Koshigoe - the town with the legend of mercenary samurai

Enoden train runs center of the street in Koshigoe
Koshigoe [腰越] is an old seaside town in west-end of Kamakura City and known by letter of Minamoto no Yoshitsune [源義経] (half-brother of Minamoto no Yoritomo [源頼朝] the founder and first shogun of the Kamakura shogunate)"Koshigoe-Jo" [腰越状].

Koshigoe Shopping Street that is in between Ryukoji temple and Koshigoe Station is interesting place especially for photographers. A standard train and cars run along with the same road, the scene which is seen only here in Japan.

There are some good restaurants and shops in this area.

Koshigoe Town sightseeing guide

Where to go & What to do?
  • Walk together with Enoden train in Koshigoe Shopping Street
  • Eat local sweets and seafoods in Koshigoe Shopping Street
  • Playing in the water and swimming in summer
  • See beautiful seascape and sunset at Koshigoe Beach
  • Visit Manpukuji Temple, one of historical site of Kamakura period
  • Especially recommended for... Families / Couples / Photographers
How far? (from Koshigoe Station, by walk)
  • 1 minute (70m) to Koshigoe Shopping Street
  • 3 minutes (180m) for Koshigoe Beach and fisherman's port
  • 5 minutes (250m) for Manpukuji Temple
  • 6 minutes (300m) for Koyurugi Jinja Shrine
  • 7 minutes between Ryukoji Temple and end of Koshigoe Shopping Street (near Koshigoe Station)
Free Wi-Fi spot
  • Koshigoe Station (*Odakyu Free Wi-Fi)
When you are in case of emergency situation here, please see the page.

The daily life together with a train

Katase Nishihama Beach overview.
Between in front of Ryukoji temple and Koshigoe station, Enoden train runs the center of the shopping street along with cars and people.

Caution! Do not enter the yellow zone of the road when the train is approaching.
Railroad running in the center of the street.A variety of shops and restaurants are lined up on both sides of the street, and the train run through the center of the street.
There is no other place in Japan where a standard train (not a tram) and a car run on the same road, and it is really rare sight able to see only here in this Koshigoe Shopping Street
A warning sign in Koshigoe Shopping Street.There are many warning sign that says "Attention to the train" on the utility poles that stands along the street.

Festivals takes place on a railroad

People who joined the festival seeing off a Enoden train.
Train passing very close to festival float.Another rare and popular sight (even if it is rare sight for Japanese too!) in Koshigoe is local traditional festivals are often held on the street and railroad.
During these festivals, you have a great chance to see very unusual and unique scene that traditional floats and the train line up on the same street.
Festivals that take place on the street are as follows.
Samurais wait for passing a Enoden train. Local lady dancers giving way for a Enoden train sometimes during Yoimiya festival.
Train passing very close to festival float.Especially, the period of the largest and the most exciting festival in the area "Tennosai"[天王祭] that takes place on 2nd weekend of July, the street is filled up by people and train operation suspend while a short period.

Festival is interrupted when the train approaching, people who joined the festival make the way for train on the other festival.
Then, the train has gone, the festival resumed on the road and railroad.

Probably it is rare sight and also good opportunity to experience the Japanese culture!
A Enoden train passing aside of illuminated festival floats. When a train approaching, people make the way for tha train.

Koshigoe Beach and Fisherman's Port

Seeing Enoshima Island from Koshigoe Beach at dusk.
A view from the bridge near Koshigoe Station.From a small bridge in front of Koshigoe Station, You can see Enoshima Island. And you can go to the seaside Koshigoe Beach [腰越海岸], if you go this riverside road.
Koshigoe Beach is connected able to walk along seaside to Katase Higashihama and further to Enoshima Island. Here is also good place to see the sunset and evening seaview.
Koshigoe Beach. An evenging view of Enoshima in Koshigoe Beach.
When you go the coastal road to the left towards the sea, there is Koshigoe Gyoko fisherman's Port [腰越漁港]. There are several seafoods restaurants around the port, and visitors makes a long line mainly on the weekend and holiday.

