Translated byMiki Takeshita
Kamakura is widely known for its historical architectures (temples and Buddha) and the beautiful natural views of the ocean and mountains. Well, those of you who aren't satisfied with such... or in other words, love Anime rather than history or nature, you'd better go to Yuiga-hama(由比ヶ浜), a "sacred place" of the TV animation series "The invader comes from the bottom of the sea!(『侵略！イカ娘』)."
Before going out, let's google-search for keywords like "侵略！イカ娘, 聖地巡礼(The invader comes from the bottom of the sea!, pilgrimage)", and check where the sacred places are. If you haven't seen it before, look through the visuals of those places at least.
"The invader comes from the bottom of the sea!" is originally a manga series by Masahiro Anbe(安部真弘) for the manga magazine "Weekly Shōnen Champion" from 2007. Its story takes place in Kamakura, and Yuigahama has become a sacred place of the work. It was animated in 2010 with a catchy OP theme song that goes, "SHINRYAKU! SHINRYAKU! SHINRYAKU!(Invade! Invade! Invade!)", and heroine's unique ending of her words(*1).
(*1) Examples: "～zyana ika", "○○ de geso" Both expressions are related to squid. "Ika" stands for squid and "Geso" for its legs in Japanese.
The story begins at an fictional beach hut called "Lemon(れもん)" on the Yuiga-hama beach of Kamakura. One day the heroine "Ika-musume(イカ娘/Squid girl)" surfaced from the sea to punish the humans for polluting the sea. She first decided to invade the hut "Lemon" by the beach, which was a failure. What's funny is that she begins working there...! When would she be able to control the humans? It's a comedy about "Ika-musume" and her friends at "Lemon."
The main stage of the story, seaside hut "Lemon" stands on Yuiga-hama.
Even before the summer, many surfers wander around the place. Of course there were many of them on the day we visited as well. Some surfers even come here in winter with thick swimsuits on.
The moment you get off the train at Yuigahama station, the gong rings to signal the beginning of the "pilgrimage".
This is the Yuigahama Station's signboard that appears at the start of the opening theme song. You might miss it since the station is surrounded by ordinary neighborhoods, but it's an important site for "Ika-musume" OTAKUs.
After checking out the station, walk towards the beach. It takes about 5 minutes from the station to get there. On the way, many unique houses are lined-up... oh, there's another scene I've seen before. Where's the Ika-musume de geso?
The tilt of signboard is so elaborate that I feel the love "Ika-musume" staff' have toward Kamakura. It was so disappointing that there weren't any bikes on the day I visited. I should have brought one with me...
The main stage of the story is Yuiga-hama. But from the 2nd series the characters start to walk outside the beach. Some scenes are drawn exactly according to the popular spots in Kamakura.
At the 6th episode "Let's go jogging(「ジョギングしなイカ」)" Ika-musume and her friends stopped by Hase Station(長谷駅). The animators carefully drew in the bustle around this station.
This is where Ika-musume ran through: Tsurugaoka Hachimangu(鶴岡八幡宮). Fans will definitely notice if you ran through in a cosplay of the girl.
After watching the anime, you'll be impressed by the Buddha's dignified appearance. After taking a look at the actual Buddha, you'll be impressed by the anime's reproduction. Be impressed twice!
Kamakura is not urbanized like Tokyo, or sophisticated like certain historical sites. But still we feel it's somehow good.
"The invader comes from the bottom of the sea!" is a comedy for all ages. No surprise endings, nor thought-provoking themes. Well, the fans cannot help watching it again and again for some reason.
Do Kamakura and Ika-musume have something in common, perhaps? If you want to go out for some unique sight-seeing, then I recommend you to learn about this combination: Kamakura and Ika-musume.
TV animation "The invader comes from the bottom of the sea!"(『侵略！イカ娘』)
OfficialHP: http://www.ika-musume.com/season_1/ (Japanese)
Yuigahama Station (由比ヶ浜駅)
Address: Kanagawa Kamakura-shi Yuigahama 3-chome
Station: Enoshima Dentetsu Railway(江ノ島電鉄) Yuigahama Station(由比ヶ浜駅)
Address: Kanagawa Kamakura-shi Yuigahama 4-chome
Station: Enoshima Dentetsu Railway Yuigahama Station
Access: 5 minutes walk from Yuigahama Station
Hase Station (長谷駅)
Address: Kanagawa Kamakura-shi Hase 1-chome 15-7
Access: Enoshima Dentetsu Hase Station
Address: Kanagawa Kamakura Yukinoshita 2-1-31
Closed Days: None
Access: JR Kamakura Station East exit 10 minutes walk
/Enoshima Dentetsu Kamakura Station 10 minutes walk
phone: 0467-22-0315 Official HP：https://www.hachimangu.or.jp/index.html
Address: Kanagawa Kamakura Hase 4-2-28
Opening Hours: Apr~Sep 8:00~17:30/Oct~Mar 8:00~17:00
Hours for visiting inside the Buddha：8:00~16:00
Entrance fee: Adult 200yen Child 100yen
Buddha Entrance fee: 20yen
Closed Days: None
Access: Enoshima Dentetsu Hase Station 7 minutes walk
/Kamakura Station East exit Bus stop 1 "Enoshima Dentetsu Bus(江ノ島電鉄バス)" or Bus stop 6 "Keihin Kyukou Bus (京浜急行バス)". Get off the bus at "Daibutsu-mae(大仏前)"
/30 minutes walk from Kamakura Station