Kamakura One Day Hike Tour with Government-Licensed Guide

3 Ratings
  • Live Guide
  • Instant Confirmation
  • Day Trip
  • Pickup Service
  • Private Tour
  • E-Ticket
  • 6 hr

Just one hour from Tokyo, Kamakura is the home of the samurai and is of great cultural importance to Japan. To start your day, meet your guide at your hotel, or the closest station. You will then set off to combat the Daibutsu Trail, which is 3.7 miles (6km) in length. The Daibutsu hiking trail runs between the Great Buddha (Daibutsu) in the south and the Jochi-ji Zen temple towards the north. The tour can be personalized according to your wishes. Just let the local partner know what you would like to experience, what time you would like to start your tour, and where you are staying. Note*1: Please select your must-see spots from a list in the tour information to create your customized itinerary. Note*2: The National Government Licensed Guide Interpreter certification is issued by the Japanese government requires a good knowledge and understanding of Japanese culture and history.

Itinerary Details

Operated by: Japan Guide Agency

This is a typical itinerary for this product

Stop At: Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine

The shrine is dedicated to Hachiman, the patron god of the Minamoto family and of the samurai in general. The deified spirits of the ancient Emperor Ojin who has been identified with Hachiman, Hime-gami and Empress Jingu are enshrined at Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine.

Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Kotoku-in (Great Buddha of Kamakura)

The Great Buddha of Kamakura (鎌倉大仏, Kamakura Daibutsu) is a bronze statue of Amida Buddha, which stands on the grounds of Kotokuin Temple. With a height of 11.4 meters, it has long been the second tallest bronze Buddha statue in Japan, surpassed only by the statue in Nara's Todaiji Temple and some recent creations.

Duration: 30 minutes

Stop At: Hase-dera Temple

Hasedera (長谷寺) is a temple of the Jodo sect, famous for its eleven-headed statue of Kannon, the goddess of mercy. The 9.18 meter tall, gilded wooden statue is regarded as one of the largest wooden sculpture in Japan and can be viewed in the temple's main building, the Kannon-do Hall

Duration: 30 minutes

Stop At: Hokokuji Temple (Takedera Temple)

Hokokuji Temple is best known for the beautiful, small bamboo grove found behind the temple's main hall, which lies thick with over 2000 dark green bamboo stalks. A few narrow pathways lead through the bamboo to a tea house where, for a small fee, you can sit and enjoy a cup of matcha tea while enjoying views into the bamboo grove. Also located behind the temple are a series of shallow caves carved into the hillsides, which are believed to hold the ashes of some of the later Ashikaga lords.

Duration: 30 minutes

Stop At: Kamakura Hiking Trails

Kamakura is surrounded by the ocean in the south and by wooded hills in all other directions. Attractive hiking trails lead through the woods along these hills and connect various atmospheric temples. They are a great way to travel between some of Kamakura's sights. Many of the trails do not take long to complete - typically between 30 to 90 minutes - and allow visitors to enjoy a mix of nature and cultural sights.

Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Enoshima Island

Only a short train ride west of Kamakura, Enoshima (江の島) is a pleasantly touristy island just off the coast but connected by bridge with the mainland. The island offers a variety of attractions, including a shrine, park, observation tower and caves. Views of Mount Fuji can be enjoyed on days with good visibility. Enoshima is divided into a yacht harbor accessible to motorized traffic and a forested hill which can only be explored on foot (and paid escalators) and contains most of the sights. Several shrine buildings, collectively known as Enoshima Shrine, are found around the island and are dedicated to Benten, a popular goddess of good fortune, wealth, music and knowledge. Benten is believed to have created Enoshima before subduing a five headed dragon that had been terrorizing the area.

Duration: 30 minutes

Stop At: Engaku-ji Temple

ngakuji (円覚寺) is one of the leading Zen temples in Eastern Japan and the number two of Kamakura's five great Zen temples. Engakuji was founded by the ruling regent Hojo Tokimune in the year 1282, one year after the second invasion attempt by the Mongols had been reverted. One purpose of the new temple was to pay respect to the fallen Japanese and Mongolian soldiers. Engakuji is built into the slopes of Kita-Kamakura's forested hills. The first main structure encountered upon entering the temple grounds is the Sanmon main gate, which dates from 1783. Behind it stands the temple's main hall, the Butsuden, which displays a wooden statue of the Shaka Buddha. The Butsuden was rebuilt relatively recently in 1964 after the former building was lost in an earthquake.

Duration: 30 minutes

Stop At: Kencho-ji Temple

Kenchoji (建長寺, Kenchōji) is the number one of Kamakura's five great Zen temples. The oldest Zen temple in Kamakura, Kenchoji was founded by the ruling regent Hojo Tokiyori in 1253 during the Kencho Era after which it was named. Its first head priest was Rankei Doryu, a Zen priest from China. Although considerably smaller than during its heydays, Kenchoji still consists of a large number of temple buildings and subtemples, and stretches from the entrance gate at the bottom of the valley far into the forested hills behind. After passing through the Sanmon main gate, visitors will see Kenchoji's temple bell (Bonsho), designated a national treasure, on their right.

