Most people would have heard of Kamakura, which is famous for the big Kotoku-in Buddha, and they usually do a day-trip from Tokyo as it is only 1 hour away.
However, have you also heard of Enoshima? In fact, Enoshima is just beside Kamakura and there’s a lot more to see, especially if you’re lucky (in the correct season), you can catch Mt Fuji from the beach. Despite spending a night in this beach town in winter, I still think it is not enough and I kind of like the place so much that I am intending to re-visit in each of my Tokyo trips in the future. It’s so beautiful and comfortable that I think I might even be able to retire there.
Note: The night before, I was staying at Yokohama.
Day 1 – Sunday
[10:32 am] Public Train from Yokohama > Kamakura > Yuigahama Station
[11:31 am] Deposit Luggage @ WeBase Kamakura Hostel
[11:57 am] Walk along the beach/coast to Hase
[12:15 pm] Visited Hase-Dera (Temple)
[1:20 pm] Lunch at Unagi Restaurant 鰻・天ぷら・割烹 浅羽屋本店
[2:53 pm] Train from Hase to Enoshima
[3:15 pm] Arrived at Enoshima Station, Walked to Enoshima Island
[4:00 pm] Took the paid escalator up to the Lighthouse
[4:30 pm] Watched sunset from the top of the Lighthouse
[5:00 pm] Christmas Illumination Lightup
[7:00 pm] Trying to find food around the station
[7:30 pm] Settled for dinner – french restaurant @les fables bonjour レファーブルボンジュール
[8:35 pm] Train back to Yuigahama Station
[9:0o pm] Went to Yuigahama Beach to hear the waves in the dark
[9:20 pm] Back to accommodation (4-bed hostel)
Day 2 – Monday
[8:37 am] Depart Hostel, Dragged 24 inch luggage to eat pancakes
[9:02 am] Arrived @ Shichirigahama Station; walked to bills
[9:15 am] Pancake Breakfast @ bills
[10:20 am] Stoned at Shichirigahama’s Beach while watching Mt Fuji
[10:45 am] Train to Kita-Kamakura
[11:33 am] Arrived @ Kita-Kamakura and found luggage storage @ 500Y
[11:51 am] Visited Meigetsuin
[1:18 pm] Train from Kita-Kamakura back to Tokyo Station
[2:19pm] Arrived @ Tokyo Station
Where I stayed
Initially, I wanted to stay 2 nights at Yokohama so that I didn’t have to go through the hassle of moving my luggage but after finding out that you can actually see Mt Fuji from Enoshima/Kamakura, I changed my mind.
Furthermore, I read somewhere which said that Fuji sighting is the best in Winter (and morning was the best timing) so I guess I shouldn’t take any chances with this rare opportunity presented in front of me!
My main criteria for the accommodation was that I wanted it to be near the beach. It didn’t have to be a hostel but when I started comparing the prices, hostel was the only option that made sense. I ended up at WeBase Kamakura Hostel, a relatively new hostel which offers 4-bed female dorm. At $51.19 SGD/night, it was still way below my initial budget of $80-100.
I don’t have photos of the place because I ended up taking InstaStory for everything and kind of forgot to take photos. If you have the patience, you can see footages of the accommodation in my instagram story video compilation here.
This is the only photo I could find. It’s a picture of my crib. The bed was pretty decent, size similar to the capsule hotel that I’ve stayed before. I had enough space to display all my barang barang (makeup, skincare, water, electronics, extra clothes, next day clothes). I only opened my luggage twice – when I first arrive and when I left. There isn’t much space to open the luggage cause the walkway is pretty narrow and I am pretty thankful that there was only 1 other neighbour in my room that night. She seems to be like a middle age (35-45) female Japanese tourist who was fully dressed up in hiking gear when I met her the next morning. We tried to communicate but we ended up as “I am from Singapore, and I am going to Tokyo next”. I guess.. I need to brush up on my Japanese if I want to hold any proper conversation in future.
What I Like about this place
- New and pretty empty when I was there (Early Dec 2017). One thing to note is that Enoshima area is predominantly a summer place where people go surfing during summer. In winter, it feels pretty off-peak
- Toilets were somewhat in-room (2 rooms of 4 beds each sharing 2 toilets and 1 washing basin). Shower facilities were in the basement floor (but there was a lift for lazy people- B, L1, L2). There’s individual shower cubicles and also open shower concept together with a hot bath. I had a shower in the private cubicle, then walked over to the hot bath area and soaked for 7-10 mins (really good for my tired feet) and it made me warm the whole night.
