About one hour from Tokyo is the seaside town of Kamakura. Kamakura was Japan’s capital briefly from 1185 to 1333. Today it has a population of less than 200,000 but boasts over 70 shrines and temples.
Kamakura is known most for Daibutsu (the Great Buddha). This bronze Buddha is almost 700 years old and has survived wars and natural worst disasters known to Japan. You need to make a stop but it in truth it won’t take much time.
Hasedera Temple is famous for the 11 headed Kannon statue that mythically washed ashore on a nearby beach. Each head has a different expression. This temple is also well known for it’s hydrangeas in June.
Hokokuji Temple and bamboo garden is a zen temple dating from 1334. It is wonderful and I highly recommend it (we enjoyed more than Kyoto). The garden has a breathtaking tea house.
Kamakura is definitely different than most Japanese towns. It is a surfing town and a resort town. Even bikes and scooters have surf board holders.
If you have an extra day in Tokyo and looking for something different, I would recommend Kamakura as a day trip option. I was there on a cold wet day and it was still worth it!