By Katie Jacobs
For a taste of old world Japan, and some respite from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo, Kamakura is the perfect spot.
If you don’t make it to Kyoto (which would be a shame) an alternative trip to experience the traditional and spiritual side of Japan – which admittedly is in short supply in Tokyo – is Kamakura. It’s easily accessible as a day trip and takes just an hour by local train from Shibuya. It was the de facto capital of Japan during the Kamakura shogunate from roughly 1180 to 1330, and as such has many significant Shinto shrines and Buddha temples. A day’s strolling through the quaint town and visiting the sites is very restorative after the bustle of Tokyo. If it’s summer, make your way to the beach and visit one of the pop-up beach bars for a beer or margarita, and check out Tokyo’s young letting loose and partying wildly before adopting the straitjackets of their future careers, although this might work against the zen effects of the rest of the town.