10 Best Cherry Blossom Spots in Kamakura: Enjoy the Elegance of an Ancient City Only an Hour From Tokyo!

Kamakura City in Kanagawa Prefecture, just an hour from Tokyo by train, has a calm and tranquil atmosphere. Full of a range of temples this is a popular spot to immerse yourself in a historical environment just a quick jump from the city. If you visit during cherry blossom, or sakura season, you can savor an even more beautifully Japanese atmosphere. Here are 10 recommended sakura viewing spots in Kamakura.

Kamakura

Things to Do

1. Kotokuin, Hase

This is one of the large Buddha statues (Daibutsu) that you often see in Japan guidebooks. The Daibutsu in Kotoku-in Temple here is said to have been made in the 13th century. In the spring, a wonderful sakura tree blooms to the right of the approximately 11 metre-tall statue.

Daibutsu and sakura. It’s hard to find a more Japanese scenery that this! Of course the Daibutsu is wonderful to look at in other seasons, as well but if you visit during sakura season you can take a photo that’s good enough to be published in any guidebook.

There are about 50 trees planted on the grounds. Although the Daibutsu will steal your attention, be sure to try walking around the historical temple and the grounds to appreciate the sakura.

You can visit this temple via Kamakura's charming tran line, the Enoshima Electric Railway, or Enoden. If you want to know about this retro line and how to use it to see Kamakura in style, check out our Complete Guide to Kamakura and Enoshima with the Enoden.

Peak cherry blossom period: Late March - Early April


About Kotokuin

Opening Hours: 8:00 am - 5:30 pm (April - Sept), 8:00 am - 5:00 pm (Nov - March)

Closed: Never

Price: Middle school and up: 200 yen, Elementary school: 150 yen

Access: 7 minute walk from Hase Station on the Enoshima Electric Railway

Address: 4-2-28 Hase, Kamakura-shi, Kanagawa (Google Map)

Website (English): www.kotoku-in.jp/en/

Website (Japanese): www.kotoku-in.jp

2. Tsurugaoka Hachimangu, Kamakura

Tsurugaoka Hachimangu is a shrine with many tourists even for Kamakura. Said to have been founded the 11th century, the current main shrine was constructed in the 19th century. The spacious grounds have many sakura trees as well as all sorts of other highlights.

The Genpei pond is particularly recommended. The blooming sakura trees along the side of the pond have branches that reach over the water. The reflection on the pond and the petals fallen on the surface of the water looks as as beautiful as a painting. You might find yourself having a hard time moving away from here!

The path leading to the shrine, a raised path called “dankazura”, is also a famous place for sakura viewing. During sakura season, the trees planted along the path leading to the shrine creates a pink tunnel of flowers.

Peak cherry blossom period: Late March - Early April


About Tsurugaoka Hachimangu

Opening Hours: 5:00 am - 9:00 pm (April - Sept), 6:00 am - 9:00 pm (Oct - March

Closed: Never

Price: Free

Access: 10 minute walk from Kamakura Station on the Enoshima Electric Railway and the JR Yokosuka line

Address: 2-1-31 Yukinoshita, Kamakura-shi, Kanagawa (Google Map)

Website (English): www.tsurugaoka-hachimangu.jp

Website (Japanese): www.hachimangu.or.jp

3. Kenchoji, Kitakamakura

Kencho-ji is a buddhist temple that was built in the 13th century. This is a quiet place surrounded by mountains, with sakura trees that greet you as soon as you enter. The surrouding mountains are also colorful with cherry blossom trees. 

The shape of the sakura trees are lovely and when they’re in full bloom, with blossoms so dense you can't see through. The grounds are dotted with historical shrines, giving you plenty to do.

The sakura near to the triple gate, one of the country’s Important Cultural Properties, is a particularly beautiful and popular spot. The sakura branches that stretch out and surround the gate are so lovely it’s almost like they were planned. Even the imposing triple gate takes on a gentle atmosphere when surrounded by cherry blossoms.

Peak cherry blossom period: Late March - Early April


About Kenchoji

Opening Hours: 8:30 am - 4:30 pm

Closed: Never

Price: Adults: 300 yen, Children: 100 yen

Access: 20 minute walk from Kitakamakura Station on the JR Yokosuka line

Address: 8, Yamanouchi, Kamakura-shi, Kanagawa-ken (Google Map)

Website (Japanese): www.kenchoji.com

4. Genjiyama Park, Kamakura

Genjiyama park is park on top of a gently-sloped mountain. It’s a 20 minute walk from the station, which is a bit of a walk up and down hills, so be sure to wear some comfy walking shoes. There are about 200 sakura trees growing in this area which you can enjoy on a hike or by having a picnic on the lawn.

