Japan is a country that is blessed with attractions that tend to the different purposes of the travelers. If one of your purposes of traveling to Japan is to experience the types of beaches found there, then the offshore island of Enoshima would be an interesting choice for you.
Details About Enoshima Island and How to Get Around Using Enoshima’s Electric Railway
You can find this offshore island in the Kanagawa Prefecture of Japan, just a train ride westward of Kamakura. An interesting fact about this place is that its administration or the local government in their area report to the city of Fujisawa so, though isolated from the mainland city, it is considered part of Fujisawa.
Enoshima is popularly known for the great beaches and parks found here. Tourists also go here for the Enoshima Shrine which is unique because it is made up for several shrines. Aside from the destinations this island offers, which will be discussed later on, it is also made more interesting by the legend behind this island. This legend is based on the writing of the Japanese Buddhist monk named Kokei, a writing referred to as the Enoshima Engi.
There are two parts to this Enoshima Engi and the first part is supposedly the compiled tales of the villagers on this island in ancient times. Found in these tales are stories of a five-headed dragon that constantly terrorized the island for thousands of years. This dragon had lived by the nearby lake of Enoshima.
With the intercession of the goddess named Benten, who is known to be the goddess of many things like music, entertainment, wealth, fortune, and knowledge, the island rose above the bay to be the home of the goddess. Phenomena from land and sea, which was said to be brought by the goddess to fight the dragon, came in a series. The dragon, in return, fell in love with the goddess.
The smitten dragon offered his heart to the goddess but the goddess declined and explained that she declined because the dragon had been terrorizing the good people of the Enoshima Island. Embarrassed by his past doings, the dragon gave his word to stop the terrorizing. The Dragon’s Mouth Hill was also created from this because it is believed that the dragon devotedly faced the island after his change of heart and eventually turn into what is now known as Dragon’s Mouth Hill.
Having a creation myth like that will surely interest people to see the attractions devoted to honoring the goddess that saved this island. To get to those attractions and all the other tourist destinations though, you must know how to get to and around Enoshima. Looking at the map of Japan, Enoshima is accessible from Tokyo and Kamakura.
If you are coming from Tokyo, you have two options. The first option is to take the Odakyu Railways. This would entail you to take an express train from Shinjuku to the Fujisawa station. From there, you must transfer to a train to Katase Enoshima station, which is a terminal station of that particular line. This option would take 65 to 75 minutes and would cost about 630 yen.
Alternatively, the first option would have more options if it is a holiday or a weekend because, on these days, the limited express Romance cars run straight from Shinjuku to Katase Enoshima. The travel for these trains would be 60 minutes but the cost would increase tremendously, rising a total cost of 1250 yen.
If you are also visiting the nearby areas of Kamakura, it would be advisable to avail of an Enoshima Kamakura Free Pass. This pass would allow you a round trip ticket between Shinjuku and Fujisawa while also acting as an unlimited use ticket for the Enoden trains and Odakyu trains. These Enoden trains, also known as the Enoshima Electric Railway, go between Fujisawa and Kamakura while the Odakyu trains go between Fujisawa and Enoshima. These tickets would cost you nearly 1500 yen but it would be worth if and only if you are also visiting Kamakura.
The second option to get from Tokyo to Enoshima is via Japan Railways. From either Tokyo Station or Shinjuku Station, just get on the JR Tokaido Line to Fujisawa Station. This would take about an hour and would cost nearly 1000 yen. From the Fujisawa station, you should take the Enoden train to Enoshima. This train ride would take 10 minutes and would cost 220 yen.
From the Fujisawa station, you would also have the option to take a train to the Ofuna station. Getting off this particular station would give you a chance to ride the Shonan Monorail to Enoshima. This monorail ride takes about 15 minutes and would cost 310 yen. It would be worth the side trip because of the different views you get to enjoy on the way to Enoshima.
If you want to go to Enoshima, Kamakura, and Ofuna, JR offers a package that would drop your jaw. Availing of a pass called the Kamakura Enoshima Pass from JR allows you unlimited use of the Enoden, Shonan Monorail, and JR trains that serve the Fujisawa, Ofuna, and Kamakura station. All this you get for the price of 700 yen but it can only be used for one day.
If you are coming from Kamakura, riding the Enoden train would take you to Enoshima in 25 minutes for a price of 260 yen. These trains from Kamakura to Enoshima leave often, having a train go to and from these stations every 10 minutes.
Biggest Attractions in Enoshima: The Aquarium, Island Spa, Shrine, and Sea Candle
Don’t be fooled by the size of this island. This place definitely has enough attractions to take up days of adventure. One of the many big attractions to be found here has been mentioned earlier and that attraction is the Enoshima Shrine.
Usually, a shrine is just one altar or a place of meditation. In the case of the Enoshima Shrine, despite it being called a singular shine, it consists of three separately located shrines. Two minor shrines and one major shrine. The major shrine is a complex that houses the most adored statues of Benten in an octagonal building.
