Photographing Mt. Fuji from Beach

Zaimokuza Beach is best spot in Kamakura

By Larry Knipfing    - 3 min read

If you are into photography and would love to capture some beautiful shots of Mt. Fuji, then winter is the best time to try your luck. The sky is incredible clear in the winter and so from Kamakura and Zushi, you will have the chance of a lifetime to get some gorgeous shots. But having said that, it all comes down to luck: After all, only God can control the weather!

As a former resident of Kamakura for almost 15 years, my favorite place to shoot Fuji has always been from Zaimokuza Beach. The Kamakura shoreline resembles a soft horseshoe, and Zaimokuza is to the far left as you face the water. From Kamakura Station, it’s a good 20 minute hike, but if you’re feeling rich, take a taxi from the station’s East Exit. Just tell the taxi driver “Zai-mo-ku-za Beach” and you’ll be there in under five minutes.

Why is this the best place to take Mt. Fuji photos? Because you will also have Enoshima Island in the foreground, along with sailboats and windsurfers, giving your shots some local color and flavor. I recommend going in the late afternoon as dusk draws near, the sun begins to fade and the sky begins to put on a real show. But again, it all comes down to luck. You might get spectacular reds, pinks and purples, or you might get dull grays! Cloud formations will also influence the skyline—sometimes incredibly interesting shapes and hues, but sometimes blocking Fuji entirely.

When you reach Zaimokuza Beach, you will notice a ledge-like area above the beach. Go up there. Chances are, there will be some other people gathered there as well, hoping for a beautiful sunset. I cannot stress enough how stunning it is. Mt. Fuji is not that close, BUT when the timing is right, her silhouette towers over you and fills the sky. If you zoom in on her, it feels like she is standing right there in front of you.

Zushi Marina is just a few minutes more along the beach. But you will have to go back up to the road to reach her. Don’t go through the tunnel, but stick to the residential area nearest the beach. Along the way, stop now and then to snap a few more pictures.

Although you might start to feel cold, don’t leave too early! The longer you stay, the subtler the sky and the light on Mt. Fuji become. I have often gotten my best shots a good 15 to 20 minutes after everyone else has packed it in and gone home.

Japan, and Kamakura in particular are heaven if you like photography. Keep your eyes open and you will do yourself proud with hundreds of incredibly beautiful keepsake photos of your trip to Japan—Enough to last you the rest of your life!


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Larry Knipfing

Larry Knipfing @larry.knipfing

Born on Long Island, New York in 1958, I have spent the last 30+ years of my life living in Japan, and enjoying every minute of it! I especially love photography, and Japan is definitely one of the most beautiful places in the world to photograph! My other love is fiction writing and I have published quite a few books that take place in Japan. Fun stuff! You can find them at my Amazon Author's Page. In addition to my writing, I have mainly been working in the field of corporate training, and at the same time have done a lot of photography. *Kamakura, and now Yokohama (both in Kanagawa Prefecture) have been my home for almost twenty years and are perfect places for me: Hilly, situated on the water, and with amazing histories. The rest of Kanagawa is equally amazing and includes the great Hakone onsen and spa area.  *Tochigi Prefecture, with World Heritage site Nikko, is one of the most beautiful places in the world, and not far from Tokyo.  *Fukui Prefecture, located in central Japan on the coast of the Japan Sea, is brimming with classic Japanese culture and great natural beauty everywhere you look. I really look forward to sharing ALL of Japan's beauty and magic with all of you.

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Preethu 4 years ago
Beautiful pictures!
Larry Knipfing Author 7 years ago
This is the best time of the year to photograph Mt.Fuji. Read my photo story on How & Where