Inside the park you'll find the Kuzuharaoka Shrine, and its torii (shrine archway) has become a popular spot for viewing the sakura.

Drop by the nearby shops to try a popular item sold called tama konnyaku. Konnyaku, or konjac, is a jelly made from a type of yam that has a unique, chewy texture. Here, it’s made into a circular shape and cooked with soy sauce. It's a little unusual, so definitely give it a try!

The view at the park at the summit is amazing, with the town of Kamakura and the ocean beyond stretching out below. Enjoy the sakura while the warm mountain breezes flow around you. 

Peak cherry blossom period: Late March - Mid April


About Genjiyama Park

Opening Hours: 24 hours

Closed: Never

Price: Free

Access: 20 minute walk from Kamakura Station on the Enoshima Electric Railway and the JR Yokosuka Line

Address: 4-7-1 Ogigayatsu, Kamakura-shi, Kanagawa-ken (Google Map)

Website (Japanese): www.city.kamakura.kanagawa.jp/koen/p_genjiyama.html

 

5. Hasedera, Hase

Hasedera is known as Hananotera, or Flower Temple, thanks to the flowers that bloom here all year round. As its nickname, "Kamakura’s paradise" suggests, the inner grounds are beautifully arranged and there’s a calm atmosphere. The range of flowers growing here means there is plenty to enjoy.

On the grounds there are many statues of Buddha. The Hana Matsuri (Flower Festival) is held on April 8th, the birthday of the founder of one of the sects of Buddhism. During this festival, many flowers are given as offering to the surrounding statues, turning the grounds bright and brilliant. This festival also coincides with sakura season, so be sure to visit.

There’s a traditional Japanese garden inside Hasedera. The varieties of plants growing here gives the grounds a different atmosphere from season to season. The view of the sakura in full bloom near the pond must be something like paradise!

Peak cherry blossom period: Late March - Mid April


About Hasedera

Opening Hours: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm (March - Sept), 8:00 am - 4:30 pm (Oct - Feb)

Closed: Never

Price: Adults: 300 yen, Elementary students: 100 yen

Access: 5 minute walk from Hase Station on the Enoshima Electric Railway

Address: 3-11-2 Hase, Kamakura-shi, Kanagawa (Google Map)

Website (English): www.hasedera.jp/en/

Website (Traditional Chinese): www.hasedera.jp/_wp/wp-content/themes/hasedera2016/images/ch-2.jpg

Wesbite (English): www.hasedera.jp

6. Komyoji, Kamakura

Komyoji is a temple that you can access by bus from Kamakura Station. Since comparatively few people venture this far from the station, you can enjoy viewing the sakura here at your leisure. The weekends during sakura season has sakura viewing parties where powdered green tea (matcha) is served.

Another name for Komyoji is the Maple Leaf Temple since it’s famous for its fall colors, but in some cases it’s also nickname Cat Temple, thanks to the around 10 cats living on the grounds! Some are friendly will pose when you have a camera. Definitely take photos of them together with the sakura.

The garden in this temple is called Kinushi Garden, which is famous for the water lilies that bloom in June. Even during the sakura season, it’s beautiful to look at. Taiseikaku is an octagonal temple building in this garden where sakura viewing events are held as well.

Peak cherry blossom period: Late March - Early April


About Komyoji

Opening Hours: 7:00 am -  5:00 pm (April 1 - October 14), 7:00 am - 4:00 pm (October 15 - March 31)

Closed: Never

Price: Free

Access: From Kamakura Station on the Enoshima Electric Railway and the JR Yokosuka line, 10 minutes by Keikyu Bus #7 Kogyu bound for Zushi Station and 1 minute walk from Komyoji-mae bus stop. 

Address: 6-17-19 Zaimokuza, Kamakura-shi, Kanagawa-ken (Google Map)

Website (Japanese): komyoji-kamakura.or.jp

 

7. Ofuna Kannonji, Ofuna

If you ride the JR Yokosuka line or the Tokaido Main line, around Ofuna Station you will catch sight of a giant white statue from the train window. This is the Kannon statue known as Byakue Kannon (Goddess of Mercy of the White Robe) at Ofuna Kannonji Temple. Although the statue is only a bust, it’s about 25 metres tall.

During the day, the statue appears pure white, but when evening falls, the color changes to an opalescent shade. The Kannon always has a gentle expression, but during sakura season, she appears even more ladylike.

In sakura season you can enter the area for free from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm to see the illuminations. The gentle lights illuminating the Kannon gives her an mystical impression.

