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Tsurugaoka Hachimangu (߉{, Tsurugaoka Hachimangū) is Kamakura's most important shrine. It was founded by Minamoto Yoriyoshi in 1063, and enlarged and moved to its current site in 1180 by Minamoto Yoritomo, the founder and first shogun of the Kamakura government.

The shrine is dedicated to Hachiman, the patron god of the Minamoto family and of the samurai in general. The deified spirits of the ancient Emperor Ojin who has been identified with Hachiman, Hime-gami and Empress Jingu are enshrined at Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine.

The shrine is reached via a long, wide approach that leads from Kamakura's waterfront through the entire city center, with multiple torii gates along the way. The main hall (Hongu or Jogu) stands on a terrace at the top of a wide stairway. The main hall includes a small shrine museum, which displays various treasures owned by the shrine, such as swords, masks and documents.

To the left of the stairway stood until 2010 a large ginkgo tree, which predated the shrine, and was once used as a hideout in an ambush attack on a shogun. Every autumn, the tree turned beautifully golden, but it did not survive a winter storm in March 2010. At the base of the stairway stands the Maiden, a stage for dance and music performances. Other structures on the shrine grounds include the Wakamiya Shrine, a secondary shrine to the right of the stairway and various auxiliary buildings.

Flanking the main approach to the shrine are two ponds. One pond represents the Minamoto Clan and has three islands, while the other represents the Taira Clan, the Minamoto's arch rivals, and has four islands, as the number four can be pronounced the same as "death" in Japanese. A garden, known for its peonies, surrounds the Minamoto Pond halfway. It is open seasonally in spring and winter and costs 500 yen to enter.

Various events are held at the shrine throughout the year. During the New Year holidays, it registers over two million visitors, making it one of the country's most popular shrines for hatsumode (the year's first visit to a shrine). In mid April and mid September, horseback archery (yabusame) is performed along the main approach to the shrine.

Getting there and around

Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine can be reached from Kamakura Station either through the busy Komachi-dori shopping street, or along the Dankazura, a pedestrian path in the center of Wakamiya Oji Street that is lined with several hundred cherry trees. Via either route, the walk from Kamakura Station to the shrine takes about 10-15 minutes.

