Tsurugaoka Hachimangu is known as the most important Shinto temple in Kamakura and also known for the miniature Fushimi-Inari shrine located at the back of the main temple.
FINALLY writing this highly requested blog post, while it takes so long to sort out the photos and edit them, I had good fun! I have always loved editing my travel photos, experimenting with new edits and just sharing my experience visiting certain destinations. This visit marked my first ever time to Kanagawa and just as expected, everytime I visit Japanese prefectures, there’s always something sweet to remember and I always left even more convinced that Japan is indeed one of my favorite countries in this world, if not, my MOST favorite. I am going to divide the Kanagawa series into several blog posts but let’s start with THE ITINERARY!
Since I travelled to Japan with my good good friend, Anaz, I am going to refer the subjects as “we”, and we travelled everywhere by car. We spent four days in Kanagawa prefecture and in those 4 days we managed to visit some of their most famous tourist destinations such as Kamakura, Yokohama and Hakone! Hold on to your popcorn because this post is going to be long, but I am not going to disappoint you with what you’re going to read, so without further ado, should we start?
Arrived in Haneda International Airport, transfer to Hakone
We flew Garuda Indonesia to Tokyo and took the night flight so that we can arrive in Japan by the morning and went straight to exploring what Kanagawa has in store! YAS I’M READY! Anyway kudos to Garuda Indonesia’s business class service, as always, such a pleasant flight!
Lunch at Cafe Komon
…of course, it’s the morning and I was in desperate need of coffee, didn’t have time to look for nearby coffee shop so Tully’s at the airport was enough, but of course we need some good meal to kick start the day so we went to Cafe Komon to fill our tummies! When scanning the menu, they put their best-sellers at the front pages so we opted for those: Anaz got the Roasted Beef which was lean but so tender and I had the Pork Katsu which was beautifully fried and seasoned, a sweet closure was needed that day so we opted for the Matcha Pancake Souffle (which somehow appeared more like sponge cake souffle) and it was REALLY good! I love how it’s not to sweet and paired with this delicious milk and matcha ice cream. YUM!
Hakone Sightseeing Cruise (Lake Aishi)
The sight-seeing cruise is one of the best ways for tourists to enjoy the beautiful Lake Ashikono with Mount Fuji on the background as the symbol of Hakone! The relatively short-timed cruise moved from Moto-Hakone, unfortunately by the time of my visit, the sky was so cloudy that it was blocking the Mount Fuji view. Sad 🙁
The ropeway moved from Sounzan Station to Togendai Station, operates at one-minute intervals and overall 30-minute journey from the beginning to the end, I was busy taking pictures because the view from up there was pretty breathtaking, especially the natural volcanic fumes of Uwakudani, the Lake Ashi and just the overall lush green surrounding, anyway highlight of my visit to Uwakudani, MY FIRST EVER BLACK EGG (Kuro Tamago)! Taste wise, it’s basically the same boiled chicken egg only with the black shell from the natural hot sulphur spring boiling, locals hold on to the belief that for every one egg eaten, seven years is added to one’s life. Believe it or not LOL!
Amasake Chaya is a traditional teahouse that’s rather isolated but such a sanctuary to be after spending a long day touring Hakone. I absolutely love the raw and lush vibe of this tea house and its surrounding, they even keep the ground the way it is: ground soil. Here they offer various traditional drink and dessert such as sake, teas, kakigori, and mochi, and everything was SO GOOD! Anaz ordered the mochi which I didn’t try but she constantly raved about it and I got the Calpico Kakigori which was light yet perfect for that particular moment!
After a quick tea break at Amasuke Chaya, we continued the trip and went to Hakone’s most famous tourist attraction: HAKONE SHRINE! The site stands at the foot of Mount Hakone with most of the shrine buildings located kind of hidden at the dense forest, the “Mototsumiya” stands at the summit of Komagatake, and another shrine where a lot of people take picture is located near the Torii lake (and facing the lake), the whole area was so spacious and lush and gorgeous for both the eyes and the camera in the same time. We spent a good quality of time exploring the beauty of the shrine!
“Don’t forget to pray, because
God did not forget to wake you up”
Check in hotel and dinner at hotel – Ichinoyu Honkan
Breakfast at hotel, I love staying at Japanese hotels, well not every single hotel, but most hotels will serve you Japanese breakfast like this which consist of rice, grilled fish, condiments, onsen egg, tofu, miso soup and soup (chicken and vegetable) on the side, every hotel has their own way of including items for breakfast and presenting them, but they pretty much should look like this.
