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 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 offer 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” landmark 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 2018 Japan posts too:
Tokyo Diy itinerary
Gokart Maricar in Shibuya!
Sento or Onsen
Kamakura Family Itinerary
Enoshima Island

Snippets of my Japan Itinerary

I will be sharing snippets of my Japan Itinerary in this post.

Japan has always fascinated travellers. Mount Fuji, Onsen, culture (yes, anime and cosplay too) and of course the food.

You do not need to understand Japanese language, or enjoy Sashimi to love Japan. If in doubt, just ask and someone will definitely help.

Directions and tips are always helpful on the train subways 🙂

We had bought Klook’s HRA train tickets during our previous Taiwan trip (read 10D9N Taiwan itinerary here). The fuss free experience gave me the confidence to engage Klook again for my Japan trip.

(*Taiwan Klook tickets are not sponsored, only Japan’s sponsored)
Let me share the advantages and tips of booking with Klook.

a ) Convenience

In case you are not aware, most theme parks and attractions in Japan do not sell tickets onsite, you can only buy the tickets online or from Lawson stores (it is like a 7-11 outlets franchise).

Once you locate a Lawson store, buy the tickets at a Loppi machine. You can press for English instruction, then fumble with the menu (day, pax etc).

Imagine, I would need to bring stacks of Yen to buy my Disneyland tickets at Lawson (or use credit card and pay for oversea transaction charges)

Too much hassles and uncertainty, I would definitely prefer to secure my tickets before I leave for Japan.

b) Ease of mind

Download Klook’s app and monitor your Japan itinerary. Read the instructions on where to pickup the tickets.

If in doubt, ping the Online folks at their website. They are quite responsive and were able to provide more tips for me.

Once you reach Japan, most tickets can be consolidated and pick up at Haneda or Narita counter. Do take note they are only open around 0830 (why not 7×24 ?)

c) value for money

I did some comparisons and Klook sometimes offer cheaper tickets through promotions.

When I was researching for my options at Klook website, I came across more suggestions and recommendations. These tips were helpful for my itinerary planning.

Mount Fuji
Just enjoy Fuji san in Japan, do not worry about tickets

Some of the services (total 5) which I utilised for Japan (Hakone, Tokyo and Kamakura) are listed below. Take note these Klook services are sponsored.

*Just click on the links for more details and booking.

#01-Wifi Router

I chose a  9 days Wifi package for about  $36. Network was always strong and the router can support up to 5 devices. Wifi router can last me 5 hours before recharge.

*Once you collected your Wifi router, just turn it on and hotspot away. No further configuration (APN etc ) needed).

Do not rely on the “Free Wifi” at F&B outlets or malls, you need a reliable Wifi to help with Google search and navigation.

Tokyo is a packed metropolitan but it is ideally designed for walking. The cool weather, wide pavements allowed me to walk leisurely and explore the city by foot. If I am tired,  the mesh and convenient subway and train network is always punctual and convenient.

Trust me, DO not save on Wifi 🙂

Being Online allows me to contact my family and to share my Japan itinerary on the move. You can browse my Instagram posts at this hashtag  #SengkangBabiesJapan

Japan Itinerary
Japan Itinerary

 

I can always Google for nearby Food, Shopping, Attractions and even Sento!

Yummy Ippudo Ramen

Picture below, Sento at Jakotsuyu 蛇骨湯 (35.712036, 139.792607). I can do this Japan bath everyday! (Review here)

 

Thank you Google for the tips and navigation!

Donki and Bic (Camera) will offer you hours of cramp shopping :p

Weather forecasting for my Hakone detour…

Takeshita street (GPS 35.671579, 139.703142, next to Harajuku station) is my favourite in Tokyo, so many things to spot and eat, and nostalgic souvenirs too.

Spotted Goku and Ultraman! (at Bandai HQ, Asakusa. GPS 35.707284, 139.794763).

Be it famous Sensoji Temple (at Asakusa) or Anime (at Akihabara), Google directed me to more fun.