Peak cherry blossom period: Late March - Early April


About Ofuna Kannonji

Opening Hours: 24 hours

Closed: Never

Price: Adults: 300 yen, Elementary & Middle School Students: 100 yen

Access: 5 minute walk from Ofuna Station on the JR Yokosuka Main Line and the Tokaido Main Line

Address: 1-5-3 Okamoto, Kamakura-shi, Kanagawa (Google Map)

Website (English): www.oofuna-kannon.or.jp/en/index.html

Website (Japanese): www.oofuna-kannon.or.jp

 

8. Myohonji, Kamakura

Tadashi Okoshi/Flickr

Myohonji Temple is located deep in the mountains surrounded by nature. It’s so calming you’ll find yourself unconsciously taking deep, relaxing breaths.

In addition to the Yoshino cherry trees which you often see in Japan, you can also see varieties like the Shidarezakura (weeping cherry blossom), Yaezakura (double cherry blossom), and more.

The Yaezakura have many blossoms which are appreciated for the way they wave like frills. When compared to the usual Yoshino cherry trees, they give a cute impression. Definitely try and look at the blossoms up close and see the difference.

Tadashi Okoshi/Flickr

The best time to see the Yaezakura is a bit later than the usual Yoshino cherry. Furthermore, there is a flower called Kaido that blooms when the Yoshino cherry blossoms have fallen. This blossom is similar to sakura, but the color is deeper and it’s a shorter tree. You can enjoy this tree until around late April.

Peak cherry blossom season: Late March - Mid April


About Myohonji

Opening Hours: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Closed: Never

Price: Free

Access: 8 minute walk from Kamakura Station on the Enoshima Electric Railway and the JR Yokosuka line. 

Address: 1-15-1 Omachi, Kamakura-shi, Kanagawa (Google Map)

Website (English): www.myohonji.or.jp/english/

Website (Japanese): www.myohonji.or.jp

 

9. Honkakuji, Kamakura

Honkakuji is a temple close to Kamakura Station that was established in the 15th century. It’s known as a famous area for Shidarezakura (weeping cherry) trees. Although there are not many in number, the trees themselves are quite large so when they’re in full bloom it’s quite impressive. Since the branches face downwards, the flowers are much closer to you, too.

Since there aren’t many sakura trees, despite being close to the station there isn’t that many people. If you go at the right time, you might get them all to yourself.

There are cute statues under the Shidarezakura. This one is a Jizo-sama, one of the Buddhas. Because it is said to protect children, it wears a childlike hood and bib. This statue almost appears to be enjoying the sakura from its special seat.

Peak cherry blossom season: Late March - Mid April


About Honkakuji

Opening Hours: 24 hours

Closed: Never

Price: Free

Access: 5 minute walk from Kamakura Station on the Enoshima Electric Railway and the JR Yokosuka line. 

Address: 1-12-12, Komachi, Kamakura-shi, Kanagawa (Google Map)

Website (Japanese): www.city.kamakura.kanagawa.jp/kamakura-kankou/meisho/06hongakuji.html

 

10. Amanawa Shinmei Shrine, Hase

The sakura blooming here appear quite similar to the Yoshino cherry, but actually it’s a variety native to Kanagawa Prefecture called Tamanawa sakura. It blooms faster than the Yoshino cherry, and the color of the flowers is just a little deeper. It's also unique for blooming for longer.

The stone monument at this shrine has a romantic poem engraved into it. The poem roughly translates to, My heart will not crumble as easily as the cape overlooking Kamakura. This is certainly a good spot for lovers who want to see the cherry blossoms together.

Peak cherry blossom period: Mid-February - Mid-March 


About Amanawa Shinmei Shrine

Opening Hours: 24 hours 

Closed: Never

Price: Free

Access: 5 minute walk from Hase Station on the Enoshima Electric Railway

Address: 1-12-1 Hase, Kamakura-shi, Kanagawa (Google Map)

Website (Japanese): www.city.kamakura.kanagawa.jp/kids/jh/kjh_a02.htm

Conclusion

In Kamakura, you can enjoy grown-up sakura viewing in a calm atmosphere. It’s a convenient location that you can visit from Tokyo as a day trip. For those who don’t have time to go to Kyoto, why not look at the sakura while immersing yourself in the historical atmosphere of Kamakura?

If you're visiting Japan in cherry blossom season, we're here to help! Our 2020 Cherry Blossom Forecast covers all you need to know about the best places in Japan to see cherry blossoms, plus exactly when they're forecasted to be at their peak in 2020. Cherry blossom season is short, so visit our guide to really enjoy this beautiful time of year!

By the way, if you're here a little later in the year, Kamakura is also famous for stunning spots full of beautiful hydrangeas. For more about how to see the symbols of Japan's rainy season, we've picked 21 Must See Spots for Hydrangeas in the Tokyo Area.


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The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.

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