Festivals & Events
Kamakura Festival 鎌倉まつり
Celebrate Kamakura and the samurai spirit at a festival full of music, drinking and feats of archery
With dancing, music, horseback archery and even a tragic love story, the Kamakura Festival in mid-April celebrates highlights of the town's history and samurai lore.
- The Shizuka no Mai dance performance
- The exciting horseback archery competition
How to Get There
You can get to the festival venue by train and a short walk.
The Kamakura Festival is centered around Tsurugaoka Hachimangu , a 10-minute walk from Kamakura Station.
Dancing in the streets
For one week from the second Sunday in April, Kamakura is taken over by the festival spirit.
Although the focal point is at the Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine , you'll find fun attractions across the city. The streets are filled with parading mikoshi shrines, music and dance (both modern and traditional), eating, drinking and merry-making.
A tragic love story
The first day of the festival boasts the Shizuka no Mai dance performance based on the tragic story of Princess Shizuka.
The dance interprets the heroine's story from the “Tale of Heike," a 14th-century classic of Japanese literature. Princess Shizuka was in love with the warlord Minamoto no Yoshitune, but his rival Yoritomo seized her. When she refused to submit to him, she was imprisoned and her children executed.
Speed and skill
The yabusame tournament of horseback archery takes place on the last day of the festival. Showing off essential samurai skills, each competitor must shoot an arrow at the target while his horse is galloping at full tilt.