Strange thing to eat while in Kamakura right? Well sometimes you don’t feel like eating Japanese meals three times a day, and a kebab in an Asian country seemed like an interesting option.
Kamakura is only a short train ride away from our base in Enoshima. That’s one of the good things about staying in the area, as opposed to doing a day trip. I find that a day trip for these sorts of things makes you really rushed to try squeeze everything in, rather than taking the time to just appreciate your surroundings.
Taking the Enoshima Dentetsu line from Enoshima station, we made our way to the Hase Dera temple, which was our first stop. The Hase Dera temple is conveniently located a few minutes away from Hase Station. Walk out of the station, take a right, and walk straight for a few minutes. You will see a side street with a massive temple entrance (as well as several hundred tourists). Its about ¥300 to get inside from memory.
Hase Dera Temple
Be sure to have some of the street snacks while at the temple. The vegetarian bun is much tastier than it sounds. The filling is a vegetable mix (I think it was shitake mushrooms) marinated in soy sauce, which is wrapped in a soft, fluffy and warm dough. We also had a soy marinated glutinous rice stick, which is probably my most favorite street food in Japan!
The highlight of this temple, and what I suspect generates the most queues at this place is the hydrangea temple garden within Hase Dera. Luckily for us we were visiting during the non-peak season, and so we didn’t have to wait in line to have a look.
Actually, a really cool part of this visit was that me and the missus were asked by a Japanese junior high school student to answer some questions for a school survey. This sort of thing is really common in touristy areas of Japan where kids ask you things to practice their English, and im sure most travellers are asked all the time. However, I felt chuffed that they picked us instead of a more typical target! (i.e. caucasian traveller, not that i blame them for it).
After this we made our way to Kotoku-in, the main temple in Hase. Its well known for the Great Buddha statue, which you can go inside for the measly ¥10. Take care though, the place is extremely small, especially the staircase to go in.
What i found more interesting to look at was the display of sake barrels. It makes for some great photos!
On an unpleasant note, I saw a dude throwing up into a brown paper bag at the temple. He looked real bad and his mates were sorta smiling while trying to help him out. Strange -_-
Kebab Kamakura Halal Foods
Feeling hungry after watching that scene, we walked back towards Hase station to get the train to Kamakura. Along the way we ran into two shops that I think are worth a visit. Number 1, Kebab Kamakura. A friendly turkish man runs the place that sells chicken kebabs (Not the type on the stick, the gyros/wraps/yeeros variety). After ordering a chicken kebab, we chatted a bit about why he used chicken meat (Lamb is very expensive, and hard to get in Japan). Given I didnt see any other Turkish people except for in Roppongi, I bet he even rolls up the meat himself! The kebabs are delicious and definately worth a try!
The other place we visited on the walk back to the station was this compact Coffee shop run out of the back of a van, named Coffee Idobata. The owner sells various blends, either hot or cold, and being summer, we opted for an ice coffee. Pro tip, his ice cubes are actually made from coffee, not just water, so that when it melts, the flavour of the coffee is not diluted.
Summary of places visited
Hase Dera Temple
3 Chome-11-2 Hase, Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture 248-0016, Japan
Kotoku-In Temple / Great Buddha
4 Chome-2-28 Hase, Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture 248-0016, Japan
1 Chome-16 Hase, Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture 248-0016, Japan
2 Chome-14-13 Hase, Kamakura-shi, Kanagawa-ken 248-0016, Japan