Enoshima Electric Railway is the 6th electric railway to open in Japan, and it is a very historic railway that will celebrate its 120th anniversary on September 1, 2022. At that time, Japan was enjoying an unprecedented economic boom due to its victory in the Sino-Japanese War and the development of industry, and it is said that there were plans to build railways across the country (the first railway boom).
Against this backdrop, Enoshima Electric Railway Co., Ltd. was established in 1900, but at first there was opposition from the rickshaw association and local residents, and construction progress was slow. However, with persistent persuasion and the provision of land by volunteers, in 1902 (Meiji 35)
It opened on the 3.42 km stretch between Fujisawa and Katase on September 1st.
It can be said that the line connecting Enoshima, which was a place for pilgrimages to Mt. Oyama and Fujisawa on the Tokaido Main Line, which had already been extended to Kobe, was both a daily life route and a tourist route from the time it opened. From there, it was extended several times, and in 1910 the entire line (approximately 10 km) was opened in Komachi (near present-day Kamakura Station). At the time of opening, the entire line was 10.27 km long with 39 lines, more than twice the current number. Apparently there was a station there.
Since then, station locations have been changed, consolidated, and renamed to meet the needs of tourists and beachgoers (the current Enoshima Station was also renamed from Katase in the early Showa period).Currently, the entire line is 10.0km long. There are 15 stations in total.
Where do you think the Enoden train starts?
When you think of Enoden, many people may have the image that the train starts in Kamakura. When you learn about the history of the business, you can see that Fujisawa was the starting point. (Therefore, it is expressed as Fujisawa → Kamakura: down, Kamakura → Fujisawa: up.)
Enoden, which runs between Fujisawa and Kamakura, has some of Japan's most famous tourist spots within its 10.0 km section, including Kamakura, which is the last stop, as well as Enoshima, Shichirigahama, Gokurakuji, and Hase, and many tourists use the Enoden every year. doing.
There are also many residences and schools along the line, and it is used as a daily route for local residents. (The sight of the train passing between private houses is already a characteristic of Enoden.)
Enoden, which is popular both domestically and internationally, is said to have around 20 million annual users before the coronavirus.
We spoke to Yoichi Ariyoshi of the General Affairs Division, General Affairs Department, Enoshima Electric Railway Co., Ltd., about how the company will contribute to the development of the local community after the coronavirus, after undergoing difficult operations under the coronavirus.
Q: Before the coronavirus, this route was used by around 20 million passengers a year. I have heard that the number of passengers has decreased by more than 50% due to the coronavirus, but to what extent has the number of passengers recovered due to the relaxation of regulations for foreign visitors to Japan and the relaxation of movement for domestic tourists?
-20% increase compared to 2020 and 2021.
This is a 30% decrease compared to the peak of the coronavirus infection.
At the same time one year ago (January), there was an increase.
Q.What kind of infection prevention measures does Enoden take to ensure that customers can use the train with peace of mind?
The main implementation contents are as follows.
・Thorough health management of all station staff and all crew members, wearing masks while on duty, and taking body temperature before coming to work
- Disinfecting ticket vending machine screens and handrails at all stations, as well as disinfecting the inside of trains and buses.
- Announcements calling for ventilation in crowded cars, and staff opening windows for ventilation.
- Announcements to customers via our website, station premises, announcements on trains and buses, etc.
Q. Enoden is a line with two different characteristics: a tourist route and a lifestyle route, and it is expected that the number of tourists will increase after the coronavirus. What kind of measures do you think will be necessary in the future to maintain convenience for both tourists and local residents?
We would like to continue welcoming as many customers as possible while taking all possible safety measures and measures to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus infection.
Q.What role do you think Enoden should play in the further development of the Enoshima/Kamakura area?
We would like to work with everyone to consider the role of public transportation and the ideal form of the region as the times change.
Q. Please give us a few words for 2024!
Enoden, which has a total length of 10.0km, has many historical attractions.
All of our employees are looking forward to your visit to the Shonan area.
Why not go and see Enoden, which has a retro atmosphere unique to Kanagawa?
Trivia: I asked Enoden!
Q. Please tell us about the 39 stations at the time of opening!
A. The 39 stations are as follows.
1. Fujisawa 2, Ishigami 3, Kawabukuro 4, Fujigaya 5, Kugenuma 6, Shinyashiki 7, West
8. Hamasuka 9. Yamamotobashi 10. Katase 11. Ryunokuchi 12. Nakahara 13. Tsuchibashi
14・Kobebashi 15・Yato 16・Manpukuji Shita 17・Koshigoe 18・Kasugaura
19, Hisaka 20, Yazawa 21, Shichirigahama 22, Minenohara 23, Tanabe 24, Yukiai
25・Oiba 26・Ubagaya 27・Munebashi 28・Inamuragasaki 29・Sunagozaka
30, Gokurakuji Temple 31, Gongoro Shrine 32, Hase 33, Yuigahama 34, Kaigandori
35・Haranodai 36・Behind the school 37・Omachi 38・Kurayashiki 39・Komachi
There are only four stations that have not changed in its 120-year history: Kugenuma, Inamuragasaki, Gokurakuji, and Hase.
Q. Please tell me about the history of Enoden!
A.The changes to the station from its opening until today are as follows.
39 stations when the entire line opens
Early Taisho period 40 stations
Early Showa period 39 stations
1945 13 stations
1950 - 15 stations
The reasons for the decrease in the number of stations include the short distance between stations (stops) and the large number of stations, which hinders on-time service, and rationalization measures due to a shortage of staff.
A.History up to the opening of the entire line
September 1, 1909: Fujisawa-Katase opened.
June 20, 1901: Katase-Yoimaza opened.
July 17, 1901 Opening of the line between Yukiai and Oiba
April 1, 1901 Opening of Oiba-Gokurakujima
February 1907 Opening of the tunnel (the only tunnel) Total length 209m
August 16, 1901: Gokurakuji-Omachi section opened
November 4, 1909 Opening between Omachi and Komachi (all lines open)
*The entire line extending 10.27km starting from Fujisawa is now open.