Experience the ancient temples and green town of Kamakura combined with nearby Yokosuka, on the Bay of Tokyo, well known for its naval base and harbour. Climb aboard the Mikasa battle ship used in the war and tour the military port by boat.
- Discover the quiet temples of ancient Kamakura, also known as "little Kyoto"
- Tour the nearby Yokosuka military port by boat
- Climb aboard the old Mikasa, a battleship from the Russo-Japan war
Of the many programs taking you around lovely Kamakura, here is one with a nautical twist!
After enjoying the ancient temples in and around Kamakura, you will head towards nearby Yokosuka to get a bit of naval history. Cruise the harbour and climb aboard the Mikasa, a warship used in the Russo-Japan war.
Kamakura is just an hour from Tokyo but offers yet another world. It is also known as "little Kyoto" because of its greenery and hundreds of wooden temples.
Kenchoji is the number one of Kamakura's five great Zen temples, and the oldest of them all. It has an impressive gate and when you climb all the way through towards the end of the grounds you will get a nice panorama view over the hills.
Tsurugaoka Hachimangu is Kamakura's most important shrine. It was founded in 1063 by Minamoto Yoriyoshi. The shrine is dedicated to Hachiman, the patron god of the Minamoto family and of the samurai class in general. For many Japanese a visit and offering at this shrine is a must, especially on religious days. Therefore it is a great spot to watch the locals going about their rituals.
The Hase temple, or Hasedera, is a little outside of central Kamakura but should not be missed. It combines a lovely garden with great views across the bay and of course there you will find the golden statue of Kannon, the goddess of mercy. This statue shows Kannon with eleven heads, each representing a characteristic of the goddess. The 9.18 meter tall, gilded wooden statue is regarded as one of the largest wooden sculpture in Japan, and can be found in the temple's main building, the Kannon-do Hall.
From Hasedera it is a very short walk to go and meet the large bronze Buddha you may have already spotted peering over the trees. "The Great Buddha of Kamakura" (the Kamakura Daibutsu) is a bronze statue standing on the grounds of Kotokuin Temple. With a height of 13.35 meters, it is the second tallest bronze Buddha statue in Japan.
From here you continue to Kamakura station, by local bus or by a short hop on the scenic Enoden electric line. Change trains and cross the peninsular to Yokosuka, well known for its naval bases, both Japanese and American. Sometimes submarines can be seen mored just across from the train station!
It is a pleasant stroll to the park where the Mikasa awaits you. Mikasa is a battleship built for the Imperial Japanese Navy in the late 1890s, and was the only ship of her class. It was the flagship of Admiral Togo Heihachiro throughout the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–1905, including the Battle of Port Arthur. You can climb aboard and all over it.
Smell the salt on a boat trip across the military harbour and come closer to the various warships mored at Yokotsuka on most days.
Return to Tokyo by a direct train at the end of this exciting one-day trip.
Summary of the tour:
- meet your guide in Kamakura
- explore the Kenchoji Temple, the Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine, the Hasedera Temple and its garden, and the Great Buddha of Kamakura
- head for Yokotsuka by train (not included in the tour price)
- climb onto the warship Mikasa
- make a boat trip in the military harbour
- return to Tokyo by train (not included in the tour price)
At Kita-Kamakura railway station, 1 station before Kamakura on a direct JR line from Tokyo