Enoshima and Kamakura are two beautiful towns located on the Shōnan coast of Japan’s Kanagawa Prefecture. At less than an hour from Tokyo, Enoshima is the
Enoshima is a lovely small seaside town connected to Fujisawa by the Enoshima Benten bridge. It’s an interesting destination, packed with all the things that make Japan unique: rich natural landscape, cliffs and coves, narrow streets, shrines, caves, gardens etc… The island is pretty small so you can do and see most sights on foot.
It’s often suggested to visit Enoshima along with its neighbouring town Kamakura as part of a combined day trip. This is what I did on this trip. However, I suggest you visit both towns individually and explore all the goodness they have in store. Therefore the trip will be divided into two separate posts.
So without further ado, let’s explore the things to do on a day trip to Enoshima.
- 1 Getting to Enoshima
- 2 What to do on a day trip to Enoshima
- 3 What to eat on day trip to Enoshima
Getting to Enoshima
My friend and I initially travelled to Kamakura. However, I am suggesting another itinerary for the purpose of this post. To get to Enoshima for your day trip, you have the options of travelling either from Shinjuku station or Tokyo station. From Shinjuku, take the JR Shonan-Shinjuku Line to Fujisawa station. Then change to the Enoden Line for a stop at Enoshima Station. Alternatively, you can get on the JR Yokosuka Line from Tokyo station. Both are perfect options if you have the JR Pass since you will be able to travel for free.
As you come out of Enoshima station, you directly come into Benzaiten-Nakamise Street, a shopping street with a variety of shops and souvenir shops. As we walked past the shopping street, I saw these cute little bird sculptures in the photo above. You can’t help but be drawn by the shops: it is hard not to stop and sample some of the local snacks like the
What to do on a day trip to Enoshima
Get a ride on the Enoden
My friend was looking forward to riding this historic train.
The Enoshima Electric Railway, called Enoden is a two carriages train that rides from Kamakura station to Fujisawa station on a 10km line. It was easy to tell that the little train was popular as it was busy but not too overly crowded. The thing that makes people enjoy the train ride is when it stretches along the ocean allowing people to breathe in the fresh scent of the ocean. Another surprising thing is that the train travels very close to people’s houses. It seems dangerous but the train has been in operation since 1902 so I understand the safety measures in place are adequate.
Get the “ENO=PASS”
When visiting Enoshima, I highly recommend purchasing the eno=pass, a ticket that includes admission to 4 of the islands most important attractions for 1,000 yen. The pass gives you access to the lighthouse, garden and caves at the back of the island. Enoshima is very hilly therefore the climb can be challenging for some people. Luckily the eno=pass also includes entry to a series of escalators to conquer the main climb to the shrines and garden. I felt lazy taking the escalator but was happy I saved up some energy when I had to climb back up at the end of the day.
You can get from 5 to 10% discounts when you present the pass to a number of restaurants, souvenir shops or visit the Enoshima Aquarium. Enoshima Island is small and hilly.
Not long after, we were faced with the shrine gate, marking the entrance to the sacred location.
Visit Enoshima shrine
The Enoshima Shrine dedicated to Benzaiten, the Buddhist goddess, consists actually of three separate shrines located around the island. The first shrine you come across is the main shrine (Hetsu-no-Miya). Although entry to the shrine is free, you will have to pay a small fee (200 yen or free with eno=pass) if you wish to see the statue of Benten, the goddess of the island as well as wealth, fortune, music and knowledge. It is said that if you wash your money there and spend it, then the money will come back to you (even more) The other shrines are Nakatsu-no-Miya and Okutsu-no-Miya.
Panoramic view of the town at Sea Candle
Following on from the shrine, you reach a lovely English style garden. This botanical garden was built by Samuel Cocking, a British trader, in the 19th Century. In the garden sits the Sea Candle, a tall observation tower/lighthouse.
It offers a great panoramic view over the mainland as well as Mount Fuji on a clear day. Entry is 300 yen but comes free with the eno=pass.
Enjoy the sunset at Chigogafuchi Abyss
Our final destination was the Chigogafuchi Abyss. You can reach there from the Wadatsumi-no-Miya dragon shrine by going down steep staircases.
This part of the route might be a little challenging for people with limited mobility. The coastline is formed of jagged cliffs and rocky but flat beaches. When the tide is low, the place becomes a location where locals come to enjoy sunbathing and fishing. I would advise against swimming there. If you are in the mood for a swim, there is a beach nearby for a safer and more enjoyable dip.
You can also take a stroll on the elevated walkway. Taking advantage of the sunset, we spent a little too much time enjoying the view and taking pictures, so we completely lost track of time. The view over Mt Fuji was really amazing. Since we stayed a little longer than planned, we missed the last entry to the caves.
What to eat on day trip to Enoshima
It would be a shame to leave the Shonan area
On the way back to to Fujisawa station, I was able to take some amazing photos of Mont Fuji and the beachfront.
I was looking forward to my day trip to Enoshima. There is so much hype about Kamakura. However, there weren’t as must info on Enoshima. Japan is such a rich country with many beautiful destinations slipping under the radar of most tourists. Travelling to a more obscure town is sometimes an even more rewarding experience than staying in the capital.
Enoshima felt like a breeze. I loved every part of it from the ride on the Enoden and tasting whitebait for the first time to enjoying the sunset. It might be just one of my favourite underrated cities in Japan!
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Planning a trip to Enoshima? Or if you have been, what did you enjoy the most? I would love to hear from you.
Disclaimer: We were given two eno=pass from Discover Fujisawa.Opinions are, as always, honest and my own.