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The Kamakura Museum Of Literature: Home Of Kamakura's Literary History

The Kamakura Museum Of Literature: Home Of Kamakura's Literary History

Translated by MATCHA_En

Written by Marina Wada

Kanagawa 2014.06.17 Bookmark

The Kamakura Museum Of Literature is where you will find priceless works and artifacts belonging to some of Japan's best loved classic authors, as well as special exhibitions, rose gardens, and unique architectural feature not often seen in Japan.

After strolling about and taking the grand history of Kamakura outside, you might want to consider learning more about the history of the region indoors. When that mood strikes, you should head to the Kamakura Museum of Literature, built in the former villa of the Maeda family, and located just a seven minute walk from Yuigahama Station on the Enoshima Railway (Enoden) Line.

Beautiful Architecture Appears in Yukio Mishima’s Novel

As a history rich city, Kamakura has been a well-loved place and hometown to various historical and modern day novelists, playwrights, and other figures in Japanese art. In the Kamakura Museum of Literature, you will find artifacts and works by internationally known persons such as Soseki Natsume, Yasunari Kawabata, and director Yasujiro Ozu. Indeed, the building itself was once the second home of former prime minister Eisaku Sato, who kept it in order to be able to visit his friend, Yasunari Kawabata, who lived nearby.

The unique combination of Japanese traditional architecture and the Western art decor style of the building itself has also made it famous in its own right; in fact, the building is mentioned by famed author and right-wing political figure Yukio Mishima in his work "Spring Snow". The main building of the Kamakura Museum of Literature was registered as a National Registered Tangible Property in April of 2000 as well. There are numerous stained glass windows, and other unusual architectural features that are sure to captivate all who visit.

Numerous seasonal flowers fill the gardens here, which further adds to the appeal of the museum itself. There is a rose garden in the grounds too, which is in full bloom from mid-May to the end of June, and once again from mid-October to the end of November as well.

Fabulous Exhibitions!

There is a permanent exhibition inside the museum dedicated to those authors and figures that lived and worked in Kamakura, as well as numerous special exhibitions which are held irregularly throughout the year. For more information on their upcoming special exhibitions, please refer to their website.

Fans of Japanese literature should not miss out on this rare opportunity to combine a unique historical building with amazing gardens and priceless items from some of Japan's best loved authors.


Kamakura Museum of Literature
Address: Kanagawa, Kamakura, Hase 1-5-3
Hours: May-Sep. 9:00-17:00 (last entry 16:30), Oct.-Feb. 9:00-16:30 (last entry 16:00)
Closed: Mondays, Dec. 29th-Jan. 3rd, between exhibitions and irregularly for maintenance. See website for details
Wi-Fi: None
Other Languages: Japanese, English
Nearest Station: Yuigahama Station, Enoden Line
Access: Take the Endoden from JR Kamakura Station or Fujisawa Station, get off at Yuigahama Station, then walk for 7 minutes (cross the railroad and go straight)
Price: permanent collection 400 yen, special exhibitions are extra and may way
Phone: 0467-23-3911
Website: (Japanese)

The information presented in this article is based on the time it was written. Note that there may be changes in the merchandise, services, and prices that have occurred after this article was published. Please contact the facility or facilities in this article directly before visiting.

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