Hokoku-ji temple is a famous temple located at the eastern side of Kamakura, what makes this temple very famous is the bamboo grove found behind the temple’s main hall!
Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine
It was around 38 degree celcius and I was the genius wearing blazer!
Fushimi-inari miniature where people can take pictures, you got a little piece of Kyoto here in Kamakura!
Lunch at Wasai Yakura
As you can see on the photo below, I had raw fish for lunch and they were SO FRESH! The raw sardines baby were so smooth, so soft and absolutely fresh! It was 1800 yen per set, it was around 300 yen cheaper if you ordered the cooked one.
Ichijyo Ekan Sanso
Ichijyo Ekan Sanso is one of the most important cultural sites in Japan which is now located at Kamakura and the whole area consist of mountain houses, river, and this spacious garden with peaceful zen vibe that I absolutely like. I might do a full blog post on this subject, but in the mean time enjoy the shots I took here.
Highlight of the day: having homemade Japanese desserts and matcha, I was so present at that moment, so much in peace.
Komachi Street is just like Tokyo’s very own Takeshita Street in Harajuku, basically an avenue filled with shops, cafes, outlets and dining places. Komachi street is located not too far from Tsurugaoka Hachimangu, if the weather wasn’t as extreme, I would be more than happy to walk from Tsurugaoka Hachimango to Komachi street! As much as we wanted to, we didn’t do any shopping due to the limited time and due to the fact that it’s better to explore the street rather than wasting time on shops, well at least we got to have ice creams from this popular Matcha ice cream shop in Komachi Street called Kamakura ChaCha, seriously SO GOOD SO BOLD and you can choose the Matcha intensity from level 1-6, even though it’s a bit pricey (800 yen) but sure worth it!
We also had this famous chocolate Lava Tart, OMG we were SO LUCKY as getting this was kinda accidental!!! Since we can’t read Japanese at all, we were at the store at 4:55 PM where these tarts start being sold at 5 PM, there was no one but us so we were the very first customers and the first people that day to grab these chocolate lava tarts! By the span of 10 minutes, more and more people started to queue! This was sold for 300 yen per piece, and expect to get this chocolate lava ooze as you bite but be careful it’s hot, the chocolate’s rich, again not to sweet (which I like), but to be frank not something that would make me want to queue if I have to.
Dinner at Ristorante Amalfi
We had Italian food for dinner that day and one of the most famous Italian fine dining restaurant in Kamakura is Ristorante Amalfi, first of all, for the more vibey feel opt for the outdoor seats with front facing sea view like I did, it’s kinda windy and I needed that especially after the long hot summer day! The food here did not disappoint, a little miss here and there but overall still very recommended, especially the uber good Beef Steak.
Check in hotel – Kamakura Park Hotel
The visit to Cupnoodle Museum was one of my personal favorite highlights of my visit. It was my first time to the Cupnoodle Museum in Japan and it was just a cute experience, should I do a separated blog post about it? Here we got to learn the history, the production process and the Cup Noodle DIY design where we can doodle our own “art” on the cup and bring back home as souvenirs, such one with personal touch. Definitely need an individual blog post for this!
Lunch at Pieholic
Yokohama Marine and Walk
Yokohama Marine and Walk is this open-air mall located at the heart of Yokohama and next to Yokohama bay! The tenants are mainly fancy fashion, cafes and bridal vendors, this was where Pieholic (our lunch spot) was and not to mention, the fabulous fashion retailer: COS!
Orbi is an entertainment station built and developed by Sega, the main idea of Orbi is for visitors to enjoy the world of nature and animals through five senses! Visitors can interact with most of the animals here (unless warned not to), feed them and play with them.
Yukata de Marine Rouge
Now another one that deserves a single blog post for there’s plenty of information that I can share to you about wearing Yukata in Yokohama and actually had dinner at the cruise with our Yukata. Yukata is highly worn by Japanese during summer and the dinner on the cruise was something extra but such a fun experience! The dinner started around 7 PM and while waiting for the dinner to be ready, we can go to the rooftop area to enjoy the sunset and the bay breeze!
Golden hour <3
Check in hotel – Yokohama Royal Park Hotel
Thank you guys for reading! I hope this post can help you in planning your Kanagawa itinerary, considering Kanagawa is not too far from Tokyo, it’s worth making a day trip or to stay for a few days in this prefecture and explore the best of it! For further questions, you know where to find me, either the comment tab below or my IG DM!
Stay tuned for more blog posts from this trip!
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