Sponsored by Fujisawa City Tourism Association
Enoshima (江の島) ,very close to Tokyo, is an ideal destination for a getaway place from the capital: visiting shrines, strolling around the small streets, climbing up the Enoshima Sea Candle, enjoying the beach…and of course admiring Mount Fuji! But if you visit this island, why not stay there to feel a completely different atmosphere?
Ryokan Ebisuya, A Traditional Lodge on the Outskirts of Enoshima
The Ryokan Ebisuya (恵比寿屋) is easy to navigate from the Benten-bashi bridge that leads to Enoshima Island: it is the yellow building in the photo below.
It is located on the main street, after the big torii that marks the entrance to the sacred island, turn and walk to the left for a few meters.
As is often the case in traditional ryokans, you can see the name boards for the staying guests in front of the entrance.
Enoshima is a historical island, more than a 1,000 years old. There are some ryokan which have accommodated visitors and pilgrims for centuries and although the buildings of Ebisuya look renovated, this hostel is 350 years old. Through a small garden that separates it from the busy Benzaiten Nakamise Street, you will find the contrast very striking, as the atmosphere is very calm and the light dimmed. The attentive staff will give you a friendly and kind welcome.
Stay in a Traditional Room
The room is not like a typical hotel room. Visitors do not stay here just to sleep, but also for the experience; The ryokan itself is a destination.
Following the Japanese tradition, the ryokan provides us scrupulous and considerate services. Upon arrival, the large tatami room is furnished with a coffee table and armchairs facing the wide window where you can overlook the Benten-bahsi bridge and the beach.
After dinner, a staff member came to install my futon for the night. You can enjoy a spacious room during the day, which makes it easy to accommodate the number of guests: Depending on the number of guests, there is a room for a single person, a couple, but also a family or a group of guests.
At night, the view of the illuminated coast is beautiful and accentuates the impression of distance with the other side that we observe from afar, creating a timeless feeling.
When it comes time to leave, the futon is stored and the table is returned to its original place for breakfast.
Taste Kaiseki Cuisine: A True Gourmet Dinner
Staying in a ryokan also offers you an opportunity to taste Kaiseki Ryori, Japanese gourmet cuisine. (the Kaiseki menu will be different depending on the season.)
At the Ryokan Ebisuya, unlike some hotels where meals are taken in a common room, dinner is served directly in your room, served by a staff member wearing a kimono. Even though I had the chance to stay in several ryokan previously, but this was my first time having dinner in my room. I could not help thinking about these scenes in old movies; it brings more authenticity to the experience. You can enjoy your dinner at your own pace, so don’t worry about it!
This type of meal consists of a set of small dishes, some are hot dishes while others are cold dishes which textures and tastes are very diverse. The products are always fresh and seasonal. As I was near the sea, fish was present in most dishes.
Although the portions are small, the number of the dishes are numerous, which makes you pleasantly full at the end of the meal. Note: you will be served twice, keeping the hot dishes warm.
When you have been satisfied by the hearty meal, you have the dessert. A matcha tea mousse assorted with a strawberry and azuki(sweet red beans), it is very fresh and sweet.
The breakfast is also composed of various small portions, which accompany rice, miso soup, and the inevitable grilled fish. Among these, there are shirasu (small fish) which are local specialties in this area. Served in my room; breakfast is also hearty! Tip: get up early to take a bath or stroll to ready your appetite.
Soak in a Hot Bath
The public bath is another must-experience in a ryokan. This ryokan does not have an onsen (natural hot spring) but the procedure is the same: pass the noren (curtain) red for the women (女) and blue for the men (男), take off your clothes, wash your body, and go into the hot tub and relax.
The bath is spacious and boasts a beautiful view.
However, if you do not like the idea of washing in a public bath, the rooms are equipped with bathrooms. But some advice I can give you is to go to the bath shortly before closing, you might be lucky enough to enjoy the hot bath alone.
Wear a Yukata
Like all ryokans, Ebisuya offers you a yukata to wear. Do not panic, yukata are indoor clothes, something like pajamas. They are shorter and easier to put on than the yukata that are for imatsuri and other occasions. The only thing to remember is that the left pan must folded above the right pan. Often the belts are not so long, but Ebisuya’s are wider. and more beautiful. but there is no strict rule on the knot, which you can tie up in the front.
Wander around the Ryokan in the Early Morning
One thing I absolutely recommend is to walk around the island in the evening and early morning, when the streets are less crowd. The atmosphere is really different, and it is the best way to appreciate the charm of the alleys of Enoshima.
More information about Enoshima and the surrounding area on the Fujisawa City Tourism Official website. You will find all the necessary information to prepare your trip.
For more information on the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, visit the official website.
You can also visit the Enoshima Olympic Week website.
How to Get There?
Enoshima is within walking distance of Enoshima (Enoden), Katase-Enoshima (Odakyu line) and Shonan-Enoshima (Shonan monorail) stations. Allow about 1 hour from Tokyo or Yokohama and about 20 minutes from Kamakura.
|Address||1-4-16 Enoshima, Fujisawa-shi, Kanagawa Prefecture|
|Access||[map]1-4-16 Enoshima, Fujisawa-shi, Kanagawa Prefecture[/map]|
|Opening Hours||Check-in 15:00 / Check-out 10:00|
|Price Range||¥ 32.000 with dinner and breakfast|
Original article by Clémentine Cintré