A practice done here by tourists is to wash their money in the shrine’s pond because it is believed to bless the money. This practice and belief stemmed from Benten being the goddess of wealth. If you are a believer or a non-believer of such things, it wouldn’t hurt to try and experience this money washing. After all, you might get lucky by doing so and lose any chance to get lucky if you do not do so.
The Enoshima Shrine is open all days of the week and is also free to see. You only have to pay a fee of 150 yen if you wish to see the venerated statues of Benten in the main complex. The shrine is open from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM so plan your visit accordingly.
The next attraction worth visiting is the one that embodies the island life. When thinking about island life, rest and relaxation almost always define it. This location is the best place to get a taste of that much-anticipated rest and relaxation and it will surely be an experience you won’t find anywhere else. This attraction is called the Enoshima Island Spa or the Enospa.
This resort also offers its spa services during the day to non-staying guests so that is a big bonus for those staying outside this resort. The spa services in this establishment offer hot spring baths as well as pools found indoor and outdoor. It also has pools that are designed in a way to make the swimmers feel like they are in a cave.
A very big upside to availing the hot spring bath is the view that is given to you. As you unwind and forget your problems in a perfectly heated spring bath, you are able to bask in the beauty and glory of Mt. Fuji. There aren’t a lot of places where you can enjoy these two things at the same time, so if this caught your attention, make sure to book in advance.
You should know though that there is a no-tattoo policy enforced here so if you are with a tattoo, make sure to bring a rash guard or some aquatic clothing to cover the body art. From the months of March to November, the operating hours of this spa is from 10 AM to 10 PM. From the months of December to February, on the other hand, the operating hours of the spa change from 11 AM to 9 PM. Guests are only allowed to enter until the hour prior to closing time. This spa operates every day of the week and to get in would cost you around 2800 yen.
There are many beaches to be found on this island but if you want to see the marine life of Enoshima, it would be easier to do so at the Enoshima Aquarium. This modern aquarium is located just across the bridge from Enoshima. The aquarium here is a two story tall aquarium that houses all the local marine life species found in their Sagami Bay. Examples of such marine life are the dolphins, penguins, and seals to be seen performing in front of an audience as well.
They are open from the time of 9 AM to 7 PM but in the months of December to February, the operating hours are shortened from 10 AM to 7 PM. It is also open all days of the week and admission to this facility would cost you 2100 yen.
There is a place in Enoshima where you can see all the views it has to offer in one big picture. This place is called the Enoshima Sea Candle and it is an observation deck atop the lighthouse found in Enoshima. Going here is ranked 3rd out of the 78 things you can do in Fujisawa and it deserves the rating it got because the view from the observation deck really showcases all Enoshima has to offer.
The view looks over all the beaches in Enoshima along with the magnificent sighting of Mt. Fuji to top things off. This place is open all days of the week and admission to this place would cost 500 yen per head. On very windy days, it might be hard to get all the way up using the stairs so make sure to use the elevator instead.
If you are going down from the observation deck, it is highly suggested to take the stairs since it is easier to go down and this walk would be blessed with the cool winds from the height you are standing at. Taking this walk would not only give you exercise but also give you different angles of the different views to be enjoyed here.
Enoshima has many more attractions but these mentioned above are those ranked as the best attractions to be found in Enoshima. This is not to discredit the others. It is simply stating that the locations mentioned above are not to be missed if you wish to see the best of what Enoshima offers its interested travelers.
Art Based in Enoshima: The Enoshima Prism and the Anime that Created the Enoshima Bowl
The island of Enoshima also gets attention from the artworks that are related to this area. There may be more than two of these artworks that highlight Enoshima but the focus would be on the two most recognized artworks that are related to Enoshima.
The first of the two is the move called Enoshima Prism. This movie’s story basically revolves around the effects of actions. The story starts with three high school students who have been the best of friends since they were kids. In the year of 2010, an event split them apart and their friendship has never been the same. The story continues three years later when one of the students ride a train back to Enoshima. This train ride turned out to be a time machine ride and he was brought back to the time before everything changed among the three friends.
It is an interesting movie and watching it really showcases the views and sceneries found in Enoshima. The movie itself is also worth the watch because of the lessons you pick up from it. It is truly a work of art with how the story’s twists and turns really make the audience think and hold their breath for what is to come.
Aside from this great movie, the anime called Tsuritama also put Enoshima in the spotlight in its own way. This anime did so by setting the story of this young aspiring cook in Enoshima. Along with Enoshima being the location of this anime, this anime also created the idea of a dish that they call the Enoshima Bowl. Once only a thing of cartoons, the lovers of anime found a way to break down the ingredients of the dish to make it a dish in real life.
There are many versions of making the Enoshima Bowl online and if you are interested in trying it, feel free to search for one recipe or to try out all the recipes about it that you can find. Either way, enjoy cooking and eating the dish knowing that an anime-inspired the actualization of this unique dish.
Overall, Enoshima and its attractions really define the term diversity. Despite being blessed only with attractions from nature, it was able to create interesting establishments that enhance the experience travelers get from a journey through this small island. You should definitely find time to see and explore this area of Japan. You will not regret it because there is no other place like it in the world.