Kamakura Hiking Trails 鎌倉 ハイキング

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K I N U B A R I Y A M A   H i k i n g   C o u r s e    衣張山ハイキングコース
Kinubariyama Hiking Course
From the top of Kinubariyama with Mount Fuji on the right. Looks much better in person!

Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine

Make a right at the end of the road

Houkaiji 宝戒寺 on the way
鎌倉ハンバーグ 雪ノ茶屋
nice "hamburg" restaurant
鎌倉ハンバーグ 雪ノ茶屋,
also on the way
This 1-hour loop trail is not difficult but interesting enough, with an amazing viewpoint where you can see the ocean, Enoshima, and Mount Fuji on a clear day!! Best view of the 4 trails in our opinion. The trail consists of some steps, tree roots, and soft packed soil.

There are no vending machines along the way so it'd be a good idea to buy a drink beforehand. This trail seems less known and not as well signposted so there are very few people!

The start of the trail to the top of the 120-meter Kinubariyama Mountain 衣張山 is near Sugimoto Temple 杉本寺, supposedly the oldest temple in Kamakura - a small temple with mossy steps.

You can take the bus to Sugimoto Temple 杉本寺 from Kamakura Station or walk there in 30 minutes - make a right before the big red torii gate in front of the red-and-white Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine 鶴岡八幡宮 and follow the road. A small but pleasant temple, Houkaiji 宝戒寺, is on the way, from Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine 鶴岡八幡宮 to Sugimoto Temple 杉本寺 (200 yen to enter).

Across the street from Sugimoto Temple to the left is a "bridge" called Inukakebashi 犬懸橋. Cross it and walk along the river with houses on your left. At the end of the road, you'll see some signs, the bottom one1 only in kanji points up to the start of the trail. Go up through a residential area which will soon lead to a nice forest.

Go up many steps for a short while to the aforementioned view point. Surprisingly beautiful! Definitely a low-effort-high-reward walk. From there, it's a mix of ups and downs until you get off the mountain. Once you reach flat ground, choose the path on your left. When you reach the asphalt road and another residential area, you'll see a narrow path and sign 巡礼古道2 on the left. Go along it, choose the path going down.

You'll eventually come out to another road with houses. Go right and you'll soon reach Hokokuji Temple 報国寺 which has a very small bamboo forest. Keep going down the road to the main road, completing the loop.

You can take the bus back to the station on the right or walk left back towards the station. There are some bakeries and restaurants along the way.

Sugimoto Temple 杉本寺,
old with mossy steps

1 bottom sign points to
Kinubariyama Mountain

go through the forest,
after the residential area

10 minutes to the top,
nice and easy

off the mountain, go to 巡礼古道

2 巡礼古道 is on the left
Hokokuji Temple
Hokokuji Temple 報国寺
Ofuna big kannon
Ofuna Kannon Temple
Ofuna Kannon Temple
An optional stop is the Ofuna Kannon Temple 大船観音寺 a short walk from Ofuna Station 大船駅, an 8-minute train ride from Kamakura. It's a very small temple with a big white Kannon statue up top - 300 yen to enter. You can take the cool monorail from Ofuna Station 大船駅 to Enoshima.

D A I B U T S U   H i k i n g   C o u r s e    大仏ハイキングコース
daibutsu hiking map daibutsu hiking trail

the Big Buddha, Daibutsu
Not difficult nor too physically demanding but need to go up and down over some tree roots so wear sensible footwear! The trails are mostly in the shade and just very relaxing and pleasant. We started from Jochi-ji Temple [浄智寺], a short walk from Kita-Kamakura Station, passing Kuzuharaoka-jinja Shrine [葛原岡神社] towards Kotoku-in [高徳院], where the Big Buddha [鎌倉大仏] is. The whole thing took us just over an hour. I think if you start from the Kotoku-in side, you'd have to go up more steps.
Kamakura Hiking Trail
Daibutsu Hiking Course
Daibutsu Hiking Trail
easy breezy trails

Jochi-ji is 200 yen to get in, small but quite lovely. Kuzuharaoka-jinja is free to enter, a place to throw tiles to rid of bad luck and to pray for love. Kotoku-in might be extremely crowded on weekends, also 200 yen to enter. You don't need to enter any of the temples but they make quite nice stops and of course there are drink vending machines on temple grounds.

Kuzuharaoka shrine
Kuzuharaoka-jinja Shrine 葛原岡神社

Can stop by money-washing Zeniarai Benten Shrine 銭洗弁天

T E N E N   H i k i n g   C o u r s e    天園ハイキングコース

You get a bit better views doing the Tenen Hiking Course (Northern Hills) starting from Kenchoji 建長寺 near Kita Kamakura Station, but I personally like the Daibutsu Course (Western Hills) better. It takes about the same amount of time.

Kamakura Hiking
Engaku-ji 円覚寺 by Kita Kamakura Station
Tenen Hiking Course
Kenchō-ji 建長寺
Tenen Hiking Trail
Tenen Hiking Course from Kenchoji 建長寺 in mid December, with some autumn colors

G I O N Y A M A   H i k i n g   C o u r s e    祇園山ハイキングコース

Gionyama Hiking Course The entrance of Gionyama Hiking Course is just to the right of Yakumo Shrine's main temple building (a very small and quiet temple labelled as Yagumojinja 八雲神社 on signs), a very narrow path next to a small sign in Japanese - a little hard to see. It does not start from Myohonji temple 妙本寺 as stated online. The trail only takes 30 minutes at a brisk pace, leading to a residential area that's a short walk to Kamakura Station. Some paths are very narrow and steep, going over tree roots and some rocks, mostly in the shade. It'd be a good idea to wear long pants and sensible shoes - it's not overly difficult though, with a good mix of ups and downs and one "scenic point" where you can see the ocean.

There was almost nobody else on this trail on a Sunday afternoon, unlike the more popular/crowded Tenen Hiking Course (longer) or the Daibutsu Hiking Course (also longer but much easier).

Yagumo Jinja
Yagumo Jinja
gionyama hiking trail
entrance to the hiking trail
Gionyama Hiking map

Kinubariyama 衣張山   I   Daibutsu 大仏   I   Tenen 天園   I   Gionyama 祇園山    Hiking Courses ハイキングコース

or see plum blossoms in late February / early March via Asaina Kiridoshi Pass 朝比奈切通し.

Another fun high-reward short hike with varied trails at Takatoriyama 鷹取山 in Zushi!