Enoshima Japan Guide
Enoshima Japan Map
A lot of travelers are asking what the deal is with Enoshima Island in Japan. What they don’t know is that it is a small island off the shore of Kanagawa prefecture and that even if it is small, every square kilometer of the island is efficiently used. The Enoshima island is a small island with a circumference of four kilometers. It is at the mouth of the Sakai river and is connected to the Katase shore via the Enoshima-Ohashi bridge. It is also a small island that opens up to Sagami Bay.
Through this long bridge, it is tied to the island of Fujisawa which is a city of Kanagawa prefecture. It is located on the easternmost side of Japan right in the Kanto region. There had been records that this place had been inhabited for thousands of years and people have been traveling to the island of Enoshima from its neighboring mainland cities such as Fujisawa and Katase. Everybody loves visiting Enoshima because of its beaches, cliffs, and more.
Enoshima Japan Weather
Enoshima Island is located in the temperate region of Kanto in the Kanagawa prefecture in Japan. In this place, they experience warm and temperate climates. They experience very hot summers and also some mild to severe winters. The atmosphere is quite humid as well through most part of the year, this means that it experiences a great amount of rainfall throughout the year, even during the winter season. Average temperatures are about 15 degrees.
Nearest Airport and other Transportation Services Enoshma
The airport nearest both Enoshima and Kamakura would be the Tokyo Haneda International Aiport which is about 40 kilometers away from the city center of Enoshima. However, there are no direct flights to the island. An individual might need to take an express bus that would pass through the Enoshima-Ohashi bridge.
One of the main modes of transportation inside the Enoshima island would be railway lines namely Odakyu Enoshima Line, Enoshima Electric Railway or Enoden, and the Shonan Monorail. The Odakyu Enoshima Line is a private train system operator that serves the eastern region of the Kanagawa prefecture. The Enoden, on the other hand, connects Kamakura, Fujisawa, and Enoshima. The Enoshima station is about 3.3 kilometers away from the central Fujisawa terminal. Lastly, the Shonan Monorail that travels locally around Enoshima through the Enoshima line. It is a suspended type of monorail system that has a total of six stops all over the island.
Enoshima Japan Hotels
There are a number of hotels in Enoshima that will provide comfort and luxury to its guests. There are affordable and moderately luxurious rooms available in a number of established hotels in the area. However, for those who wish more activity, there are hotels that offer up traditional public baths, onsens and ryokans all over the town as well.
Religious Importance of Enoshima Japan
There is an underlying religious story behind most of Enoshima’s tourist destinations. The most important story would be the love affair between the goddess Benzaiten and the sea dragon of Enoshima. It is believed that the goddess fell in love with the dragon of the sea. The dragon, impressed by the goddess’s beauty, immediately fell in love. The problem, on the other hand, is the fact that Benzaiten rejected the proposal of love coming from the dragon. It is said that it is because of the previous adversities that were caused by the dragon.
The dragon was a five-headed dragon which protected the island. Soon enough, the two fell deeply in love. However, the story was just as tragic when the goddess and the dragon cannot be together. Instead, the two work hand in hand in protecting the island from different elements. It is also believed that the goddess can grant any individual the best of luck and prosperity with relationships. These relationships can be friendship, family, or lovers. It is often depicted that the goddess Benzaiten is seen with a lute. It is also believed that she is the goddess of love and beauty.
The goddess named Benzaiten has three different grand shrines in Japan and the shrine in Enoshima is one of them. These shrines are known as Japan’s Three Great Benzaiten Shrines, where one is located in Chikubu Island and the other is located on Itsukushima Island. It is believed that Benten is the goddess of the golden light.
Must Eats: Enoshima Japan Restaurants
There are a number of restaurants in Enoshima that will surely provide satisfaction for the palate. There are restaurants that offer different traditional delicacies from all over Japan. However, there are restaurants in Enoshima that serve the local favorite of Shirasudon. This particular kind of meal is a rice bowl which is topped with sardines. There are times when the sardines were served fresh and raw, while there are other times when it is served pickled, tasted, or nothing.
The Shirasudon is a special local delicacy which is loved and adored by locals and other foreign chefs. The trick to this particular meal is to keep materials fresh. There are special kinds of Shirasudon which are served with caviar, vinegar, and more. The fish must be freshly caught from the lake, there are others that add a special twist which tops the donburi with special ingredients which cannot be located locally.
Things to do Enoshima Japan
Enoshima Aquarium Japan
This particular aquarium is a well-loved tourist destination for both children and adults alike. It features different sea creatures which are living locally at Sagami bay and those organisms that flourish near the shore of Enoshima as well. This place has scheduled shows and events from penguins, dolphins, and seals. There is a multitude of jellyfishes, fishes, shellfishes and more. What makes this aquarium different from all other aquariums in Japan is the fact that they have an overnight program which allows individuals to see the behavior of sea creatures at night.
