Komachi, Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture 248-0006, Japan
Komachi Dori: A street worth walkingThis main shopping street in Kamakura is packed with visitors year-round, tourists and locals alike. There is a good mix (product and price-wise) of places to spend your yen – from shops selling everything hello kitty to fancy pottery and restaurants serving traditional meals to stalls selling snacks. If you only have a few hours to spend in Kamakura, do take some time (an hours or so) to walk peruse this street on your way to the city’s most important Shinto shrine, Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gū. Come hungry so you can pause at the many food stalls to taste some traditional Japanese quick eats, like takoyaki (fried dough balls stuffed with octopus- tako), fresh-made sembe (rice crackers in range of flavors, like shrimp – ebi – or sweet soy sauce), pickled everything, and the purple sweet potato, black sesame, or green macha soft serve the town is known for. If you’re in a hurry and need to walk straight through without stopping, you’ll still enjoy the people watching and window shopping. Every time I walk down this street I spot something new and totally Japan, like umbrellas that change colors when it rains and cloth purses made out of intricately folded handkerchiefs -- so much stuff you’ll never really need, but still think, “Hey, ya, I could use that!” If you’re in Japan during cherry blossom season, make sure to walk along the sakura-lined Wakamiyo-oji street that runs parallel to Komachi-Dori.