Kamakura day trip and attractions

Kamakura 鎌倉 was new to me. I was actually Googling for day trip out of Tokyo. You have the usual (and always popular) Hakone, Mount Fuji, Tateyama, Shirakawa-go, Jigokudani and Yokohama etc.

Those with families could definitely head to Odaiba for Disney magic!

*Do take note day trips one-way distance of 300km is very common for Japan

I was contemplating hiking in Winter too but on second thoughts, I was scared of being stuck in snow. Then I drifted to onsen “magical” towns near to Tokyo.

Finally, I was sold when I saw Kamakura day trip itineraries. The trains caught my attention. the old nostalgic Enoden, electric trams which runs along the coast line. The special Shonan ride, which is inverted, zipping across the town would be a sight!

Upon more research, Enoshima island, Big Buddha and many more Shintos and Temples await visitors. Wave surfing is super popular too, even in crazy bitter winter!

There were enough attractions to extend my day trip to an overnight stay. We can be so spontaneous when we are are traveling alone 🙂

Kamakura is only 80 min South from Tokyo station to Kamakura station, and the metro is faster than driving 🙂

If you are doing day trip, chuck the luggage aside. Locker is only Yen 600.
Kamakura station is where we transit to the Enoden line, and Enoshima station is 20 minutes away.

 

Day trippers should grab the unlimited day rides ticket (for both types of trains Enoden and Shonan) . Go to the vending machine outside the station and press the Yen 700 ticket.  (As an estimate, one way end to end on the Enoden is already Yen 310). More details here.

If you are going to Enoshima, ticket will also gain entry to escalator (otherwise climb 30 minutes).

The station operators were not too helpful in identifying the ticket machines offering the Yen 700 tickets, and I had to trial and error.
(If you are buying the ticket, show them photo below)

I pop into Katsuretsu-an 勝烈庵 by luck. I was just trying to have lunch and it turns out to be good 🙂

Love at Yen 1800 (GPS 35.319444, 139.549167), love the cutlet, prawn and pork. Soup with clam shell was the surprise, sweet and delightful.

For train lovers, this is the Enoden train. Green electric trams, with wooden floor and they have been running since early 1900!

Running in the city along side cars, all along the coast, so Instagramable and picturesque.

View behind the cockpit, driver panel.

 

Enoden and Shonan video:


The colourful interior are from creative kids, very nice.

I spotted different train cabins too, all with the overhead lines. So nostalgic. Maybe I love trains more than the average folks, pardon the ravings :p

Deng1 deng1 deng1, listen to the chimes indicating barrier is shutting for incoming trains. Trains are never late!

The night trail lights from the trains presented another mesmerising sight. And I was not the only tourist chasing the trains haha.

 

The other special trains (or monorail) in Kamakura are the Shonan. The inverted cabins, navigating upside down in between the pillars, feels a bit like roller coaster 🙂

The shonan monorail looks futuristic, but they have been running since the 1970s.

Japanese affectionately call Shonan rides Sky Trip, well we are literally dangling in the sky. Some cool clips from Shonan website (Video link).

If you are not train fanatics, there are still plenty of attractions for your Kamakura day trip.

1) Hokokuji, better known as Bamboo temple (GPS 35.320027, 139.569238). 2km East of Kamakura station.

If you are adventurous, many of the beautiful sights are within comfortable walking distance, but expect walks up to 2 to 3km.

Kamakura map

 

2) I visited the Big Buddha (Kōtoku-in) instead. Nearest station is Hase Enoden station (GPS 35.316811, 139.536262).

Praying for Peace and Happiness at the Majestic Buddha. Nominal entrance fee applies,  this sight flourish with Sakura blooms in Spring!

Kamakura day trip
Kamakura day trip

3) Slam dunk manga fan anyone? Junction  (GPS 35.306669, 139.502077) is always packed with tourists, hard to avoid photo bombs. (Station kamakura kokoMae)

This station is also famous for the fabulous sunsets and view of Mount Fuji during winter period.

4) More temples, one of the most popular ones is Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gū (GPS 35.326124, 139.556402). You can have a panoramic view of Kamakura from the top of the steps. Unfortunately, I ran out of time and it began to rain too. The garden compound is pretty scenic too.

For your info, many Shintos and Temples are popular and a Kamakura day trip might not capture all the sights and history.

If you have time, head to one of the oldest temples in Kamakura “大蔵山 杉本寺 Sugimotodera” (GPS 35.322718, 139.567417), photos of the moss steps are amazing.

5) To reach the above temples, you will cut through Komachi Dori street first, souvenirs anyone? More photos on Google Map site.

     

Spotted a short escalator on the way back, some tourists were happily posing :p

6) There is a famous pancake nearby, Iwata Coffee offers fluffy pancake for tea break, lunch or anytime (GPS 35.322637, 139551448)

For Yen 880, you get two thick slabs of pancake. Flaky texture outside, soft and moist inside, yummy. Sugar syrup overdose, I could not finish my pancake and had to tabao (takeaway).

The wait for the good pancake (30minutes!) derailed my itinerary haha, but many faithful fans do not mind waiting. Iwata has been around since 1849!

7) Woke up early to catch the Sunrise. Took the first Enoden train and headed towards Yuigahama Beach (very near to Buddha place).

I even ran 6km back to my budget Ryokan in cool 13 degrees!

8) Do Google for Onsen hot spots in Kamakura too. A few exclusive ones offers sea and sunset views too.

