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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
Sub-zero temperatures and the greatest of outdoor environments, complemented by sizzling soul food and warm-hearted welcomes. 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
Sleek apple-red and electric-green shinkansen whisk you up to a haven of fresh powder snow, fresh fruit and fearsome folk legends Fearsome festivals, fresh powder and vast fruit orchards—the rugged northern territory of Tohoku offers a fresh perspective on travel in Japan
Hokuriku Shinetsu
Hokuriku Shinetsu
  • Niigata
  • Toyama
  • Ishikawa
  • Fukui
  • Nagano
Mountains and sea meet in one of Japan's wildest regions, and the result is sheer beauty. Once largely inaccessible, Hokuriku is now reachable by shinkansen from Tokyo in a matter of hours 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
Characterized by the constant buzz of the world's most populous metropolitan area, the Kanto region is surprisingly green with an array of escapes that include mountainous getaways and subtropical islands Experience diversity at its fullest, from the neon of Tokyo to the ski slopes of Gunma, exotic wildlife of the Ogasawara Islands and cultural heritage of Kamakura
Tokai
Tokai
  • Yamanashi
  • Shizuoka
  • Gifu
  • Aichi
  • Mie
Served by the shinkansen line that connects Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka, the Tokai region provides plenty of interesting diversions and easy excursions Tokai means "eastern sea," and this region stretches east from Tokyo to Kyoto and includes blockbuster attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama
Kansai
Kansai
  • Kyoto
  • Osaka
  • Shiga
  • Hyogo
  • Nara
  • Wakayama
From raucous nights out to outdoor thrills to peaceful reverie, trying to categorize the Kansai region is a futile task The Kansai region is one of extreme contrasts—the neon lights of Osaka and glittering Kobe nightscape, the peaceful realms of Shiga, Wakayama and Nara, and the cultured refinement of Kyoto
Chugoku
Chugoku
  • Tottori
  • Shimane
  • Okayama
  • Hiroshima
  • Yamaguchi
Less-traveled and delightfully inaccessible at times, the Chugoku region is a reminder that the journey is sometimes more important than the destination Welcome to Japan's warm and friendly western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower
Shikoku
Shikoku
  • Tokushima
  • Kagawa
  • Ehime
  • Kochi
Providing the stage for literary classics, fevered dancing and natural wonders 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
Easily reached by land, sea and air, the dynamic Kyushu prefectures are bubbling with energy, culture and activity The southern island of Kyushu is home to volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky, succulent seafood, steaming hot springs and the country's hottest entrepreneurial town
Okinawa
Okinawa
  • Okinawa
Ruins and recreated castles of the Ryukyu kings nestle amid magnificent beaches in Okinawa, a diver's paradise teeming with an amazing array of coral and undersea life 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 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 ambience rub shoulders.

Tips

  • The local speciality—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 favourite 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 laquerware 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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