Kanagawa Prefecture is within easy reach of Tokyo, making it a popular destination for both visitors and Tokyoites. Yokohama's shopping malls and shiny towers make its skyline one of the most beautiful in Japan, and its past as a trading port gives it an international flair. Further down the coast of Kanagawa, Kamakura is packed with temples, quaint restaurants, and cafes, and the onsen town of Hakone is the place to relax in hot springs and view Mt. Fuji.
Kanagawa is accessible via regular trains from Tokyo and via the JR Tokaido Shinkansen from Kyoto, Osaka and Nagoya, as well as highway bus and car.
Kawasaki is 20 minutes along the JR Tokaido Line from Tokyo. For Hakone, get off at Odawara on the JR Tokaido Shinkansen line. From there, take the Hakone Tozan Railway to the final stop. For Yokohama, get off at JR Shin-Yokohama station if you are taking the shinkansen from Kyoto or Nagoya. If you’re coming from Tokyo then the regular trains are easier and cheaper, just 30 minutes on the JR Yokosuka Line and other local train lines. Kamakura is another 30 minutes south. Haneda Airport is easy to reach from Kanagawa by train or bus in 40 minutes to an hour.
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When the cherry blossoms appear and the festival season starts, the temples of Kamakura and the parks of Yokohama are the places to be.
The beaches along the Kanagawa coast and the ever-popular island of Enoshima draw visitors from hot urban areas, while others escape the humidity in Hakone.
Kamakura's temples are framed by Japanese maples—momiji—and the autumn leaves in Hakone are simply beautiful.
Onsen waters warm the body and heart, and views of snow-capped Mt. Fuji against clear blue skies are at their best. Winter illuminations at amusement parks in this area add to the charm of the season.