Enoshima, that small and enjoyable island located in Kanagawa Prefecture, offers a huge variety of activities. It is not surprising that it is considered one of the favorite spots for the Tokyo inhabitants, as it is just one hour away from the city. A while ago, we already visited the island, but we wanted to show you more!
My Enoshima trip took place on a sunny winter day, warm enough to take a walk around the island and see Mount Fuji. But I don’t want to spoil my story so… let’s start the tour!
The Olympic Enoshima
The first thing I visited when I arrived was an unusual tourist destination: The Enoshima Yacht Harbour. In order to get there, you go towards the left street from the entrance (just before going into the shopping street with the torii gate) as it is located next to the access bridge of the island.
And why did I visit the area? Because it is going to be part of the 2020 Olympic Games! There, we will be able to enjoy watching the sailing competitions and today, we can already see some of the newly built structures. Of course, everything is still unused right now; after the games, that area is going to be open to the public.
Additionally, the harbor area of Enoshima island has a promenade next to the ocean that was a pleasant surprise to me. It was calm, not many people around and had a big white lighthouse. It was perfect to enjoy the sunshine and take a stroll.
The Enoshima One Day Pass
After that, I walked towards the heart of the island in order to buy the Enoshima One Day Pass, also known as the ENO=PASS. It costs 1000 yen and includes use of the escalators (they operate from 9:00am till 7:05pm), the entrance fees to the Samuel Cocking Garden, the Observatory Enoshima Sea Candle and the Iwaya Caves. To my surprise, I couldn’t buy it because the caves were not open that day. So instead, I bought an 800 yen pass, that included everything except access to the caves.
The Wonderful Sights of Mt Fuji
During my journey in Enoshima I was lucky to see Mount Fuji from different parts of the island. Indeed, Enoshima is a perfect location to see the famous volcano. The best time of the year for a clear view of Mount Fuji is between November and February. Even during that period, you need to have good weather conditions, without clouds or fog.
When we chose the date for the trip, we tried to look for a sunny day. Looking at the weather forecast, I chose the day with the best possibility to observe Mount Fuji. The day arrived and I traveled to the island with nervous uncertainty. But as soon as I crossed the first bridge towards Enoshima, I could see the fabulous Mount Fuji!
The Beauty of the Sea in Chigogafuchi
I saw Mount Fuji many times from many different places, but each time I was more amazed for its beauty. But without a doubt, the best spot to see it was from Chigogafuchi, a rocky place next to the Iwaya Caves. There, you can walk around and observe the wonderful sights. In fact, I was sitting more than an hour on the rocks, admiring the landscape, taking pictures and, of course, enjoying the view of Mount Fuji.
What’s more, if you love the sea, don’t miss this magnificent area to see it silence.
The Excellent Food of Enoshima
After spending the morning walking around the island, I had lunch in Uomitei. It is a restaurant famous for its fresh food and its wonderful terrace with amazing views. It was a perfect day to sit there and eat in front of the sea, but all the seats were taken. So, I chose to eat inside, next to the window, in a traditional seating area with tatami, low seats and… Mount Fuji views!
One of the most well-known dishes of Enoshima is shirasu don. What is it? It consists of a dish with small translucent fish (when they are raw) or white (when they are cooked) on top of a bowl of rice. It is a famous ancient Kamakura cuisine. During this time, I couldn’t choose the raw fish dish as from January until March shirasu fishing is prohibited in order to protect their ecosystem. If you visit the island between April and autumn, you can eat them fresh and raw!
So I chose the Kamaage Shirasu Don, a rice bowl with cooked shirasu fish, and an Umi no Sachi no Salad, a type of sashimi salad with raw fish such as tuna. This one surprised me because inside there were a multitude of flavors with fish, vegetables, and sauce.
Other Places of Interest
Did you think we were finished with our tour of Enoshima? We are only getting started! Around the island, there is still a huge list of other places to enjoy, such as the Ryuren no kane (The Love’s Bell). It is located on the lover’s hill, just above the second Iwaya cave. It is known among Japanese couples for the legend of the maid and the five head dragon: it is said that a dragon was living in the sea and he felt in love of a maiden of Enoshima. He was bad, but he improved his manners to be with her. So legend says that couples who will go to the bell and ring it together never will be separated. Also, it is typical to put a lock with the lover’s name next to the bell’s fences.
We also can’t forget that this island has religious origins. So it is indispensable to visit the Enoshima shrine, built originally inside the Iwaya caves in 552AD, now distributed in three different shrines around the island: Hetsunomiya, Okutsunomiya and Nakatsunomiya. This is one of the three most well-known shrines of Japan devoted to the ocean goddess Benzaiten.
Dusk arrives and finally, we can visit the Samuel Coking Garden and the Observatory Sea Candle, where they celebrate the illumination “The Jewel of Shonan” which you can read about in my next article.
How to Get to Enoshima
In this previous article we explained the different trains that you can take to arrive till this area. Nevertheless, the easiest option from Tokyo is to take the Odakyu Line from Shinjuku Station, or the Tokaido Line from Tokyo Station and change trains at Fujisawa Station to the Odakyu Line.
Sponsored by Fujisawa City Tourist Association