Our first stop was Hachimangu, we followed one of the main streets to get there. Unfortunately, the cherry blossoms were not out yet but we enjoyed the peaceful garden. Near the temple, there’s Komachi street which is one of the main shopping streets. Kamakura has a lot of cute indie shops, and the streets around the station have a lot of small coffee and restaurants. I counted so many French words in the shop names, it’s funny!
We walked to Yuigahama beach, though it was still early (before noon), it was incredibly sunny and we were already roasting under the sun 😛 From there, we went to Hasedera. It’s a big Buddhist temple and one of the favorites I visited because there are so many things to see there. It houses the Kyozo, where Buddhist sutras are stored in the “rinzo”, a rotating bookshelf. I first saw the Kyozo in a VR exhibition at the library in Montreal (Library at Night), I never imagined I would see it in real life 🙂 Hasedera was also home to a beautiful pond/garden and had a large variety of flowers. There was a small path to go further up and admire the view of the city. People pray there for the souls of unborn children and also for easy baby delivery (among other things).
We walked a street filled with shops and signs to indicate our next stop: Kotoku-in, the most visited place in Kamakura, the house of the Great Buddha. To be completely honest, while the Buddha is impressive, I think it doesn’t deserve to be the most visited spot in the city… Apart from seeing the Buddha, there’s not much to do in the temple.
We stopped by Zeniarai Benten. It’s yet another temple but this one is very interesting because the entrance is a tunnel by a road. This is also where people go wash their money believing it would double the amount.
Moving on, we took the hiking trails. It was so special to have hiking trails in the city, it was really quiet and peaceful, it really felt like we were out of town on the trails, and it offered beautiful views. They were legit hiking trails: not paved and it was sometimes steep.
For dinner, we went to Kamakura Miyoshi, an udon place near Komachi Street, and it was delicious. There’s two options for udon: cold or hot. If hot, it will come in a soup, if cold, it will come in some kind of basket. You eat udon by dipping the noodles in different sauces/soups.
Stay: Webase Kamakura
In Kamakura, we stayed 2 nights at WeBase Hostel. It didn’t feel like a regular hostel, they have tatami rooms and a lot of the other guests were Japanese families (from grandparents to young kids). It’s super clean and they have both public bath and private shower booths. The dorms were very small but well arranged and the “pods” were really comfortable. Our dorm was 4 beds, but we were next to another 6 beds (different door and keys but in reality, the same room). The bed structure made a natural separation between the dorms. 2 nights for 2 people cost us 100 CAD total, and the breakfast is included! We liked our stay here!