Translated by Jasmine Nishino
Kamakura's 6 Best Autumn Leaves Spots In 2020 - Temples, Parks, And More
Written by naomy
Kamakura is a popular sightseeing spot throughout the year, and is a must-visit in fall, when the leaves of the trees turn red and gold. This article suggests six great spots in Japan's ancient capital, like the Great Buddha, and when to enjoy the scenery.
Enjoy the Fall Foliage in Kamakura
Throughout Japan, there are many places where you can enjoy the beautiful foliage, or momiji, in autumn. The ancient city of Kamakura is an ideal destination to take in the stunning red, orange, and yellow leaves. Accessible from Tokyo in around one hour, visit this history-filled city.
Kamakura is slightly on the warmer side in comparison to Tokyo; due to the temperature and weather, the best time to see the foliage is usually during November and December. Continue reading to learn about six recommended places in Kamakura and when and how to enjoy the colorful autumn leaves.
1. Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine
Throughout the year, many come to visit the famous Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine. One of the travel highlights of Kamakura, this is a great spot to enjoy the autumn scenery when the leaves begin to change color. It is also conveniently located just ten minutes by foot from Kamakura Station. This is a perfect spot for those who wish to casually enjoy the foliage in Japan.
The best time to see the leaves at Tsuragaoka Hachimangu is at the end of November to the beginning of December.
2. Great Buddha of Kotokuin Temple
Photo by Pixta
The Great Buddha, or Daibutsu of Kotokuin Temple is a must-visit when in Kamakura. The centuries-old Buddha statue and temple are stunning year-round, but especially gorgeous during the fall. Red and gold foliage paint the temple grounds and surround the statue. The beautiful scene will take your breath when seen in-person.
The fall temperatures in Kamakura also make it a great time for a stroll through the surrounding nature, traditional shops, and historical significance of the area.
You can see the fall foliage at Kotokuin Temple between mid-November to early December.
To get to Kotokuin Temple, take the Enoshima Electric Railway to Hase Station. There will be signs directing you to the temple and Buddha statue.
3. Hokokuji Temple
Photo by Pixta
Popular for its bamboo forest, the grounds of Hokokuji Temple transform in fall with red and yellow colors. Take a stroll through this serene temple and take in the traditional buildings, garden, and bamboo while enjoying the pleasant autumn weather.
The delicate fall colors peeking through the lush green bamboo are especially stunning. Also, be sure to look for the deeply-hued magenta camellia that blooms during this season to further stimulate your senses.
Fall colors here are best enjoyed from late November to early December.
Hokokuji Temple is located near Jomyoji Temple. It is easiest accessed via Keikyu bus from Kamakura Station. Ride the #23 or #24 bus bound for Kanazawa Hakkejima Station and get off at Jomyoji Temple, then look for signs for Hokokuji Temple.
4. Meigetsuin Temple
Picture courtesy of Meigetsuin Temple.
Meigetsuin is a temple that is part of the Rinzai school of Zen Buddhism and is widely known as one of the top three hydrangea viewing spots of Kamakura. This temple is often referred to as the hydrangea temple from the beautiful flowers in the temple grounds. It is also gorgeous in fall and a popular spot for foliage viewing.
During autumn, the highlight of this temple is the main building. When visiting the main temple, see the fantastic view of the autumn leaves framed by the circular window. This is a sight you shouldn't miss out when visiting during the autumn season.
The best time to see the leaves at Meigetsuin Temple is at the end of November to the beginning of December.
5. Hasedera Temple
During the autumn season, the crimson and golden-hued leaves cover the trees, and the scene is lit up after sundown. Go either during the day or in the evening for the stunning and dynamic fall scenery.
The best time to see the leaves at Hasedera Temple is at the end of November to the beginning of December.
6. Genjiyama Park
Genjiyama Park is a short hike away from Kamakura Station and a favorite spot of nature lovers. With many cherry blossom trees, people visit this park to enjoy the flowers in the spring, but it also has gorgeous scenery in the fall.
Meanwhile, in the summer, the hydrangeas go into bloom; Genjiyama Park is a great place to witness the change in seasonal scenery, and the red leaves in the late fall from November to December are undoubtedly the highlight of this area. Why not have a picnic on a sunny day or even go on a hike throughout the park?
The best time to see the leaves in Genjiyama Park is at the end of November to the beginning of December.
Visit Kamakura in the Autumn
As you can see in the photos, the temples become very picturesque during the autumn season. In addition to the spots we have mentioned, there are plenty of wonderful other spots and temples such as Jochiji Temple and Engakuji Temple to see the foliage. Kamakura itself is a beautiful city and a great spot to enjoy seasonal views.