Kamakura Travel with Ease
The nice thing about living in west Tokyo is its easy access to Okutama though heading south to Yokohama and Kamakura can be a drag. However, help is at hand. Enter the little-known Holiday Rapid Kamakura ホリデー快速鎌倉 a seasonal Rapid service train operated by JR East. The train connects Minami-Koshigaya Station and Kamakura Station via the Musashino, Tokaido and Yokosuka lines. In terms of comfort and quality it falls a smidgen below the Azusa/Kaiji limited express trains.
What sets this train apart is its ability to get on a freight route (mostly tunnel) between Fuchuhommachi and Tsurumi not operated by regular passenger trains. The upshot is speed and efficiency. From Nishi-Kokubunji where I got on it takes only 40 minutes to travel to Yokohama and just over an hour to reach Kamakura all the while making only four brief stops. The alternative would be changing trains twice adding 30 minutes travel time.
Note cars are reserved seating only and reservations can be made up to one month in advance (reserved seat charge 530 yen plus standard train fare). The Holiday Rapid Kamakura makes one round trip on the days it is scheduled to run. To find out which weekends it operates check the Nishi Kokubunji Station timetable or any of the stations below.
(Depart 08:08 Minami-Koshigaya → Minami-Urawa → Musashi-Urawa → Kita-Asaka → Higashi-Tokorozawa → Shin-Akitsu → 08:49 *Nishi-Kokubunji → 09:28 Yokohama → Kita-Kamakura → Ofuna → Arrive 09:54 Kamakura)
*Runs non-stop between Nishi-Kokubunji and Yokohama.
Holiday Rapid Kamakura Quick Facts:
Start point: Minami-Koshigaya Station
End point: Kamakura Station
Route used: Musashino Line, Tokaido Main Line and Yokosuka Line
Rolling stock: E257-500 series
Frequency: Saturday, Sunday, and public holidays (seasonal).
Remarks: Cars are reserved seating only.
Holiday Rapid Kamakura tickets.
Holiday Rapid Kamakura platform sign.
Waiting for the Holiday Rapid Kamakura at Nishi Kokubunji Station.
The train arriving at Nishi Kokubunji Station.
Rolling stock E257-500 series.
Exiting Kamakura Station.