Into the Wild: Exploring the Ten-en Hiking Trail, Kamakura / 鎌倉の天園ハイキングコースに挑戦

Last month, Miss IKIMASHO and I took a trip out to Kamakura which is about an hour from where we live. While we have been lots of time before (a few articles here, here, and here), this was the first time we’d been hiking in the area. The Ten-en Hiking Trail leads primarily along the ridgeline of the hills in northern Kamakura, and is an easy way to feel lost in nature, yet still be back in civilisation in time for lunch.

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The Yokosuka line starting from Yokohama at 9am on a Saturday morning. I posted this pic on the IKIMASHO Facebook page commenting how clean it looked and many people around the world agreed.

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After arriving at Kamakura we took a bus from stand #4 outside the station to Kamakura-gu – a nice shrine in its own right with a huge white torii gate (these are usually red). From this gate you turn directly right and then go round the corner, walk about 500m and you’ll come to the start of the trail.

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There were some sakura in early bloom…

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Filling the sky with pink and blue.

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🌸 💕💙🌸 💕💙🌸 💕💙🌸 💕💙

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An ornate carving on the roof of a wooden structure I saw on the way to the start of the trail.

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The Ten-en hiking trail is actually on Google Maps, and so it shouldn’t be too difficult to find. There are also a few random signs pointing you in the right direction. While not the most exciting of pics, I’ve included this one here in case you want to replicate this hike for yourself. This is the start.

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The trail is well-worn but not exactly man-made at the start. You just need to clamber up the slopes, but be careful if you’re doing this after it rains as I reckon it’d be pretty slippy.

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Houses scattered in the valley below

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The trail has a wide variety of trees – densely forested in some parts, with other sections featuring towering bamboo.

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There are also random shrines and trinkets scattered along the way to discover

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Out of the dark and into the light ☀️

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Which way? I love how some of the signs on this trail are so old and rusted. You will see some hikers along the route but many parts are empty, leaving you wondering if you are actually going the right way.

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If this was Kyoto, a patch of bamboo like this would be very, very busy and photographed to death. So for this kind of scene it’s worth the hike. As you can see, some of the bamboo has toppled – if this was a famous place they would have removed it to make it look prettier but here it has just been left to nature.

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This rest stop at the stop of the trail wasn’t open but the guy looked like he was getting ready to open up shop… possibly. I say possibly ‘cos there were boxes of random stuff everywhere and the place looked like it was his makeshift house too.

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Coming back down the trail there were multiple little turn offs which made it a little tricky for us to figure out which way to go. But we just kept heading down…

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Into darker areas of forest…

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Blanketed with moss and roots.

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Our reward at the end of the trail. LUNCH! And then back to Tokyo… until next time, Kamakura. ❤️

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