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:
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2d1n in Kamakura(90mins from Tokyo). Love the stylish 🚃Enoden (电车 got 🇯🇵 #JapanHour feel 😍) and the cool 🚟Shonan(inverted cabins 😆roller coasters!) 🎢 Enoshima (Tulips and lighthouse lights) is popular with tourists. Many Shintos ⛩ and Temples are found in Kamakura too. Did you know Samurai culture originated from Kamakura? #sengkangBabies #sengkangBabiesJapan @shonanmonorail_official @enodenlove #鎌倉市 #鎌倉 #kamakura #enoshima #江の島
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.
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.
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!
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 day trip definitely has enough attractions to keep whole families entertained,you may catch my Japan Fun at Instagram hashtag #sengkangBabiesJapan
ps.. Updated Apr 2023. You might be keen to explore our 8D7N Kyushu Family itinerary too (link)