Kamakura Itinerary Travel Guide Blog

Kamakura Itinerary: A Travel Guide Blog

posted in: Kanto Japan | 0

Last updated on May 17th, 2024

Discover Kamakura on a day trip from Tokyo with our Kamakura itinerary, including activities, accommodation, transportation, and travel tips.

Located in the Kanagawa Prefecture, Kamakura (鎌倉) is often referred to as the “Kyoto of Eastern Japan.” The city is home to iconic Buddhist temples such as the Kotokuin with its Great Buddha statue, as well as Shinto shrines like Tsurugaoka Hachimangu.

Kamakura is renowned for its rich history and offers a peaceful atmosphere with numerous shrines, temples, and a slower pace compared to other bustling cities. During the summer, visitors can also enjoy the nearby beaches or explore Enoshima nearby. Overall, Kamakura is a culturally rich and beautiful city worth exploring.

We highly recommend adding a day trip to Kamakura during your visit to Japan. But, visiting Kamakura on a day trip can be challenging due to the numerous attractions that it has to offer. However, it is possible to explore the Kamakura in a day if you are on a tight schedule during your stay in Japan. To make the most of your time, you can follow this Kamakura day trip itinerary, which will help you cover the important attractions and enjoy the town’s beauty.

To make the most of your day trip to Kamakura, check out our travel guide blog for tips on how to get there, what passes you’ll need, and how to spend your day. Read on our Kamakura itinerary!

How To Get To Kamakura From Tokyo

How To Get To Kamakura From Tokyo

If you’re planning to visit Kamakura, transportation can be a bit overwhelming. We suggest taking the train, as it’s the best option. There are several transportation options available for traveling from Tokyo to Kamakura.

By JR Train: For a direct route, take the Shonan-Shinjuku Line via the JR railway. This is the easiest way to get to Kamakura is by leaving from Shinjuku Station (新宿駅) and arriving at Kamakura Station (鎌倉駅). The journey takes 60 to 75 minutes with transportation fee at ¥950 for one-way.

If you are traveling through Japan with a Japan Rail (JR) pass, you can use it for a day trip to Kamakura.

How to Get to Kamakura from Tokyo using JR (The fastest way):

  • By JR Shonan-Shinjuku Line: From Shinjuku Station, take the train bound for Zushi that direct to Kamakura Station. There are about two departures per hour. Otherwise, a transfer of trains is required at Ofuna Station.
  • By JR Yokosuka Line: From Shinjuku Station, take the train direct to Kamakura Station which has several stops along the journey.
How to Get to Kamakura from Tokyo using Odakyu Railway

By Odakyu Railway: The Enoshima Kamakura Free Pass by Odakyu Railway is a great transportation option for those looking to visit the area. With this rail pass, you can enjoy a round trip from Shinjuku Station to Fujisawa Station by Odakyu Railway. The journey takes about an hour to reach your destination.

Once you arrive in Fujisaka, you can easily transfer to your next destination. The pass also includes unlimited rides on the Odakyu Line (between Fujisawa and Katase-Enoshima) and the entire Enoshima Electric Railway (Enoden) Line (from Fujisawa to Kamakura) for the entire day.

Enoshima Kamakura Free Pass

Kamakura money saving Tips: The Enoshima Kamakura Free Pass is the most affordable option at ¥1650 for a one-day trip from Shinjuku to Kamakura by train. However, the journey to Kamakura might take longer than when using the JR train. But you can enjoy the scenic ride on the Enoden train.

Odakyu Enoshima-Kamakura Freepass

How to Get to Kamakura from Tokyo using Odakyu Railway (the cheapest way):

To get from Shinjuku Station to Kamakura or Enoshima, you can take the Odakyu Railway to Fujisawa Station first. From Fujisawa Station, you have two options:

  • Option 1 to Kamakura: Take the Enoshima Electric Railway (Enoden) Line to Kamakura Station.
  • Option 2 to Enoshima: ontinue from Fujisawa Station to Katase-Enoshima Station on the Odakyu Line to reach Enoshima.

We recommended to purchase the Odakyu Enoshima-Kamakura Freepass to save you some money. This pass offers a reasonable price and provides a round trip from Shinjuku to Fujisawa Station via the Odakyu line, as well as unlimited rides on both the Enoden and Odakyu lines. Additionally, the pass includes discounts for shrines, temples, museums, and select shops in the area. It’s truly a great deal!

Pro Tips: If you are planning to visit Kamakura and Hakone, then consider to get the Hakone Kamakura Ticket Pass to enjoy the unlimited travel access on different transportation services such as boats, ropeways, buses, and trains.

