This is about as cute as it gets, even if you’re not a train enthusiast. If you are a train enthusiast, this is a must-see. It opened in 1902. The Enoden has been the backdrop for countless movies, commercials, manga and anime over the years and is iconic for all things nostalgic in modern Japanese society. The Enoden covers a route of 10 kilometers, connecting Kamakura to its neighboring town, Fujisawa, and the 13 stops in between. The entire route, much of which is on single track, takes about 35 minutes. There are only four cars during peak hours, so expect it to be rather crowded throughout the tourist season. It is worth the ride. Some of the later model cars have wooden floors. The Enoden squeezes through neighborhoods so tightly that it seems like you could reach out the window and touch the homes built along the tracks. It also traverses the coastline between the Inamuragasaki and Enoshima stations, so try and get a window seat with an ocean view if you can. If you want to experience the train without the crowds, wait until after dinner. We live near one of the crossings and I’ve seen it go by in the evenings almost empty.
You will often see groups of photographers gathered at many of the rail crossings to take photos of the train as it passes. One of the most popular spots is from the bridge next to the Gokurakuji Station. Here, you can get some great shots of the train as it emerges from the tunnel.
Another good place is from Goryo Jinja, especially in June when the hydrangea flowers line the railway tracks. Photographers like to gather near the Inamuragasaki Station as well to get photos of the train going through the intersection with the ocean in the background.
There are also several places where you can feed your appetite while watching the Enoden rumble by. It’s small, so go early, but you can have a very delicious Japanese-style lunch at Cafe Yoridokoro near Inamuragasaki. The train will go by just inches from your window.
Close to the Hase Station and right along the tracks, you will find Cafe Luonto. This is a very cute coffee shop with delicious cakes and an outdoor patio.
For more traditional Japanese sweets and tea, try Mushinan, across from Wadazuka Station. Be careful crossing the tracks.