Kanagawa is Inspiring
Feel inspired on your next visit to Kanagawa Prefecture! No matter which part of the prefecture interests you, a wide range of unique and inspiring destinations await in every corner. From the mountainous western realm to the glittering sun-kissed coastline, follow and explore with us these four special locations waiting to be discovered.
Japan Open Air Folk Museum
Step back into the Edo Period at the Japan Open Air Folk House Museum (Nihon Minkaen). In this outdoor museum within Kawasaki’s Ikuta Ryokuchi Park, prepare to be inspired by 25 preserved structures that hail from Japan’s Edo era (1603-1867). From traditional samurai housing to post town gates and even a kabuki stage, soak up the authentic atmosphere and imagine what life was like centuries past. As well as a folk museum, soba restaurant and events throughout the year, Sundays offer the chance to try traditional crafts like indigo dyeing, straw- and bamboo craft making, and more.
Japan Open Air Folk House Museum
The Okada Museum of Art exhibits a wide range of ancient and contemporary arts, focused on East Asia and centered around Japan, China and Korea. Admire stunning examples of charming ceramics, delicate sculptures and unique paintings across two floors of this modern, spacious museum facility. As a bonus, the museum’s garden offers the chance to reflect and relax amidst Hakone’s nature. Look out for the Kaikatei restaurant, in a renovated Japanese house, offering udon-based noodle dishes and bento boxes. For a different vibe, the cafe with a joining foot bath also offers a unique experience.
Okada Museum of Art
Kishi-ke is a modern ryokan that offers a private retreat beside the ocean in rural Kamakura. Feel inspired by the chance to connect with Japanese culture in this luxurious setting. Expect a perfect night’s sleep thanks to Zen-inspired interior design within the confines of gorgeous modern Japanese design, led by ex-Kengo Kumo & Associates architect, Ryohei Tanaka. There is no limit to your inspiration, with a wide range of experiences made available to guests. Choose from tea experiences, Zen meditation. Katana practice and Shojin cuisine — the vegetable cuisine favored by Buddhist monks. Feel the essence of ‘Chisoku’—to know the feeling of being fulfilled—as you experience something new.
Oyama Afuri Shrine
Oyama Afuri Shrine (or Afuri-jinja Shrine) grew in popularity back in the 18th century, during the Edo Period (1603–1857). Oyama was seen as a rainmaking deity and that could bring fortune and prosperity (thanks to growing rice yields), helping make it became a spiritual escape from the cities and giving birth to the Oyama-mairi pilgrimage (thanks to Oyama being closer to Tokyo than Mie’s Ise Shrine). Make your way to Oyama’s shrine for yourself to see how Edo Period pilgrims were inspired to make the journey here. The location is a Japan Heritage site and the view from the top was awarded two stars in the Michelin Guide. Each year at the end of August, the shrine hosts an Autumn Festival. This involves prayers of gratitude, a local congregation, and a float paraded around town — best of all, there is the chance to watch rare Noh and Kyogen performances on the afternoon of the second day.