Daibutsu Hiking Course

Hiking in Kamakura
Image by Bernard Tan / Getty Images

This 3km wooded trail connects Kita-Kamakura with the Daibutsu in Hase (allow about 1½ hours) and passes several small, quiet temples and shrines, including Zeniarai-benten via a slight detour, one of Kamakura's most alluring Shintō shrines.

The path begins at the steps just up the lane from pretty Jōchi-ji, a few minutes from Tōkei-ji. Near Zeniarai-benten a cavelike entrance leads to a clearing where visitors come to bathe their money in natural springs, with the hope of bringing financial success. From here, continue down the paved road, turning right at the first intersection, walking along a path lined with cryptomeria and ascending through a succession of torii (shrine gates) o Sasuke-inari-jinja, a hilltop enclave strewn with kitsune (fox totems), before meeting up with the Daibutsu path once again. To hike in the opposite direction, follow the road beyond Daibutsu and the trail entrance is on the right, just before a tunnel.