Discovering Kamakura From Home

I live in a mid-sized city on Japan’s Pacific coast, approximately one hour south of Tokyo. My city, Kamakura, is one of Japan’s former capitals, and traces of its former splendour dot the city.

Once a small fishing village, Kamakura became the capital of the first Japanese shogunate, the Kamakura Shogunate, in 1185 (recognized in 1192). Until 1333 when the town was invaded and the shogunate fell, it acted as the military capital of the country.

Kamakura is home to a ridiculous number of shrines and temples. They’re smaller than those you’ll find in Kyoto, many of which are the former villas of aristocrats, but they shouldn’t be considered inferior by any means. Kamakura’s places of worship have an earthier feel, and a more spiritual vibe.

This past weekend was a four-day weekend in Japan. The government encouraged people to travel, despite rising COVID-19 numbers. For those of us who stayed home, I made a series of short videos on local temples and shrines, mostly photos set to music, so people could explore Kamakura without leaving their houses.

It occurred to me that those outside of my Twitter feed might be interested, too, so I’ll start introducing them here. Be advised—I am just figuring this stuff out, and only learned (thanks to a kind Twitter follower) that YouTube has an audio library Saturday. Heh heh…

To start, Sasuke Inari Shrine, a small shrine on the side of a forested hill that is one of our favourites. As an Inari shrine, it has heaps of red torii gates, and thousands of tiny fox statues.


Sasuke Inari Shrine

Published by helenkamakura

Helen is a Canadian writer and innkeeper based in Kamakura, Japan, where she lives with her Japanese husband and two children. If money became obsolete, she would happily accept peaches, fresh peas, and sun-warmed cherry tomatoes in exchange for her labour.

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