Retro Train Trip: Exploring Kamakura & Enoshima with the Noriori-kun Pass

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Enoden train car

The Enoshima Electric Railway (“Enoden” for short) runs through Kanagawa Prefecture, from the traditional city of Kamakura to the island of Enoshima, with Fujisawa as the last stop.  Designed with a vintage flair, its train cars are beloved icons that add a nostalgic flavor to Kamakura and Enoshima’s easy atmosphere.

Visitors to the area can avail of Noriori-kun, a pass that allows the ticket holder to get on and off all the stations of Enoden for as many times as they want within a period of a one day. All stations have ticket machines that sell the pass.

Noriori-kun

Date of Trip: May 27, 2017
With: Yui

When we both went on this trip, Yui and I had not seen each other for months, the last time being my birthday party in January. Our Enoden travel made a very pleasant catch-up trip.

The terminal stations (Kamakura and Fujisawa) are about the same distance from our respective houses. We chose to start at Kamakura so that we could end the day with a seaside view.

 SPOTS VISITED

Dandelion Chocolate Kamakura Branch

Business Hours: 08:00 – 20:00

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From chocolate bars to pastries, this cafe is chocolate heaven. It has two floors and is a good spot to chat with friends, bring your date or just catch up on some reading. Their hot cocoa comes in different variations, spiced with exciting flavors. They also come with a complimentary mini cookie, and you can even ask the staff to add a marshmallow. Mmm, a delicious cup of cocoa is a good way to start the day.

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Komachi Dōri

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After warming our tummies, we headed to Kamakura’s popular shopping street. Lined with curious and charming shops, Komachi Dōri is a good spot for buying souvenirs or just window shopping.

As we looked around, we found a Ghibli novelty shop, which, to my surprise, had Calcifer goods! As a big fan of Howl’s Moving Castle (both the novels and the animated film), this was a pleasant surprise.

 

We also found a shop that specializes in kanzashi hair pins. These traditional hair accessories are often paired with a kimono or a yukata. The shop we went to had Sailor Moon-themed ones, which didn’t really scream Sailor Moon, but were pretty nonetheless.

 

Kōtoku-in

Business Hours:
08:00 – 17:30 (April to September)
08:00 – 17:00 (October to March)
Entrance Fee:
Adult: JPY 200
Child: JPY 150

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Most often, when people think of Kamakura, they conjure up the image of the daibutsu or the giant Buddha. This enormous statue can be found at Kōtoku-in. For an extra JPY 20, guests can also see the inside of the statue.

 

The temple is also adorned with a pair of humongous straw slippers, made for the giant Buddha. Every three years, they are replaced with new ones coming all the way from Ibaraki Prefecture. If you ask me, however, these slippers are disproportional to the size of the statue. Unless, of course, Buddha’s got really tiny feet.

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Speaking of slippers, we found a stall selling fish sandals on our way to Kōtoku-in. They’re… odd. I was so amused I posted the picture I took on Instagram, thinking only an oddball would buy such slippers. A few minutes after I’ve posted the photo, my friend Chihiro texted me with a photo of the pair he owns. I guess I have a knack for choosing peculiar people as friends.

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Kamakura Museum of Literature

Business Hours:
09:00 – 17:00 (March to September)
09:00 – 16:30 (October to February)
Entrance Fee (Depends on Exhibit):
Adult: JPY 300-400
Child: JPY 100-200

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Previously owned by a noble family, this gorgeous mansion has been transformed into a museum that celebrates the works of Japanese writers. More than the museum itself, however, the place is well-loved for its gorgeous rose garden, which attracts plenty of visitors in May.

 

Kamakura Kōkōmae Crossing

This one’s for geeks like me. If you watched anime in the 90s, you’ve probably heard of the basketball anime called Slam Dunk. Yes, the one that takes up a whole episode just for the ball to enter the damn hoop. The series was set in Kamakura High School, which is why the opening credits show Enoden’s Kamakura Kōkōmae Station. It’s a popular photo spot, so expect (Asian) tourists hanging around in the area.

Enoshima

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The thrill of being in a seaside city erupts the moment you get off at Enoshima Station. The rigidness of Tokyo melts away and is replaced by a laid-back atmosphere. The streets are lined with shops that have a delightful retro appeal, and the people walk at a leisurely pace.