Kamakura Enoshima Day Tour

Although it’s relatively straightforward to visit Kamakura from Tokyo. But if you are short on time or just prefer to have someone do the organising for you, consider these options:

Getting Around in Kamakura

Getting Around in Kamakura with Enoden

Once you’re in Kamakura, you can easily explore the area by taking the Enoshima Electric Railway (Enoden). While it’s also possible to walk around, the attractions are a little spread out, so using the Enoden is still the most convenient option. The Enoshima-Kamakura Freepass covers the Enoden train when exploring Kamakura and Enoshima.

If you’re traveling with the JR Pass and planning to visit Kamakura, you may want to consider purchasing the one-day Kamakura Free Kankyo Tegata for ¥550. This pass offers similar benefits to the Enoshima-Kamakura Freepass, including discounts at local attractions and shops, as well as unlimited rides on the Enoden line. However, please note that the pass does not cover the round-trip fare from Shinjuku Station.

Where To Stay in Kamakura

Kamakura is a popular destination for a day trip from Tokyo. However, if you have more time to spare, staying for an additional night or two can provide a more fulfilling experience. It is always a good idea to stay overnight if you plan to explore the beaches and visit Enoshima the next day.

In this session of Kamakura travel guide, we provide recommendations on where to stay in Kamakura based on different budgets.

Budget Optionguesthouse SHIBAFU
This guesthouse is an affordable option to stay in Kamakura. This cozy accommodation is clean, comfortable, and quiet. Plus, it’s in a great location – just a 5-minute walk from Hase Station. From here, you can easily explore the area’s top attractions, including the Giant Buddha and Kamakura Hasedera. There are also plenty of cafes, bars, and cool shops within walking distance. The rooms themselves are comfy and clean, and the owner is extremely friendly and welcoming. Reserve a room at the guesthouse SHIBAFU here.

Mid-Range OptionSotetsu Fresa Inn Kamakura-Ofuna Higashiguchi
If you are planning to visit Kamakura or Enoshima, Sotetsu Fresa Inn Kamakura-Ofuna Higashiguchi could be an excellent base for your stay. The property is conveniently located just a few minutes’ walk from Ofuna Station, and there are plenty of restaurants, cafes, and other amenities nearby. The rooms are clean and quiet, ensuring a comfortable stay. Check out reviews and make a reservation at Sotetsu Fresa Inn Kamakura-Ofuna. Higashiguchi.

High-Range OptionHotel Metropolitan Kamakura
The Hotel Metropolitan Kamakura is an excellent choice for those looking for a convenient location, just a few minutes’ walk from Kamakura Station. The hotel is popular due to its proximity to transportation options. The staff is friendly, helpful, and everything is well-organized, ensuring a pleasant experience. The rooms are beautifully designed and spotless, making for a comfortable and enjoyable stay. Click here to make a reservation at the Hotel Metropolitan Kamakura.

If you don’t want to stay in Kamakura, you can always go back to Tokyo as your home base. Check out our Tokyo Accommodation Guide: Where To Stay in Tokyo? The Best Neighborhoods and Hotel

Things To Do in Kamakura Itinerary

Kamakura Day Trip itinerary

Kamakura boasts a rich historical scene and breathtaking scenery, making it a must-visit destination. In addition, there are numerous attractions and activities to enjoy in Kamakura. You can spend your day wandering to each of these places and exploring the history. Additionally, you can also consider going hiking through the nearby mountains as there are trails available near the temples.

Below are some recommendations on what to do for your day trip Kamakura itinerary:

  • Ride the Enoden Railway
  • Kotokuin Temple, to see the Great Buddha
  • Hasedera Temple
  • Stroll along Komachi-dori Street
  • Visit Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine
  • See the Iconic Slam Dunk Anime Spot
  • Enoshima Sea Candle Towers
  • Beaches at Kamakura and Enoshima Area (Summer)

Kamakura Travel Tips: The first thing to keep in mind is there will be a lot of walking in Kamakura so wear comfortable shoes. We also highly suggest to begin your day early if you are going to follow our suggested Kamakura itinerary.

Ride the Enoden Railway

Enoshima Electric Railway Enoden

To prepare for my Kamakura day trip, we bought the Odakyu Enoshima-Kamakura Freepass at Odakyu Sightseeing Service, located in the Shinjuku Station west side area. It’s highly recommended to purchase the pass ahead of time to avoid any issues.

We departed early from the Shinjuku station to Fujisawa station. Once you arrive at Fujisawa Station, transfer to the Enoden Line. From there, it’s about a 30-minute ride to Hase Station.

Ride the Enoden Railway

The Enoshima Electric Railway (Enoden) is the main mode of transportation for visiting the popular attractions in Kamakura. This local train has a retro vibe and takes a scenic route along the coastline. It is very enjoyable riding the Enoden and watching the gorgeous scenery along the way to your destination.

