Torii Gate.

This bronze torii gate is located just over Enoshima Bentenbashi Bridge. Originally made of wood, the gate was rebuilt in bronze in 1821, and the names of the financial donors who helped pay for it are carved on the gate. The gate is a designated cultural property of Fujisawa City.


Benzaiten Nakamise Street.



From this bronze torii gate, a street stretches as far as the vermilion-lacquered gate in front of Zuishinmon, and passes through an area known as Monzen-machi (Temple Town). The street is lined with traditional Japanese inns, souvenir shops, and restaurants.

Who is Benzaiten? Benzaiten was originally an Indian God of Water, and it is believed that the Benzaiten faith in Japan began during the Nara Period. Together with the shrines on Miyajima (Hiroshima Prefecture), and Chikubushima (Shiga Prefecture), Enoshima is known as one of the three most famous shrines to Benzaiten in Japan.






Trying the kawaii manjū when we are visiting Enoshima Island. Manjū is a popular traditional Japanese confection. 

There are many varieties of manjū, but most have an outside made from flour, rice powder, kudzu and buckwheat and a filling of Anko, usually made from boiled adzuki beans and sugar.






There is also a type of snack that looks like marble print. So pretty! I'm actually want to give it a try but unfortunately, there is a long queue and we are rushing to the next destination, so eventually, we just gave up.


Hoanden (Octagonal Hall of Statues)



Situated next to Hetsunomiya Shrine, Hoanden is modeled on the Yumedono (Hall of Dreams) of Horyu-ji Temple in Nara. It is said that Minamoto no Yoritomo donated the statue of Happi-Benzaiten in 1182, with the statue of Myoon-Benzaiten (Hadaka, or Naked Benzaiten) being donated later during the Edo Period.

Details
Opening hours : Daily (8.30am - 4.30pm)
Admission fees : Adult (200 yen), Children 13-18 years old (100 yen), Children <13 years old (50 yen)


Enoshima Escar.
Constructed in 1959, "Enoshima Escar" was Japan's first outdoor escalator. At 106 meters in length, the escalator provides a total elevation of 46 meters over 4 sections. Compared to the 20 minutes it takes to climb the stone steps, Enoshima Escar gets you to the top in just 4 minutes. Enoshima Escar is recommended for visitors heading to Enoshima Shrine, Enoshima Samuel Cocking Garden, and Enoshima Sea Candle.
Notice: This escalator travels upwards only.

Details
Admission :
All sections
Adult (360 yen), Children (180 yen)
1-day passport
Adult (1,000 yen), Children (500 yen)


Enoshima Samuel Cocking Garden.



This botanical garden was established by English merchant Samuel Cocking during the Meiji Period, and its mix of Japanese and European influences gives the garden an exotic feel. At Enoshima Samuel Cocking Garden, visitors can enjoy a variety of seasonal plants and flowers all year round.




On the theme of international exchange, Fujisawa City also operates an "International Friendship Corner" inside the garden. Fujisawa City is currently sistered with Miami Beach (Florida, USA), Windsor (Ontario, Canada), Kunming (Yunnan, China), Boryeong (South Chungcheong, South Korea), and Matsumoto (Nagano, Japan).



*The Samuel Cocking Greenhouse Basement is open to the public during Enoshima Flower Festa only*






Those flowers are so pretty! Not just the popular hydrangeas but other flowers are so pretty too! How I wish I can bring these flowers back home and keep it in my house.

Details
Admission : Adult (200 yen), Children (100 yen)


Enoshima Sea Candle (Lighthouse Observation Tower).



This is a lighthouse observation tower located inside the Samuel Cocking Garden. Standing at a height of 59.8 meters, and 119.6 meters above sea level, the Sea Candle was rebuilt from the old lighthouse on the site and is now the largest privately owned lighthouse in Japan.




This symbolic tower of Enoshima provides stunning 360-degree panoramic views of Sagami Bay.
There are views of Mt. Fuji, and on clear days, visitors can hope to see as far as Yokohama Landmark Tower, Tokyo SkyTree, and Izu Oshima Island.

