History and spirituality by the coast in Kamakura

G'Day Japan! / Historic Sites / History and spirituality by the coast in Kamakura

One of my favourite places in Japan is Kamakura, a historic coastal town surrounded by nature, just one hour from Tokyo. The best way to explore is by foot – a stroll is a great way to soak up the relaxed atmosphere, and there are street vendors offering traditional snacks by the wayside.

You can walk to Hokoku-ji, a Zen temple that features beautiful moss and stone gardens, and an enchanting bamboo forest. It’s possible to try traditional ‘Zazen’ meditation on Saturdays at Engaku-ji, which is one of the five great Zen temples.

The most famous icon of Kamakura is Kotoku-in, a Buddhist temple featuring a breathtaking 13-metre tall Buddha statue, thought to have been completed in 1252. I recommend using the short hiking track from Engaku-ji. Also don’t forget to try ‘Shirasu’ seafood, the speciality of the area!


Max Forrest

Max became fascinated by Japan after making friends with a Japanese transfer student while growing up in Sydney, and has been living there for four years running.



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The fairly metropolitan prefecture that is Kanazawa is located south of Tokyo. Its capital city, Yokohama, is known as an industrial city. Kanazawa is also home to Kamakura, a coastal town with historic sites, including the Great Buddha of Kamakura.