Kamakura is only a 50-minute train ride from Tokyo Station and while this seaside town might be quite overrun by Tokyoites and tourists on the weekend, going there on a weekday is quite a bliss. There are beaches, surfers, a huge Buddha, temples, small shops, restaurants and cafés to explore, as well as the Enoden Line from Kamakura Station that helps you move around the area.
My first stop was Hase Station, from where I went straight to the ocean. In July and August summer season starts in Japan and the beaches will be more crowded. When I went there in June, however, there were only a few fellow flâneurs, beach-combers and some surfers. While the beach might not be the prettiest in the world, it’s still fun to look at the ocean, to dip your toes into the water and to collect some seashells.
From the beach I started walking landwards, exploring the backstreets of Hase. There are some really beautiful old, traditional buildings in the area. I ended up having coffee & scones at the lovely café in the back of Matsubara-an. The place had a great 1930s vibe to it and the scones were really delicious. If I ever get to come back to Kamakura, I want to try out the restaurant too.
While there are many temples and shrines in Kamakura, you definitely have to see Daibutsu, the Great Buddha of Kamakura. Being the second largest Bronze Statue in Japan, he is quite the sight.
On the streets to and from Daibutsu, you can find lots of shops, selling souvenirs, the local delicatessen, beauty products, paper and many other beautiful things. You can never escape a good shopping opportunity in Japan, I guess.
While there is probably much more to explore in Hase and along the Enoden Line, I eventually decided to take the train onwards to Enoshima. There I bought some snacks and Asahi at Seven Eleven and headed to the beach to relax before taking the train back to Tokyo. It was the perfect ending to a beautiful day by the sea.