9) Enoshima Aquarium is highly rated too

10) You must visit Enoshima island if you are in Kamakura. It is criminal to miss Enoshima in your Kamakura day trip haha.

After Onsen and dinner, walk 15 minutes to Enoshima catch the sunset. You should not miss “Sea candle” and beautiful illuminations at Cocking Garden.

Enoshima Christmas lights up deserves a separate post. I caught a field of tulips in 2017’s Winter 🙂

I will blog about my budget Ryokan and Enoshima island in the next post, meanwhile all photos uploaded on our Fanpage album.

kamakura photos

Kamakura day trip definitely has enough attractions to keep whole families entertained,you may catch my Japan Fun at Instagram hashtag #sengkangBabiesJapan

Do pop by the other Japan posts too.
Tokyo Diy itinerary
Gokart Maricar in Shibuya!
Sento or Onsen

Family’s first experience at Yunomori Onsen & Spa

Therapeutic and invigorating, that was our experience at Yunomori Onsen & Spa (Google review). Yes, bucket list untick for family.

We were invited to soak in Yunomori Onsen’s latest bath. When we step into the secluded premise in our Yukata, we were transported into another dimension 🙂

We are still in Singapore, but we got imbued with a bit of Japanese culture and ambience.

Yunomori Onsen

We need to keep our shoes before registering for our session. A wrist tag will be issued for the second locker to keep our clothes and stuff.

The same tag will be used for payment at the cafe too.

I told the kids that Yukata must be wore (right to left, then left over right). Wearing it opposite is considered bad luck as it is meant for dead person!

Happy ootd posing, this is our virgin Onsen trip.

We made our way to the cafe for a sumptuous dinner.

Pretty easy to navigate in Yunomori Onsen & Spa, Onsen one side and everything else on the other side.

Let us enjoy our dinner first. On hindsight, I would have preferred to soak first before eating. Food always taste nicer when we are hungry 🙂

Japanese cuisine to get us into the mood, introducing 2019’s menu.

Nigiri Platter

Plum Rose Sparkle – this will definitely cool everyone down, love the refreshing scent of plum and mint

Chuka Snack – yummy baby octopus and jellyfish

Mentai Gyoza

Salmon Sashimi Don – Refreshing and satisfied my salmon craving

Ume Ochazuke

Yee loves his Ramen.

Tonkotsu Spicy Ramen

Salted Egg Mix Tempura

After a satisfying meal, we are ready to 泡湯 soak.

Everything about Yunomori Onsen and Spa was a novelty for my family:

-Being stark naked with 30 others
-For females, disposable panties and bra are available
-Kids felt weird sitting on stool and scrubbing ourselves clean? But I like the repeated process of scrub rinse and scrub again

-Dipping from pool to pool, different water and temperature (always start from the least hot)
-Told them beforehand that we should not spend more than 15 minutes in pool, let the body cool down before soaking in another pool

-First timers can read up about Onsen etiquette on Yunomori website

I was just curious whether there is a difference to the Onsen experience between tropical Singapore and cool Japan.

Image credit Google Map

A pity our kids are a bit too short, Boon Yee had to squat in the pool and could not sit down on his butt. Otherwise, he was game and joined me in all the pool, except the cold one .

Do not leave your child wandering alone, they might jump into the 42 degrees pool or they might start swimming! Besides, you never know what sort of folks are in an onsen.

He find it more cool to walk stark naked, whereas conservative Dad use towel to cover crotch. I would not be so shy in Japan 🙂

Jacuzzi, jet and the new Yufuin pool. Each pool was a new experience. Onsen pool is hottest but most original, but too hot for kids.

Each pool has a different quality, from joint muscle relief, improving blood circulating, to skin improvements and detoxification.

Finish each “lap” with a dip in the 17 degrees cold bath! The extreme temperature dip between hotand cold will jolt your body and close all the pores (shiver! )

You will definitely feel chilled and rejuvenated.

image credit Yunomori Onsen

Steam room and Sauna proved too hot for kids but Yee was curious to pop in the rooms and experience. He commented “Cannot see anything and the steam irritated his nose whenever he breathes”.

Yufuin bath is the latest addition to Yunomori Onsen & Spa. We heard the district (same name) in Southern Japan is famous for the hot spring water, which is clear or bluish and are known to have a natural moisturizing effect on the skin.

After the bath, we wore our Yukata and headed back to the cafe. I wanted my family to enjoy some fresh milk, but alas all milk sold out!

If you have been to Japanese onsens before, the milk always taste sweetest after a soak 🙂

Image credit Yunomori Onsen & Spa

Some might choose to relax in a comfortable lounge and snooze away.
Nothing like an Onsen to drive away all our stress and fatigue.

One can actually feel tired and dehydrated after an onsen, drink up.

Image credit Google Map

Massage anyone? We heard Yunomori Onsen and Spa’s massage services are highly recommended.  Treat the spouse to an aromatic rub, Thai massage might be too harsh on the joints hee hee.

Till we fly to Japan, Yunomori would be the next best option to enjoy a good Onsen experience.

Thank you Yunomori Onsen for the rejuvenating invite.

Do pop by Yunomori Onsen & Spa website for the other baths details.
There are more photos and videos on Yunomori Facebook.

 

You might be interested in my Sento post too (Tokyo link).

ps.. our Onsen trip was sponsored by Yunomori Onsen & Spa