Getting to Kamakura by train
In Japan, it is easy to travel by train. For example, Kamakura.
Kamakura is a popular tourist coastal town that was once the capital of Japan under a military regime in the 12th century.
Take JR Yokosuka line that goes to Zushi/ Kurihama. There are many stations to get into this line from Tokyo station or Shinagawa or Shinbashi, or Yokosuka station. Stop at Kamakura station.
Travel time is approximately an hour. Approximate cost is USD$8.
Once in Kamakura, you can walk, take more train, or bus or rent a bicycle like we did.
So if you are not using JR Train pass, travel between cities, the local train travel is still fast and affordable.
narrow gauge railway
Kamakura is also the terminal for the Enoshima Electric Railway, locally known as "Eno-den". This traditional narrow gauge railway runs to Fujisawa, to the west, part of the route takes it parallel to the seashore.
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Kamakura by Train
Kamakura is a common daytrip from Tokyo. From Shinagawa Station in Tokyo, the Yokosuka Line has direct trains to Kamakura or change trains at Ofuna Station to reach Kamakura.
If you are coming from the Shinkansen from the West (or East if you are willing to spend the money), go to Shin-Yokohama. From there, go to Yokohama and change trains to the Yokosuka Line to reach Kamakura.
Near Kamakura Station is Tsurugaoka Tenmangu Shrine. You can also reach the Gozan Temples from here, although Kita-Kamakura Station is also a good place to start for these temples.
To see Kotokuin's Grand Buddha (Daibutsu) you can walk the trail from Kamakura Station, but the closest station is Hase Station, which is on the Enoden (connected to Kamakura Station). This is also the station for Hase-dera.
If you continue on the Enoden Train, the terminus is at Enoshima. You can then walk to the island.
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Kamakura From Western Part of Japan
Visiting Kamakura from Shizuoka, Hamamatsu, Nagoya, Kyoto and Osaka can be a bit complicated because you may have to change trains a number of times.
There are mainly three ways to get to Kamakura from the western part of Japan.
A: BY WAY OF YOKOHAMA
It is actually the most popular ways to get to Kamakura from Osaka, Kyoto and western part of Japan.
SHINKANSEN(Bullet Train) ...Get off at Shinyokohama station. Change trains to Yokohama line to get to Yokohama station. From Yokohama station take TOKAIDO MAIN LINE and change trains at OFUNA. From OFUNA take Yokosuka line to Kamakura.
Level of recommendation: **** B+
Although it is often recommended by the most of the guidebooks, this way may take extra train fee and particularly not practical if you come from Shizuoka or Mt. Fuji areas.
Recommended if you want to visit Yokohama first before going to Kamakura. Not a bad plan.
B: BY WAY OF OFUNA
I recommend this route because it costs no extra train fee and is practical particularly when you come from HAKONE, IZU and MT. FUJI Areas.
First change trains at ODAWARA and take JR local train. Get off at OFUNA and take YOKOSUKA line to Kamakura.
Level of recommendation ***** A
Although it may take extra time than Route A because HIKARI or NOZOMI does not stop at Odawara. But it is the most reasonable way to get there. Particularly recommended if you want to stop by at OFUNA for the well-known Kannon statue.
C: BY WAY OF FUJISAWA
The good part of this route is that you can enjoy train ride of ENODEN line, which is the part of Kamakura appeal.
From Odawara change to JR local train and change trains to ENODEN at Fujisawa. From Fujisawa it is about thirty minutes to Kamakura.
Level of recommendation *** C+
Recommended if you would like to visit some popular attractions such as Yugyoji and Enoshima Island in Fujisawa.
From Kamakura station down to Hase (the station to get off at for the Giant Buddha) and further down the line to Enoshima and Fujisawa, is the Enoden line.
Quite rustic, but gets you to where you want to go.
How to get to Kamakura
From Tokyo, you may buy "Enoshima Kamakura Free Pass" at Tokyo Station for 1,430 Yen. For more info about the pass, go to this link.. http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2358_003.html
Then, board a local train at Tokyo Station on "Yokosuka Line" and it will take approximately 55 mins to Kamakura. Then, take another local train, "Eno-Den" line, to Hase. Proceed to Hasedera Temple to pay the statue of Kannon a visit. Then, also visit the Daibutsu (Great Buddha Temple) at Kotokuin Temple.
