The Sasuke Inari is a shrine dedicated to the shinto kami (deity) Inari Ōkami. Among all sacred sites of Kamakura it is not really famous (not all guides mention it), I have dedicated it a page because I really liked its "location" and also because I have several photos to insert.
It was founded in 1195 by Minamoto Yoritomo (the first shogun of the Kamakura shogunate).
According the legend, it was a tribute of Yoritomo, immediately after becoming shogun, to an elderly man who appeared in a dream and that told him how to act to defeat his enemies.
It is said that this old man of the dream was from the Kakurezato (hidden village) of Kamakura, a hardly accessible home of a group of people "predecessors" of ninjas, which was located near the current location of the Sasuke Inari. According to other legends, the old man of the dream was instead just the Inari god to whom the shrine is dedicated.
You reach the main building of the sanctuary after a long flight of steps (about 100 m long) passing under many torii (sacred gates), just like in the famous Fushimi Inari in Kyoto.
the path leading to the Sasuke Inari Jinja
The building itself is just a small soulless Shinto shrine, which, however, also includes a small shop with souvenirs and talismans.
Very particular is instead the location, the shrine is in fact built on a hill, surrounded by vegetation, and scattered here and there along the paths of the shrine you can find altars and other small but fascinating religious buildings. Around the temple you might meet some wild squirrel.
In particular, there are hundreds of statues of varying sizes, representing foxes, called kitsune in japanese, that are considered sacred in Shinto tradition as "messengers" of the kami Inari Ōkami.
statues and statuettes of kitsune (foxes)
a short video filmed wandering around the Sasuke Inari
How to get to the Sasuke Inari Jinja and map
This shrine can be reached only on foot (or by taxi), it is located about 1,5 km west of Kamakura station.
If you are planning a trip to Japan and you want to add something special besides the visit of the different monuments and famous places, we suggest you to use the site Govoyagin. This is a very useful site to enrich your travel experience, especially if you are going solo or it's your first time in Japan and, for language barriers and more, and you will not have many opportunities to interact with the locals and to enjoy something different from the famous places marked in the tourist guides.
What Govoyagin is
Govoyagin is a website where you can find many particular activities all over Japan (and not only in Japan).
You can buy tickets online for some famous attractions, but also book tours and really special experiences with locals ready to guide you and take you to places outside the tourist circuits that you would hardly ever find by yourself. Last but not least, you can reserve a table in hundreds of restaurants.