It is an enjoyable place to visit which would roughly take a half day or a whole day to visit. There are exhibits and enclosures for many of the most impressive sea creatures found on Japanese shores. Admission tickets to the aquarium cost 2100 yen for adults and 1050 yen for children. The place is open most times of the year, except for the New Year.
Enoshima Shrine Japan
This particular shrine is the main highlight of the island of Enoshima. It consists of three shrines namely the Utsunomiya, Nakatsunomiya, and the Hetsunomiya which are collectively known as the Enoshima Jinja.
The Hetsunomiya, or the first shrine, seems like the gate to the entire system of shrines and was originally constructed in the 1200s. Its primary purpose is to greet the visitors and allow them to enter. Going deeper into the pathway would lead to the second shrine known as the Nakatsunomiya. This place was founded in the 8th century and is unique for its fiery red color. The last shrine is the Okutsunomiya which is the deepest and farthest of all. It is roughly 15 minutes from the main entrance and people who reach this part of the shrine exclaim about its well-known serenity and beauty.
This particular shrine is one of the Three Great Shrines of Benten or Benzaiten. These are great shrines which are dedicated to the worship of the Shinto goddess of the same name. Entry to the shrine is free except a small fee of 150 yen is needed for entry to the Hetsunomiya.
The Ryukoji temple is actually located in the neighboring town of Fujisawa and not in Enoshima. However, it is one of the most impressive Buddhist temples in the area. This place is held of high importance and sacredness because the founding priest survived an attempt to his safety, an execution that was supposed to put an ending to his life. Because of such a miraculous survival, followers of the founding priest declared the place to be highly sacred.
A beautiful island in its own right, Enoshima has a total of four kilometers worth of beaches. The beaches in Enoshima are made from dark brownish sand. Since it is one of the nearest beaches to Tokyo, a lot of people visit this place for a short weekend getaway. In fact, it only takes less than sixty minutes from the Shinjuku station.
What people must remember about this place is the fact that it is highly populated during the summertime. The population density is quite high, especially during the hot summer months. There are cafes, restaurants, and more near the beach. There are also activity areas for beach volleyball, Frisbee, and other sports in the area. Add to that, there are also summer festivals and fireworks held here annually.
Enoshima Island Spa Japan
Also known as Enospa, this is the most popular spa in the entire island. Since people from the Metro enjoy the quietness in the island as a means of relieving stress and exhaustion, a spa treatment is a common activity as well. The Enoshima Island Spa is located at the edge of the sea, providing a scenic view of Mt. Fuji right across the sea.
The problem with this, on the other hand, is the fact that a trip to the spa is a bit expensive. A typical spa admission fee would be about 2,000 yen with additional charges depending on the kind of treatment being requested. There are also additional charges for weekends and other holidays.
Enoshima Lighthouse Japan
The Samuel Cocking Garden, also known as the Enoshima Sea Candle, is one of the best places in Enoshima for viewing the sea. It has a lighthouse which has a 360-degree viewing deck which is about 40 meters above sea level. Once at the top, visitors can get to see a complete view of the island. Not only that, a good clear day can give a majestic view of Mount Fuji.
The light house can be accessed for a minimum fee of about 1,000 yen. This particular lighthouse is one of the largest light houses in Japan. Other than the light house, there are also other attractions in the complex. One example of this would be the lovely garden that has a multitude of flowers, shrubs, and trees.
The Iwaya caves of Enoshima are believed to have been formed from the erosion of rock due to the tides. This process took approximately thousands of years. The beauty of the Iwaya caves have been dated back to the 5th century, this was the first ever recording of the beauty of the Iwaya caves.
Until in the late 1800s, no foreign national has ever laid eyes on the Iwaya caves. One day a shipwrecked foreigner, named Samuel Cocking, was washed onto the shores of Enoshima. He was amazed by the beauty of the caves and decided that this will be his new home.
The cave used to be closed off to visitors for decades until it was fully restored in the 90s. The caves can now be accessed and explored. There are handrails, lights, panels, and other protective devices installed in the caves. The paths are also covered with concrete to strengthen them and to avoid potential accidents. Entry to the cave costs roughly 500 yen.
This is considered to be one of the most romantic spots in all of the Enoshima. The love bell was a representation and a symbol of the love between Benzaiten and her dragon lover. The love bell is located on top of a cliff. It is believed that when a couple rings the bell together and make a wish, their deep desires will come true. To create a stronger bond to the relationship, love locks are then hung around the love bell. Once the couple has secured their padlock along with their promises and vows, they will then throw away the key.