Note: Unlike the real onsen experience, soaking in hot water doesn’t create miracles for your skin. In my previous trips, I love going to onsens cause it makes my skin smooth but I realised it is not the same for ordinary hot water (what was I expecting..)
- Japan being Japan, you can draw the curtains to create a private space for yourself. This is unlike the western open-concept I experienced in Europe.
- I slept really well but it got a little warm in the night, then again, I drank beer before I slept..
- The accommodation was about 50 steps from the beach. I visited the beach in the day and in the night. It was not very crowded (well, it was off peak) and I love the peace and tranquility of just staring out at the ocean. I love the place so much that I think I can retire here in future.
Here’s a photo of the beach from the hostel.
What could have been better
- The vending machine ran out of mineral water and they did not provide any water dispenser/filter. Went to the reception but they didn’t have any bottles of water for sale either.
I think it could be possible to drink water from the tap in Japan but I didn’t want to take the risk. I ended up boiling water in their kitchen, waited for the water to cool before filling my bottle up. The location was pretty isolated so i don’t think there was any convenience shop that I could walk out to.
Where I visited
After dropping my luggage at the hostel, I decided to take a stroll down the beach and walk to the next station – Hase.
Well, my initial plan was to cycle but the reception staff informed me that there was a marathon going on and some roads may be closed. Plan B was to wake up super early for sunrise the next morning and cycle along the beach – plan failed too cause I wasn’t prepared for the cold (and I kind of needed sleep more). #maybenextime
Although I was walking at like 12 noon, the walk was very bearable (despite the sun) because of the cool weather. It was a 15-20 minutes walk and the quiet streets slowly became busier and busier as I walked towards the direction of the Hase Temple. If I’m not wrong, the entrance fee was 500Y.
There’s something for everyone for all seasons in Japan and autumn happens to be one of the best season of them all. Why? Cause it is not as crowded as the sakura season and I really love the colours of fall, much more than spring. (Then agan, I may change my mind if I get to visit Japan in Spring..)
I love the view from the top! You don’t have to climb up very high (probably less than 5-10 mins) and you will be rewarded with this magnificent view overlooking kamakura town, the beach and the sea. I was wishing that there could be a cafe here at this point and I’ll sit and stone for the next few hours with coffee.
Beautiful maple leaves! I tried to catch a falling maple leaf when there was breeze but sadly, I wasn’t able to succeed. I guess it wasn’t time yet.
Apart from appreciating the beautiful outdoor scenery, you could pay respect in the temple as well. If you collect stamps/chops (the ink pad type), don’t forget to look for the stamp counter somewhere inside the temple. You can draw your fortune or buy the charm too!
I spent about an hour exploring the temple and its surrounding. There was this random cave as well (no idea what it was about) but if you’re tall, you will have to crop yourself and bend in order not to hit your head against the cave. If I didn’t recall wrongly, you could also light candles inside and pay respects as well.
After Hase Temple, I was pretty much starving and on my way back to the station, I spotted an unagi shop which had a queue.
Shop Name: 鰻・天ぷら・割烹 浅羽屋本店
Well, I trust google maps (which gave a review of 4.2 stars) and I decide to join the queue. I had to write my name down on the reservation list (well, I wrote my initials; probably the only foreigner that day) and waited at the shop for the next 30 to 40 minutes. Thankfully, I had a seat after a while and it made the wait bearable; together with my phone and internet connection.
This was the dish I ordered (the cheapest unagi set in the menu). I don’t know why but.. I kind of felt that the unagi rice I had in Singapore and the famous manman tasted better. Perhaps there wasn’t enough unagi sauce and I preferred more flavourful unagi.. Oh wells..
After lunch, I took the train from Hase to Enoshima Station. The train is pretty old school and there was a carraige with wooden flooring! It feels like the first time I’m taking a wooden-floored train and I guess it was pretty rustic.
The train ride from Hase to Enoshima was super scenic. At times, you will be able to see the sea and the beach from the windows of the train.
Upon reaching Enoshima Station, you can follow the crowd and take a 10-mins walk to Enoshima island.
I was really excited about my visit as it was listed as one of the prominent places where you can spot Mt Fuji. I had been praying like crazy for good weather.
Thankfully, my prayers were somewhat answered as I noticed the faint shadow of Fuji-san as I walked across the bridge.
As it was a Sunday, the island was pretty crowded but still manageable. I think it took me about 40-50 minutes to reach the top and this included quite a number of stops for photo taking.
