## The 800+-year-old shrine that is the heart of Kamakura
Dedicated to Hachiman, the patron god of samurai, this beautiful shrine has existed for over 800 years. Enjoy a peaceful respite and the gorgeous views on the approach.
The shrine is easily accessible by public transportation.
From Tokyo, take the JR Yokosuka Line for about an hour. Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine is a 10-minute walk from JR Kamakura Station.
Wakamiya Shrine, located in the gardens, was restored in 1624
Two beautiful ponds represent the Taira and Kamakura clans
The whole shrine was moved in 1180
In 1063, the head of the Minamoto clan, Yoriyoshi, created Tsurugaoka Hachimangu to thank the gods for victory in battle. His descendant, Yoritomo, moved the shrine to its current location in 1180 when he made Kamakura his home and the de facto capital of Japan during the Kamakura period, 1192–1333. By shifting power to the east from Kyoto and establishing the idea of the military rule, known as the shogunate, Yoritomo began an era that would continue until 1868.
Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine is inextricably linked with nearly a century of Japanese history and culture. Today, the shrine, which stands at the center of Kamakura, is widely considered the soul of the city. You enter through many massive red torii gates that stretch through the center of Kamakura. On either side of the wide road leading up to the shrine are two ponds, representing the Minamoto clan, who founded the shrine and the Kamakura Shogunate, and the Taira, their bitter rivals. The gardens beside the Minamoto pond are beautiful all year.
A stone staircase leads you to the shrine itself. Alongside the shrine is a museum devoted to its history. Other attractions include the Maiden stage, where dance performances take place, and the Wakamiya shrine, which was restored in 1624 by the Tokugawa Shogunate in recognition of the dynasty that predated them.
In April, a massive festival centered around the shrine attracts thousands of visitors, as does the yabusame horseback archery festival in September.