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The Best Guide For A Splendid Family Holiday In Kamakura

Rachel
Updated Oct 29, 2016

Located south-west of Japan’s capital city of Tokyo, Kamakura is a historical city that used to be the political centre of medieval Japan. Being close to Tokyo makes it a convenient getaway to experience the country’s traditional life away from the buzzing capital. Besides the ancient temples and shrines that Kamakura is famous for, it is also known for its popular beach and surf culture. This article will provide you with tips on what you can do in the quaint city to enjoy a splendid family holiday:

Top 3 activities to book in kamakura

Map Location

How to travel to Kamakura

Train

There is no international or domestic airport in Kamakura, and the nearest major airport is Tokyo Haneda Airport (HND), 50 kilometres (31 miles) away from Kamakura downtown. From either Haneda Airport Terminal station or Haneda International Airport Terminal station, take the Keikyu Airport Express line to Yokohama Station. The 28-minute ride will cost 450 JPY (4.30 USD) per adult. After which, transfer to the JR Yokosuka line at Yokohama Station to Kamakura Station. This 25-minute ride will cost 340 JPY (3.30 USD) per adult.

If you are starting your Japanese holiday in Tokyo first, there are two railway lines connected to Kamakura Station as well. Take the JR Yokosuka line from Tokyo Station, passing through Shinagawa and Yokohama, and you will arrive at Kamakura within one hour for 920 JPY (8.90 USD). Alternatively, from Shinjuku Station, the JR Shonan-Shinjuku line provides a direct connection to Kamakura Station in one hour for the same price.

Kamakura City Access Information

See our full list of recommended Hotels in kamakura and also compare the prices with airbnbs in kamakura

1. Explore Kamakura downtown

Regardless of age, we all need to eat, and who doesn’t love good food? So it’s only natural that good local food brings people together. Upon arrival at Kamakura Station, begin your foodie hunt with your family at Komachi Street. Probably the busiest commercial street in the city, Komachi Street is filled with people anytime of the day. It is a long stretch lined with over 250 restaurants and shops from the rotary in front of Kamakura Station to the north towards the famous Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine. From traditional Japanese cuisine, like the tempura rice bowl, to fancy cafe creations such as sweet potato croquettes and soft serves, treat yourself to a feast at Komachi Street!

Of course, Komachi Street is not just about delectable food. There are numerous boutiques and stores selling exquisite souvenirs and sundries for retail therapy. Check out the popular Iori store which sells a huge array of authentic made-in-Japan towels. There is also the Donguri Kyowakoku (Acorn Republic) store by the well-known Ghibli animation company located right at the entrance of Komachi Street that your kids will love. Or, rent a kimono at the kimono rental shop, and roam the busy street wearing the traditional costume as a group! Discover the stark contrast of the old Western-style houses hidden in the narrow alleys alongside traditional Japanese buildings. This certainly creates a perfect backdrop for beautiful family photos that you can snap away as part of your holiday memories.

Read more about Kamakura Komachi Dori Top 10 Food.

Komachi-dori (小町通り)

Address: Komachi, Kamakura, Kanagawa

Opening Hours: individual shop opening hours vary

Duration: around 2 to 3 hours required

Access: in between JR Kamakura Station and Tsurugaoka Hachimangu

See our full list of recommended Hotels in kamakura and also compare the prices with airbnbs in kamakura

2. Head to Yuigahama Beach for great sand and surf

After filling your stomachs with lots of yummy treats at Komachi Street, why not make your way to Yuigahama Beach for some fun with sand? Yuigahama Beach is the nearest beach to Tokyo with good beach facilities, thus many Tokyoites flock here for a convenient beach retreat. Depending on your group dynamics, you can choose to walk your calories off with a 15-min walk from Kamakura Station to the beach, or take a short train ride to Yuigahama Station, just 2 stops away. The beautiful beach is just a 5-minute walk from the station.