Initially, I didn’t plan to enter the sea candle, aka lighthouse (thinking that there was nothing much) but eventually I ended up paying for everything separately, when I could have paid for a cheaper package price. Will elaborate more on the package pricing at the end of the article.
If you are feeling lazy to climb the stairs (which brings you to the top), you can consider purchasing the escalator pass at 360Y which gives you access to 3 sets of escalators. According to some article, the escalator at Enoshima was the first outdoor paid escalator dating back to 1961. Taking the escalator will reduce your climbing time from 20 minutes to 5 minutes. Well, I could have climbed the stairs up but I was afraid that I would miss the sunset (excuses for being lazy..) so I thought that the safest way was to just pay.
The way up was quite distracting. There was a place where you could wash your money and attempt throwing coins to hit something. While I did succeed, I didn’t understand anything about what I was doing as there wasn’t any english signage. Now that I’m back, Google tells me that if you wash the money in this pond, there is a legend that the money will come back to increased many times over. Let’s see if my money comes rolling back to me..
Initially, I didn’t want to enter Samuel Cocking Garden + Sea Candle as I had to pay additional 500Y. However, by the time I reach, I couldn’t secure a decent photo spot for my tripod and I thought that the framing below was not very nice. (This was at some platform; not the paid entry area)
Eventually, I decide to pay the extra 500Y and enter the garden + taking the lift up to the lighthouse (Sea Candle).
Thankfully, I was in time for the sunset but I was not in time to secure the best spot. I could only find a space to fix my tripod at the second last floor (which had the glass panel).
Here’s my time lapse video:
In a way, I was somewhat thankful that I was standing at the second last floor and not the open air area as it was freezing. I don’t even think I can last more than 10 minutes out there.
Another interesting thing that happened during my Japan trip was that there was a Full supermoon also known as a Cold Moon! The moon was very bright and I could see it even in the morning a few days later at my Ascott accommodation. It was a rare chance to take a photo of the moon reflection.
Anyway, after the sunset, I noticed that the crowd at the upper floor of the sea candle did not disperse. Well, that’s because they were waiting for the lightup, which I didn’t know was going to happen. It’s really pretty from the top and please note that your ticket only entitles you to go up the Sea Candle once. I guess it’s really a good timing to visit it during sunset and loiter around till the lightup ceremony.
If you’re planning for a trip to Tokyo in the next few weeks, don’t miss out on this winter illumination which will end on 18 February.
Really love this tunnel of lights but sadly, I didn’t have much photos of myself taken here as I was a little lazy to approach strangers to take my photo. #woesofsolotraveller
Not to worry if you’re a shy and lone traveller, on the island, there were several selfie standees around the island which allows you to put your smartphone on and you can take a selfie with self timer mode. It was pretty fuss free and they have already done the angling for you.
On the way down, I bought this crispy snack as I was attracted to the smell. It’s pretty delicious but I don’t remember it was cheap. I think it was 300-500Y.
As the temperature dipped together with nightfall, I was desperately trying to find food within the vicinity. I walked past a couple of shops with ‘sold out’ signage (verified with google translate camera function in the app) and even went to a recommended Omakase which was full house.
The Google Translate camera function was really useful as without it, I would waiting outside the shop, not knowing that they were closed for the day.
Random kind story while I was looking for food
I was walking along the streets and it was pretty narrow and I spotted a car coming in my direction. As i was still clueless on where I should head to, I decide to stop and let the car (with bright headlights) cross me first. To my confusion, the car suddenly stopped and turn off its headlights. So in my head, I was thinking perhaps the car is gonna park there. So i continued walking straight and after I walked past the car, the owner turned on his headlights and continued driving away. I was.. pretty mindblown. I suppose the driver turned off the headlights so it would not be blinding my eyes as I walked towards his direction. Japanese people amazes me all the time. This small gesture of kindness definitely warmed my heart in the chilly weather.
For dinner, I eventually settled for a French restaurant around the station, which had only one table occupied for the night.
Restaurant Name: Les Fables Bonjour レファーブルボンジュール
I bet the chef was feeling confused when I entered the shop. Why would.. anyone dine in a French restaurant alone on a cold and windy Sunday night?
Awkwardly, I indicated that I was alone and he directed me to a counter seat. Not surprised, there wasn’t an english menu and I stared blankly at the black board in the shop (which was the menu). Maybe it was due to the handwritten words, google translate camera app couldn’t give me useful reply.
