Enoshima

Shonan Area2h

Overview

Enoshima is an island about 4 km around, you can enjoy the popular sightseeing spots throughout a year, like Enoshima Shrine, Enoshima Samuel Cocking Garden, Enoshima Sea Candle, Dragon Bell and Enoshima Iwaya Cave which is still a spiritual spot from the Edo period. Enoshima Yacht Harbor is a sailing competition venue for the Tokyo Olympic Paralympic Games in 2020. In particular, abundant seafood such as Shirasu, Ise Shrimp, Sashimi, Sazae and Clams are very popular to the tourists as local cuisines.

Description

If you’re looking for a sightseeing spot the whole family can enjoy then look no farther than Enoshima, a small island at the mouth of the Katase River, which flows into Kanagawa Prefecture’s Sagami Bay. Home to the resort area called Shonan there is so much more to Enoshima than just its lovely beaches. The entire island is dedicated to the goddess Benzaiten—goddess of music, arts, and entertainment—who is said to have raised the island from the bottom of the sea in the sixth century. And with three nearby railway stations, access to Enoshima is a breeze. <p>Roughly four kilometers in circumference, Enoshima has some lovely sightseeing venues, like Enoshima Samuel Cocking Garden, Enoshima Sea Candle, Enoshima Shrine, the Bell of Ryuren, and Enoshima Iwaya Cave. It was also the Olympic Harbor for the 1964 Summer Olympics and is going to be the sailing venue for the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics.</p> It wasn’t until 1880 that the Meiji government allowed the land to be purchased. A British merchant named Samuel Cocking bought much of the uplands in his Japanese wife’s name. He developed a power plant and extensive botanical gardens; these included a large greenhouse. Unfortunately, the original greenhouse was destroyed in the 1923 Great Kanto earthquake, but the Samuel Cocking Garden remains and attracts half a million visitors a year. Also on the garden grounds is the Enoshima Sea Candle, an observation tower and lighthouse; the primary deck can be accessed by stairs or elevator, while the outdoor deck can only be accessed by staircase. Enoshima Shrine is a Shinto shrine and consists of three shrines, all dedicated to the goddess Benzaiten. There’s even a fantastic legend associated with the shrine which dates back to the 12th century; the Japanese ruler Hojo Tokimasa visited the shrine to pray for prosperity when a mysterious woman joined him and told him a prophecy. She left behind three scales. Those were later used in the design of the Hojo family crest. The Bell of Ryuren is a popular attraction for couples. Inspired by a myth about the goddess Benzaiten defeating a dragon—and later falling in love after the dragon promised to change his ways—there is a bell at the top of a challenging uphill walk for lovers to ring. Nearby, you’ll find a wall of padlocks, covered in couples’ names and hearts, facing the sea; by throwing the key into the ocean couples hope to ensure that their bond remains ever locked. The Enoshima Iwaya Caves are for the more physically capable and adventurous. Made almost 1500 years ago, the caves are filled with Buddhist statues and inscribed stones after an oracle advised the emperor to do so. The caves today are less of a holy pilgrimage and more of a charming mystic site for locals and tourists. You’ll be given a lantern to guide yourself—never fear though, there are lights along the way and the path is paved nowadays. Whatever it is you decide to do on Enoshima, there’s no doubt you’ll be in for a beautiful visit.

Travel tip

On scenic Enoshima Island you can see historical temples, stroll around a botanical garden, take in the view from the lighthouse, or cool off in a cave created by the sea. In summer, the neighbouring beaches are lined with fun temporary bars.

Detailed information

Address

1-9 Enoshima, Fujisawa-shi, Kanagawa Prefecture

Photos

Enoshima Escar
Shonan Area 2

Enoshima Escar

Kinokuniya Main Store (Location for movie "Hidamari no Kanojo")
Shonan Area 1

Kinokuniya Main Store (Location for movie "Hidamari no Kanojo")

Shonan Shirasu (boiled whitebait)
Shonan Area 0

Shonan Shirasu (boiled whitebait)

Tobiccho Honten
Shonan Area 8

Tobiccho Honten