Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine in Kamakura

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Domo arigato.
  • Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine in Kamakura

    Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine in Kamakura

  • Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine in Kamakura

    Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine in Kamakura

  • Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine in Kamakura

    Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine in Kamakura

  • Maiden (Pavilion) of Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine in Kamakura

    Maiden (Pavilion) of Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine

  • Maiden (Pavilion) of Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine in Kamakura

    Maiden (Pavilion) of Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine

  • Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine in Kamakura

    Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine in Kamakura

  • Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine in Kamakura

    Entrance of Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine

  • Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine in Kamakura

    Entrance of Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine

  • Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine in Kamakura

    Inari Shrine of Tsurugaoka Hachimangu

  • Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine in Kamakura

    Sake Barrels donated to Tsurugaoka Hachimangu

  • Map of Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine in Kamakura

    Map of Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine in Kamakura

  • Map of Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine in Kamakura

    Old Tree at Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine in Kamakura

  • Second Torii at the Sacred Way (Dankazura) leading to Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine in Kamakura

    Second Torii at the Sacred Way (Dankazura) leading to the Shrine

  • Stone statue Komainu Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine in Kamakura

    Stone statue Komainu of Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine

  • Sacred Way (Dankazura) leading to Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine in Kamakura

    Sacred Way (Dankazura) leading to the Hachimangu Shrine

  • Third Torii at the Sacred Way (Dankazura) leading to Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine in Kamakura

    Third Torii at the Sacred Way (Dankazura) leading to the Shrine

  • Stone Lantern of Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine

    Stone Lantern of Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine

  • Drum Bridge of Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine in Kamakura

    Drum Bridge of Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine in Kamakura

  • Drum Bridge of Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine in Kamakura

    Drum Bridge of Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine in Kamakura

  • Drum Bridge of Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine in Kamakura

    Koi Pond of Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine

  • Genpei Pond Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine in Kamakura

    Genpei Pond of Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine

  • Genpei Pond Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine in Kamakura

    Genpei-ike of Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine

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Facts & Figures

The beautiful Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine in Kamakura is a must-see on your visit of the city near Yokohama. It is the most notable and most important Shinto shrine within the former political center of Japan. The huge shrine complex has the status of an Important Cultural Property and can be reached via a long street (Wakamiya Oji) with many toriis starting near Kamakura Beach and goes right through the city centre. The shrine is dedicated to Hachiman, a guardian deity for warriors and the well-being of people. The shrine serves as the venue of most of the local festivals and it is not unusual for it to be crowded throughout the year. Kamakura Hachimangu acted as a Hachiman shrine as well as a Tendai Buddhist temple which helps to explain why it is designed in typical Japanese Buddhist architecture. The shrine is one of the most visited attractions in Kamakura. For example after New Years Day more than 2 million people come to this place.

  • Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine:
  • Opening Hours - 5:00 am to 9:00 pm (April - September)
  • Opening Hours - 6:00 am to 9:00 pm (October - March)
  • Special Opening Hours - daily 24hrs from the 1st till 3rd of January
  • Admission fee - free
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My tips for local activities

How about exploring the beautiful city Kamakura and its historical places with a local guide. Check out this page for more details.

History

Tsurugaoka Hachimangu shrine was founded in 1063 by Minamoto Yoriyoshi (988 - 1075), the head of the Minamoto clan. The shrine continued to expand after its formation where it was finally moved to its current spot back in 1180 by Minamoto Yoritomo (1147 - 1199), who was the founder and first ruler of the Kamakura government. The shrine is dedicated to Hachiman, who is known to be the patron god of the Minamoto family and the Shinto god of war. In the 1190s, Wakamiya Oji, which refers to the cherry lined path that leads to the shrine, was constructed by Yorimoto so that the oldest son of the family could visit the shrine in true style and class. On-site, there was a famous gingko tree located, which was destroyed by a storm in 2010. The tree was more than 1000 years old and is also the site of a terrible act of feudal violence that occurred in 1219. It is at this spot that Yorimoto’s second son was brutally murdered, an act that led to a series of brutal deaths within the royal ranks.

Location

Map of Japan

Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine is located in the city Kamakura within the Kanagawa Prefecture.
Address: 2 Chome-1-31 Yukinoshita, Kamakura-city, Kanagawa Prefecture

How to get to Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine?

  • 10min from Kamakura Station

Sightseeing spots of Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine

Top:

Wakamiya Oji - It is a 1.8km long street in Kamakura leading up to the Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine. At the same time it is also the main avenue of the city. Wakamiya Oji received the status of a Historic Site and is now on the list of the best 100 streets in Japan. Part of the street is a 200m long section between the second and third gate called Dankazura. It is lined up with 400 cherry trees and a main attraction during the Sakura Season in the beginning of April. Dankazura was renovated in 2016.

Main Hall (Hongu) - The main hall is located at the top of the stairway (62 steps) and was built in 1828 by shogun Tokugawa Ienari (1773 - 1841). The building is one of the biggest highlights of the shrine complex. Purification ceremonies are held here by the priests. Its architectural style is called Hachiman-zukuri. Part of the Main Hall is a small museum (200 yen entrance fee) with an exhibition of old documents, swords and masks. However, from the top of the stairs, you can also enjoy amazing panoramic views of the surrounding area, the sea and the shrine itself.

Maiden - This open pavilion near the main stairway is used for music performances and wedding ceremonies.

Wakamiya-jinja - The shrine was restored in 1624 by the Tokugawa shogunate.

Genpei Ponds - These two famous ponds represent the Taira and Minamoto clans. These clans were fighting each other for many years. Take a break there and enjoy the nice scenery.

Festival & Events (dates can change without notice)

January

New Year’s Day (from 1st to 3rd)
More than 2 million people come to Hachimangu for the traditional first shrine visit of the year. The ceremony is called hatsumode. People praying for a good fortune during the next 12 months.

April

Kamakura Matsuri (from 2nd to 3rd Sunday)
The city and its history will be celebrated.

August

Bonbori Matsuri (7th to 9th)
Hundreds of lanterns can be found around Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gu shrine.

September

Reitai Matsuri (between 14th and 16th)
Kamakura’s Mounted Archery Festival is a 3 days event. On the last day of this amazing Shinto festival at the Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine you should not miss the yabusame highlight. It is the practice of archery on horseback.

Where to stay in Kamakura?

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I am visiting Japan nearly every year since 2004. This is my collection of the 100 best moments in my favourite country. Enjoy the pictures and I hope you will start your own journey soon.
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