From Tokyo to Anime Town
From here we changed from a train to a monorail; specifically the Shonan Monorail, which took us from Ofuna station to Shonan-Enoshima station, all the while gliding above the residential ocean of houses that cover the Shonan area. Something I noticed while on this monorail was the height; it's actually quite low and only barely passes above the buildings below (which was a certainly scary experience, especially if you're afraid of heights like I am). After a short 15 minute ride, we arrive in Shonan Enoshima on our way to Enoshima Island, our first destination.
(It wasn't until after I went that I found some similar scenes from the anime, so apologies if the angle of the photos are not an exact replica).
From the train station (either Shonan-Enoshima station or regular Enoshima station) you can either walk directly to the island via its significant red bridge, or there is a little boat service that takes you to the back of the island for a measly 400 yen (roughly $4US). Enoshima is also known for its beautiful temples, delicious food (the octopus crackers are an absolute treat) and its lively atmosphere. Even if you're not into seeing anime scenery in real life, I would absolutely recommend coming here and experiencing everything that this tiny island has to offer.
Along the way to Gokurakuji (and even further along towards Kamakura), you can see some more real-life locations based on a number of anime series; if you can think up of any beach scene from an anime, it's most likely based on the ocean views you can see from the Enoshima Dentetsu. Unfortunately we didn't have as much time to get off at every station along this train line to explore every possible reference to every anime, but for those with the time (or if you're committed enough), then this is also another fun way to experience the beauty of the Shonan area.
The first thing you notice when getting off at Gokurakuji is the beautiful greenery; it almost seems like a fantasy world with how much forest and traditional suburban scenery it offers. Most of the notable scenes from Elfen Lied can be found between Gokurakuji station all the way to Hase, the next station on the Enoshima Dentetsu Line. Here are just some of the shots we managed to find along the way.
(Again, not all photos are frame perfect to the anime but the resemblance is uncanny).
Of course, we didn't have all the time in the world to explore every possible scene from the anime (or any other anime, for that matter), but I think that's what makes the Kamakura area a really fun place to visit, especially if you're a fan of anime. There are literally SO MANY anime series to choose from when trying to find real life anime scenes that it's literally impossible to find them all in just one day, which makes Kamakura's replay value that much higher. This is an area I love to come back to over and over again to try and look for more anime scenes from my favorite anime, or even try to find new and undiscovered areas found in anime. Maybe I can come back soon to go and find some new anime places...
If you'd like to see our travels to Anime City in video form, check out this little video montage I put together.