Video (Youtube link) : Try to scramble across the famous Shibuya junction! (GPS 35.659528, 139.700534)

Treats from Google map, pictures below L Dandelion Chocolate (35.703599, 139.789618) . R Iwata Coffee‘s pancake (Kamakura, GPS 35.319482, 139.551468)

 

#02-Tokyo Subway Ticket-Unlimited Rides

Save some money and headaches, I picked the 72 hours package for 18 SGD. First timers to Tokyo will be intimidated by the Train maps!

 

To and fro, the train tickets might be seemingly affordable (100 to 300 Yen one way), but they add up pretty quickly for a family, especially if you keep making mistakes 🙂

Fortunately, Klook’s 72 hours unlimited rides cover 85% of my city itinerary. Thank you!

Part of the Fun (and challenge) in navigating Tokyo’s maze of train networks is getting LOST! haha.

I only wish the unlimited rides would cover the “circle” JR Yamanote train line.

Tokyo train map

I will try to share additional tips about Tokyo’s train networks in another post. In the meanwhile, always plan 30 minutes extra to your commute time.

Be prepared to get lost in the maze!

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#03 – Doraemon Museum

A little out of place, but definitely worth the SGD 17 ticket.

If you are 小叮噹 Doraemon fan, add Fujiko F Fujio Museum to your Japan Itinerary. (川崎市 藤子・F・不二雄ミュージアム, GPS 35.610148, 139.573652)

 

Once you booked a ticket, Klook will follow up with detail instructions on collection and usage of tickets.

Doraemon is one of my favourite cartoons. I spend two hours at the museum and appreciated the artist (Professor ) passion and imagination(the ingenious gadgets!).

My childhood memories!

Doraemon museum Japan

Professor Fujiko is the creator of the cute Robot Cat anime series.

 

#04-Tokyo after 5-follow the locals

This is Fun and memorable. A local guide will bring you through the alleys of Tokyo. Small eat, drafts and history-lessons 🙂

Japanese like to destress and chill after work, and some do not even bother to go home. They will sleep in pub, karaoke or Onsen areas before heading back to work the next day.

My friendly host, Tatz brought us to Ginza and Tsukishima. Delicious yakitoris, expensive strawberries and fun cooking my own Monja 🙂

If you love craft beers or sake, there are Klook packages just for happy-hour drinking :p

After Tokyo, I headed South to 鎌倉 Kamakura. This is one of the popular
day-trips out of Tokyo. (blog post Kamakura and Enoshima)

Enoden train

Famous for the Buddha and numerous Shinto shrines, we heard Samurai culture started from Kamakura.

Pictures below, praying for peace at the famous Buddha statue (Kōtoku-in 鎌倉大仏殿高徳院, GPS 35.316811, 139.536262).

And beautiful Enoshima island! (sea candle and beautiful lightups, GPS 35.299738, 139.478732)

Kamakura attractions

One of the reasons I choose Kamakura is because of the trains! They have the nostalgic Enoden (running along the sea) and inverted “Shônan Monorail”!

Thanks to Google, I discovered more Kamakura attractions, and bought a bundle Enoshima-pass for both trains (Choose discount ticket 700 Yen for unlimited day rides on Shonan and Enoden ).

Check out my fun train experience on Instagram below!

 

Sunset at Kamakura, can you spot Mount Fuji at the right?

#05-Skyliner to Narita airport

Narita is further from Tokyo, compared to Haneda. And Skyliner service shorten my journey to 45 minutes.

Ticket will allow you to travel one-way from Narita to Tokyo (Euno) or vice versa. See the link above for the comfortable interior.

Trains (in Japan) are extremely punctual and runs every 20 minutes. Do not be late!

For trains to Narita, do take note you have to change your Klook voucher to real train tickets at Ueno Keisei Station or Nippori Station.

*Klook website had indicated Ueno station for ticket collection, which is a separate train station 300m away

We would like to thanks Klook for the tips and recommendations, do checkout their Website and Facebook for the latest promotions and Japan Itinerary planning.

Disclaimer : Klook services mentioned above are sponsored.

Do pop by my favourite activities in Japan (Tokyo Mario Kart and Sento , Kamakura or Enoshima)