Our first stop on the Kamakura itinerary is the Hase Station (長谷駅) [EN-12] to visit the Kotokuin Temple and Hasedera Temple.

Kotokuin Temple, to see the Great Buddha

Visit Kamakura Great Buddha

Kotoku-in (高徳院) in Kamakura is a remarkable place to visit. The most popular attraction at Kotokuin Temple is the ancient Kamakura Daibutsu, also known as “The Great Buddha of Kamakura”.

Kamakura Great Buddha

The towering Great Buddha statue stands at 11.31 meters (37 feet high, 44.8 feet high with the base) and weighs 121 tons (242,000 pounds). Its peaceful presence and historical significance make it a must-see attraction in Kamakura.

The serene surroundings provide a calm atmosphere for contemplation and appreciation of Japanese culture and history. The Buddha emanates tranquility and inspires a sense of wonder.

Kotokuin Temple Great Buddha

We spent around 20 minutes at this place. Besides the great Buddha, there isn’t much else to see. Besides, for a small admission fee, you could enter the Buddha’s head and enjoy a different view. It’s definitely worth it as the statue is incredibly memorable.

Kotoku-in (高徳院)
Address: 4 Chome-2-28 Hase, Kamakura, Kanagawa 248-0016, Japan
Opening Hours: Daily 8:00 to 17:00
Admission Fee: ¥300 for adult and ¥150 for children (ages 6-12). Additional ¥50 to enter the interior of
the Great Buddha statue.

How to Get Kotoku-in: It takes only 7 minutes to walk from the Hase Station (長谷駅) to the Kotoku-in. Alternatively, you can walk for 25 minutes from the Kamakura Station.

Hasedera Temple

Hasedera Temple

Just a short walk from the Kotokuin Temple, you’ll find the Hasedera Temple (長谷寺).

The Hasedera Temple is another famous temple in Kamakura. It sits on a hillside and boasts incredible Buddhist architecture. The temple is famous for having the largest wooden statues of Kannon in Japan. Inside the temple, visitors can see the eleven-faced Kannon, and with permission, they can touch the statue’s feet.

Kannon at Hasedera Temple

Hasedera Temple is an exquisitely beautiful, peaceful, and well-maintained temple. Every single corner of the temple is meticulously manicured and there is a sense of history in every piece of the surroundings. You will come across beautiful statues, flowers, waterfalls, ponds, walking paths, and a viewing platform overlooking Sagami Bay.

On a clear day, you can spend a relaxing day enjoying the breathtaking view of the bay.

Kamakura itinerary - Hasedera Temple

Additionally, there is an interesting little cave located at a corner of the temple ground where you can spend some time exploring. If you’re in Kamakura or Tokyo, it’s worth visiting Hasedera Temple.

Kamakura Hase-dera (長谷寺)
Address: 3 Chome-11-2 Hase, Kamakura, Kanagawa 248-0016, Japan.
Opening Hours: Daily from 8:00 to 16:30
Admission Fee: ¥500 for adult and ¥200 for children

How to Get Hasedera Temple: Walk about 10 minutes from Kotokuin Temple to Hasedera Temple. Althernatively, it takes only 5 minutes to walk from the Hase Station (長谷駅) to the Hasedera Temple.

Stroll along Komachi-dori Street

Komachi-dori Street

To continue your Kamakura day trip, take the Enoden Line from Hase Station to Kamakura station. The ride take approxiamate 5 minutes.

After exiting Kamakura Station, you will pass through a red torii gate that marks the beginning of Komachi-dori Street. The Komachi-dori Street (鎌倉 小町通り) is a bustling shopping street in central Kamakura, with a range of shops, restaurants, and cafes selling souvenirs, treats, and local specialties.

What to eat in Kamakura

We suggest beginning with a stroll along Komachi-dori Street, where you can explore local shops and enjoy some delicious food. It is a lively street and the best place to to look for refreshment and lunch break on your Kamakura itinerary.

Stroll along Komachi-dori Street

The bustling street has many side streets and alleys, all offering local food, sweet treats, and products. It is an excellent place to shop and dine, as you can find a wide variety of food and specialty restaurants. Indulging in street food and exploring unique shops make for an enjoyable afternoon.

How to Get To Komachi-dori Street: Get off at Kamakura station [EN-15]. Take the East Exit from the station and turn left. You’ll pass the Tourist Information Center and reach the main walking street within a few minutes.

Visit Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine

Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine

One of the most popular tourist attractions in Kamakura is the Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine (鶴岡八幡宮). Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine was established in 1032 by Minamoto Yoriyoshi, the founder and shogun of the Kamakura government. The shrine is dedicated to Hachiman Kami, a deity worshipped by the Minamoto family.

