Easy hike through Kamakura

Seeking to combine some sight-seeing with a bit of hiking, I found a short hiking course in Kamakura, starting at Kita Kamakura Station and ending up near the Daibutsu, from where the walk can be extended until the sea shore.

The trail starts right next to Jochiji temple, and winds into the hills. I thought it would most likely be a very tame hike, but was pleasantly surprised by lots of nice knotty rises and boulders to clamber on. If you want there are smaller trails branching off, that go to other parts of Kamakura as well. The air is wonderfully fragrant and fresh, a very nice change after the urbanity that is Tokyo.

Eventually you will get to Genjiyama Park, and Kuzuharaoka Shrine (which specializes in marriage/love, as clearly denoted by the heart-shaped ema).

There are lots of extremely friendly kitties around the park, and I found two in particular who were happy to let me pet them (always a plus). Heading out of the park you can pop into Zeniarai Benzaiten, a famous temple where you wash your money in the sacred spring, in hopes that it will multiply.

The last bit of the trail was a bit urban, as you pass through a tunnel and residential area to get to the Daibutsu. If you like looking at expensive houses it is a great chance to see some excellent examples of the 'faux-cottage' architecture much beloved by wealthy Japanese home owners.

The Daibutsu is serene as always, calm against the bright blue sky. The Kamakura Buddha is probably my favorite amongst the famous giant Buddha statues, as he seems particularly chill and friendly... although I guess that is the point.

On the way down to the beach stop at Hasedera, which is extremely popular in early summer, when their famous hydrangeas are in bloom.
Don't forget to go into the Benzaiten cave, which is filled with tiny little figures of the goddess. A little stall on the grounds sells vegetarian dumplings, which you can enjoy while overlooking the sea.

To round out the trail walk past Hase Station (which is truly adorable, with its tiny little tracks and tiny little train), past a very distinctive pink and white torii gate and down to the sea shore.

I really recommend this trail, it is not very hard but you still get some nature time, without having to worry about not finding a train to get you home.

Want more ideas of fun things to do in Tokyo and Yokohama? Check out:

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