Hase - a town full of flower at temples and shrines

Hydrangea flowers at Hasedera in Kamakura.
Hase [長谷] is in west of Kamakura City that known for Great Buddha statue [大仏] and Hasedera Temple, but is it really enough just by see it? We say "Not enough!". Because there are a lot of places known by the beautiful seasonal flowers in this small town.

Hase Town sightseeing guide

Where to go & What to do?
  • Especially recommended for... All types of travellers
How far? (from Hase Station of Enoden Line, by walk)
  • 6 minutes (370m) to Goryo Jinja Shrine
  • 6 minutes (320m) to Hasedera Temple
  • 10 minutes (560m) to Kotokuin Temple (a.k.a Kamakura Daibutsu)
  • 15 minutes (800m) to Kamakura Museum of Literature
Free Wi-Fi spot
  • Hase and Yuigahama Station (*Odakyu Free Wi-Fi)
  • Hase Station Square (Public space)
  • Kamakura Orugoru do [鎌倉オルゴール堂] (Shop /near Hasedera Temple)
  • Hasedera Temple [長谷寺] (*not supported by Japan Connected-free Wi-Fi)
When you are in case of emergency situation here, please see the page.

Hase Station

Hase Station.There are many tourist spots around the station such as Kamakura Daibutsu, Hasedera Temple and more.
So it have been crowded with travellers during daytime through the year.

Hasedera Temple

Hydrangea flowers at Hasedera Temple.
Front gate of Hasedera Temple.Hasedera Temple [長谷寺] is the one of the most well-known hydrangea and other seasonal flower spot in Kamakura.

The temple is said to have been founded in 736 (Nara Period), and one of the oldest temple in the area.
From old days, this temple had repair and renovation with response to the aegis from the those in power of the time, such as Ashikaga Takauji [足利尊氏], Ashikaga Yoshimitsu [足利義満] and Tokugawa Ieyasu [徳川家康].
  • [Opening Hours] 8:00 to 16:30 (4:30 pm) *(17:00 on March - September)
  • [Admission] 400Yen for 12 years old or older, 200Yen for children
  • [Movement with wheelchair] Possible only in lower precincts and Garden
  • *Photography of inside the hall is prohibited
  • 6 minutes (320m) walk from Hase Station
  • Official website
Near around of entrance of Hasedera Temple.If you have a train pass, don't forget to show it at the counter when you buy a entrance ticket. Because you can get a souvenir from Hasedera Temple!
(Such as Noriori-kun, Enoshima Kamakura Free Pass, Kamakura Enoshima Pass and more are accepted.)
Smiling Nagomi Jizo statueThe precincts of Hasedera Temple is divided into Upper Area and Lower Area.

In Lower Area, there is a entrance, wide traditional Japanese garden with two ponds, Kare-sansui style dry landscape garden, Benten-kutsu cave, unique smiling Buddha statue "Nagomi Jizo" and some buildings.
In this garden, you can see the flowers of each season and it is known as a flower sight which is said that always some kind of flower is blooming here. Such as...
  • Spring - Cherry blossom, Hall crabapple, Peony, Azalea, Magnolia
  • Summer - Hydrangea, Iris, Lily, Crape myrtle
  • Autumn - Bush clover, Bellflower, Cluster amaryllis, Autumn colors of Maple
  • Winter - Satellite flowers, Camellia, Japanese quince, Japanese plum
Japanese garden of Hasedera Temple. One of the building in the lower area of Hasedera Temple.
Between the Upper Area and the Lower Area, there is a small Jizo-do hall building, garden and Manji-shaped pond. Thousands of small Jizo statues are placed around the building.
A pretty little Jizo statue has been put on the right side of approach to Jizo-do hall.
Smiling small Buddha statue in the garden. Manji-shaped pond in the garden of Hasedera Temple.
Major temple buildings stands in the Upper Area, such as Kannon-do Hall, Amida-do Hall and Kyozo. Also there is a museum, viewing terrace, restaurant and famous "Mountain path of hydrangea". In addition, you can see beautiful cherry blossoms in April around these buildings.
Kannon-do Hall is a main temple building of Hasedera Temple. Cherry blossoms bloom in Hasedera Temple in the beginning of April
Inside of Kannon-do Hall the main temple building, Hase Kannon statue of height 9.18 meters - the principal image of Hasedera Temple, is displayed. The official name of the statue is "11 headed Kannon Statue" and is said that was made by carving a large Kusunoki tree in 721.
At that time, two Kannon statues were made from the tree. One was enshrined in Hasedera Temple in Nara, and the other one was submerged in the sea with a wish.
In 736, this submerged statue emerged in the sea off current Yokosuka City and was enshrined here.
Kyozo building and baboo garden.At Kyozo building, there is a rotatable shelf containing Buddhist sutras.
It is said that, you can obtain the same merit as having read all sutras contained in the shelf, if you rotate it once. However, the day on which we can rotate the shelf is determined to be only 18th of every month, first 3 days from the new year, April 8 and August 10.
On the "Mountain path of Hydrangea" you can walk among over 40 kinds of hydrangea flowers and it is very popular attraction with visitors. In some cases, it have to wait more than 3 hours to enter during peak season in June and July.
Mountain path of hydrangea (ajisai) in Hasedera Temple. A stone lantern and hydrangea flowers.
Hasedera Temple is also known for illumination event on August and autumn leaves season. Click here for detailed info and photos of Hase no Akari summer illumination event that is held on the end of August and Autumn Colors garden illumination event that is held on the middle of November to the beginning of December.
A image of Hase no Akari summer illumination event A image of Autumn colors garden illumination event

