Abound with rich history, distinctive culture, fashionable restaurants and trendy cafes, Kamakura is flooded with aspirational features all year round.
On top of that, Kamakura’s neighbors, collectively known as the area of Shonan, also radiate charms that ceaselessly beckon people to come back for more.
Here is some local’s information on the area’s current trends that should be on your radar during December.
Hasedera Light Up
While the romantic colors of the autumn foliage start to fade, the ancient capital continues to bedazzle in beautiful shimmering lights throughout the winter season
One of the illumination events you should catch a glimpse of is the light spectacular of Hasedera held until December 20.
During the running, the temple will gorgeously illuminate in blue, adding a majestic feel to its historical grounds. If you are in luck, you may also catch the last of the autumn leaves glowing amongst the lights.
Hasedera’s harmony of colors is the most spellbinding scenery of Kamakura that will soon not be forgotten.
Another fun thing to look forward to when walking around the region of Hase is checking out on all their fancy shops which line around the ancient streets and alley ways
Just open this year in May, Cacao Hanare is a stunning chocolate shop, affiliate to the famous Maison Cacao, offering all sorts of chocolate treats with added twists of Japanese flavors. Its series of chocolate tarts married with authentic Japanese spices are some incredible bites that cannot be found elsewhere.
Enoshima Sea Candle
Another illumination event that should deserve a mention is the light up of Enoshima, which is held November 21–March 7. For this year’s running, in order to avoid the 3Cs, lighting displays will vastly spread across Katase Enoshima Bay area to the whole of Enoshima Island.
Walking along the glittering Enoshima Benten Bridge headed towards the island bejeweled in twinkling lights is a scene just out of a fairy tale.
The field of winter tulips amidst the dazzling colors of the illumination is also one special winter scenery you don’t want miss. The tulips should be in full bloom by Christmas, just in time to add joy to the holiday season.
The observatory deck at the Sea Candle offers a superb bird’s eye view of the Sagami Bay and so if you happen to arrive early, just in time for sunset, you may be lucky to witness a totally picturesque view of Mt. Fuji, too.
Your way up the island is quiet steep, so if you aren’t feeling so fit on the day, taking Escar (escalator which runs up Enoshima) is your best choice.
On a side note, if you are taking the train to Katase Enoshima Station, make sure to get a glimpse of the new station building, just rebuilt in July 2020, inspired by the world of Ryugu (dragon’s palace believed to exist at the bottom of the ocean).
In parallel to the light spectacular of Enoshima, the Enoshima Aquarium is also hosting a sparkly winter event, Jewerium, from December 1 to 25. If you love sea creatures, it’s a great opportunity for you to witness them in Christmas displays.
The aquarium will also host a Christmas craft workshop for kids and parents during the running. The admission to this event is free of charge, but you’ll need to make prior booking via the aquarium’s website.
The New Kamakura Hotel
Located only 2 minutes walking distance away from Kamakura Station’s western exit, a new stylish hotel opened its doors in November 2020. Kamakura Hotel places emphasis on providing hospitality which integrates the traditional and contemporary elements of Kamakura to its services.
The bar offers a superb lineup of seasonal sake and shochu along with otsumami that are produced with the finest local ingredients. The bar opens from 17:00 and it is also open for the public to enjoy as well.
In regards to dinning, the concierge who is a Kamakura specialist will introduce you to the best restaurants suited to your preference. The traditional Japanese breakfast is served in a bamboo bento box packed with delicious onigiri and seasonal condiments.
Kurumicco, Limited Christmas Edition
Tis the season to be jolly! The prestige gifts of Kamakura turn merry during December.
The beloved Kamakura confectionary, Kurumicco by Kamakura Beniya will transform its gift boxes to a limited Christmas version from December until stocks last.
The iconic trademark squirrel will be illustrated in an adorable Christmas outfit for the eight-piece gift boxes, so if you love a delicious treat that is loaded with cuteness, this should definitely make your Christmas shopping list.
The classic eight-piece boxes and other special treats with loveable motifs are also available to you in parallel, so while you are there, make sure to check out on each of these charming sweets as well.