Kanazawa Kaido is a main road which connects Kamakura and Kanazawa Hakkei. Now this road is known as prefectural road, but during Kamakura period, it used be an important road which connects Kamakura and a port called Mutsuura located in Kanazawa.
Even now, you can see the road as a historic spot that was used during that time around Asainakiridoshi area. There are still a lot of temples lasting since Kamakura period, stylish restaurants or variety stores around Kanazawa Kaido area.
1. Spot Ranking in Kanazawa Kaido area
Myooin is a temple of the Shingon sect Omuro-ha, which was built in 1235. If you look at this temple from Tsuruoka Hachiman-gu Shrine where Kamakura shogunate used be, it is built in a unlucky direction which is called Kimon. It is said that this temple was built in order to avoid Kimon. The principle image is Fudo Myoou (Acala), and there were originally 5 statues of Myoou (Fudo, Gozanze, Gundari,Daiitoku, and Kongoyasha) but 4 of them were lost because of the fire in Edo period. The statues now you can see at this temple were rebuilt after that.
The statue of Fudo Myoou is designated as national important cultural property, and the rest of 4 statues is designated as city’s cultural properties. Fodo Myoou is another name of Siva, a God in Indian myth. The roof of the main temple use thatched which is unique, and you can see the beautiful flowers such as plum, double cherry blossom, or Japanese bush clover.
To get to Myooin: from east exit of JR Kamakura Station, take Kehin Express Bus with “Kamakura Reien Seimon Mae・Tachiarai Station” or “Kanazawahakkei Station” or “Highland” direction, and get off at “Sensuibashi” stop. It takes about 10 minutes. Myooin is open from 9:00-16:00.
Sugimoto Temple is the oldest temple in Kamakura and Tendai sect. It was built in 734 which is before Heian period starts. The principle image is 3 of eleven-faced Kannon, and they are placed back in the main temple. You can catch a glimpse of those statues when you get inside of the main temple.
Behind the Sugimoto Temple, you can see mountains. There used to be Shiba clan’s Sugimoto Castle in Muromachi period around these area, therefore there is Gorinto (five-ringed stupa) still remained for Shiba clan inside of Sugimoto Temple’s precincts. You can feel the old history through this temple as there are mossy stone steps (now entry prohibited), simple appearance of thatched roof.
Since this temple is located on a hill, the view from the precincts is really beautiful. Sumigoto Temple is open from 8:00-16:30. The admission fee is 200 yen for over junior high school students, and 100 yen for elementary school students.
To get to Sugimoto Temple: from east exit of Kamakura Station, take Kehin Express Bus with “KanazawaHakkei Station” or “Highland” direction, and get off at “Sugimoto Kannon” stop, then walk for 1 minute. The bus will take about 7 minutes.
3rd. Asaina Kiridoshi Pass
Asaina Kiridoshi Pass is remained in best condition among Kamakura Nanakuchi (Kamakura’s Seven Entrance). This pass was opened in 1240 by Hoji Tokiyori, 3rd regent of Kamakura Shogunate, to connect Kamakura, Kanazawa and Mutsuura. The name of “Asaina” derived from Asaina Saburo Yoshihide, who actually developed the pass in one night and now known as a legend.
Since the goods and salt made near Mutsuura were carried via this pass, it is also known as “road of salt”. Now you can walk from around Juniso to Asaina interchange as Asaina Hiking course. If you get off at Juniso Shrine bus stop and walk through the residence along with the river, you will see the Saburo waterfall (picture below),which is the start point of this hiking course. The course is about 2km-walk of gentle road, and since there are lots of nature still remains around this course, it will be a good refreshment for you.
Besides “Ogiri Pass” that opened the rocky mountains, the pass is full of attractiveness as the deep pass leaves the atmosphere of past times well, and you can see the beautiful swampy water or forests deep in the mountains.
