Small smiling stone buddha monk statue (Nagomi Jizo). The Japanese characters mean "The Jizo for good relationship". Hasedera Temple, Kamakura, Japan; Shutterstock ID 539525365; Your name (First / Last): Laura Crawford; GL account no.: 65050; Netsuite department name: Online Editorial; Full Product or Project name including edition: BiA: Takayama, south of Tokyo POI images for online

Shutterstock / Piyawan Charoenlimkul


The glory days of Japan's first feudal capital (from 1185 to 1333) coincided with the spread of populist Buddhism in Japan. This legacy is reflected in the area's proliferation of stunning temples. Kamakura (鎌倉) also has a laid-back, earthy vibe complete with organic restaurants, summer beach shacks and surfers – which can be added to sunrise meditation and hillside hikes as reasons to visit. Only an hour from Tokyo, it tends to get packed on weekends and holidays, so plan accordingly.


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