Duration: 30 minutes

Stop At:

Zeniarai Benten Shrine (銭洗弁天) is a popular shrine in western Kamakura, which people visit to wash their money (zeniarai means "coin washing"). It is said that money washed in the shrine's spring, will double. Minamoto Yoritomo, the founder of the Kamakura government, ordered the shrine's construction after a god appeared in his dream and recommended him to build the shrine in order to bring peace to the country. Because the dream occurred on the day of the snake, in the month of the snake of the year of the snake, the shrine was later also dedicated to Benten, a Buddhist goddess associated with snakes.

Duration: 30 minutes

Stop At: Meigetsuin (Hydrangea Temple)

Meigetsuin Temple (明月院) is a temple of the Rinzai Zen Sect founded in 1160 in Kamakura. It is also known as Ajisaidera ("Hydrangea Temple") because hydrangea bloom in abundance on the temple grounds during the rainy season around June. 95% of the hydrangea here are of the Hime Ajisai ("Princess Hydrangea") variety; they are thus named because of their pretty blue colors. The temple was originally a repose built by a son in memory of his father who had died in the struggle for power between the Taira and Minamoto clans in the late Heian Period. It later became part of a larger temple complex called Zenkoji, which was abolished during anti-Buddhist movements soon after the Meiji Restoration, leaving only Meigetsuin to remain as an individual temple today.

Duration: 30 minutes

Stop At: Ankokuronji Temple

Ankokuronji (安国論寺) is one of several temples of the Nichiren sect of Japanese Buddhism along the hills in the southeast of Kamakura. Nichiren himself founded Ankokuronji around 1253 when he first came to Kamakura, and he is said to have lived at the temple for several years. Visitors can walk along a short hiking trail through the wooded hills around the temple buildings. A nice view of the city of Kamakura can be enjoyed underway. Some of the trail's passages are quite steep and should only be explored with good walking shoes and during dry weather.

Duration: 30 minutes

Stop At: Jomyo-ji Temple

Jomyoji Temple (浄妙寺, Jōmyōji) is a Zen temple in the hills of eastern Kamakura. Ranked fifth among the five great Zen temples of Kamakura, Jomyoji was founded by the influential Ashikaga family and at its peak was made up of seven buildings and several pagodas. Over the centuries, however, many of the structures were destroyed by fire, and only its historic main hall, reception hall, main gate and warehouse remain today. The main hall sits at the end of a garden and houses a statue of Shaka Nyorai, the historical Buddha. Jomyoji Temple also has a restored teahouse where visitors can sit and enjoy a cup of tea for a small fee while enjoying the view of a nice dry garden. On the hillside behind the main hall is the temple's spacious cemetery, while a path leads up the hill to a small western-style restaurant. The restaurant is operated by the temple and offers good views out over Kamakura from its patio.

Duration: 30 minutes

Stop At: Zuisenji

Zuisenji (瑞泉寺) is a beautiful Zen temple in the far east of Kamakura, in the back of a narrow valley and surrounded by wooded hills. It is a branch temple of the Engakuji Temple. Zuisenji was founded by Muso Kokushi, a leading Zen master of his time and one of Japan's most famous garden designers. The temple is known for its pure Zen rock garden behind the temple's main hall, designed by Muso himself. The temple furthermore attracts with its many flowers and blooming trees in the other parts of the temple grounds, including a large number of plum trees.

Duration: 30 minutes

Stop At: Myohonji Temple

Myohonji (妙本寺, Myōhonji) is one of several temples of the Nichiren sect of Japanese Buddhism along the southeastern hills of Kamakura. The temple was founded by Hiki Yoshimoto in 1260, and features a statue of Nichiren to the left of the main hall. The temple is connected via the Gionyama hiking trail with some other nearby temples and a shrine. It leads through the wooded hills of Kamakura, and should be explored only with good walking shoes and during dry weather, because there are a few steep and rough passages.

Duration: 30 minutes

Stop At: Jochiji Temple

Jochiji (浄智寺, Jōchiji) is the number four of Kamakura's five great Zen temples. It is a branch temple of the Engakuji school of the Rinzai sect of Zen Buddhism. Its head temple, the Engakuji Temple, stands just a few hundred meters away on the opposite side of the railway tracks. Jochiji was founded in 1283 by members of the ruling Hojo family on the occasion of the premature death of a son. Once a large temple complex with many buildings and subtemples, Jochiji is now small and calm. In its main hall, the Dongeden, the temple's main object of worship, a Buddhist trinity of the Amida Buddha, Shaka Buddha and Miroku Buddha, is displayed.

Duration: 30 minutes

Stop At: Tokeiji Temple

Tokeiji (東慶寺, Tōkeiji) is a small branch temple of the Engakuji school within the Rinzai sect of Zen Buddhism. Its head temple, the Engakuji Temple, stands just a few hundred meters away on the opposite side of the railway tracks. Tokeiji was founded by the wife of the regent Hojo Tokimune in 1285 after Tokimune had died at a young age. Until the end of the Edo Period, the temple served as a shelter for women who suffered abuse by their husbands and sought a divorce. An official divorce could be attained by staying at the temple for three years.

Duration: 30 minutes

Stop At: Jufukuji Temple

Jufukuji Temple (寿福寺) is the number three of Kamakura's five great Zen temples. It is a branch temple of the Rinzai sect's Kenchoji school. Jufukuji was established by the order of Minamoto Yoritomo's wife Masako after her husband had passed away. Its founding priest was none other than Eisai, the man responsible for introducing Zen Buddhism into Japan. Besides the often photographed pathway that leads towards the temple, Jufukuji is not open to the public.

Duration: 30 minutes
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