Kamakura (鎌倉) is a coastal town in Kanagawa Prefecture, less than an hour south of Tokyo. The town became the political center of Japan, when Minamoto Yoritomo chose it as the seat for his new military government in 1192. The Kamakura government continued to rule Japan for over a century, first under the Minamoto shogun and then under the Hojo regents.

After the decline of the Kamakura government in the 14th century and the establishment of its successor, the Muromachi government in Kyoto, Kamakura remained the political center of Eastern Japan for some time before losing its position to other cities.

Today, Kamakura is a small city and a very popular tourist destination. Sometimes called the Kyoto of Eastern Japan, Kamakura offers numerous temples, shrines and other historical monuments. In addition, Kamakura's sand beaches attract large crowds during the summer months.

Top attractions in Kamakura

4
Hiking

Hiking Trails

Hiking trails in Kamakura's wooded hills.
4.0 / 5
620
5
Shrine

Enoshima

Pleasantly touristy island near Kamakura.
4.0 / 5
934
11
Temple

Jomyoji Temple

Number five of the top five Zen temples.
4.0 / 5
49
15
Temple

Tokeiji Temple

Former refuge for abused wives.
3.6 / 5
441
16
Temple

Jochiji Temple

Fourth most important Zen temple.
3.6 / 5
448
18
Beach

Beaches

About the sand beaches of Kamakura.
3.1 / 5
1,305

Access and Orientation