Kamakura is a city in Kanagawa prefecture which is neighbor of Tokyo metropolis. 1/4 of the citizens of Kamakura commute to Tokyo but Kamakura is known as a popular tourist destination in Tokyo metropolitan area.
History of Kamakura spurs in 1192 when feudal lord, Yoritomo Minamoto becomes the first shogun of Kamakura shogunate, a government run by samurai. Kamakura becomes the political and cultural centers of Kanto region. During the Kamakura era, many temples and shrines are built in the area.
However, center of Kanto region declines when Ieyasu Tokugawa opens his shogunate in Edo, current Tokyo in 1603. Kamakura remained as a village till end of 19th century when Yokosuka line, railway connecting Tokyo and navy port Yokosuka opened in 1889. Kamakura station became the gateway to numerous tourist destinations in Kamakura.
Kotokuin temple is the one of the most popular tourist attractions in Kamakura. Kotokuin is famous for its big Buddha statue. Not like the big Buddha statue in Nara(Todaiji temple), the one in Kamakura is located outside, uncovered.
Unfortunately, Kotokuin temple is not a walking distance from Kamakura station but close to Hase station on Enoshima dentetsu(Enoden) line.
Enoden line is operated by private railway operator, Enoshima electric railway. Enoden line is between Kamakura station and Fujisawa station in Kanagawa prefecture. Dentetsu literally means electric railway. Kamakura station is adjacent to JR Kamakura station and Fujisawa station is adjacent to JR Fujisawa and Odakyu Fujisawa stations.
Enoshima dentetsu line is a single-track railway which is very uncommon in urban developed area, especially in Tokyo Metropolitan area. Also 6 stations do not have any staff allocated which is also rare. Unfortunately Japan Rail Pass is not valid but Suica and Pasmo are accepted.
Another popular tourist attraction is Tsurugaoka hachimangu shrine. Not like Kotokuin temple, Tsurugaoka hachimangu is 15 minutes walk from Kamakura station.
Tsurugaoka hachimangu was removed to this place when the warlord and first Japanese shogun, Yoritomo Minamoto built the shogunate in Kamakura. The shrine was admired by samurai nationwide but it was burned down during the battle between warlords Hojo and Satomi in 1526 and rebuilt by Hojo family in 1540. Hachimangu is a Shinto shrine dedicated to Hachiman, which is a god of war.
Kamakura station can be reached by Yokosuka line or Shonan-Shinjuku line trains. If you are near to Tokyo station, take Yokosuka line but if you are near to Shinjuku or Shibuya stations, take Shonan-Shinjuku line.
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