The city of Kamakura, the ancient capital of Japan, south of Tokyo, is a popular tourist destination thanks to its great Buddha and its numerous temples and shrines. However, the neighboring Enoshima Island also offers interesting tourist attractions. There are two ways to reach the island: the lovely little Enoden train line that runs along the seafront or the suspended Shonan Monorail from Ofuna, which is quite fun!
Enoshima Station is a few thousand feet from the island. The path to the island goes through Fujisawa and its shopping street. Near the bridge connecting Honshu to Enoshima, skaters show their tricks on the esplanades and bikers make their engines roar. Enoshima truly deserves its resort reputation with its palm trees, tattooed people and suntanned surfers roaming shirtless. On each side of the bridge are the Kugenuma beaches, very popular with young Tokyoites for they are close to the capital. The atmosphere is indeed 'young adult friendly' with bar touts and J-pop music blaring out speakers along the shores.
For those who are not inclined to relax on the beach, dip in the water or sunbathe, Enoshima has a lot of other tourist attractions to offer. First, there is a sento/spa/swimming pool, in case you would like to avoid contact with sand. Next, a pleasant walking route allows tourists to visit several shrines and to climb up via escalators. The top of the island is occupied by Samuel Cocking Botanical Garden, somehow smaller than expected. In the precincts of this botanical garden stands the Sea Candle, a tower offering a marvelous panorama of Enoshima, the beaches and the area. Finally, the Iwaya Caves mark the end of the island.
Enoshima’s culinary specialty is shirasu, a type of whitebait served either raw or cooked with rice. Another delicacy is the Enoshima-don, a bowl of rice topped with minced sazae (a sea snail also named "horned turban") mixed with egg. Those local dishes are available at any time of the day in all of the island’s restaurants.
Finally, Enoshima’s marina will host the 2020 Olympic Sailing Regatta.
How to get to Enoshima
By train -- 24 minutes from Kamakura (¥260 / ~US$ 2.40) or 11 minutes from Fujisawa (¥220 / ~US$ 2.00) on Enoden line
About 1 hour total from Tokyo (JR lines until Kamakura)
Location unreachable with the JR Pass
Get there with a rental car
¥1,000 (~US$ 9.20) with the eno=pass combined ticket (includes: the escalators, Samuel Cocking Garden, Sea Candle and Iwaya Caves)
Opening hours vary from place to place, usually from 9am (10am in winter) to 6pm
How long / when to visit
Allow half a day at a fast pace, combined with a trip in Kamakura
Or a one-day trip to enjoy the whole island at a slower pace
Weather in Kamakura
18 / 24°C
13 / 19°C
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