The shrine was founded in 1063, then enlarged and moved to its current location in 1180. Multiple torii gates lead to the shrine from the city center. In addition to the Main Hall, the grounds encompass the Wakamiya Shrine, several sub-shrines, two ponds, a garden, a stage for music and dance performances, and two museums.
It’s easy to visit Tsurugaoka Hachimangu independently. Or opt to visit the shrine as part of a half-day or full-day Kamakura sightseeing trip, which will typically include stops at other popular attractions such as Engaku-ji Temple, Kotokuin, and Komachi-dori shopping street. Day trips from Tokyo are available.
Things to Know Before You Go
Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine is a must-visit in Kamakura. Entry to grounds is free, with a charge to enter the museums. Photography is not permitted inside of shrine buildings, or of shrine priests, maidens, and staff. The shrine is not wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
The shrine is easily accessible by public transportation. From Tokyo, take the JR Yokosuka Line for about an hour. The shrine is about a 10-minute walk from JR Kamakura Station (east exit), along Wakamiya-Oji Avenue or Komachi-dori shopping street.
When to Get There
The shrine is open year-round, with extended hours from April to September. From January 1 to January 3, it is open 24 hours a day. Popular shrine festivals take place in mid April and mid September, and include offerings, processions, dances, and demonstrations of yabusame (horseback archery). The New Year period is also a popular time to visit the shrine as part of the hatsumode (first shrine visit of the year) ritual.
Shrine Museums The shrine complex is home to two museums. The Kamakura National Treasure House Museum contains treasures from the city’s various temples. The Museum of Modern Art, Kamakura contains a collection of more than 13,000 exhibits, and includes Japanese and western works of art.