One of the most popular day trips from Tokyo is to the island of Enoshima (江ノ島) located in Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture. An island that is full of unique charms, even if you’re a resident of the area, you can feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere within a short distance. There is plenty to do on Enoshima and it is a much loved spot for dating. In this feature, we provide details on what you can do in a day in Enoshima.
To get to Enoshima, take the Odakyu Line train to Katase-Enoshima Station (片瀬江ノ島) from Tokyo. If you are coming from Kamakura, take the Enoden Line train to Enoshima Station.
In this photo, you can see the Katase-Enoshima (片瀬江ノ島) station on the Odakyu line and you can see how unique it is.
Get off and start walking towards the island. You can feel the sea breeze as you enjoy the beautiful views of the sea on all sides.
Even though it’s a small island, there are plenty of shops, eateries and toilets.
At the entrance to the island, you will be welcomed by the many shopkeepers that sell freshly caught seafood. There is also a souvenir shop.
The entrance itself is a torii, a traditional red gate seen at shrines in Japan. Wear comfortable shoes, as beyond this gate is a flight of stairs. Make sure you have eaten enough and are full of energy.
There are many souvenir shops along the way and when you pass through the torii, you will see the gate of Enoshima Shrine.
From the top of the stairs, you can see the beautiful blue sea and sky with the contrasting red gate. Doesn’t it make for a gorgeous photo?
The steps might feel endless but as you go to the next level,
you will find another shrine. The old wooden structure will give you a sense of peace and calm.
You can also get a goshuin, a blessing stamp provided by shrines in a booklet called goshuin-cho, here.
For those who find it challenging to climb stairs, you can take an escalator too. Escalators are available for 180 yen and 80 yen for adults and children respectively. One ticket offers unlimited rides throughout the day.
The operating hours of the escalator are 8:50-19:05.
The escalator is great if you are pressed for time or one a very hot, humid day. It can only be used to go up. You will have to use the stairs to come down.
At the end of the escalator, you will spot another shrine. It is a shrine of love making it a popular island among couples to come on dates ♡
You can see all the beautiful ema with hearts in pink. Isn’t it cute? At the top, you will see another shrine.
Even though small, Enoshima is a fantastic place for those who love shrines.
The Sea Candle Lighthouse, also known as Showa Observatory Lighthouse, offers 360-degree views of the sea surrounding Enoshima.
Map for Enoshima Sea Candle.
If you come here at night or in the evening, you will be able to see the lighthouse lit up.
Near the lighthouse is LONCAFE, where you can take a break for a coffee or a delicious snack.
You can see this beautiful view from the cafe and its an ideal spot to forget your worries and totally relax.
Among the many local delicacies, don’t miss out on trying the octopus rice crackers (tako senbei). These are freshly made and a whole octopus is used for each. The salty flavor and crunchy texture is very addictive.
If you like it, you can even buy some to take home with you and share with family or friends.
We tried a squid and shrimp one. Quite large and delicious.
In addition to the view from the island, the atmosphere on the island is also charming that you will want to take lots of pictures. The older Japanese-style structures line up the streets.
There are a lot of stray cats on this island. You may wonder why Enoshima has so many cats.
It is said that the cats on the island are the owners of the island and cats can live in harmony with the people on this island. The islanders take care of everything for these cats from feeding them to sterilization.
Another must-try dish in Enoshima is shirasu (whitebait) over rice. We decided to try this famous dish at Uoumitei (魚見亭) which has sea views.
This restaurant is located at the topmost point of the island, so it might be a bit of trek to get here. But the view and the food are both promising as you can see.
Shirasu bowl with crab miso soup and the beautiful view of a blue sea. It doesn’t get better than this!
Only balcony seats offer this stunning view. If you want to avoid the sun, you can be seated by a window indoors.
A popular sunset viewing spot by the sea is Chigogafuchi Abyss (稚児ヶ淵). Even if it’s not during sunset, the sea is very beautiful.
You can also get a glimpse of the nearby mountains on the other side. No matter where you look, there is something to photograph.
This makes it a great place for both sea and mountain lovers to enjoy together.
At the vending machine, you can buy this Shonan special coke bottle. There are many Japanese and foreigners who collect these regional design bottles.
One thing you have to be very careful of here on Enoshima are hawks. You can see these majestic birds circling the island. If you plan to eat food outdoors, it might be snatched before you know it.
Hawks don’t hurt people, but they focus on the food in people’s hands. As long as you are aware, you will be fine and won’t be harmed in any way.
There are also many flower viewing spots on the island. Check out the map at the entrance of the island, if you are a flower lover and stop by some of these spots.
Another recommended cafe on the island is Shinonome-tei (東雲亭), a traditional Japanese-style cafe where you can sip tea and eat Japanese sweets with views of the sea. Run by an aged couple, it has a warm and friendly feel that you often experience in the Japanese countryside.
Upon entering, you can order snacks and beverages of your choice at the counter. The store has a self service system so grab some water and get a seat by the windows.
Once you see the view, you will forget about your fatigue.
Enjoy the snacks, relax or read a book. A fabulous way to support the local economy especially during these tough times.
In addition to having shops that provide a traditional Japanese atmosphere, Enoshima also has many contemporary spots. At the entrance to the island, there is the Enoshima Aquarium.
Or you can walk along the beach in front of the island and enjoy island views.
We hope you are sold on visiting Enoshima during your next trip to Japan.
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