Tokyo can be a rather overwhelming city sometimes, as the millions of busy people rush by you all day. If you’re feeling the urge to venture out of the city and see a more relaxed Japan, consider Enoshima (江ノ島). A small island of a mere 4km circumference, Kanagawa prefecture’s Enoshima is just a one-hour train ride from Tokyo’s Shinjuku station. The island and the surrounding area has a wealth of cafes, restaurants, gift shops, and for the more adventurous, surfing and other aquatic activities. One must-do activity at Enoshima is to climb the island and see the amazing view of Tokyo and its surrounding areas from the lighthouse.
To get to Enoshima, make your way to Katawase-Enoshima station (Odakyu line from Shinjuku). From there you’ll walk along the bridge to the island itself. The view while walking along the bridge is beautiful, so make sure to take your time and appreciate the contrast between this peaceful place and the bustling metropolis that is Tokyo!
After crossing the bridge, you’ll see some cafes and restaurants along an inclined path that leads to the top of the island. You’ll also find some small gift shops and more than a few cats along the way. We even found a cat resting on random people’s laps throughout the day. As Japanese people are known for their love of cats this didn’t surprise us in the least.
Once you’ve made it up the narrow street, you can begin your walk to the top. Be warned: this is a fairly steep climb. While not dangerous in any way, there are a lot of steps on this path, so make sure to bring a bottle of water and a positive attitude. Along the way you’ll spot some beautiful houses and shrines in amongst the trees.
Provided you’ve followed the signs and maps while climbing the steps of Enoshima, you should soon arrive at the private garden that contains the lighthouse. Entry into the gardens costs 500 yen per adult which also includes entry into the lighthouse. You can purchase your entry ticket at the vending machine next to the entrance.
The view from the lighthouse is amazing, as you can take in the whole island, as well as Kanagawa prefecture and Tokyo, or look out into the vast Sagami Bay. You’ll often see giant hawks circling above the lighthouse, presumably looking to snack on the tasty local fish. On a clear day, it’s said that you can even see Mt Fuji. Unfortunately, we weren’t so lucky that day, but we still got a great view of the surrounding areas!
Enoshima is an easy and fulfilling trip out of Tokyo, and a good workout if you’ve been hitting the nomihoudai’s (all-you-can-drink restaurants) too hard. It’s best to visit on a clear day, but it can be cold outside of the sticky summer months, so pack accordingly. Enjoy Enoshima!
Useful link: Discover Fujisawa
|Address||〒251-0036 Kanagawa Prefecture, Fujisawa, 江の島2丁目3−28|
〒251-0036 Kanagawa Prefecture, Fujisawa, 江の島2丁目3−28
|Opening Hours||9:00~20:00 (entry until 19:30)|
|Price Range||500 yen|