5 Lesser-Known Photogenic Spots in Kamakura
1. Kuzuharaoka Shrine
A love-themed shrine with lots of little details to find and immortalize
Located along the Daibutsu Hiking Course from Kita-Kamakura to Hase, this shrine is immersed in the nature of the Genjiyama Park. Kuzuharaoka is especially popular as a shrine for matchmaking, as you will notice from the characteristic heart-shaped Ema (wooden placques where people write threir prayers). Everything here seems to be love-themed from luck charms to the fortune-telling omikuji. You can also tie a red rope with a 5 yen coin onto the Enmusubi Ishi, the stones of marriage, to secure your love fortune. I also loved the spot where you pay 100 yen and smash a little clay plate on a rock to ward off bad luck.
InformationKuzuharaoka Shrine | 葛原岡神社
Address: 5-9-1 Kajiwara, Kamakura-shi, Kanagawa prefecture (MAP)
Access: Approx. 25 min. walk from JR Kita-Kamakura Station
Website (Japanese only): http://www.kuzuharaoka.jp/
2. Sasuke Inari Shrine
Foxes. Foxes everywhere.
When I first visited this shrine I was especially surprised by the fact that it isn't as popular as other spots in Kamakura. I knew of it because of the line of red torii gates that leads to the entrance, but upon visiting I realized that this isn't the most interesting aspect of it at all.
At Sasuke Inari Shrine, the grounds are literally covered in hundreds of tiny fox statues. Kitsune fox statues are commonly found at Inari shrines like this one. Here, they're lined up in front of the main shrine, stacked under the gate, scattered on the entire grouds and even in the surrounding forest. These statues give the shrine a fairytale-like atmosphere, and it is my personal reccommendation to visit it if you want to snap some stunning shots.
Pro tip: if you don't mind a short hike in the woods, come to the shrine via the Daibutsu Hiking Course from Kita-Kamakura Station rather than from Kamakura station. Instead of just entering from the main gate, you'll start catching sight of the little statues among the trees before getting to the actual shrine. The experience is magical. Also, you'll get to visit other shrines on the way.
InformationSasuke Inari Shrine | 佐助稲荷神社
Address: 2-22-12 Sasuke, Kamakura-shi, Kanagawa prefecture (MAP)
Access: Approx. 20 min. walk form JR Kamakura Station / approx. 30 min. walk from JR Kita-Kamakura Station
3. Views of the 'Enoden'
Explore for hidden spots to photograph this charmy old-fashioned train
Let's not forget that temples and shrines are not the only pretty looking things in the city. Extremely popular among Japanese people, the Enoshima Electric Railway or Enoshima Dentetsu (affectionately shortened to Enoden) is a two-car local train that connects Kamakura to Enoshima. There are many spots along its path that are great for pictures, offering views of the train zigzaging through cute residential areas, disappearing behind flowery bushes and running along the sea.
In this picture you can see a popular spot in front of the Goryo Shrine where you can get great views of the train, especially when the hydrangeas blossom in June.
InformationEnoshima Electric Railway | 江ノ島電鉄
Access: Board the train at JR Kamakura station and stop at any stop you want. Alternatively, you can also follow the tracks.
*The picture above was taken in front of Goryo Shrine, a 5-minute walk from Hase station (MAP)
|■Read more about the Enoden on DiGJAPAN!
◇Travel by Enoshima Electric Railway one-day tickets to Kamakura/Enoshima
4. Kannon Coffee Kamakura
A sweeter 'Great Buddha' on the way to the real one
InformationKANNON COFFEE kamakura
Address: 3-10-29 Hase, Kamakura-shi, Kanagawa prefecture (MAP)
Access: 3 min. walk from Hase station on the Enoshima Electric Railway
Website (Japanese only): http://kannon-coffee-kamakura.business.site/
5. Imoyoshi Yakata
A special place hidden in plain sight
Lastly, another often overlooked gem in another touristy spot. Komachi Street leads visitors from right outside Kamakura station to Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gu, one of the most famous shrines in the city. Among all the shops offering delicious street food, local beer and colorful souvenirs it's easy to miss this one.
The shop specializes in sweet potato treats, with the highlights being sweet potato croquettes and soft serve ice cream. If you grab the latter, make sure you also get the marshmallow topping for the cutest snack. The marshmallows, in my opinion, are also a great texture match with the ice cream.
InformationImoyoshi Yakata Komachi Street Shop | いも吉館 小町通り店
Address: 2-8-4 Komachi, Kamakura-shi, Kanagawa prefecture (MAP)
Access: 5 min. walk from JR Kamakura station
Website (Japanese only): http://imoyoshi.com/
I hope this list inspired you to find more hidden places in Kamakura. As for all popular tourist destinations, many times the most magical places are away from the crowds. And sometimes, it's still worth to brave the tourist crowds to find some hidden gems.
About the author
Laura is an Italian living and working in Tokyo. She loves exploring hidden and unknown places, taking pictures and listening to Punk Rock music. When she’s not busy doing the above, she might enjoy a craft beer or play the sanshin (an Okinawan instrument similar to a shamisen).
Liked this story? Like DiGJAPAN!
on Facebook for daily updates!
THIS ARTICLE IS BASED ON INFORMATION FROM 06 29,2018 Author：DiGJAPAN! Editorial Team