To reach the shrine, visitors must walk along a long, wide approach that passes through several torii gates. The main hall (Hongu or Jogu) is located on a terrace at the top of a broad staircase.

Torii gate to Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine

The main hall houses a small museum which displays an array of treasures owned by the shrine, including swords, masks, and documents. The majestic torii gate, beautiful gardens, and historical structures create a peaceful and spiritual atmosphere.

The Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine is a significant destination in Japanese history and culture. This makes it a must-visit place for those who want to learn more about Japan’s heritage and traditions. The shrine hosts various events throughout the year. Visitors can purchase good luck fortunes and offer prayers during their visit.

Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine (鶴岡八幡宮)
Address: 2 Chome-1-31 Yukinoshita, Kamakura, Kanagawa 248-8588, Japan
Opening Hours: Daily from 8:00 to 20:30
Admission Fee: Free!

How to Get To Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine: It’s about a 10-12 minute walk from the JR Kamakura Station.

See the Iconic Slam Dunk Anime Spot

Kamakura itinerary - Slam Dunk Anime Spot

Next, it’s time to visit the iconic Slam Dunk Anime Spot. From Kamakura Station, board the Enoden train heading towards Fujisawa, and get off at Kamakura-kokomae Station. The journey takes 18 minutes.

Kamakura-kokomae Station and its famous railway crossing have been prominently featured in various anime and TV shows. This remarkable location is a popular filming spot and has appeared in the final scene of the popular anime Slam Dunk. Many anime enthusiasts visit here to take a shot of the Enoden as it runs along its picturesque coastal route.

Kamakura-kokomae Station

The scenery is beautiful, making it a must-visit place for anyone who loves nature and anime.

Getting there: From Kamakura Station, take the Enoden heading towards Fujisawa direction. Get off at Kamakura-kokomae Station [EN-08].

Enoshima Sea Candle Towers

What to do in Kamakura - Enoshima Sea Candle Towers

Our Kamakura itinerary for the late afternoon is to visit the Enoshima area. To get to the Enoshima Sea Candle Towers, you can take the Enoden train to Enoshima station.

Getting to Enoshima Sea Candle Tower

From there, we have the option of either taking a bus or walking and we choose to walk. The walk through Samuel Cocking Garden is especially beautiful, as all the flowers are blooming splendidly. However, it may take some time due to the distance.

Enoshima Sea Candle Towers

The Enoshima lighthouse is a prominent feature located at the center of the island of Enoshima. Although there is an admission fee to access the observation deck, the experience is definitely worth it.

We took an elevator to the observation deck at the top of the tower.

View from Enoshima Sea Candle Towers

When we reached the top of the candle, we were blessed with a breathtaking view of Enoshima Island and the surrounding coastline. On a clear day, you might even catch a glimpse of Mount Fuji. We highly recommend this experience to anyone visiting this beautiful island. The view is simply perfect!

Kamakura itinerary - Enoshima Sea Candle Observatory Deck

Sea Candle observatory deck offers amazing 360-degree views of the surrounding areas of Enoshima, Kamakura, and the seaside. It is also best place to see the sunset when visiting Kamakura and Enoshima.

Enoshima Sea Candle Towers at night

During winter nights, Enoshima Island is beautifully illuminated with a variety of lights and colors, creating a lovely ambiance. We spend time wandering around and took a lot of pictures.

At the end of the day, take the train from Katase-Enoshima Station to Shinjuku.

Beaches at Kamakura and Enoshima Area

Beaches at Kamakura and Enoshima Area

If you plan to visit Kamakura during the summertime, we highly recommend spending some time exploring the Kamakura and Enoshima beaches.

Kamakura is a popular weekend beach destination among locals. The top three beaches to visit are Zaimokuza Beach (材木座海岸), Yuigahama Beach (由比ガ浜海水浴場), and Koshigoe Beach (腰越海水浴場). Although we didn’t have the opportunity to access the beach, we encourage you to visit.

Overall: A Day Trip Visit To Kamakura

Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed our Kamakura day trip itinerary. There are many sights where one can easily spend an entire day, or even multiple days in the area. It is a peaceful place to visit with numerous shrines, temples, and breathtaking scenery. We would love to go back and stay for a long weekend to explore more.

Lastly, thank you for reading our suggested itinerary for exploring Kamakura. For more travel tips and guides in the Kanto area, please check out our other posts.

How To Plan your trip to Tokyo (Must read for first-time visitors):

Tokyo Transportation Guide

Planning on a trip to Hakone, an easy day trip from Tokyo? Check out our Hakone itinerary by using Hakone Free Pass.