Ancient Kamakura and the naval history of Yokosuka

Overview

Experience the ancient temples and green town of Kamakura combined with nearby Yokosuka, on the Bay of Tokyo, well known for its naval base and harbour. Climb aboard the Mikasa battle ship used in the war and tour the military port by boat.

Highlights

  • Discover the quiet temples of ancient Kamakura, also known as "little Kyoto"
  • Walk around Yokosuka military port
  • Climb aboard the old Mikasa, a battleship from the Russo-Japan war

Key Information

Description

Of the many programs taking you around lovely Kamakura, here is one with a nautical twist! After enjoying the ancient temples in Kamakura, you will head towards nearby Yokosuka to get a taste of naval history. Walk around the military harbour and climb aboard the Mikasa, the warship used in the Russo-Japan war. Kamakura is just an hour from Tokyo but offers yet another world. It is also known as "little Kyoto" because of its greenery and hundreds of wooden temples. (Option 1 - Kenchoji temple & Tsurugaoka Hachimangu shrine) Nearest station is Kita-Kamakura station where we meet. Kenchoji is the number one of Kamakura's five great Zen temples, and the oldest of them all. It has an impressive gate and when you climb all the way through towards the end of the grounds you will get a nice panorama view over the hills. Tsurugaoka Hachimangu is Kamakura's most important shrine. It was founded in 1063 by Minamoto Yoriyoshi. The shrine is dedicated to Hachiman, the patron god of the Minamoto family and of the samurai class in general. For many Japanese a visit and offering at this shrine is a must, especially on religious days. Therefore it is a great spot to watch the locals going about their rituals. (Option 2 - Hasedera temple & The Great Buddha of Kamakura) Nearest station is Kamakura station where we meet and take Enoden train. Hasedera temple is one of the oldest and the most prestigeous temples in Kamakura and should not be missed. It combines a lovely garden with great views across the bay and you will find the golden statue of Kannon, the goddess of mercy. This statue shows Kannon with eleven heads, each representing a characteristic of the goddess. The 9.18 meter tall, gilded wooden statue is regarded as one of the largest wooden sculpture in Japan, and can be found in the temple's main building, the Kannon-do Hall. You can enjoy splendid seasonal flowers there, and especially, hydrangea is the most popular one. The Great Buddha of Kamakura at Kotokuin temple (=the Kamakura Daibutsu) is the bronze statue standing on the grounds of Kotokuin Temple. With a height of 13.35 meters, it is the tallest open-air statue in Japan. From here you transfer to Kamakura station on the scenic Enoden train. Change trains for Yokosuka, well known for its naval bases, both Japanese and American. Sometimes submarines can be seen just across from the train station! It is a pleasant stroll or bus transfer to the park where the Mikasa awaits you. Mikasa is the battleship built for the Imperial Japanese Navy in the late 1890s, and was the only ship of her class. It was the flagship of Admiral Togo Heihachiro throughout the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–1905, including the Battle of Port Arthur. You can climb aboard and all over it. Smell the salt on a boat trip across the military harbour and come closer to the various warships mored at Yokosuka on most days. Return to Tokyo by a direct train at the end of this exciting one-day trip. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Summary of the tour: - meet your guide in Kamakura - explore either (Option 1) Kenchoji Temple & the Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine, or (Option 2) Hasedera Temple & the Great Buddha of Kamakura, whichever possible depending on the time allowance. - head for Yokotsuka from Kamakura station (not included in the tour price) - walk along Yokosuka port (or transfer on a local bus) - climb onto the warship Mikasa - return to Tokyo by train (not included in the tour price)

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