Enoshima alone could take a whole day of exploring , but for an Enoden trip, it’s best to limit your itinerary to a few places.

Enoshima Shrine

 

Enoshima Shrine is the collective name of three shrines located in the island of Enoshima. Dedicated to Benzaiten, people visit the shrine to pray for love and safety.

Samuel Cocking Garden

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Business Hours: 09:00 – 18:00
Entrance Fee (Combined ticket with Sea Candle):
Adult: 500
Child: 250

This cozy botanical garden was named after an Irish merchant who came to Japan in 1869. When Yui and I dropped by, the garden’s roses were in full bloom. Unsurprisingly, we spotted a lot of couples around the area. Yui’s expression below pretty much sums up how we felt.

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Enoshima Sea Candle

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Business Hours: 09:00 – 18:00
Entrance Fee (Combined ticket with Samuel Cocking Garden):
Adult: 500
Child: 250

We ended our trip with a visit to Sea Candle, a tower that offers visitors a panoramic view of the sea surrounding the island. Watching the sunset from the tower was the perfect way to end our Enoden day trip. We went home to Tokyo with smiles on our faces and a handful of happy memories.

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9 thoughts on “Retro Train Trip: Exploring Kamakura & Enoshima with the Noriori-kun Pass

  1. Medha Verma says:

    I went to Kamakura as well, on my trip to Japan earlier this year and absolutely loved the Buddha statue at Kotoku In. This post brings back memories, the small town of Kamakura was amazing to explore, loved walking through those narrow streets, with their colourful displays.

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  2. Lydia Smith says:

    Been to Enoshima too and I got those slippers too. I think I wore it of recent when working in the garden. Heard about the Sea Candle but couldn’t wait to visit. Here it is, I regret not visiting. But I had a lot of memories to keep me long at Iwaya Caves and the Island Spa.

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  3. Marvi says:

    I didn’t know that the Enoden’s Kamakura Kōkōmae Station was also the same venue as that seen on the Slam Dunk opening credits. That’s soo cool! I was a pretty big fan back then too. (Go Sakuragi!.. hahaha) Those brownies at the Dandelion Chocolate Cafe looks yummy and the slippers were rather cute in a fishy way. LOL. :P.. That being said, great to see that you had a wonderful day catching up with your friend! You’ve covered a lot of amazing places on this day trip too!

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  4. yashajoy says:

    What a wonderful way to get out of the city and spend a day with a friend. I’ve never been to Japan and, to be honest, the cities would be somewhat overwhelming… But this day trip including such variety – chocolate, botanic garden, beautiful Buddha statue, an old mansion, and not to forget the shopping, especially for fish sandals 😉 – is certainly very enticing.

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  5. Cathy Salvador Mendoza says:

    Haven’t been to Japan but I’ve heard and read a lot of blogs about this beautiful country. I particularly love those colorful fish slippers but so expensive! haha. The delicious cups of cocoa will instantly make my day upon traveling around plus with cute marshmallows. Indeed, Japanese always have bright cute ideas and put them into little things. You had such an exciting day ended with a stunning sunset. And of course, Tokyo is super fun, too!

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  6. Elisa Subirats says:

    What a nice combination of vintage train journey, some nice sights and yummy treats. I have never been inside of a statue so I’d be curious to go inside the giant Buddha. And buy the fish sandals, they are very quirky! I agree with you that a sunset with sea views was the perfect ending of the trip, well done!

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  7. Sandy N Vyjay says:

    What a beautiful trip. First of all, I have a great fascination for trains, especially the old ones. So the retro train was something that I absolutely loved.The places that you covered bring out the heritage and culture of Japan so beautifully. The shrine has a surreal atmosphere and the museum is where I could end up spending hours.

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  8. Cat says:

    Your post makes me miss Japan! Those fish sandals look ridiculously cute! The Noriori-kun pass is so useful for those who want to explore via train. I will keep that in mind next time I visit!

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  9. travellingslacker says:

    wow.. I love trains and I love anything that is nostalgic and old-worldly. The fact that you have used both the terms retro and train together makes it my favorite blog post of the day! This is a wonderful trail and I wish many other places had preserved such locations and facilities that we could use to escape the 21st century.

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