Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gū is the most important and historical shrine in Kamakura, it is dedicated to Hachiman, the god of war in the Shinto religion, and protector of the Japanese people.
In 1192 Minamoto no Yoritomo, the first shogun to settle in Kamakura after which Kamakura became the capital of the country chose Hachiman as the protective divinity adopted this sanctuary, which had been built before its arrival in 1063.
The Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gū was initially built closer to the sea (Zaimokuza Area). But on his arrival, Minamoto no Yoritomo moved the shrine to occupy a central position in Kamakura. You can still visit the site of the old Shrine `Moto-Hachiman’ or previous Hachiman, it is within walking distance of WeBase.
Various events are held at the shrine throughout the year.
Example: For New Year holidays, hatsumode (first Shinto shrine visit of the Japanese New Year) one of the most popular shrines in Japan over two million visitors. Expect waiting times of above 3 hours!
In April and September, Yabusame (archery from horseback) is performed along the main approach to the shrine. There are smaller festivals all year round.
Next to the shrine is a set of Inari gates leading up a path to a small temple on a hilltop, this is also a great spot for a photo and may remind visitors of Fushii-Inari Shrine in Kyoto.
From Kamakura Station, it takes 13-minute by walk.
On the way to Hachiman-gu, there are many small shops and restaurants along the Komachi-Dori Street which offered many great places for lunch or a cafe break.
Hours and Fee：
|April-September||5am – 8:30pm (gate closes at 9pm)|
|October-March||6am – 8:30pm (gate closes at 9pm)|
|January 1-3||Open 24 hours|
- From WeBase Kamakura Hostel: It take 31-minutes by walk to Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gū. Or 10〜15 minutes by bicycle.
- From Kamakura station: It take 13-minute by walk to Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gū.
- From Tokyo station: It take 1hour from Tokyo to Kamakura Station, and 13-minute by walk to Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gū.
Best time to go：
During the weekend because there is very strong possibility that you will be able to see the Shinto wedding – the way bride and groom are dressed as well as the religious ritual itself.
But if you want time to take it all in and avoid the crowds we recommend going on the weekdays to enjoy the Shrine in peace.