My girl friends and I try to get together at least once a month to get our hike on. We decided to take on the Daibutsu Hiking Course in Kamakura. This trail goes from Kita Kamakura Station to Kotoku-In (Great Buddha). I love Kamakura, but surprisingly I hadn’t hiked this trail yet. This is an easy hike, and would be suitable for kids. We also saw a few dogs on the trail as well. See below for a map of the course.
To start, we met at Kita Kamakura station from the JR Line and took the West exit, made a left onto the main street and then a right at Jochiji Temple. To get the the trail, we kept on the road to the left of the temple to the stairs. Head up the stairs into the hills, and you’ll be on your way to a scenic and relaxing hike. Be sure to bring enough yen for entry to the various shines and temples along the way.
This hike took us about 3 hours start to finish because we stopped to take lots of photos, explore and stopped at Genjiyama Park for snacks, but it tkes most people 60 to 90 minutes. Once you get to Kuzuharagaoka Shrine and Genjiyama Park, be sure to keep an eye out for Fujisan on the right hand side of the road at the view point. This day was extremely clear, so of course we took advantage of the photo op of the majestic mountain.
From Genjiyama Park, we continued on the main road. A small detour to the left will take you to the statue of Minamoto Yoritomo. Minamoto was the first shogun of the Kamakura shogunate of Japan.
Heading back out to the main road, you can continue straight out of the park where the statue is located and continue onto the Daibutsu Course, or take a short detour to the left. This will take you to the Zeniarai Benten Shrine. You will see the entrance to this shrine on the right hand side through a stone tunnel. Here you can wash your money to “increase it many times and come back to you”.
After exiting this shrine, you may make a left back the way you came and continue to the left to get back onto the Daibutsu Course. From here, it’s just another 20 to 25 minutes of walking to the end of the trail. After descending a few steep stairs, the trial will put you out on Route 32 near Kotoku-In and The Great Buddha.
We were feeling pretty hungry by this point so we continued onto Route 32 and mapped out an okonomiyaki joint on the same street as Hase-dera. Sometaro offered an English menu (which is always very nice) accompanied with excellent service. We enjoyed pork kimchi okonomiyaki, shrimp okonomiyaki, chorizo yakisoba and of course a cold draft beer (or two). You can check out Sometaro’s information on TripAdvisor here.
Heading back down 32 towards Hase Station, we stumbled upon a coffee stand… er, van. A man selling slow drip coffee to order out of the back of his adorable van, surrounded by hip decor and books called Idobata. Check out the Facebook page here. A girls gotta have her coffee, so we stopped there too then proceeded to Hase Station and took the Enoden Line back to Kamakura Station.
My heart swells with happiness when I think about how fortunate I have been to meet the women that I have here in Japan. Whether it’s a hike, a 5K or just a good dinner, I have such a great time enjoying life with my new friends.
Be sure to check out more random photos below from this trip.