The chef eventually asked if I wanted a set (2900Y) and I agreed readily because.. I didn’t know what else I could order. I think he did ask if I was allergic to anything (like they do in fine dining restaurants) and I was ready to be surprised.
This was the appetizer – konyaku jelly filled with vegetables. The only thing I could decipher from his introduction of this dish was ‘white apple sauce’. Despite not knowing the name of the dish, I finished it quickly because it was delicious. Anyway, Google tells me that this is called aspic.
Dish 2 – White Radish and Potato Soup
He kept refilling my bread.. I’m not sure if the correct way to eat the bread is to dip it into the soup but.. maybe he thought that I liked it a lot so he gave me more and more bread.
Dish 3- Fish
If I had to rate, this was my least favourite as it was too salty for me. The chef apologized (why, it’s not his fault.. I was just giving a feedback) and said that Japanese people usually prefer their food to be saltier. He said something like he should have adjusted for me.. aww. maybe next time.
At the end of Dish 3, I was pretty full and I thought I was done with my set meal and he had to bring out another plate.
Dish 4 – Super delicious Ribs
It was so delicious that I finished the entire thing even though I was extremely full. The meat could fall of the bones so easily and the tenderness of the meat was something worth remembering. Well, I’m not an expert in French Food so I have no idea what is the name of this dish but I would definitely want to try this again!
By then, I was super full but he said there was still dessert. I asked for something small and light (cause I was super full) and he really gave me a super small slice of Almond, Meringue and Whipped Cream.
And then.. he asked if I wanted a drink. I asked for tea and that cup of english breakfast tea cost me 500Y. Oh wells.
My meal cost 2900Y (5-course set) + 750Y (white wine) + 500Y (red tea) = 4,150Y + tax = 4,482Y ($54 SGD)
Ain’t a cheap meal but it was definitely an enjoyable and fulfilling one! I ended up talking to the chef but there were awkward pauses when we both didn’t know how to express ourselves. He did mention that he last visited Singapore 20 years ago and that he worked in France for quite a period of time. I told him that Enoshima was a beautiful place and that he was really lucky to be staying here. Sadly, business appears to be pretty average for him. Hopefully, things will get better and the restaurant will still be there in my next visit!
After dinner, it was a little too chilly for anything else so I decided to take the train back to my hostel. The train station is so pretty! They even did a miniature structure of the sea candle lighthouse, fully themed with the LED lights.
Before entering the hostel, I decided to walk to the beach in an attempt to star gaze. Sadly, it was too cloudy that night plus the super moon was a little too bright. It’s not a wise choice to stargaze on a full moon night as the light from the moon will make the stars dim.
My canon s120 night filter is pretty alright. I could capture the photo below but on my iPhone, it was pure darkness..
I did walk down to the beach to let my boots step on the sand. There’s something nice about stepping on sand which makes it pretty relaxing. I guess I am a beach person – I love being by the coast at all times of the day and I love to hear the sound of waves crashing on to shore. I lingered on for about 10 to 15 minutes before heading back to the warmth of the hostel.
Okay, so the only semi-regret I had (in terms of costing) for this trip was that I did not manage to buy the Enoshima passes.
In total, I spent the following on day 1:
Kamakura – Yuigahama Station: 190Y
Hase – Enoshima Station: 260Y
Enoshima – Yuigahama: 260Y
If I have bought the Enoden 1-day pass ticket “Noriorikun” at 600Y, I would have saved 110Y.
Escar (Escalator for Enoshima Island): 360Y
Samuel Cocking Gardn + Sea Candle: 500Y
If I have bought the Kamakura-Enoshima Afternoon Pass at 1000Y, I would have saved 570Y.
Note: The annoying thing about the afternoon pass is that you can only purchase it after 1PM at Enoden Fujisawa station, Enoshima Station, and Kamakura Station ticket counters. I arrived at Kamakura Station at about 11am and the station staff did not want to sell it to me in advance (even though I tried to explain that I will only use it after 1PM). If I could re-plan my itinerary again, I will make sure that I arrive at Kamakura Station at 1PM. Oh wells. Do more research!
Alternatively, if you are making a day trip from Shinjuku, you can consider getting this Enoshima 1-day pass via the Odakyu line which costs 1,970Y.
Better planning next time I guess.
I did consider waking up early, renting a bicycle and cycle out to search for the sunrise but.. I was not prepared for the cold =/ Although it was only 6 degrees, when the wind blows you just shiver and cringe. I woke up when my alarm rang and went back to sleep after this screenshot.
