Discover Kamakura: A Family Travel Guide to Japan’s Iconic City

Introduction to Kamakura

Kamakura, a beautiful coastal city located just an hour away from Tokyo, is an ideal destination for families seeking a blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. This charming city is home to numerous temples, shrines, and traditional shops that provide a perfect introduction to Japanese history and culture for both adults and children alike. In this guide, we will explore some of the top family-friendly activities to enjoy in Kamakura, ensuring a memorable and enjoyable trip for the entire family.

Visit the Great Buddha at Kotoku-in Temple

One of the must-see attractions in Kamakura is the Great Buddha, or Daibutsu, a massive bronze statue that stands at the Kotoku-in Temple. This impressive monument, which is over 13 meters tall, will surely fascinate children and adults alike. The temple also offers a unique experience where visitors can enter inside the statue for a small fee. This is a great way to learn about the construction and history of this iconic statue.

Opening hours:

  • April – September: 8:00 am to 5:30 pm
  • October – March: 8:00 am to 5:00 pm

Explore the Enoshima Island

Just a short train ride from Kamakura, Enoshima Island offers a fantastic day trip for families. The island is home to the Enoshima Shrine, a beautiful and historic shrine that offers stunning views of the surrounding area. Children will love exploring the island’s caves and pathways, while adults can enjoy the fresh seafood available at the local restaurants. Don’t forget to visit the Enoshima Aquarium, which features a large variety of marine life, including dolphins, seals, and penguins. 🐬🐠

Stroll Through the Hasedera Temple

Hasedera Temple, known for its serene atmosphere and beautiful gardens, is a great place for families to unwind and take in the natural beauty of Kamakura. The temple grounds feature a variety of flowering plants, including hydrangeas, cherry blossoms, and peonies that bloom at different times of the year. Kids will enjoy feeding the koi fish in the temple’s pond, while adults can appreciate the peaceful ambiance and stunning views of the coastline.

Enjoy a Ride on the Enoden Line

The Enoden Line is a historic train line that runs between Kamakura and Fujisawa, offering a unique and enjoyable way to explore the area. The train journey takes passengers through scenic coastal landscapes, providing stunning views of the ocean and lush greenery. Families can stop at various stations along the line to visit popular attractions, such as the Enoshima Island and Hase Station, which is just a short walk from the Hasedera Temple. 🚂

Visit the Kamakura Museum of Literature

For families interested in Japanese literature and history, the Kamakura Museum of Literature is a must-visit. Housed in a beautiful Western-style building, the museum features exhibits dedicated to the works of prominent Japanese writers who were inspired by Kamakura. There is also a lovely garden and café where families can relax and enjoy a light meal or snack.

Take Part in a Traditional Tea Ceremony

One of the best ways for families to immerse themselves in Japanese culture is by participating in a traditional tea ceremony. Kamakura offers several tea houses and cultural centers where visitors can learn about the history and art of the tea ceremony, as well as try their hand at making their own tea. This is an excellent opportunity for both children and adults to gain a deeper understanding of Japanese customs and traditions. 🍵

Beach Fun at Yuigahama Beach

During the summer months, families can enjoy a day at the beach in Kamakura. Yuigahama Beach, located just a short walk from the city center, is a popular destination for both locals and tourists. With its soft sand and gentle waves, it’s an ideal spot for children to play and swim. Families can also rent beach equipment, such as umbrellas and beach chairs, to make their visit more comfortable. 🏖️


With its rich history, beautiful scenery, and family-friendly attractions, Kamakura is a fantastic destination for families looking to explore Japan. From visiting iconic temples to enjoying traditional cultural experiences, there are plenty of activities to keep visitors of all ages entertained and engaged during their visit to this charming coastal city.

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