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The Ultimate Guide to the Sacred Island, Enoshima


Sponsored by Fujisawa City Tourist Association. 

The Ultimate Guide to the Sacred Island, Enoshima

Whether you are visiting as a tourist or a sports enthusiast traveling for 2019 Rugby World Cup or 2020 Tokyo Olympics, it is likely that the frenzy of major urban centers of Japan will get you to head. Rest assured, you can escape for a day and breathe the fresh air of open sea even staying in one of the largest cities on the planet, and it takes only one 70 minutes from central Tokyo.

Katase beach in Enoshima Island, close to Tokyo
Katase beach

Swim in the ocean near the city

Katase Higashihama, which is officially recognized as the closest beach to Tokyo, is the perfect place for sunbathing, and lounging on the hot summer sand. Like almost everything focuses on convenience in Japan, Japanese beaches have dedicated space for taking a shower, changing clothes or even drinking and eating. Whether you are more relaxed with family or activities with friends, there is something for everyone: Katase beach offers various sports activities such as surfing, windsurfing or even paddle boarding lessons. You will find the majority of companies offering these activities on the main road along the beach.

People practice paddle board on the ocean with Enoshima view
People practice paddle board on the ocean with Enoshima view
my first time standing on the one paddle board!
My first time standing on the one paddle board!

If you prefer to relax and unwind, all you have to do is to lay your towel on the sand and enjoy the sea air. For more information about Katase Beach, visit here.

Enoshima, the historic place of worship in the heart of nature

Like Miyajima Island in Hiroshima Prefecture, Enoshima is known as one of the most popular religious islands in Japan. In addition to offering a multitude of shops and local restaurants, there are temples with breathtaking beauty.

Enoshima, the historic place of worship in the heart of nature
the entrance of Enoshima temple

When you visit Enoshima, take a hiking to reach at the top of the hill and go on to the other side of the island. Luckily, paths make your trip enjoyable and even climbing steps have also been so enjoyable! Crossing Enoshima is like jumping along the pass, and you may feel overwhelmed in an authentic Japanese environment, where traditions blend in raw and wild greenery.

one of the temples in the heart of the island
Enoshima Shrine in the heart of the island
children pray in front of a temple
Children pray in front of a temple

If you’re lucky to be there during the summer, do not miss the Lantern Festival. During August 1st through 31st, the island is dotted with lights and offers visitors a charming, soothing and spiritual spectacle.

a small alley during the lantern festival
A small alley during the lantern festival
the lantern festival illuminates Enoshima every year from August 1st to 31st
The lantern festival illuminates Enoshima every year from August 1st to 31st

Nevertheless, Enoshima offers the best show of natural setting throughout the year. On the other side of the island, you will face the ocean and totally get immersed in nature. Go down steps to reach Chigogafuchi, an ideal place to watch the sunset on the horizon. If you want to know more about the treasures of Enoshima island, I invite you to read this article.

a cliff facing the ocean
A cliff facing the ocean
visitors contemplate the sunset
Visitors contemplate the sunset

Visit Ryukoji Temple in Fujisawa

Fujisawa, a city adjacent to Enoshima Island also holds a magnificent monument called Ryukoji Temple. If you are visiting Kamakura, which is a city renowned for many temples and grand Buddha, know that Enoshima Station which is the closest station of this temple is only twenty minutes away from Kamakura!

the entrance to Ryukuji Temple
The entrance to Ryukoji Temple

In addition to it’s main temple, Ryukoji also has a kind of small village, which offers a garden to explore to appreciate various details as well as the five-story wooden pagoda which make it unique. If you want to know more about the history of this temple, go to this article.

the hidden details at the four corners of the temple
The hidden details at the temple
sacred writings on a stone.
Sacred writings on a stone.

A breathtaking view of Mount Fuji

One of the must-see places during a visit to Japan is obviously viewing Mount Fuji. Although the mountain is not so far from Tokyo, it will take a three to four hours to get there. However, there are many locations to view the mountain, and the beach in Enoshima also offers postcard worthy views by choosing your day. Indeed, when the sky is clear, you will have the chance to see the mountain behind the ocean.

Mount Fuji and its snowy summit
Mount Fuji and its snowy summit

If you wait for the sunset, you will have the opportunity to attend a unique show or Mount Fuji seems to come straight from an apocalyptic scene! To know all the best views of the mountain, read this article.

Mount Fuji during sunset
Mount Fuji during sunset

When sporting event rhymes with culture

Beyond the religious cult, Enoshima is also recognized as an ideal place for marine sports. As a host city during 2020 Olympics, Enoshima is simply considered a “sacred place” for sailing enthusiasts and holds opening ceremonies and other festivities. If you are visiting during 2020 Olympics or 2019 Rugby World Cup, you will be very lucky to come across a “matsuri“: a traditional Japanese festival which celebrates different aspects of Japanese culture through dance, music or religious ritual. Nothing better to immerse yourself in the heart of action and learn more about Japan. If you would like to have a glimpse of one of these festivals, I invite you to check out my article about the opening ceremony of Enoshima Sailing Festival.

a group of musicians plays Wa-Daiko
A group of musicians plays Wa-Daiko
Japanese carry a tomb
Japanese carry a Mikoshi

Whether you prefer beach, sports, history, culture or nature, Enoshima will definitely have something for you. Many express trains from Shinjuku station will take you to Katase-Enoshima station in only 70 minutes by Odakyu Railway. So let’s go, Enoshima is waiting for you! 🙂