Take the local train, "Eno-den" line, back to Kamakura. Walk to Komachi Shopping Street to have the best curry rice in town for lunch. The restaurant is on Komachi Str. on your right. Make sure you have "Tonkatsu Kare Risu" which means curry rice with deep fried pork (verrrry yummy!!). You may see how the restaurant looks like on my Japan Trip's pictures.
After you finished your lunch, walk through the Komachi Street to visit "Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine", the symbol of the first Shogun Minamoto, the arched bridge, the Genji and Heike ponds, etc. After that you may walk back to Kamakura Station via Komachi Shopping Street to have some japanese style snacks & refreshments and also buy some souvenirs from some art and craft shops.
Take the local train on "Yokosuka Line" for Tokyo Station.
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Train From Kamakura to the Great Buddha
From Kamakura you take another train to the Great Buddha. This is not on JR lines but a private line called Enoden. At the Kamakura station, look for the signs towards "Enoshima Tentetsu", or Enoden or Hase. I think the ticket is about 3.10 Yen. You will get off the train 3 stops down from Kamakura at the Hase stop. From the train station, it is a 10 minute walk up the hill on the main street to the Great Buddha.
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Go by Rikusha
If you're up for an older form of travel there are rikushas here in Kamakura offering to take you to the various temples. The Rikushas can be found both near Kamakura station and near the temples and shrines, as well.
Although I thought it'd be fun to go on one of these, I declined telling some of the rikusha drivers in Japanese, "Watashi wa omoisugi desu. Hyaku kiro desu. Kono tenki de, anata shinimasu yo." - [I'm too heavy, weighing 100 kilograms. In this weather, you'll die carrying me.]
*Both my wife and I have heard rikusha drivers or drivers like these tell that they prefer to carry thin customers. Of course, they never say so directly to customers. But, some of them do say so when they are pulling lighter ones. Well, this shouldn't be a big surprise to anyone. A heavier customer IS a much bigger workout, right.
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From Kamakura to Sankeien
Kamakura and Sankeien in Yokohama is often toured together if you are in an organized group tour. But when you travel alone you will have to use train and bus to get there. From JR Kamakura station first go toward Yokohama and change trains at OFUNA. From Ofuna take Negishi line train which usually depart from #9 or #10 platform. Then get off at Negishi station. The bus for Sankeien starts from #1 gate. When you get on the bus, pay 210 yen bus fare in advance. Get off the bus at HONMOKU bus stop. From there cross the street and get in the road with cherry avenue. After walking about ten minutes you will see the gate of the garden. It will take about one hour from Kamakura to Sankeien including the time for walk.
Best way to get there from Tokyo Asakusa
In case you stay in Asakusa or somewhere near the Toei Asakusa Line take a Keikyu train (they are using the Toei Asakusa tracks, the last station would be Muirakaigan) to Yokohama, 560 Yen or less if you stay closer and change there to the JR Yokosuka Line (track 9), 330 Yen to Kamakura or 290 Yen to Kita-Kamakura (closer to some shrines).
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Trains going to Kamakura????
From my hotel, when I go out, I learned from my experience that I will not get lost again. I alway go to Yokohama Station at the Tourist Information Center and get important detail to reach for my destination.
From Yokohama Station it will take 30 minutes to arrived in Kamakura Station. ( I can not remember what is the name of the trains ).
From Tokyo, take the Yokosuka line train to Kamakura. The journey takes about an hour & cost about 1000 Yen.
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I took the train on my own. It was easy to get here but not as easy to get around unless one speak Japanese. Try to follow the crowd, that's one way to get to tourist attraction :)
How best to get around
Kamakura is a pretty small town. There are buses, trains and taxis to shuttle you about, but it really doesn't make much sense to do it that way. Your best bet is renting a bike. You will find a bike rental shop next to Kamakura station. As soon as you exit, make a right and walk about 50 meters. Look for the long row of parked bikes.
The best deal is rent the bike for the whole day.
Also, better get there early, as they do run out.
Local JR Trains
You can take local JR trains around Yokohama, and between Yokohama and surrounding wards.
If you want to take Tokaido Shinkansen, you have to go to Shin-Yokohama station.
You can take Yokohama Line from Yokohama station to Shin-Yokohama station.
JR Pass, JR East Pass and SUICA card are valid on these trains.
The freepass includes round trip transport between Shinjuku/Fujisawa by Odakyu train, and unlimited travel between Fujisawa and Kamakura on Enoden train for one day. Adult costs JPY1,430 and child costs JPY720 per person. Leave earlier as it's a lot to see in Kamakura City.
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