Uniting both the majesty of nature and rich history, Kamakura is a popular day-trip destination and famous for its collection of ancient temples and shrines. While it is a charming place to explore year-round, the revered city, during Japan's rainy season (in June), is painted with tints of blue, pink and purple from the breathtaking blooms of hydrangea flowers which you can admire at various historic sites. In between sightseeing, satiate your appetite with the coastal city's famous delicacies – mountain vegetables and shirasu (whitebait).
Shinjuku Sta.(Tokyo) → Kitakamakura Sta. About 1 hour
Founded in 1160, Meigetsuin is also known as the "Hydrangea Temple" because beautiful blue hydrangea flowers bloom in abundance on the temple grounds around June. This is also when the temple's inner garden is open to visitors for 2 weeks when their irises are in bloom.
Jochiji is situated within lush greenery boasting bamboo groves and flower beds where blue and pink hydrangeas bloom in abundance in summer. Go for a quiet stroll around the garden and look out for the statue of Hotei – rub the belly of this god to bring good fortune!
Akimoto is a popular restaurant where you can savour Kamakura's signature mountain vegetables and shirasu (whitebait) which are particularly famous in this part of Japan. Must-try dishes include a shirasu rice bowl and the vegetable tempura set.
Built on a wooded hill with sweeping views of Kamakura city and the ocean, Hasedera is known for its giant, 11-headed gilded statue of Kannon, the goddess of mercy. You can also enjoy the sight of over 40 kinds of lovely hydrangeas scattered across the hills of this temple.
The cafe is found in a traditional Japanese house with a classic engawa (verandah) overlooking the garden. You can enjoy curry (prepared with pesticide- and chemical-free vegetables), coffee, and sweets like zenzai or almond tofu in a nostalgic atmosphere right on the verandah.
A famous location for anime and TV dramas, Inamuragasaki Park is a charming surf area that offers sweeping views of the ocean, Enoshima Island, and Mt. Fuji. In summer, this romantic sunset spot is also popular for its blooming hydrangea flowers.