Exploring Kanagawa: A Local's Travel Guide

Exploring Kanagawa: A Local's Travel Guide

Exploring Kanagawa: A Local's Travel Guide

Kanagawa, located on the eastern coast of Japan's main island of Honshu, is a vibrant prefecture that offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, rich history, and modern attractions. From stunning coastal landscapes to bustling cities, Kanagawa has something to offer for every type of traveler. As a local, I am excited to share with you some of the top places to visit and things to do in this diverse prefecture.

1. Yokohama

A trip to Kanagawa is incomplete without exploring Yokohama, the prefecture's capital city. Known for its cosmopolitan atmosphere, Yokohama offers a perfect mix of modernity and tradition. Begin your journey at the iconic Yokohama Landmark Tower, one of Japan's tallest skyscrapers, for breathtaking panoramic views of the city and the nearby bay.

Stroll down the bustling streets of Chinatown, where you can indulge in delicious street food and shop for unique souvenirs. Don't miss the picturesque Yamashita Park, which stretches along the waterfront with vibrant flowers and stunning views of the Yokohama Bay Bridge.

2. Enoshima Island

Escape the city and head to Enoshima Island, a small island just off the coast of Kamakura. Accessible via a bridge, this island is a paradise for nature lovers, offering sandy beaches, lush gardens, and panoramic clifftop views. Explore the enchanting Enoshima Shrine, dedicated to the goddess Benzaiten, and enjoy a leisurely walk through the serene Samuel Cocking Garden.

Make sure to stop by the Enoshima Sea Candle, a lighthouse that illuminates the island at night, providing a romantic atmosphere. The island also boasts delectable seafood, so don't forget to try some fresh fish or shrimp at the local restaurants.

3. Kamakura

Kamakura, a historic city famous for its numerous temples and shrines, is a must-visit destination in Kanagawa. Begin your exploration at the iconic Great Buddha (Daibutsu), a massive bronze statue dating back to the 13th century. Marvel at its grandeur and learn about its historical significance.

Next, visit the picturesque Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine, dedicated to Hachiman, the god of war. Admire the beautiful architecture, serene gardens, and experience a traditional Japanese tea ceremony at one of the tea houses within the shrine.

Take a leisurely stroll through the charming Komachi-dori street, lined with unique shops, cafes, and local vendors offering traditional sweets, crafts, and souvenirs. Don't forget to visit Hokokuji Temple, also known as the Bamboo Temple, where you can sit and enjoy the peaceful ambiance of the bamboo grove.

4. Hakone

Venture into the natural wonders of Hakone, a mountainous area known for its hot springs, breathtaking views of Mount Fuji, and serene lakes. Take a scenic boat ride across Lake Ashi, surrounded by lush greenery and with magnificent views of Mount Fuji on clear days.

Embark on a journey on the Hakone Ropeway, a cable car that offers stunning panoramic views of the volcanic Owakudani Valley, famous for its hot springs and sulfurous vents. Indulge in a relaxing dip in one of the many hot spring resorts in the area, and experience the healing powers of these natural thermal baths.

5. Kawasaki

For a taste of modern culture and entertainment, head to Kawasaki, a vibrant city located between Tokyo and Yokohama. Explore the unique Kawasaki Warehouse, an entertainment complex designed like a post-apocalyptic city, offering a variety of arcade games, virtual reality experiences, and themed bars.

Visit the Shin Kawasaki Musical Instrument Museum, a haven for music enthusiasts, with an impressive collection of musical instruments from around the world. Don't miss the Kawasaki Daishi Temple, a renowned Buddhist temple known for its magnificent architecture and serene atmosphere.


Kanagawa prefecture is a treasure trove of diverse attractions, offering a mix of natural beauty, historical landmarks, and modern entertainment. Whether you want to immerse yourself in traditional Japanese culture, relax in hot springs, or explore cosmopolitan cities, Kanagawa has it all. So pack your bags, prepare for a memorable journey, and embark on an adventure through the wonders of Kanagawa!