Starting from Kamakura Station, the tour proceeds along Wakamiya- Oji Dori ("Young Prince Avenue"), built by Minamoto Yoritomo to pray for the safe delivery of his first son, and heads
for Tsurugaoka Hachimangu, Japan's third most important Shinto shrine, also built by the first shogun, with stops by the giant red torii at the entrance to the shrine complex, the Taiko Bridge which was once reserved for the shogun's exclusive use, the Genji-Heike Ponds filled with
lotus blooms in summer, the Maiden Prayer Hall and other places of interest on the sprawling grounds, including the Great Stone Steps leading up to the Main Shrine, from where visitors can enjoy a panoramic view of the city and its scenic surroundings.
From the shrine, the tour goes down Komachi-dori, the city's main tourist hub, a bustling street lined on both sides with shops and stalls, each one packed with its own colorful display of sweets and snacks (some of which are Kamakura specialties), souvenirs and novelties, arts
and crafts, trinkets to fine jewelry made by local artisans. Cafes and restaurants serve food varying from sushi to spaghetti. As an alternative option, guests may choose to go from
Hachimangu Shrine to Hokokuji Temple (a quick ride on a local bus), renowned for its graceful bamboo grove and one of Kamakura's finest examples of a Japanese dry garden.
The Great Buddha & Hasedera Temple
After meeting up at Kamakura Station, the tour guests take a short bus ride to Kotokuin Temple, home of the Great Buddha, or Daibutsu, a monumental bronze statue measuring 11.4 meters tall. Cast in 1252, this revered icon has stood out in the open since the original temple was swept away by a tsunami in the late 15th century. Here Peter will recount the history as well
as the significance of the architectural features of this national cultural treasure.
From the Great Buddha, a stroll past quaint shops selling all sorts of snacks and souvenirs
takes the tour guests to another must-see tourist destination, Hasedera, a cluster of temples
spread out over several levels, with Japanese-style gardens, koi (Japanese carp) ponds,
caves with wall carvings, and many other points of historical and cultural interest. Inside the main temple at the top stands a mysterious eleven-headed Kannon statue, said to have been washed ashore on Sagami Bay. From an observation deck, tour guests can enjoy a sweeping view of the same tranquil bay. The tour ends at Hase Station for the short journey back to Kamakura Station on the vintage Enoden Line.
"We were very satisfied with the tour. "
From a customer's review.