I left the hostel at about 8:30am and I was heading out to a supposedly famous pancakes place called Bills and according to my friend who google in Japanese, the place was recommended for Mt Fuji sighting!
FYI: I dragged my 24 inch luggage with me to the pancake shop as I did not want to pay more for the train ride should I leave it behind at my hostel. Thankfully, it was a Monday and the trains were pretty empty. The pancake shop Bills was only 3 mins walk away from the station.
Pankcake Shop: bills
Address: Japan, 〒248-0026 Kanagawa-ken, Kamakura-shi, Shichirigahama, 1 Chome−1, 七里ガ浜１丁目１−１ ＷＥＥＫＥＮＤ ＨＯＵＳＥ ＡＬＬＥＹ ２階
Nearest Station: Shichirigahama Station
Despite reaching at about 9:15 am, I couldn’t get a window seat. However, the staff was nice enough to offer me a relocation after another group was done. If you’re game enough for the cold, you can request to sit at the balcony (and look at Fuji-san) while battling the cold. There was one brave female Japanese solo traveller (the one in pink) who sat outside. She was kind of beside me with the barrier of the full length window and I happen to see that she was writing postcards while waiting for her food. Maybe I should start my postcard habit again..
Even if you don’t sit outside, you can always go outside to the balcony and snap a photo like I did below!
With high expectations, it usually come with huge disappointments. The pancakes I ate that morning were not very delicious in my point of view. I’m not sure if it was a style that i was unfamiliar with, or did I just not like the texture and taste of it. Well, brought my bears out for some company.. Probably the luckiest stuffed bears in the universe.
I paid 1,500Y for the pancakes and 700Y for the latte and it was a total of 2,376Y after tax. Not a satisfying meal for my stomach but definitely satisfying for my eyes.
After breakfast, it was only 10am+ and I had 4 hours to waste before my check-in at my Tokyo accommodation. What do you do when you’re near the beach in winter? I sat there for the next 30 mins, watching surfers braving the cold (I was wearing 3 layers), watching someone playing with her dogs in the beach and watching 3 middle/high school boys running to the beach, throwing their bags and shoes aside and disturbing each other. (You can see all these action in my IG Video) The best part of my view was that Mt Fuji was to my right and the beach was right in front of me and to my left there was some filming going on. I.. wanted to spy on the filming but I felt that dragging my luggage there was simply too noisy! I felt pretty embarrassed when I was walking around as everything else was so serene and quiet, except my luggage. There were many people who walked past me in curiousity – what was I doing in the middle of.. the beach with my luggage?
My trusted Timberland boots since 2015. With the colour fading off so badly, maybe it’s time for a new pair.
It was sad to leave this place (where I would love to retire at) but I wanted to chiong and visit one more temple.
Took the train from Shichirigahama to Kita-Kamakura (had to change train at Kamakura) and prayed that there were coin lockers for my 24 inch luggage. I tried to search for this information online but I couldn’t so.. THERE ARE COIN LOCKERS AT KITA-KAMAKURA STATION. The coin lockers are located outside the station so do ask the station master for the directions. They should be able to understand coin lockers. The super huge size locker cost me 600Y (yes it was that pricey), even though I only had to use it for 1-2 hours.
The walk to this temple, Meigetsuin was about 20 minutes. The signages (in English) are quite straightforward so you shouldn’t get lost. Despite the reviews online which lamented that the temple was small and pricey (at 500Y + 500Y for inner garden), I enjoyed it pretty much as the colours of fall were so beautiful inside.
Well, this temple is supposedly more famous for their hydrengas in spring/early summer but I think it’s doing fine in autumn too. In fact, I prefer places that are less crowded so this place is perfect for me.
Everyone in this temple will be queueing up for this spot to take the most instagrammable photo in this temple.
In fact, this was the view that made me want to visit..
If you don’t mind parting with 500Y, don’t forget to visit the inner garden (which is actually the location behind this place). I really like it because there isn’t a lot of people which means that you can enjoy nature in a quieter environment. Furthermore, the trees inside were really beautiful.
Anyway, that’s the end of my 2D1N Enoshima/Kamakura adventure. After this temple, I took the train back to Tokyo.
Apologies for the slow updates on my blog plus I know that my entries were not as nicely written as before. There are many changes in my life and free time and I’ve been struggling to find time to write.
Should you need any help for your Japan trip, feel free to look through my day to day instagram story videos on FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/FollowmyFootsteps9/videos/1441661345932401/
Alternatively, you can email me if you need more help 🙂
Happy 2018 to all!