Enoshima: A Day-time Adventure by the Sea
Located just beyond Fujisawa in Kanagawa prefecture, Enoshima is a small island ideal for a day’s escape. Upon arriving at the small station, visitors can immediately feel the peace of being by the seaside. Crossing the bridge to the small island, Enoshima’s quaint atmosphere and traditional layout can be sensed immediately. Upon first glance, the sloping market streets of Enoshima resemble those shop-lined small streets of Kyoto which are laced with tradition.
Shops with outdoor seating sell various fish and seafood items that are grilled before one’s eyes upon ordering. There is no doubting the freshness of food purchased on the island. A variety of dining options and souvenir shops are available to visitors on the walk up toward the main shrine.
Enoshima is not a large island, but visiting it requires a lot of energy. With sloping streets, endless staircases, and a variety of terrains, Enoshima is not for the weak. The trek up to the main shrine requires climbing a seemingly endless amount of steps, which are fortunately divided into clusters with things to see in between staircases. Another option is taking escalators, which require a fee of 100 yen for adults per escalator (a pass can also be purchased); these escalators are a good idea when tired or pressed for time.
Once at the top, a variety of activities are available. Options include a garden, restaurants, a lovers’ lookout with locks placed on fences, more shrine areas, a cave, and various trails to explore. Heading down the back side of the island, visitors will arrive at the rocky landscape from which sunset can be enjoyed. Although no beach is available for swimming, this area is nice for a stroll or quiet contemplation while gazing out across the ocean. Fisherman can also be seen relaxing as they wait for their catch.
Exploring Enoshima is an exciting way to spend a day. The island has various things to offer year-round, from winter illuminations to a rose garden in the spring. When visiting in summer, be sure to carry lots of water (vending machines are available periodically) and wear sunscreen, as the island can get incredibly hot and humid. It is also advisable to plan in advance, as passes can be bought and certain attractions require advanced planning. Enjoy!
[posted by Nadia]
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