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Regions of Japan

Hokkaido Tohoku Hokuriku
Shinetsu
Kanto Tokai Kansai Chugoku Shikoku Kyushu Okinawa Islands SAPPORO TOKYO NAGOYA OSAKA FUKUOKA FURANO KUSHIRO AOMORI SENDAI FUKUSHIMA NIKKO HAKONE SADO TAKAYAMA KANAZAWA ISE KYOTO NARA HIROSHIMA NAGASAKI KAGOSHIMA NAHA
Hokkaido
Hokkaido
  • Hokkaido
Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush
Tohoku
Tohoku
  • Aomori
  • Akita
  • Iwate
  • Yamagata
  • Miyagi
  • Fukushima
Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan
Hokuriku Shinetsu
Hokuriku Shinetsu
  • Niigata
  • Toyama
  • Ishikawa
  • Fukui
  • Nagano
An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare
Kanto
Kanto
  • Tokyo
  • Kanagawa
  • Chiba
  • Saitama
  • Ibaraki
  • Tochigi
  • Gunma
Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife
Tokai
Tokai
  • Yamanashi
  • Shizuoka
  • Gifu
  • Aichi
  • Mie
Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan
Kansai
Kansai
  • Kyoto
  • Osaka
  • Shiga
  • Hyogo
  • Nara
  • Wakayama
The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara
Chugoku
Chugoku
  • Tottori
  • Shimane
  • Okayama
  • Hiroshima
  • Yamaguchi
Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower
Shikoku
Shikoku
  • Tokushima
  • Kagawa
  • Ehime
  • Kochi
Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving
Kyushu
Kyushu
  • Fukuoka
  • Saga
  • Nagasaki
  • Oita
  • Kumamoto
  • Miyazaki
  • Kagoshima
The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky
Okinawa
Okinawa
  • Okinawa
Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings

Attraction

Kamakura Komachi-dori Street 鎌倉小町通り

Fashionable street in the middle of an ancient city

Kamakura Komachi-dori Street is a peculiar strip of modernity in the center of an ancient city, where trendy boutiques, gourmet cuisine, and a timeless ambiance rub shoulders.

Don't Miss

  • The local specialty—dishes served with shirasu (whitebait)
  • Hidden sights in alleys off the main street

How to Get There

Access to Kamakura Komachi-dori Street is convenient from Tokyo and Yokohama.

From JR Tokyo, take the JR Tokaido Line to JR Kamakura Station. On most trains, you will have to transfer at Ofuna Station for the Yokosuka Line. The trains take almost one hour from Tokyo Station and around 45 minutes from Yokohama Station.

Komachi-dori begins at the red torii gate to the left of the east exit of JR Kamakura Station. The road runs for about 350 meters parallel to Wakamiya-oji, the street that leads to the Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine.

Market forces

With humble beginnings as a modest street market centuries ago, the area has transformed into a symphony of shopping and commerce.

You can find everything from boutique fashion stores to souvenir gift shops along Komachi-dori, and when the bags get heavy and your feet tired, there are countless cafes, restaurants, cake shops, and bakeries.

If you want to see the area in style, why not rent a kimono and get pulled around Kamakura in one of the many rickshaws available for hire.

A street for gourmets

Many of the restaurants serve whitebait, a local delicacy known as shirasu. Every conceivable method of preparation and presentation has been considered and tried, so whether you want to try it raw, with noodles, on a pizza, or on top of a rice bowl, there will be a place that caters to your appetite.

Sweets and snacks are a big draw, particularly candied bean sweets and cookies.

Crowd-pleaser

Komachi-dori is, as one would expect, frequently crowded. It's a favorite haunt for daytime TV shows keen to unearth a new noodle shop or find a great bargain, leading inevitably to a spike in visitors with resulting lines of customers waiting in line to be seated at a popular new place.

It has been calculated that 18 million people come to Komachi-dori every year. Fortunately, the street is traffic controlled and sequestered for pedestrians during the daytime, so there is space to move around. Only delivery and emergency vehicles are allowed to pass through.

Some history and culture in the mix

The alleys leading off Komachi-dori are worth exploring as well, whether to find hidden quirky shops or historic buildings that will satisfy the urge to mix some learning in with your spending.

For those with a literary bent, Nobel Laureate Yasunari Kawabata's favorite coffee shop is still in business in the neighborhood. His famous residence, too, is nearby. You can easily find both if you hunt.

The Kamakura Kitchoan Museum, about halfway up Komachi-dori, has an interesting collection of ceramics. On the other side of Wakamiya-oji, the Kamakurabori Museum showcases lacquerware made in the local style. English signage is minimal, but the objects themselves are beautiful.

If you tire of shopping, trendiness, and the crowds, simply slip through an alley to Wakamiya-oji and let the ponds and grounds of Tsurugaoka Hachimangu soothe you.

You can cover most of Komachi-dori in an hour, but if you plan on taking photos, shopping for souvenirs, or stopping for coffee, green tea, sweets, or a meal, you will need longer.

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