From 10:00 to 12:00 on 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month, The morning fish market for public is held here. (Only on the middle of March to December, not on Jan, Feb, Aug and first half of March.)
Entrance of Koshigoe Gyoko fisherman's Port. Fishing boats are mooring at the port.
At the end of the embankment of this Koshigoe Fisherman's Port, there is a good viewing deck that faces to Enoshima Island and able to see beautiful sunset together with Mount Fuji or evening seascape.
The way to the viewing deck of Koshigoe Gyoko Port Sunset and Mt.Fuji from Koshigoe.

Koyurugi Jinja Shrine

Destination of Tennosai parade, Koyurugi Jinja Shrine.
There is a small mountain next to Koshigoe Gyoko fisherman's port. If you go to the direction, you will find a shrine. Here is Koyurugi Jinja Shrine [小動神社].
The shrine is also known for the destination of Mikoshi parade of Tennosai festival that held in July.
Dashi [山車] wooden floats that used on the festival are usually stored inside of the building at the left of Torii gate.
  • [Opening Hours] Open throughout the day
  • [Admission] Free
  • [Movement with wheelchair] Impossible
The shrine was built during 1185 to 1189 originally.
Nitta, Yoshisada [新田義貞] prayed here for the victory before war with the Kamakura Shogunate government in 1333, and donated for rebuilding the shrine after demolished the government.

There is a dragon-shaped faucet like the one in Enoshima Jinja Shrine.
An evening seaview from Koshigoe Gyoko Port Sunset and Mt.Fuji from Koshigoe.
Ocean-view from viewing hill of Koyurugi Jinja Shrine.From the viewing hill near the main shrine building, it is possible to overlook Koshigoe Gyoko port and Enoshima Island from here.

The origin of Tennosai festival is the statue of Susanoo no Mikoto, the god of the shrine was lost because of the shrine sank into the sea in high waves. Then, a fisherman lived in Enoshima picks up the statue in the sea and enshrined. Therefore, Mikoshi (portable shrine) parade of the festival means homecoming of the god.

Manpukuji Temple

Manpukuji Temple and Enoden Train.
A few minutes walk from Koshigoe Station, there is a small temple just back of the railroad crossing of Enoden Line.
Here is Manpukuji Temple [満福寺] the most historical place in Koshigoe.
  • [Opening Hours] 9:00 - 17:00 (5:00 pm)
  • [Admission] 200Yen for the museum (Free for precincts)
  • [Movement with wheelchair] Possible
  • Official Site
This temple was built by Gyoki (a Buddhist monk, became first "Daisojo" highest rank of monks in Japan) in 744 (Nara period).

This is the place where a letter of Minamoto no Yoshitsune [源義経] (half-brother of Minamoto no Yoritomo the founder and first shogun of the Kamakura shogunate)"Koshigoe-Jo" [腰越状] written.

Since the actions of Yoshitsune during Genpei war, discord occurred between the brothers and Yoshitsune was refused return to Kamakura. He was stayed here with his servant Musashibo Benkei [武蔵坊弁慶] and wrote a letter to Yoritomo to try to solve misunderstanding.
Gate of Manpukuji Temple. Main building of Manpukuji Temple.
There are many objects related with Minamoto no Yoshitsune and Musashibo Benkei.
(* Koshigoe-Jo letter was written by Benkei for Minamoto no Yoshitsune.)

At left side of main building, there is a stone statue of Yoshitsune and Benkei. Also a wood carving panel of the same scene is displayed in near the roof of main building.
Stone statue of Yoshitsune and Benkei. Wooden carved panel of Yoshitsune and Benkei.
Benkei is writing a letter on the left side, Yoshitsune is sittingon the right side.
In addition, the draft of "Koshigoe Jo" letter and more are displayed in a museum.
Not only inside the temple but also in the precincts, there are 2 stones displayed at both side of main building which Benkei sat on(left), and picked up and played(right).
Benkei has a number of legend in Japan as the owner of superhuman strength, these items are regarded as the proof of legendary, too.
A stone Benkei sat on. A stone Benkei picked up and played.
After being refused to return to Kamakura, Yoshitsune was to be pursued from the Kamakura Shogunate government as a criminal. Suicide in the Tohoku region at the end of escaping various areas of Japan and finished the 31 years of his life. And Benkei who followed Yoshitsune until the end has been told that defended his master Yoshitsune and died in the last battle.
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