The Enoshima/ Kamakura destinations make for a popular day trip for many travellers, local and international. With its well connected train lines, these day trips out of Tokyo are incredibly simple and quick. Enoshima and Kamakura are beautiful towns and give a polarising glimpse to another side of the busy Japan most of us know. For this reason alone, I highly recommend making a trip there. In this post I share my experience in heading south-west to Enoshima and Kamakura using the Enoshima/ Kamakura Free Pass on the Odakyu Line.
Most major lines out of Tokyo begin from Shinjuku Station making it one of the largest train stations in the world accommodating approximately 750,000 commuters a day. Though it is no way similar I’d say if you’re familiar with the London tube system you would probably do fairly well here. Of course, staying in landmark areas can also help (less changing of lines).
Make your way to Shinjuku station as this will be your starting point. I stayed in Asakusa and hopped onto the JR Yamanote Line (green) and in 12 stops (about 30 minutes) was back in Shinjuku.
From whichever platform you get off you will first need to exit the line. This means going through the ticket turnstiles. You will need to do this to make your way to the Odakyu Sightseeing Office where you can buy your Enoshima/ Kamakura free pass.
About the Enoshima/ Kamakura Free Pass
This is a one day pass that grants you return access to both trains from Shinjuku to Fujisawa, Fujisawa to Kamakura. The entire journey from Shinjuku to Enoshima/ Kamakura involves two different trains on the Odakyu Line and Enoshima Electric Railway train.
The Free Pass allows you to do a hop on/ hop off along the Enoshima to Kamakura line that is on the Enoshima Electric Railway train. Below marks the Enoshima Electric Railway train route.
Cost: 1540 JPY (≈ AUD17) The standard pass only grants you access on the normal train and not the Romance Car.
Valid for: One calendar day
Buying the Enoshima/ Kamakura Free Pass
Purchasing any rail tickets in Japan can be overwhelming. With its many lines and companies, you’ll find yourself standing in front of ticket machines wondering what to do next.
The easiest way to buy your free pass is to make a beeline for the Odakyu Sightseeing Counter. The counter is located upstairs of where you exit the Yamanote Line. There are wayfinding signs around to help you navigate the busy world that is Shinjuku Station!
There are 2 counters available for you to buy your tickets. One specifically for foreigners and the other mainly to service locals. It’s important to note that the counter for foreigners only opens at 8am. I was overzealous with my day trip and had planned to start as early as possible. My heart fell at the sight of the 8am opening time as I thought I’d had to kill an hour waiting for it to open.
Luckily, I managed to get served at the local counter. Afraid of a communication breakdown, I had my Enoshima/ Kamakura brochure and simply pointed to it while gesturing one with my other hand – it worked a dream. Most locals understand basic English as well but body language always helps too.
You have a choice of upgrading your train experience from Shinjuku to Fujisawa/ Enoshima by paying an extra 620JPY for the Romance Car. This cost is however only for a one way ride on the Romance Car. If you want a return seat on the Romance Car, you will need to add another 620JPY.
Regular Enoshima/ Kamakura Free Pass (Return ticket) = 1540JPY
Regular Enoshima/ Kamakura Free Pass (Return ticket) + One seat on the Romance Car (One way only) = 1540JPY + 620JPY
Why choose the Romance Car?
You are guaranteed a seat as the ticket includes a reserved seat. It is incredibly spacious with reclining seats and arm rests, much more comfortable, and faster as it does not stop at the other stations in between. If you like looking at the changing landscapes during commute (like I do), I highly recommend this option as you’ll get unobstructed views with the large windows. There is also onboard refreshment available for purchase.
The Romance Car heads straight to Fujisawa where you can choose to get off (but don’t!) and then to Katase-Enoshima station where you’ll need to disembark.
There is so much to do at in a single day trip that if you’re a slow-ish traveller like I am, you’d need a second day to do it.
Read my next post on Things to See and Do in Enoshima Island!