Enoshima: One-Day Trip to the Island of Joy | Guidable - Your Guide to a Sustainable, Wellbeing-centred Life in Japan

Enoshima: One-Day Trip to the Island of Joy

By Michelle Mar 4, 2022

If you are overwhelmed by the fast living style of Tokyo, how about taking a one-day trip to Enoshima to recharge your energy?

Enoshima (江の島), which is located west of Kamakura, is a beautiful island just off the coast but connected to the mainland by a bridge called Enoshima Bentenbashi (江の島弁天橋). With many delicious local foods and beautiful scenery, Enoshima is definitely an ideal destination to escape stressful city life. Now, let us show you how to spend a worthwhile one-day trip to Enoshima.

How to Get to Enoshima

Enoshima is not a big island, so you can start the journey whenever you like. However, to be able to enjoy a full day of exploring everything about Enoshima fully, it’s recommended that you be at Shinjuku Station before 10 a.m. After that, take the Odakyu Line train to Katase-Enoshima Station, and you will arrive at around 11:30 a.m. A small reminder is that there is no direct train to Katase-Enoshima Station on weekdays, so you must take the Express or Rapid Express to Fujisawa Station and change to a local train bound for Katase-Enoshima Station.

After getting out of the station exit, walk for about 30 minutes across the mainland and the island bridge. On arriving at Enoshima Island, the first thing that may surprise you is that many shops along the way sell many interesting local foods and souvenirs. Looking from the bottom to the top of the slope leading to Enoshima Shrine, you may find it quite similar to the path filled with food stalls in the movie “Spirited Away”.

Along the way, you can also see many maintenance hole covers decorated with things unique and typical of Enoshima, so try looking down at the road surface now and again while walking.

What to Eat In Enoshima

1. Shirasu (しらす)

Shirasu, or whitebait, is the name given to a type of white sardine, which is Enoshima’s speciality. Shirasu is tasty in meals all over Japan, as part of breakfast, lunch or dinner. However, it is especially abundant around areas near the sea. When it comes to Shirasu, Japan has various creative ways to eat it.

For example, shirasu-don, a famous dish in Enoshima, is a rice bowl topped with salted shirasu, which is eaten raw or boiled. Along with this, shirasu korokke (shirasu croquettes) are also very popular, best enjoyed while still hot. Another combination that you may find weird is ice cream filled with Shirasu. Strangely enough, it is unbelievably delicious, especially with the combined flavour of salty and sweet, so please give it a try when you visit Enoshima.

A black bowl of shirasudon topped with fish and salad

Credits: Author

2. Tako Senbei (タコ煎餅)

Tako senbei is one of the most popular foods in Enoshima, with the long lines of customers waiting to buy outside every senbei shop here. Tako senbei is a type of crunchy-texture cracker made from octopus and gives a taste of soy sauce and grilled seafood.

Tako Senbei on the street

Credits: Author

3. Monaka Ice Cream (最中アイス)

Monaka is traditionally a Japanese wafer sweet filled with azuki bean paste. However, this classic sweet gets a makeover in Enoshima, where it is offered using different crowd-pleasing ice cream flavours as a filling. Two of the most popular flavours are matcha and vanilla ice cream, sandwiched between two crispy wafers with sweet red bean paste.

Where to Visit In Enoshima

1. Enoshima Shrine

Enoshima Shrine consists of 3 smaller shrines: Hetsunomiya, Nakatsunomiya, and Okutsunomiya, located along the island. They are dedicated to Benten, a popular goddess of good fortune, wealth, music and knowledge. Since Benten is also the goddess of wealth, some visitors will wash their money at the shrine’s pond. All these shrines are about 10 minutes from the other, so you can casually walk to each of the shrines or use the outdoor escalator available.

Enoshima Shrine with a girl walking by

Credits: Author

2. Samuel Cocking Garden

Enoshima Samuel Cocking Garden is a botanical garden where you can enjoy a tropical atmosphere with flowers and plants of every season. There is also a 60-meter tall observation deck, the Sea Candle, which is the symbol of Enoshima, located within the garden. If you have a sweet tooth, you are sure to love Lon Café, a dessert cafeteria famous for its Creme Brulee, which is also inside the garden.

Creme Brulee on a white plate

Credits: Author

3. Iwaya Cave

Iwaya Cave was created from the erosion caused by waves over many years. There are two caverns in this cave: the first has a depth of 152 meters and contains several Buddha statues, and the second is 56 meters, dedicated to a legendary dragon that used to terrorize the area. Once you’ve travelled through the cave, you’ll arrive at a rocky plateau called Chigogafuchi. Along with the tragic love story of the “suicide couple”, this area has one of the most romantic scenes in Kanagawa.

4. Love Bell

On the top of Enoshima’s hill stands a bell called Ryuren no Kane (Dragon Lovers’ Bell). Based on a legend about the love of a celestial maiden and a five-headed dragon, couples who ring the bell and write their names on the padlocks left attached to the fence can be together forever. This is definitely an ideal place to come with your loved one.

5. Enoshima Beach

Despite not being one of the most beautiful beaches in Japan, Enoshima Beach is still a great spot to enjoy playing about in the waves, sunbathing, or simply relaxing after hours of working under stress. After having a fun time playing, there may be nothing more wonderful than sitting on the sand and watching the sunset.

Enoshima Beach during sunsetCredits: Author

That is all for a wonderful one-day trip to this beautiful island. At Katase-Enoshima station, there’s also a super cute little jellyfish tank, so while you are waiting for the train, watching the little jellyfish swimming around will definitely keep you entertained.

If You Want to Escape Stressful City Life for a Day, Come To Enoshima!

A one-day trip to Enoshima is just the thing to give you an energy boost after days of working. So, what are you waiting for? Pack your stuff and go!

– Michelle/ Vietnam

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Featured photo credits: Author