Welcome to Kamakura, a serene town nestled between mountains and sea, just a short train ride away from Tokyo. For over 800 years, this ancient capital has been home to 150 shrines and temples that embody the essence of this city. Alongside these, small businesses and craft cultures thrive in historical buildings, contributing to the local way of life. Kamakura perfectly blends the old with the new and our tradition-respecting spirit, making it a unique and cherished destination. With almost 20 years of experience, our staff is excited to guide you to their favorite spots in Kamakura.
Guide: Kayo Iiyama [Manager of Tsuchiya Kaban Global Business Dept.]
Guest: Omar Santis [Musician from Sweden]
01. Tsuchiya Kaban Kamakura
We chose Kamakura as its first store location.
Kayo: At Tsuchiya Kaban, we create store designs that match the character of each location. For example, here at the Kamakura store, we incorporated the design elements of temple architecture from the late Kamakura period (13th century) into the interior. We unified the store with walls made of traditional Japanese plaster, which developed a unique patina over time. Just like our bag-making process.
Omar: The high-quality products elegantly displayed in this sophisticated space evoke a sense of Japanese humility, and the spirit of "Less is more."
Kayo: We also furnished the space with antique furniture to allow our customers to experience the rich cultural heritage of Japan and to take their time to choose their items in a relaxed situation. Leather goods are meant to be used for a long time, and we, as leather experts and artisans, aim to convey our voices and thoughts to customers.
Omar: I've been looking for a chic leather bag for a long time for my everyday use and hobby, which is photography! My criteria for a bag are that they are functional and comfortable and have a refined elegance unique to artisan leather.
The Oldest temple as known as "Flower Temple ".
Kayo: One of the reasons why Kamakura is so popular for both tourism and living is that the city, nature, and history are closely connected to our daily lives. Hase- Temple [officially called "Kaikozan Jishoin Hase- Temple" founded in the Nara Period (736AD)] is one of the oldest temples in Kamakura that symbolizes this characteristic.
Omar: Gorgeous! The temple stands in the deep green mountains as if watching over the city.
Kayo: There is also a gazebo from which you can see the ocean and the city. The walking path is filled with 2,500 hydrangea plants in 40 different varieties and is said to be one of the most scenic spots in Kamakura.
Omar: There are many places to take pictures, both natural and architectural.
Kayo: No matter what time of year you visit, the temple is always beautifully adorned with flowers from time to time. This is why the temple is also called "Hana-dera," or "flower temple," and has a reputation for being a temple that soothes the hearts of all.
Our go-to bakery cafe!
Kayo: This is our favorite neighborhood bakery-cafe that we use daily from morning to night.
The café was renovated to retain the atmosphere of a 100-year-old former liquor store, and the beams, walls, and exterior reflect its history, which is one of the reasons we like to bring our overseas guests here.
Omar: Everything looks beautiful and delicious and hard to decide!
What would you recommend?
Kayo: Croissants and baguettes, of course. But I highly recommend toasts made with fluffy Japanese milk bread called "Shokupan." I especially like the toast made with seafood caught in the sea of Kamakura, which you can only taste here！