At Yuigahama Beach, enjoy a swim or surf in its clear waters. Or, simply bring along a picnic mat so that you can sit on the sandy beach with your family and enjoy the cool breeze. There are plenty of stalls selling snacks and drinks along the beach so there is no worry of going hungry. In addition, let your little ones have fun with sand by building sand castles using their creativity. Don’t forget that the beach is known for alluring sunsets too. So relax and chill here till evening to catch the lovely views!

Yuigahama beach (由比ヶ浜海岸)

Address: 4 Yuigahama, Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture

Price: free

Opening Hours: always open

Duration: around 2 hours required

Access: 5-minute walk from Yuigahama station or 10-minute walk from Hase-dera Temple

See our full list of recommended Hotels in kamakura and also compare the prices with airbnbs in kamakura

3. Enjoy the mesmerising views of the coastal city with an Enoden train ride

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Source: Rubber Soul

The most common form of transport when travelling around Japan is none other than the train. However, the Enoden Line that connects Kamakura and the neighbouring Fujisawa (藤沢) is so special that a ride on this line can be an attraction by itself. This 10-kilometre (6.2-mile) railway line has been running for over a century, bringing passengers through famous tourist spots and fascinating landscapes. The full ride from Kamakura Station to Fujisawa Station takes only 34 minutes and is truly a ride that will be enjoyed by all ages.

Look out for varied and interesting landscapes along the train ride. At the third stop, Hase Station where the Kamakura Great Buddha and Hase Kannon Temple are, the wooden train station blends in with the surroundings with its retro fittings. Don’t miss the quick change of scenery as it leaves Hase Station, going through residential areas and through nature. If you are a Japanese manga or anime fan, you must alight at Kamakurakokomae Station. Despite being a really tiny station, it is a wonderful spot for photos with an amazing view of the ocean. Furthermore, it is the station right in front of Kamakura High School from the most popular Japanese manga, Slam Dunk. Many drama and anime sets have featured this station before too. End your ride at the terminal station, Enoshima, where you will find a pleasant tourist island off the west coast of the city.

Enoden Line Guide

Price: please refer to website

Opening Hours: 5.10 am - 12 midnight

Enoden Line Guide

See our full list of recommended Hotels in kamakura and also compare the prices with airbnbs in kamakura

4. Enjoy Enoshima Island's attractions

Connected by bridge to the mainland, Enoshima Island is a lovely destination offering a variety of tourist attractions with awesome views of Mount Fuji on clear days. An economical way to enjoy a day tour on the island is to purchase the Enoshima 1-Day Passport (Enopass), which gives you free access to many attractions and discounts in restaurants and gift shops, including a round-trip ticket for certain train lines.

Noteworthy attractions suitable for the whole family include the Enoshima Island Spa (Enospa) and Enoshima Aquarium. Built along the coast of the island, Enospa offers traditional hot spring baths separated by gender, as well as indoor and outdoor pools for everyone. Marvel at the breathtaking view of majestic Mount Fuji while you enjoy the rejuvenating soak. As for Enoshima Aquarium, it is a large and modern aquarium showcasing marine life in the Sagami Bay and Pacific Ocean. Check out the myriad jellyfish exhibits in the aquarium and make use of the opportunity to educate your kids about the magnificent marine life.

Enopass Information Guide

Price: 1,000 JPY (9.60 USD) per adult, 500 JPY (4.80 USD) per child

Enopass Information Guide (Japanese only)

Enoshima Island Spa (Enospa)

Address: 2-1-6 Enoshima, Fujisawa, Kanagawa Prefecture

Price: please refer to official website

Opening Hours: please refer to official website

Duration: around 2 hours required

Access: 1-minute walk from Enoshima Station on the Enoden Line

Contact: +81 466-29-0688

Enoshima Island Spa (Enospa)

Enoshima Aquarium

Address: 2-19-1 Katase Kaigan, Fujisawa-shi, Kanagawa Prefecture

Price: please refer to official website

Opening Hours: please refer to official website

Duration: around 2 hours required

Access: 3-minute walk from Katase-Enoshima Station on the Odakyu-Enoshima Line

Contact: +81 466-29-9960

Enoshima Aquarium

See our full list of recommended Hotels in kamakura and also compare the prices with airbnbs in kamakura

