A prefecture on the east coast of central Japan, Kanagawa sits just to the south of Tokyo, intersecting the greater city limits. Bordered by the Tama River, Yokohama serves as Kanagawa’s capital, the second largest city in Japan by population, and one of the first to be opened up to foreign trade. It’s a multicultural metropolis, Minato Mirai’s glittering shops and bars on the harborside, contrasting its massive Chinatown lined with restaurants and street food stalls. Yokohama is home to both the Cup Noodle Museum and Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum, alongside Japanese gardens, shopping, and bars featuring local craft beers. Follow the coastline down to find the seaside town of Kamakura, once a political hub during medieval Japan, now a popular day trip away from the city for its beaches and religious sites. Cafes bustling in the mainstreet of Komachi Dori lead up to the majestic Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine, while the Daibutsu (Big Buddha) awaits at Kotokuin not far from Hasedera Temple, overlooking the ocean.
To the west of Kamakura is Enoshima, a popular island and surfing spot in summer, home to 3 Shinto shrines, quality seafood, and fish-flavored soft serve. Hakone is also apart of Kanagawa Prefecture, a mountainous hot spring town included in the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park area. Famous for iconic views of Mount Fuji across Lake Ashi, Hakone’s network of ropeways also offer Fuji views on a clear day, while so do some outdoor baths at specialty hot spring hotels. Try some black eggs boiled in the sulfur springs of Owakudani, freshly cut soba buckwheat noodles made with local water, or relax with a luxurious multi-course kaiseki meal at a ryokan (Japanese style inn). From cityscapes to beaches and mountainous getaways, Kanagawa Prefecture offers diverse environments to explore with exciting local cuisine to match it.
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