Kamakura Daibutsu (Great Buddha)

Great Buddha statue of Kamakura.
Great Buddha statue during maintenance work.One of the famous tourist spot in this town is Kotokuin Temple [高徳院] also known as Kamakura Daibutsu [鎌倉大仏] (Great Buddha Statue).
A 13.4 meters height (pedestal included) and 121 tons of gross weight Buddha Statue that was built from 1252, is one of the national treasure of Japan.
  • [Opening Hours] 8:00 to 17:00 (5:00 pm) *(17:30 on April - September)
  • [Admission] 300Yen for 13 years old or older, 150Yen for 6 to 12 years old children
    20Yen surcharge to enter inside of Great Buddha Statue.
  • [Movement with wheelchair] Possible
  • 10 minutes (560m) walk from Hase Station
  • Official website
*We use some photographs that was taken during renovation work in 2016, because it is rare sight. All clear and no obstacles now.
The entrance of Kamakura Daibutsu a.k.a Kotokuin Temple.The foundation year of this Kotokuin Temple is unknown, but the record that the construction of Great Buddha statue began in 1238 in in the ancient document.
There is also a record that the wooden Great Buddha statue was near completion in 1242. Then, it was newly rebuilt in copper construction is the current statue.
The remains of the paving stone of the building.The statue was stored in the building like the one in Nara at first time constructed. But it was hit by several storm and earthquake from 1300s to 1400s and the building collapsed. Then, it was in a condition to be displayed under the sun like the present. In some places around the statue, the paving stones of the foundation of the building still remain.
The back of great Buddha statue.It is possible to enter the inside of the Great Buddha statue and see it. Therefore, on the back of the statue there is a window for the interior lighting.

Grains in the hair which it seems like to sprinkle a tight curled men's permanent is called as "Rahotsu" and have 656 pieces in total.
Huge straw sandals.A huge straw sandals is displayed in the building on the right hand of the statue.
This 1.8m in length, 0.9m in width sandal is produced and donated by a neighborhood association in Hitachi-ota city of Ibaraki every three years.

Kosokuji Temple

The entrance of Kosokuji Temple.
Front yard of Kosokuji Temple.Kosokuji Temple [光則寺] is known as one of the leading "Temple of the flower" in Kamakura and able to see many seasonal flowers through the year in a tranquil atmosphere.
In particular, a tree of Hall crabapple ("Kaido" in Japanese) of a certain 200 years old that is planted in front of main temple building and more than 200 kinds of hydrangeas in the garden are well known.

The temple was founded by Yadoya Mitsunori (A senior statesman of Hojyo Tokiyori - the 5th authority of Kamakura Shogunate) in 1274 renovating his house.
Main building was re-build in 1650 (Edo period). In the precincts, there is a cave used as a prison which imprisoned a disciple of Nichiren at one time.
  • [Opening Hours] 7:30 to Sunset
  • [Admission] 100Yen (Free for under 15 years old children)
    *Put the admission in the red wooden box in the center of the entrance.
  • [Movement with wheelchair] Possible but few steps at the entrance gate
  • 7 minutes (425m) walk from Hase Station
Main temple building and old aronia tree. Fantastic cherry blossoms in front of Kosokuji Temple in Hase, west of Kamakura.
Iris flowers in Kosokuji Temple. Path of hydrangea links to the dungeon.

