- 3 min read

Getting Around Shonan

Navigating the trains around Kamakura and Enoshima

Overview

About an hour south-west of Tokyo on the coast in Kanagawa Prefecture, the Shonan area has plenty to see and do, either as a day trip, or a stay of one or two nights. There are a number of train lines connecting its various sights, and this guide will show you how to best use them to explore the area.

The train lines

There are two Japan Rail (JR) lines in the area. The JR Tokaido Line is a major commuter line into Tokyo; the stations you'll use here are Ofuna, Fujisawa and Tsujido. At Ofuna you can transfer to the JR Yokosuka Line, which will take you to Kamakura.

The Enoshima Dentetsu Line (more commonly known as the Enoden Line) is a quaint, century-old operation. Its vintage-styled trains connect Fujisawa, Enoshima and Kamakura in a scenic coastal route, and a noriorikun day pass allows unlimited rides for only ¥650.

There are two other lines you might use. The Odakyu Enoshima Line connects Fujisawa to Enoshima; it's slightly faster and cheaper than the Enoden Line, and its terminal at Katase-Enoshima Station is the closest to the island. The Shonan Monorail is a fun way to zoom directly between Ofuna and Enoshima, though there's no sightseeing along the way.

On all these lines, trains are frequent and fares are low. The most expensive journey would be the full-length monorail for ¥320.

Direction signs at an Enoden line station
Direction signs at an Enoden line station

Kamakura

There are three main places at which you'll be getting off the train. To see the majestic Daibutsu (Great Buddha) and stately Hase-dera Temple, go to Hase Station (pronounced HA-seh) on the Enoden Line. For the grand shrine of Tsurugaoka Hachimangu and the traditional old shops on Komachi-dori shopping street, use the main Kamakura Station, on the Enoden and JR Yokosuka lines. There's a cluster of impressive temples around Kita-Kamakura Station (also on the JR Yokosuka Line), where you can also start on the Daibutsu Hiking Trail.

The Daibutsu (Great Buddha), near Hase station on the Enoden line
The Daibutsu (Great Buddha), near Hase station on the Enoden line
The approach to Hase-dera temple, near Hase station on the Enoden line
The approach to Hase-dera temple, near Hase station on the Enoden line

Enoshima

The town and island are served by three stations, of which Katase-Enoshima (Odakyu Line) is most convenient. It's also reasonably walkable from Enoshima Station (Enoden Line) and Shonan-Enoshima Station (Shonan Monorail), though you might then want to sit down for a rest once you've crossed the bridge.

A view from the summit of Enoshima island
A view from the summit of Enoshima island

Other spots

Close to Ofuna Station (JR Tokaido Line, JR Yokosuka Line and Shonan Monorail) is the Ofuna Kannon, a striking statue of the serene Buddhist Goddess of Mercy; further away, maybe a 30-minute walk or quick taxi ride, are the fascinating Taya Caves. And at Tsujido Station (JR Tokaido Line) there's an interesting free art space and museum of traditional wood-block prints, or you can take a break from sightseeing and indulge in some retail therapy at four-floor shopping emporium Terrace Mall.

At the entrance to the Ukiyo-e museum, near Tsujido station
At the entrance to the Ukiyo-e museum, near Tsujido station

Journey times

JR Tokaido Line

  • Fujisawa to Tsujido - 4 minutes
  • Fujisawa to Ofuna - 4 minutes

JR Yokosuka Line

  • Ofuna to Kita-Kamakura - 3 minutes
  • Kita-Kamakura to Kamakura - 3 minutes

Enoden Line

  • Kamakura to Hase - 4 minutes
  • Hase to Enoshima - 17 minutes
  • Fujisawa to Enoshima - 9 minutes

Odakyu Line

  • Fujisawa to Katase-Enoshima - 7 minutes

Shonan Monorail

  • Ofuna to Shonan-Enoshima - 15 minutes

Getting there

From Shinjuku, take the Odakyu Line with its regular express trains to Fujisawa, some of which go on to Katase-Enoshima. You could also take the JR Shonan-Shinjuku Line, note that the line forks at Ofuna, with some trains going to Kamakura, and others to Fujisawa and Tsujido.

From Ueno or Tokyo the JR Ueno-Tokyo Line becomes the Tokaido Line at Tokyo Station, providing a through service connecting Ueno, Tokyo, Shinagawa and Yokohama to Ofuna and Fujisawa.

More info

Find out more about Kamakura Daibutsu.

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Sleiman Azizi 2 years ago
Good solid information here.
Sébastien Duval 2 years ago
Shonan is an area is warmly recommend to tourists :) Thanks for sharing, Peter!
Kim 2 years ago
A great area to explore, and this guide definitely makes the process of getting from A to B easier!
Sleiman Azizi 2 years ago
It's a lovely area too. Very much worth the exploration.
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