When visiting Japan, Kamakura Beach is the closest and best beach to visit. Only one hour away by train, you will be transported to an oasis on the Pacific coast. With a bustling city to explore in the other direction, here are some things for you to know about Kamakura Beach when you visit.
One would not know but Kamakura used to be a previous capital of Japan from 1185-1333. It used to be the fourth largest city in Japan back in the day. The neighborhood had been through some tough times in the past. It experienced a tsunami in the 14th century and an earthquake in 1923 which raised the entire coastline. Today, Kamakura is relatively small but remains a great tourist area for those looking to explore the many Buddha temples, shrines, and of course, the beach.
Getting to Kamakura Beach is very easy from Tokyo and not confusing at all. There are two choices of trains. One can take the JR Yokosuka line to Kamakura station, which will leave you in the city area. The other way to arrive at Kamakura is via the JR Shonan-Shinjuku line. On this train line, make sure you catch the local train that has a direct connection to Kamakura. Express trains skip it and go straight to Zushi which is too far. If you are coming on the Enoden Railway, you would get off Yuigahama Station. Either train will leave you in the city area, only five to fifteen-minute walk from the beach. Getting around is easiest on foot or by bicycle.
3. Culture at the Beach
One major thing to know when you visit Kamakura Beach is that you will need to have your tattoos hidden. That goes for walking around the neighborhood and especially on the beach itself. You will see many signs as reminders to cover up your tattoos. This is a huge part of Japanese culture, especially in Kamakura, so do obey this rule.
4. Beach Areas
Kamakura Beach is very vast and is made up of a few small beaches. Yuigahama and Zaimokuza are the two biggest adjacent beaches. Each beach is about one kilometer long each. The sand is brown and the beaches are wide, therefore, on a hot day be sure to wear shoes as the sand gets hot. Trash should be always thrown into garbage bags. Public facilities are available as well as bars and restaurants which line the beach. It is fairly easy to find a place to eat. Summer season gets very busy so head in early for a table if you’d like one at sunset.
At the restaurants in Kamakura Beach, you will find seafood, sushi, burgers, and authentic Japanese food. The local specialty is purple potato soft ice cream. Give it a try! Some of the best restaurants include Magokoro, Zion, and Ocean Harvest Cocomo which stay open late. Sunset dinners are the best time to grab dinner.
There are numerous attractions to see when you visit Kamakura Beach. Before, or after your beach day, head into town. There you will find the great Buddha, which is the most famous attraction of all within Kamakura. You can spend days walking the streets and visiting other temples and shrines. Other highly recommended attractions include Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gu Shrine, Myohonji Temple, and Kenchōji.
Finding a hotel within Kamakura itself will be easy. Finding a hotel near or right on the beach is a bit harder, but still possible. The Kamakura Prince Hotel is a great choice for those who want luxury and a great ocean view. Kamejikan Guest House offers a quick walk to the beach for a lesser price. For a super budget stay, choose the Kamakura-Hase Youth Hostel, perfect for backpackers. A visit to Kamakura Beach is one you will never forget. Whether it is for one day, a weekend, or longer, the neighborhood offers plenty to do and great sights to enjoy.
Have a good trip and travel!