Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine: iconic Kamakura shrine only an hour away from Tokyo

Located just one hour by train from central Tokyo, Kamakura makes a fantastic day trip outside the capital. Filled with historical sights and surrounded by mountains and the sea, it is a nature lover’s paradise with distinctive four seasons. Read about Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine, one of the most popular tourist spots in Kamakura.

About Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine


The shrine is dedicated to the ancient Emperor Ojin, the 15th emperor of Japan, his mother Empress Jingu and the goddess Hime-gami. Its main patron deity Ojin has been worshipped by samurai warriors and is said to bring the well-being of the family,victory and business prosperity.

History and Features

The history of the shrine dates back to 1063, when Minamoto no Yoriyoshi established Tsurugaoka Wakamiya, a branch of the Kyoto’s Iwashimizu Hachimangu Shrine at Kamakura’s Yuigo Tsurugaoka area (now Zaimokuza), and enshrined there the main guardian deity of the Minamoto clan. After that, the shrine was transferred to its current position, establishing Kamakura as the undeniable center of the Kamakura Shogunate. Since then, Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine has been attracting many worshippers who prayed to the deities for victory.

Guide to the precincts

Here is an introduction to the most important facilities of Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine.


The shrine is reached via a long, 2 km approach that leads from Yuigahama Beach.
Many visitors enter the precincts from Ni no Torii (Second gate) near Kamakura Station.

This is Ni no Torii Gate.

From Ni no Torii, a long 500-meters pedestrian path called dan-kazura leads to the next gate called San no Torii (Third gate). Its width gradually narrows as you approach the shrine, making it seem longer than actual. According to the legend, it was made during the Kamakura Shogunate times to make Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine seem more distant, elevate its dignity and confuse the enemy during the attacks.

In spring, many visitors enjoy walking along the cherry blossom tree-lined pathway.

At the end of the 500-meters path, you will see San no Torii (Third gate).

San no Torii serves as the entrance to the shrine grounds. Once entered, visitors will see Genji Pond, Heike Pond and three connecting bridges, with a middle one no longer accessible.

Genji Pond is located on the east side of the shrine, facing Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine, and cherry blossoms bloom profusely here in spring.

Hata-age Benzaitensha Shrine on Genji Pond

Hata-age Benzaitensha Shrine stands on the island floating in Genji Pond.

As the name Hata-age (hata stands for a flag in Japanese) suggests, there are many flags lining up the shrine precincts. These flags were dedicated by the Benzaitensha Shrine’s worshippers.

On the way back, you will see a water fountain Temizuya on the left to purify your hands.

Please read this article to learn how to use Temizuya.

After Temizuya, you will see the vermilion-colored Maiden.

Maiden(Lower worship Hall)

Right under the stairway there’s an open pavilion called Maiden. It is used for various rituals, weddings, music concerts and performances. This wall-less structure is decorated with beautiful patterns that are worth a close-up view.

Great stone stairway and the main hall.

A stone stairway right after the pavilion leads to the main hall.

The main hall stands on a terrace at the top of a wide stone stairway and features a fantastic view of Kamakura. It is highly recommended to check it before and after your praying.

The ‘Hachi’ in the shrine name means ‘eight’, and its character on the main hall is designed to resemble a pair of doves, messengers of the Hachiman deity. To venerate these doves, fortune-telling paper strips and masks are decorated with dove designs. You will see white doves on the shrine precincts!

The main hall was designated as a national important cultural property in 1996. The current building was constructed in 1828, coupled with a beautiful vermillion color and decor.

Wakamiya Shrine

Wakamiya Shrine is located on the east side of the main hall, in front of the stone pathway. Likewise the main hall, it is also designated as a national important cultural property.

Wakamiya Shrine worships 4deities including Emperor Nintoku the son of Emperor Ojin. The cherry blossom view here is breathtaking. The path to the right from Wakamiya Shrine leads to Shirahata-Jinja Shrine.

Shirahata-Jinja Shrine

Shirahata-Jinja Shrine is dedicated to Minamoto no Yoritomo and Minamoto no Sanetomo.Many visitors come to the shrine to pray for victory in the battle of Minamoto no Yoritomo, one of Japan’s most famous military commanders.

Yanagihara-Shinchi Pond, located next to the Shirahata-Jinja Shrine, is famous for its autumn foliage scenery. The views are breathtaking when the bridge’s vermillion woodwork complements the colors of the surrounding trees.

Amulets and Votive Tablets

Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine offers a wide variety of amulets bringing success in business, good health, fulfillment of wishes, and marriage.

Beautiful Well-being Amulet

Beautiful Well-being Amulet resembles a small mirror decorated with a crane-shaped emblem design. It is said to reflect the beauty of the bearer, and brings happiness to both mind and body.

Hello Kitty Amulet

An amulet with a picture of Hello Kitty, a worldwide popular character. Perfect gift for those who like cute designs. The pattern changes depending on a season.

The Great Ginkgo Tree Votive Tablet

The shrine once boasted a 1000-year-old ginkgo tree, toppled in 2010. As a new ginkgo tree sprouting fast on its way to the skies, this wodden tablet helps your wishes to reach the heaven gods.

Dove Bell Amulet

This dove-shaped amulet represents a sacred messenger of the Hachiman Shrine deity.
Available in three colors: gold, silver and white.
The types and varieties of amulets promoted at the shrine is vast and you’re strongly encouraged to find a favorite one.

Goshuin (Sacred Stamp)

You can purchase a goshuin at Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine.


Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine is a power spot with an abundant nature, only an hour by train from Tokyo. Its extensive grounds are surrounded by shopping streets and souvenir shops, a perfect one-day getaway. Don’t miss it when you visit Japan!


Address 2-1-31, Yukinoshita, Kamakura-shi, Kanagawa 248-8588, Japan
Transportation By train:
A 10-minute walk from the east exit of JR Kamakura Station (JR Yokosuka line,JR Shonan Shinjuku line)
A 10-minute walk from Enoden Kamakura Station (Enoshima Electric Railway).
By Road:
From the Asahina Interchange (IC) on the Yokohama Yokosuka Road, follow Prefectural Highway 204 to Kamakura.
Official website https://www.hachimangu.or.jp/en/