How to get to and around Kamakura

Hours and Fees

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Hotels around Kamakura

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    • CASA Kamakura Espresso PUB&BED
      Budget-friendly
      Situated in Kamakura, 400 metres from Yuigahama Beach, CASA Kamakura Espresso PUB&BED features rooms with air conditioning and free WiFi. The property is around 2.8 km from Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine, 2.1 km from Zeniarai Benzaiten and 5 km from Engaku-ji Temple. Gokuraku-ji Temple is less than 1 km away and Riviera Zushi Marina is 3.4 km from the guest house. The rooms have a private bathroom, slippers and bed linen. The guest house offers a ? la carte or American breakfast. Guests at CASA Kamakura Espresso PUB&BED will be able to enjoy activities in and around Kamakura, like hiking. Popular points of interest near the accommodation include Zaimokuza Beach, Hasedera Temple and Great Buddha. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda International Airport, 55 km from CASA Kamakura Espresso PUB&BED.
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    • Guest House Irodori Kamakura
      Budget-friendly
      Guest House Irodori Kamakura is set in Kamakura, 1.3 km from Hasedera Temple and 1.5 km from Zeniarai Benzaiten. With a shared lounge, the 1-star guest house has air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi, each with a shared bathroom. The accommodation offers a 24-hour front desk, a shared kitchen and organising tours for guests. At the guest house, all rooms have a desk. All guest rooms will provide guests with a microwave. Guests at Guest House Irodori Kamakura can enjoy an Asian or a vegetarian breakfast. The accommodation offers a sun terrace. Guests at Guest House Irodori Kamakura will be able to enjoy activities in and around Kamakura, like cycling. Popular points of interest near the guest house include Yuigahama Beach, Zaimokuza Beach and Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda International Airport, 54 km from Guest House Irodori Kamakura.
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    • Guesthouse Kamakura Rakauan
      Budget-friendly
      Boasting a garden, Guesthouse Kamakura Rakauan is set in Kamakura in the Kanagawa region, 150 metres from Yuigahama Beach and 1 km from Zaimokuza Beach. With free WiFi, this 1-star hostel offers a shared kitchen and a shared lounge. The accommodation offers babysitting service and luggage storage space for guests. All guest rooms come with air conditioning, a microwave, a fridge, a kettle, a shower, a hairdryer and a desk. The units feature a shared bathroom, free toiletries and bed linen. Guests at the hostel will be able to enjoy activities in and around Kamakura, like hiking and cycling. Popular points of interest near Guesthouse Kamakura Rakauan include Hasedera Temple, Great Buddha and Gokuraku-ji Temple. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda International Airport, 56 km from the accommodation.
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    • Kamakura Guest House
      Budget-friendly
      Nestled a 10-minute walk away from Shonan-Fukasawa Monorail Station, traditionally-built Kamakura Guest House offers free WiFi in public areas. A shared fully-equipped kitchen and shower rooms are on site. JR Kamakura Station is located 1.5 km away from the guest house. There is a bar and 2 shower rooms on site. There are no bath towels, but hairdryers are available. The property also offers bicycle hire for a convenient way to explore the city. For guests' convenience, luggage storage is offered on the day guests check in and out. Rooms are air-conditioned and the common room features an irori, a traditional Japanese hearth (from October to March), where guests can experience cooking fish the traditional way. Meals are not offered at the property - guests can either dine at restaurants near the property or purchase food from a convenience store or supermarket.
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    • Zen Vague
      Budget-friendly
      Featuring a fitness centre, garden and views of garden, Zen Vague is located in Kamakura, 100 metres from Yuigahama Beach. The property is situated 2.8 km from Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine, 2.2 km from Zeniarai Benzaiten and 5 km from Engaku-ji Temple. The property is 1.4 km from Gokuraku-ji Temple and 2.9 km from Riviera Zushi Marina. With a shared bathroom, rooms at the guest house also offer free WiFi, while selected rooms are fitted with a balcony. Zen Vague offers a terrace. Popular points of interest near the accommodation include Zaimokuza Beach, Hasedera Temple and Great Buddha. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda International Airport, 55 km from Zen Vague.
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    • Guest House Kamejikan
      Budget-friendly
      Just 250 metres from Zaimokuza Beach, Guest House Kamejikan is 1.5 km from JR Kamakura Train Station. It offers simple non-smoking Japanese rooms and dormitory-style accommodation with free WiFi and shared showers. Guests at Kamejikan Guest House can sleep in a bunk bed in a dormitory room, or experience traditional futon bedding on a tatami (woven-straw) floor. All rooms are air-conditioned. Toilets are shared. Built 92 years ago as a family residence, Kamejikan is about 2 km from both the Kamakura Daibutsu Buddha Statue and Tsuruoka Hachimangu Shrine. Bicycle rental is offered. A shared-use fridge, free-use PC and free coffee/tea are available at the lounge, and a coin launderette is available. The shared showers are open 24/7. Bodyboards and yukata robes can be rented. Breakfast can be served with an advance reservation.
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    • Guest House Kamakura Zen-ji
      Budget-friendly
      Guest House Kamakura Zen-ji in Kamakura provides adults-only accommodation with a shared lounge and a garden. Around 100 metres from Yuigahama Beach, the property is also 1.1 km away from Zaimokuza Beach and offers free WiFi. Attractions in the area include Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine, 3.5 km away, or Zeniarai Benzaiten, located 2.9 km from the property. Rooms are complete with a shared bathroom, while certain rooms at the guest house also offer a seating area. Guests at Guest House Kamakura Zen-ji will be able to enjoy activities in and around Kamakura, like hiking and cycling. Popular points of interest near the accommodation include Hasedera Temple, Great Buddha and Gokuraku-ji Temple. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda International Airport, 56 km from Guest House Kamakura Zen-ji.
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    • guesthouse SHIBAFU
      Budget-friendly
      Guesthouse SHIBAFU has a restaurant, bar, a shared lounge and garden in Kamakura. With free WiFi, this 1-star guest house offers luggage storage space. Some rooms at the property have a terrace with a garden view. All rooms in the guest house are fitted with a kettle. Rooms are equipped with air conditioning, and some units at guesthouse SHIBAFU have a balcony. At the accommodation the rooms are fitted with bed linen and towels. Popular points of interest near guesthouse SHIBAFU include Yuigahama Beach, Zaimokuza Beach and Hasedera Temple. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda International Airport, 55 km from the guest house.
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    • Kiyaza Kamakura Resort
      Budget-friendly
      Providing free WiFi, Kiyaza Kamakura Resort is situated in Kamakura, 2.3 km from Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine and 1.7 km from Hasedera Temple. Among the various facilities are a garden, a terrace, as well as a bar. Great Buddha is 2.1 km from the guest house, while Zeniarai Benzaiten is 2.6 km away. Tokyo Haneda International Airport is 55 km from the property.
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    • WeBase Kamakura
      Mid-range
      Located a 3-minute walk from Yuigahama, WeBase Hostel Kamakura offers private and dormitory rooms in Kamakura. The property features a yoga studio where guests can take part in daily yoga classes, meditation and beach yoga sessions. Free WiFi is provided throughout the property. All rooms at WeBase Kamakura Hostel have air conditioning and heating. There are shared shower booths and a public bath. Superior Family Room comes with an en suite bathroom. WeBase Hostel Kamakura features a communal lounge and coin-operated laundry machines. Luggage storage is available at 24-hour front desk. The restaurant on site serves breakfast, as well as tea and coffee made with Fuglen Coffee Roasters coffee beans. Kamakura Station is a 4-minute train ride on the Enoshima Dentetsu Line or a 15-minute walk from the property. Enoshima Station can be reached via a 21-minute train ride.
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