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Day Trip from Tokyo: Kamakura's temples, shopping streets, and tasty treats

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Kamakura, a former capital of Japan teeming with historic shrines and temples, is about an hour south of Tokyo on the Yokosuka line. My favorites are Kita Kamakura's Engakuji (especially the tea terrace, a steep walk up stone steps up the far right cliff, when facing the temple) and Kenchoji temples (especially the walk up to Hansobo, a shrine perched on the mountain behind the temple, where you may catch a view of Mt. Fuji). Other musts: Great Buddha & snacking along the main shopping street.
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1520-1 Yamanouchi, Kamakura-shi, Kanagawa-ken 247-0062, Japan
A cozy spot to stop for a cake set or lunch. After you visit Engaku-ji walk away from the station toward Kencho-ji. You'll see Binya's across the street just before you reach Kencho-ji, which is my favorite temple in all of Kamakura. I went for...
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Japan, 〒248-0005 Kanagawa-ken, Kamakura-shi, Yukinoshita, 1 Chome−5−38 こもれび禄岸2番館1F
We are definitely coming back-- words we said throughout our meal at this cozy bistro tucked down a side street in the heart of Kamakura. He ordered the prefix and I ordered the mixed salad, roasted rosemary potatoes, and a margarita pizza,...
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Komachi, Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture 248-0006, Japan
This 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...
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1 Chome-5-34 Yukinoshita, Kamakura-shi, Kanagawa-ken 248-0005, Japan
If you need a break from traditional Japanese food or just to rest your feet after walking around Kamakura all day, relax in one of the many cafes (a few new ones popped up this past summer!) along and off of the side streets of Komachi-Dori. I...
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Komachi, Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture 248-0006, Japan
Let’s face it. Eating in Japan is an adventure. You take a bite of a little cake thinking you’re biting into a cute Buddha-shaped caked stuffed with chocolate only to find sugary sweet bean paste instead. What I love about this shop is that you...
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Komachi, Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture 248-0006, Japan
When I first moved to Japan, I met many fellow foreigners who collected everything – paintings, dolls, kimonos, obies, chopsticks, to name just a few. To avoid amassing knickknacks destined to be dust-bunny magnets, a friend and I devised a...
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4 Chome-2-28 Hase, Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture 248-0016, Japan
Most of our guests rank Kamakura's Great Buddha (Daibatsu) statue as one of their top ten highlights, if not their favorite. I can't blame them. Even on crowded days, one can't resist the feeling of serenity that envelops the grounds. From...
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8 Yamanouchi, Kamakura-shi, Kanagawa-ken 247-8525, Japan
One thing you're sure to notice in Japan is the myriad ranking systems for very particular categories. But when you explore the grounds of Kenchoji (a 10-minute walk from Kita-Kamakura station), it's easy to see how the place earned its top...