5.Family-friendly accommodations for a great Kamakura holiday

To explore Kamakura at a more relaxed pace and cover all four great family destinations mentioned above, do consider staying overnight in one of these specially selected accommodations in different parts of the city. Regardless of which is your favourite part of the city, you will surely find delight in one of these accommodations:

See our full list of recommended Hotels in kamakura and also compare the prices with airbnbs in kamakura

Hide's apartment right in the city centre (from 148.50 USD)

Located just a 2-minute walk from downtown Kamakura Station, Hide’s apartment is your ideal choice if you want to stay in the heart of the city with Komachi Street next to you! This spacious 2-bedroom tatami-style apartment can house up to 9 guests comfortably. Besides having a good location, the tastefully furnished apartment with traditional Japanese charm makes you feel at home throughout your stay.

2 min from Kamakura st.

Area: Kamakura city, Kanagawa Prefecture

Price: from 148.50 USD

Access: 2-minute walk from Kamakura Station

See our full list of recommended Hotels in kamakura and also compare the prices with airbnbs in kamakura

WeBase Hostel Kamakura near Yuigahama Beach (from 164 USD for a 6-person family room)

For the beach-loving family, WeBase Hostel Kamakura is your perfect choice to stay in Kamakura. Located a mere 2-minute walk from Yuigahama Beach, WeBase is not just another hostel offering cheap lodging. As a recently opened hostel, WeBase offers private and dormitory rooms, as well as large family rooms with en suite bathrooms to cater to big groups travelling together. While it has common laundry and shower facilities that every hostel provides, it also has a cool public bath and yoga studio that you can enjoy with other guests.

WeBase Hostel Kamakura

Address: 4-10-7 Yuigahama, Kamakura city, Kanagawa Prefecture

Price: from 164 USD for a 6-person family room

Access: 3-minute walk from Yuigahama Station

See our full list of recommended Hotels in kamakura and also compare the prices with airbnbs in kamakura

As One Style’s house near Enoshima (from 108 USD)

If you prefer to be away from the busy downtown and Yuigahama Beach, but wish to have convenient access to get around the city, then As One Style’s house, near Koshigoe Station along the Enoden Line, may be a great option for you. Up to 6 of you can stay in this cosy 1-bedroom house. It’s also great to know that kids can stay for free in this house in the quiet neighbourhood near the peaceful Koshigoe Beach! As One Style prides himself on his superior service that is compatible with the Ritz Carlton, so you are assured of a wonderful stay here.

As One Style’s house

Area: Kamakura city, Kanagawa Prefecture

Price: from 108 USD

Access: 1-minute walk from Koshigoe Station

See our full list of recommended Hotels in kamakura and also compare the prices with airbnbs in kamakura

Sachi / Kazuya's apartment on Enoshima Island (from 59.50 USD)

Fancy staying on the little Enoshima Island to enjoy a relaxing island retreat? Sachi / Kazuya’s big 3-bedroom apartment near Katase-Enoshima Station will be great for you, especially if you have a big group of up to 10 people. The hosts prides themselves on providing superior hotel standards for this apartment, which makes it a real steal to grab at such economical price. Furthermore, major attractions and restaurants on the island are within walking distance from the apartment. Kamakura downtown is also just a quick train ride away.

☆Katase-Enoshima☆sta 4min/Luxury OPEN!! MAX 10ppl

Area: Fujisawa city, Kanagawa Prefecture

Price: from 59.50 USD

Access: 4-minute walk from Katase-Enoshima Station

See our full list of recommended Hotels in kamakura and also compare the prices with airbnbs in kamakura

Kamakura is more than just another historical city

Now that you know where the wonderful attractions are in Kamakura that everyone in the family can enjoy, it’s not just another ancient city that will bore your little ones, is it? This is a charming city to head to if you are planning to visit Tokyo and its neighbours. Enjoy bonding with your family with a splendid holiday in Kamakura!

This article was originally published on Oct 28, 2016
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Rachel has forgotten when and exactly how she caught the travel bug. What she does remember is the triumphant feeling she enjoys when she sees the fascinating world out there with her own eyes. She...Read more

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