Something you should check before you visit Japan’s favorite shrine with your kids!
The Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine is one of the classics when traveling to Kamakura. It’s not just a place for sightseeing, it’s also a ceremonial place where traditional weddings or children’s ceremonies such as Shichi-Go-San festival are held.
This article will provide you information on nursery rooms, diaper changing stations, and parking, for parents traveling with small kids.
Public nursery rooms are rare in the neighborhood of Kamakura Station!
The Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine is located just a 10 minutes walk away from Kamakura Station. It is not a good news for moms and dads with small kids that there are few nursery rooms that are open to public around this area. The Yanagihara Rest Area is one of them which is located inside Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine.
The Yanagihara Rest Area is located on the east side of the “Mai-den (the stage)” by the Yanagihara-shinchi pond. The nursery room is in the back of the rest area, furnished with a crib, two chairs and a small table. It’s just a simple space where you can feed your baby. By closing all curtain in the perimeter, you can shut off the sight from outside. You should first ask the staff at the shop for permission before using the nursery room.
There are vending machines, tables and chairs in the rest area where you can relax. You can also purchase snacks, such as ice cream at the shop. Bringing your own food to the rest area is prohibited. It is a nice place to take a rest while mom is feeding her baby at the nursery room. There are diaper changing tables also at the restroom located in the rest area. There are no diaper disposal, so you should keep the used diaper by yourself.
Other than the Yanagihara Rest Area, there are nursery room at 1st floor of Kamakura City Hall, and first floor of Kamakura City Library. There is also a baby room available at the 3rd floor of Ofuna Lumine Wing department store inside Ofuna Station which is two stations away (about 6 minutes) from Kamakura Station.
Are there space for diaper chaging inside the Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine?
As mentioned in the previous section, there are diaper changing tables at the restroom in the Yanagihara Rest Area. You can find a diaper changing table at the restroom located west of “Temizusha” alongside “Yabusame” route (Horseback Archery Range). These two are open to public.
If you take a larger view to charged facilities, there is a diaper changing table at the multipurpose restroom located in the café at Kamakura Bunkakan Tsurugaoka Museum which is next to “Heike-ike” pond.
This museum café was newly opened, and only the customers are allowed to used the restroom. It is locked, and you must ask the staff for the key. There are no diaper disposal, so you should keep the used diaper by yourself.
Inside the café, you can pull your stroller alongside your table. It is a self-service style café. Some of the food provided are sandwich (650 yen), Warabi-mochi (bracken-starch dumpling) (650 yen) and French toast (900 yen). Coffee (600 yen) or café-latte (650 yen) can be decaffeinated by adding 50 yen so it is nice to moms breastfeeding her kids, or even to expecting mothers.
There is another café called “Tea house Kaze-no-Mori” where you can find diaper changing table at the restroom. Only the customers are allowed to use the restroom.
This Japanese modern style café is supervised by an award winning Japanese restaurant “Hikage-Chaya” of Hayama. Popular menus are “Kuromame-kan” (black bean agar) ( 1,000 yen) or “Tai-cha-zuke “ (sea bream and rice steeped in green tea) ( 2,000 yen). You can pull your stroller alongside your table depending on the seats you are assigned to.
How do you look around the shrine with your stroller?
It might be a bit bumpy but you can push your way through the cobblestoned path from the entrance of the shrine to the “The Great Stone Steps”. The paths around the Yanagihara Rest Area are graveled and it might not be easy to push through your stroller.
To go to the main shrine, you need to park your stroller by “The Great Stone Steps” and climb up the staircase. Be very careful when going up the stair holding your child as this is a very steep one.
There is another stone staircase in the left side of the main shrine. This way requires you to walk a longer distance but provides you a safer way as the stair is not as steep.
There is one final way from the prefectural road 21 directly to the main shrine. You first cross the road in front of “Times Kamakura Yukinoshita #5 Parking”, then by walking through the shrine gate, and climbing the stone staircase, you can get to the “Maruyama Inari Shrine” located just west of the main shrine of Tsurugaoka. The staircase here is steep but not too long compared to “The Great Stone Steps”.
Any discounts for parking lots?
There is a official parking lot for visitors just west side of the shrine, alongside the prefectural road 21. Fees is 600 yen for parking up to 1 hour, and thereafter, 300 yen are added every 30 minutes. If you are having a prayer at the shrine main hall, the parking is free of charge up to 2 hours. To enjoy this, don’t forget to present your parking ticket at the praying admin office. Other than this you need to find private parking around the shrine.
Keep in mind that in the new years, the traffic around the shrine is very bad.