To get to Asaina Kiridoshi Pass: from JR Kamaura Station, take Keikyu Bus with “Juniso” direction, get off at “Juniso Shrine” stop, and walk for 10 minutes. Another route: from JR Ofuna Station, take a bus and get off at “Asaina” stop, you will see the pass very close to the stop.
2nd. Jomyoji temple
Jomyoji Temple is a Rinzai sect temple and was built in 1188. This temple has 5th ranked status of a Buddhist temple among the five great Rinzai temples of Kamakura. The main temple uses hipped roof style and copper roofing called “Mukuri”, which is a puffed shaping roof. Wooden sitting statue of Shaka Norai, the principle image and one of the Kamakura thirteen buddha, or wooden Awashima Myojin, a god of birth, are placed inside of the main temple.
You can enjoy the seasonal flowers whenever you visit, and especially in February, the red and white flowers of plum blooming in the garden in front of the main temple are magnificent. In addition, there is a tea room called Kisen-an by the side of the main temple, and the view of dry landscape garden from here is the best thing in this Jomyoji Temple.
You also can find a bakery named “Ishigama garden terrace” whose building was renovated from 90-year-old European-style building with English garden, and those breads made in stone oven is very famous.
There are lots of seats prepared in a terrace, and you can spend a relaxing time watching the beautiful garden. Jomyoji Temple is open from 9:00-16:30, and the admission fee is 100 yen.
To get to Jomyoji Temple: from east exit of JR Kamakura Station, take Keihin Express Bus with “Kamakura Reien Seimon Mae Tachiarai” or “Kanazawahakkei Station” or “Highland” direction, get off at “Jomyoji Temple” stop, and walk for 2 minutes. The bus takes about 8 minutes. A toll parking lot is also available.
1st. Hōkoku-ji Temple
Hokoku-ji Temple is a Rinzai sect temple which was built in 1334. “The bamboo garden” is very famous in this temple, but also there are spots you cannot miss such as large ginkgo trees, dry landscape garden, mossy stone steps, or five-ringed stupa. There are 2000 trees of most bamboo in the bamboo garden, and in order to go inside of the garden, you need to pay extra 200 yen.
In addition, if you buy a Maccha (green tea) ticket for another 500 yen, you can take a seat at “Kyuko-an” at the back of the garden, then enjoy the Maccha and Japanese sweets while watching the bamboo garden. When you walk through the temple gate and walk up to the stone steps, you will see the main temple where the principle image of sitting statue of Shaka Norai is placed, Kayodo Hall on the right side of the main temple, and a bell-tower on the left.
If you visit in autumn, you will see the beautiful fallen leaves of large ginkgo trees whose the leaves coloring in gold. It is known that several artists used to live in Yato area where Hokokuji Temple is located. Kawabata Yasunari, who received Nobel prize for literature is one of those artists who loved the quietness of the mountain. Hokoku-ji Temple is open from 9:00-16:00, and the admission fee is free except 200 yen for the bamboo garden. The temple is closed during New Year’ holiday (from Dec 29th – Jan 3rd).
To get to Hokoku-ji Temple: from east exit of JR Kamakura Station, take Keihin Express Bus with “Kamakura Reien Seimon Mae Tachiarai” or “Kanazawahakkei Station” or “Highland” direction, get off at “Jomyoji Temple” stop, and walk for 2 minutes. The bus takes about 8 minutes. A parking lot is also available.
2. Getting to Kanazawa Kaido area from Kamakura Station
To get to Hokoku-ji Temple: from east exit of JR Kamakura Station, take Keihin Express Bus with “Kamakura Reien Seimon Mae Tachiarai” or “Kanazawahakkei Station” or “Highland” direction.
3. Kamakura area list
Zaimokuza – Omachi area
Kamakura station area
Kita Kamakura area (Northern Kamakura area)
Inamuragasaki – Shichirigahama area
Hase – Yuigahama area
Kanazawa Kaido area