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Enoshima: The perfect weekend getaway from Tokyo

Enoshima: The perfect weekend getaway from Tokyo

Enoshima (江の島) is a great weekend getaway where you can soak in the summer atmosphere. As you explore the area, pass by the beaches lining the coast filled with high schoolers playing beach volleyball, people swimming, surfing, or sailing in the sea. Dig in to great food, discover some great views, and watch the crimson sunset just 40 minutes away from Tokyo—simply hop on to the JR Tokaido Main Line (東海道本線 Tōkaidō Honsen) from Shinagawa Station (品川駅) for Fujisawa Station (藤沢駅) (¥770, one way).

 

A nostalgic ride by the sea

This cute little train runs through people’s backyards. (Image credit: Jeremy Jee)

 

Having operated for more than 100 years since 1902, the Enoden (江ノ島電鉄 Enoshima Dentetsu) is one of the most popular ways to get around the area. Get on the Enoden at Fujisawa (藤沢) and take a short 10-minute ride down to Enoshima. Stare out of the windows as you chug down in the iconic green carriage, passing by panoramic views of the sea.

 

Enoden (江ノ島電鉄)
Nearest station: Fujisawa Station (藤沢駅)
Opening hours: 5:30am–11:30pm
Ticket fee (one-way Fujisawa—Enoshima): ¥220
Ticket fee (1-day Pass Noriorikun): ¥650
Tel: +81 466-24-2711

 

Discover the secrets of Sagami Bay

The aquarium features beautiful displays of native fish species, jellyfish, otters, capybaras, and dolphins. (Image credit: Jeremy Jee)

 

Located right by Enoshima Station, Enoshima Aquarium (新江ノ島水族館 Shin Enoshima Suizokukan) gives visitors an inside look into life underwater in Sagami Bay (相模湾 Sagami Wan). Find out more about cutting-edge deep-sea research, and get a first-hand look at the Shinkai 2000 (しんかい 2000), constructed in 1981 as Japan’s first manned deep-sea submersible. You can also take a look at marine biology research carried out by Emperor Showa (昭和), Emperor Emeritus Akihito (明仁), and Crown Prince Akishino (秋篠) for a peek into a little-known facet of their lives.

 

Enoshima Aquarium (新江ノ島水族館)
Address: 2-19-1 Katase Kaigan, Fujisawa-shi, Kanagawa-ken, 251-0035
Nearest station: Enoshima Station (江ノ島駅)
Opening hours: 10am–5pm (Differs based on months)
Admission fee: ¥2,500
Tel: +81 466-29-9960

 

Get a taste of the sea at Enoshima Koya

Taste the freshness of the fish, combined with a variety of different flavours to take yourself on a gastronomic journey. (Image credit: Jeremy Jee)

 

A short walk away is Enoshima Koya (江ノ島小屋), a popular local lunch spot that specialises in fresh seafood. Their signature dish is the Horohoro Don (ホロホロ丼), a delicious rice bowl topped with smoked fish and seasoned in a soy butter sauce for ¥1,740. You can also change up the taste with wasabi, garlic chips, and miso, or pour in a bit of dashi at the end to make your own mini-chazuke (茶漬け).

 

Enoshima Koya (江ノ島小屋)
Address: 2-20-12 Katase Kaigan, Fujisawa-shi, Kanagawa-ken, 251-0035
Nearest station: Enoshima Station (江ノ島駅)
Opening hours: 8am–3pm, 5pm–10pm
Tel: +81 466-29-5875

 

Cross over into Enoshima proper

(Image credit: Zhaoli Jin / Unsplash)

 

Guess what? After a morning of underwater exploration and delicious seafood, you’ve actually yet to reach Enoshima. Crossing over the pedestrian bridge to the island, you will find yourself greeted by Enoshima Benzaiten Nakamise Dori (江の島弁財天仲見世通り), flanked by all sorts of shops on both sides.

 

No, your eyes aren’t deceiving you—that is a senbei (煎餠) that’s larger than a human face. (Image credit: Jeremy Jee)

 

As you walk up the street, you’re likely to stumble across a shop with a really long queue. Made fresh to order at the local snack shop Asahi (あさひ), this crispy senbei comes with either octopus or a whole shrimp, all for just ¥400. Not only is it delicious, it also makes for a great food shot. 

 

Enoshima Benzaiten Nakamise Dori (江の島弁財天仲見世通り)
Nearest station: Enoshima Station (江ノ島駅)
Opening hours: Varies by shop

 

Asahi (あさひ)
Address: 1-4-10 Enoshima, Fujisawa-shi, Kanagawa-ken, 251-0036
Nearest station: Enoshima Station (江ノ島駅)
Opening hours: 9am–6pm
Tel: +81 466-23-1775

 

Enjoy the view from the peak of Enoshima

For those too lazy to climb, hop onto the Enoshima Escar (江ノ島エスカー), an outdoor escalator, to get wooshed to the top for ¥360. (Image credit: Aaron Benjamin / Unsplash)

 

As you hike up to the top of Enoshima, you’ll pass by three shrines that form Enoshima Shrine (江ノ島神社 Enoshima Jinja). With the goddess of wealth Benzaiten (弁財天) being the patron goddess, you can wash some money at Zeniarai Hakuryūō (銭洗白龍王) to improve your wealth. If you’ve been looking for a cheaper alternative to facials, how about purchasing the charm to become a beautiful woman (よくばり美人守り Yokubari Bijin Mamori) for only ¥500?! Totally worth it.