Details
Admission : Adult (500 yen) - Enoshima Samuel Cocking Garden Admission Fee 200 yen + Enoshima Sea Candle Admission Fee 300 yen
Children (250 yen) - Enoshima Samuel Cocking Garden Admission Fee 100 yen + Enoshima Sea Candle Admission Fee 150 yen


Iwaya Cave.


Carved by aeons of tidal erosion, the Iwaya Caves consist of two caves which are 152 meters and 56 meters deep respectively. These caves have long been the subject of religious faith, and during the Edo Period, many worshippers gathered here as a sacred site of the Benzaiten faith. Today, the caves are a popular tourist spot. From the exhibits on display here, visitors can get a sense of how Enoshima's history and culture have developed over the centuries.




The caves are divided into Cave 1 and Cave 2, with Cave 1 is further divided into Left-hand Side and Right-hand Side. Some say that the deepest point of the left-hand cave leads to the "Narusawa Ice Cave" on Mt. Fuji. At the back of the right-hand cave is the birthplace of Enoshima Shrine. It is said that in the past, during a visit to the caves, Benzaiten appeared to the Buddhist monk Kobo Daishi (also known as Kukai), and that also Minamoto no Yoritomo came here to pray for victory in battle.


Today, the caves are known as the number one spiritual site on Enoshima. Donated by pilgrims, the stone statues on display inside the caves are now considered important parts of Enoshima's historical and ethnological cultural heritage.

Candles are offered for free at Cave 1. Holding a candle in one hand, visitors can enjoy exploring the caves by candlelight. 

Details
Admission : Adult >16 years old (500 yen), Children 7-15 years old (200 yen)


Hotel : Kamakura Prince Hotel.

Kamakura Prince Hotel is located right off the shore of Shichirigahama beach, which is a part of the famous Shonan area of Sagami Bay.  They have 97 rooms all facing towards the ocean, you can see two of the most famous Japanese landscape Mt.Fuji and Enoshima Island right out of your window.





Kamakura is also known for being an ancient capital.  There are various shrines and temples including Kotokuin for you to visit. So please enjoy a romantic seaside view and tour of ancient Japan, when you visit Kamakura Prince Hotel.  

Always staying Prince Hotel at Kuala Lumpur but this is my first time staying the Prince Hotel in other country.


They also have a banquet hall for that could be used to parties up to 1.000 people. The view is spectacular!  Do you know there are many married couples held their wedding here? They even have a bridal dress shop here. So professional. How I wish my wedding is held here.


Le Trainon.
They have a French restaurant and a Japanese restaurant at the hotel for guests to enjoy.

Enjoy sea views that fill the windows as you savor authentic French cuisine featuring fresh ingredients from Sagami Bay.


We had a pleasant dinner on that day. Started with a glass of champagne, and then tuna as an appetizer, pan-seared sea bass, and chicken as the main course. Not to forget they served the cold corn soup too.



This dessert was probably one of the most unique desserts that I ever had.

It is actually a matcha ice cream covered with sweet potato paste. Served with a scoop of sorbet, raindrop cakes, jellies and nut pieces.

Taste a little bit sweet to me but overall taste delicious though.


The breakfast has so many varieties of foods and a great view to enjoy while we are having our breakfast. Overall, we had a pleasant stay here. 
Details
Location : 1-2-18 Shichirigahama-higashi, Kamakura Kanagawa, 248-0025 Japan
How to access :
From Narita Airport
  • Take N’EX (Narita Express) for Ofuna Station (about 1 hour 40 minutes),
    transfer to JR Yokosuka Line at Ofuna Station and get off at Kamakura Station (about 12 minutes),
    transfer to Enoden (Enoshima Electric Railway) from Kamakura Station to Shichirigahama Station (about 15 minutes).
  • About 8 minutes walk from Shichirigahama Station.
From Haneda Airport
  • Take Keikyu Airport Line for Yokohama Station (about 35 minutes),
    transfer to JR Yokosuka Line at Yokohama Station and get off at Kamakura Station (about 25 minutes),
    transfer to Enoden (Enoshima Electric Railway) from Kamakura Station to Shichirigahama Station (about 15 minutes).
  • About 8 minutes walk from Shichirigahama Station.

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KANAGAWA TRAVELOGUES

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