Goryo Jinja Shrine

Goryo Jinja Shrine and Enoden train.
Goryo Jinja Shrine [御霊神社] is a shrine at the mountain side of Hase town and next to railroad side. Here become popular hydrangea flower viewing spot with Enoden train in recent years.
When the train exit the old tunnel, row of hydrangea trees is followed on both side of railroad in June and July.
There is a small railroad crossing just in front of precincts and it is the main entrance to the shrine.
Goryo Jinja Shrine is also appeared on a Japanese TV drama few years ago and becomes a popular photo spot especially for ladies now.
Railroad crossing is a entrance of Goryo Jinja shrine. Railroad and precincts of Goryo Jinja Shrine.
This Goryo Jinja Shrine known by the rare and strange festival "Menkake Gyoretsu"[面掛行列] that men who put on the mask which imitated various Gods and parade around the town is held on 18 September every year.
These old masks are re-produced in 1768 and can be seen at the museum of the precincts usually.
  • [Opening Hours] Precincts open throughout the day
  • [Admission] Free
  • [Movement with wheelchair] Possible but few steps at the entrance
  • [Museum Opening Hours] 9:00- 17:00 (5:00 pm)
  • [Museum Admission] 100Yen for Adult
  • 6 minutes (370m) walk from Hase Station
Main shrine building of Goryo Jinja with cherry blossoms. Precincts of Goryo Jinja Shrine and passing Enoden train.
An alley from Goryo Jinja Shrine.Going to the center of Hase town, you will pass through the narrow alley of the residential area. So, you have a chance to glimpse of Japanese daily life space.

Old houses

An old Ryokan building near Hasedera Temple.
Hase town was popular villa place in Kamakura during Meiji and Taisho era, among the royalty and the nobility, politician, military officer and more. So, there are many old buildings and houses preserved regardless of the Japanese and western of the style.
Most of these buildings and houses continue being still used carefully such as a Ryokan (Japanese style hotel), as a playground for children and as a personal residence.
An old wesretn style house in Hase town. Preserved traditional style shop house.

Popular Rose Garden in Kamakura

Kamakura Museum of Literature.
About 10 minutes walk from Hasedera Temple, there is a old western style house in the forest. It is Kamakura Museum of Literature [鎌倉文学館].
  • [Opening Hours] 9:00 to 16:30 (5:00 pm) *(17:00 on March to September)
    • Closed on Monday (Open if it is a national holiday), 29 December - 3 January and change work period of the display.
  • [Admission]
    • 300Yen or 500Yen for Adult
      100Yen or 200Yen for elementary school or junior high school student.
  • *Admission may vary by an exhibition to hold during the period.
  • *Photography of inside the museum is prohibited
  • 15 minutes (800m) walk from Hase Station / 8 minutes (460m) walk from Yuigahama Station
  • Official Site (Japanese only)
This house was built in 1936 as a villa of Toshinari Maeda (a descendant of the Lord of the Kaga Domain in Edo era), and was donated to Kamakura City in 1983.
Then it was opened as museum of literature in 1985 after the renovation work.

The museum displays the documents and references of the literary people such as Yasunari Kawabata, Jiro Osaragi, Ton Satomi, Hideo Kobayashi, Soseki Natsume, Toson Shimazaki, Ryunosuke Akutagawa, Osamu Dazai and more in relationship with Kamakura.
Objects in front of aquarium. Jerryfish object displayed at the entrance of the aquarium.
The museum is also known by the beautiful rose garden.
There is 2 times of in full bloom season in a year, between the middle of May to the middle June and between the middle of October to the middle of November.
At the time of full bloom, it is crowded with many tourists immediately after the opening in the morning.
Stylish residential area in Katase Town. Round shaped pedestrian overpass.

The oldest shrine in Kamakura

The precincts of Amanawa Shinmei Jinja Shrine
On the way to Kamakura Museum of the Literature from the center of Hase town, there is a shrine standing quietly between the houses.
This Amanawa Shinmei Jinja Shrine [甘縄神明神社] is said to be the oldest shrine in Kamakura.
It was founded in 710 and deeply connected with Genji family. Especially, Minamoto no Yoshiie (the 2nd shogun of Kamakura Shogunate) is said to have been born with the benefit that his father prayed that he would like to give the child to the shrine.

There is also a house near the shrine where Yasunari Kawabata [川端康成], a novelist who won the Nobel Prize for Literature, lived.

Kamakura's main beach

Yuigahama Beach overview.
Walking through Hase town towards the sea, you will be on the wide and long sand beach. Here is Yuigahama Beach [由比ヶ浜海岸] along with adjacent to the east Zaimokuza Beach [材木座海岸] is the main beach of Kamakura.
As it becomes a swimming beach during the summer, it is crowded with many visitors.
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