 

Enoshima Shrine (江ノ島神社)
Address: 2-3-8 Enoshima, Fujisawa-shi, Kanagawa-ken, 251-0036
Nearest station: Enoshima Station (江ノ島駅)
Tel: +81 466-22-4020

 

Enoshima Escar (江ノ島エスカー)
Address: 2-3 Enoshima, Fujisawa-shi, Kanagawa-ken, 251-0036
Nearest station: Enoshima Station (江ノ島駅)
Opening hours: 8:50am–7:05pm
Admission fee: ¥360
Tel: +81 466-25-3525

 

(Image credit: Jeremy Jee)

 

At the top, you’ll find the Samuel Cocking Garden (サムエル・コッキング苑 Samueru Kokkinguen) featuring a wide array of flowers throughout the seasons, and also the ruins of the Enoshima Botanical Garden first built in 1880. Housed within the garden is the Enoshima Sea Candle (江ノ島シーキャンドル Enoshima Shīkyandoru), a lighthouse observatory tower that stands 120m above sea level. On a clear day, from the top you can enjoy panoramic 360º views of Mount Fuji (富士山 Fujisan) and as far as Yokohama (横浜) and the Izu Peninsula (伊豆半島 Izu Hantō).

 

Samuel Cocking Garden / Enoshima Sea Candle (サムエル・コッキング苑 / 江ノ島シーキャンドル)
Address: 2-3-28 Enoshima, Fujisawa-shi, Kanagawa-ken, 251-0036
Nearest station: Enoshima Station (江ノ島駅)
Opening hours: 9am–8pm
Admission fee (Samuel Cocking Garden): ¥200
Admission fee (Enoshima Sea Candle): ¥500
Tel: +81 466-23-2444

 

The cold ice cream and the piping hot french toast makes for a delectable combination. (Image credit: Jeremy Jee)

 

While exploring the garden, be sure not to miss the french toast at Lon Cafe. With a beautiful outdoor terrace, you can sit on the wooden deck overlooking the coast while digging in to your tea break. The signature dish is the Thick Crème Brûlée French Toast (濃厚クレームブリュレフレンチトースト Nōkō Kurēmu Buryure Furenchi Tōsuto), a thick and fluffy piece of french toast with a slightly crunchy exterior topped with a dollop of crème brûlée and a caramelised layer on top. At ¥1,380, it also comes with a side of vanilla ice-cream and a drink included in the set. 

 

Lon Cafe
Address: 2-3-38 Enoshima, Fujisawa-shi, Kanagawa-ken, 251-0036
Nearest station: Enoshima Station (江ノ島駅)
Opening hours: 11am–8pm (Weekdays), 10am–9pm (Weekends)
Tel: +81 466-28-3636

 

Visit the Iwaya Caves

*cues the Indiana Jones theme song* (Image credit: Jeremy Jee)

 

Make your way down the other end of the island and at the end of the path, you will discover the entrance to the Iwaya Caves (岩屋). Carved by tidal erosion, these caves are considered a sacred site with the original Enoshima Shrine located at the back of the cave. Explore the caves with a candle in one-hand, dimly illuminating the caves and making you feel like a real-life Indiana Jones.

 

Iwaya Caves (岩屋)
Address: 2-5 Enoshima, Fujisawa-shi, Kanagawa-ken, 251-0036
Nearest station: Enoshima Station (江ノ島駅)
Opening hours: 9am–4pm (Differs based on months)
Admission fee: ¥500
Tel: +81 466 22 4141

 

Gaze at the sunset from Chigogafuchi

By far, one of the most awesome shots of the sea you can get near Tokyo. (Image credit: Jeremy Jee)

 

Enoshima is well-known as one of the best places to watch the sunset near Tokyo. Sit by the tidal flats of the Chigogafuchi (稚児ヶ淵) looking across the Sagami Bay. On a clear day, you’ll be treated to a sunset across the horizon with Mount Fuji in the distance. It’s also a great place to just sit on the rocks, stare into the ocean, and watch the waves splash against the shore. 

 

Chigogafuchi (稚児ヶ淵)
Address: 2-5-2 Enoshima, Fujisawa-shi, Kanagawa-ken, 251-0036
Nearest station: Enoshima Station (江ノ島駅)

 

Devour a ginormous Kakiage

(Image credit: Jeremy Jee)

 

A visit to Enoshima would be incomplete without trying the local specialty, shirasu (しらす Whitebait). One of the unique ways to enjoy it is the Sakura Ebi (桜海老) and Shirasu Kakiage Don (桜えびとしらすかき揚げ丼) at Tobiccho (とびっちょ). Topped with a heap of fresh shirasu, the don comes with a huge kakiage made from sakura ebi and shirasu, drizzled with a sweet savoury sauce on a bed of fluffy rice—truly giving you the best of both worlds at just ¥1,380 a bowl. 

 

Tobiccho (とびっちょ)
Address: 2-1-9 Enoshima, Fujisawa-shi, Kanagawa-ken, 251-0036
Nearest station: Enoshima Station (江ノ島駅)
Opening hours: 11am–9pm
Tel: +81 466-23-0041

 

Heading back to Tokyo

(Image credit: Jeremy Jee)

 

If you’re looking for a 1-day pass that covers some of the aforementioned spots in Enoshima, here’s a pro-tip: check out the eno=pass (¥1,000). Apart from including the admission cost for the Enoshima Escar, Samuel Cocking Garden, Enoshima Sea Candle, and Iwaya Caves, you can also get 10% off the admission fee for the Enoshima Aquarium and 5% off at Tobiccho. This works out to savings of around ¥850!

 

Enoshima may just be a tiny island in the Sagami Bay, but it’s packed to the brim with great food and things to see. There are so many hidden shops, and paths on the island to find and explore. We’ve covered just a smidgen of what you can find in the area, so be sure to head down and find out for yourself! When winter rolls around, the island is also a popular spot for illumination light-ups, and becomes a romantic date spot! 

 

Header image credit: Keisuke Kuribara / Unsplash

 

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