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How to Properly Explore Kamakura Part 11: Kamakura-Gu 鎌倉宮

Why visit this shrine?

1) You like Meiji Era
2) You have an interest in military history.
3) You love fall foliage

Main Torii Gate

This is the easiest shrine to reach from Kamakura Station by bus with a minimum walking distance from the Daito no Miya bus stop to alter.   This is one of the most beautiful medium sized shrines in Japan.

This shrine was not built in honor of a living emperor at that time, but was built in honor of a slain prince who was murdered out of jealous rage by one of the Emperor's top supporters in 1335 at 28 years of age.    The 12th and 13th centuries have always been a great fascination for Emperor Meiji.  This may be due to the shift in power from the samurai to the emperor, a common theme in Japanese history.

Being brave and young have always been strong Japanese virtues from the time of antiquity to the present, and is what sets this shrine apart shrines that glorify the gods of Japan.

There are ten points of interest here:

1) Main Shrine ( Best in autumn)
2) Minaminokata Shrine
3) Sancturary
4) Murakami Shrine
5) Dungeon
6) Monument of Kamakura Shrine
7) Treasury
8) Shrine office
9) Taihei Den
10) Sacred Arch

For the tourist, a good place to start would be around #7 for the trees and the nice photos.   Shooting pictures here from the side of the shrine could provide some nice angles, and of course from the front as well.   You could see the whole area in under 40 minutes if you take your time.  Some brochures are available in English.

( Shrine etiquette)

Before passing through the main gate bow one time towards the main hall.   Then walk along the side up to the main hall, never in the middle.   Purify yourself as the water pavilion by pouring water over your hands.  Never let the ladle touch your mouth.   At the alter make two deep bows then clap your hands twice then one more bow after you pray.


  1. Looking to check into this... got a bunch on my plate ^_^ so much to do.


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