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SSAJ Stories: A visit to Enoshima and the beach cleanup that wasn't

SSAJ Stories: A visit to Enoshima and the beach cleanup that wasn't

Greetings from Tokyo! My name is Xin Yi and I’m excited to write the first guest post by the Singapore Students’ Association (Japan) (SSAJ) for Japan Rail Times! As an association, we look after the welfare of Singaporean university students studying in Japan from social activities to job hunting. This Golden Week (ゴールデンウィーク), we decided to do something different for a change and give back to the community by helping out in a beach cleanup held at Enoshima (江の島) on 1 May. While we would usually organise meet-ups within the group, the event this time around was led by the Tokyo Taiwanese Student Association (TTSA) with our joint participation alongside the Sri Lanka Students' Association in Japan (SLSAJ) and Indonesian Students Association in Kanto (PPI Kanto).

 

Enoshima, as described by my co-writer Jeremy, is “the perfect weekend getaway from Tokyo”, and the beach we were cleaning was actually the venue where the sailing events were held for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. I was totally looking forward to having around 30-40 students across various nationalities to work together in picking trash off the sunny beach. Alas, some things were just not meant to be.

 

Rain, rain, go away…

(Image credit: 程謙)

 

The best of plans are nothing in the face of Mother Nature, because despite bright clear sunny days before and after the 1st of May, what we got on the actual day felt like a bonafide typhoon (although it wasn’t actually one). The weather forecast had already given us advance warning, but just maybe, the rain could come again another day…? Nope, by the time the event commenced at Katase Higashihama Beach (片瀬東浜海水浴場 Katase Higashihama Kaisuiyoku-ba), the wind and rain were already going at full blast.

 

Turns out, the lightweight Nitori umbrella is far sturdier than I gave it credit for. (Image credit: Teoh Xin Yi)

 

Not for a lack of trying though, our students wanted to try and brave the weather for the sake of giving back to the community. Yet, with winds so strong it broke a number of our umbrellas, and a rain that soaked through even ponchos, there was no choice but to retreat back into the nearby underpass we had gathered in. Thankfully, even within that short span of 10 minutes, 30-40 students can still pick up a sizable amount of trash that was separated and then placed at the bulk disposal point. 

 

Us, huddled up in the underpass before braving the rain. (Image credit: 程謙)

 

Katase Higashihama Beach (片瀬東浜海水浴場)
Address: 1-15-1 Katasekaigan, Fujisawa-shi, Kanagawa 251-0035
Nearest station: Enoshima Station (江ノ島駅) / Katase-Enoshima Station (片瀬江ノ島駅)
Access: 7-minute walk from Enoshima Station / 5-minute walk from Katase-Enoshima Station
Opening hours: 24 hours

 

Our 3-hour long event quickly dwindled into a 30-minute one. After the ride all the way from Shinjuku (新宿), we weren’t going to go back empty-handed though. If you’re ever unfortunate enough to be caught in the rain like us, here are some recommendations along Subana Street (すばな通り Subana-dōri) that runs from Enoshima Station (江ノ島駅 Enoshima-eki) up to near Katase-Enoshima Station (片瀬江ノ島駅 Katase Enoshima-eki).

 

Sugar? Yes, please!

The presentation of desserts at Japanese shops is always impeccable. (Image credit: Chan Qiu Qing)

 

Freshly battered by rain as we were, the cafe we fled into was a quaint and warm escape from the elements. Bloom (ブルーム)’s choice of wood/furniture gave the place a somewhat Scandinavian vibe, and it’s also really nice when a cafe’s decoration incorporates some form of greenery. 

 

A few of us ordered shakes in different flavours—salty caramel banana, coffee jelly espresso, and blueberry. The fruit ones had the option of being fresh milk shakes (¥600) or yoghurt shakes (¥650). We thought the coffee jelly one tasted quite similar to an espresso frappe, while the caramel one had a pleasant comforting mix of sweet and savoury flavours. Last but not least, the blueberry one was refreshingly sour and sweet, with fresh blueberries topping it. 

 

Aside from the really tasty shakes, Bloom also offers a wider menu of coffee (espresso anyone?) and other snacks. So if you’re feeling a little peckish, the place has got you covered!

 

Bloom Premium Shake and Espresso (ブルーム・プレミアムシェイク&エスプレッソ)
Address: 1-11-31 Katasekaigan, Fujisawa-shi, Kanagawa 251-0035
Nearest station: Enoshima Station (江ノ島駅) / Katase-Enoshima Station (片瀬江ノ島駅)
Access: 3-minute walk from Enoshima Station / 5-minute walk from Katase-Enoshima Station
Opening hours: 10am–9pm
Tel: +81 467-38-6355

 

Greatness in a jar. (Image credit: Bryan Lim)

 

A mainstay at any Japanese tourist attraction is, of course, pudding! Every location has its own local pudding offering. At Enoshima Pudding (江の島プリン), they set the taste and texture of their Enoshima Pudding (¥390) apart with the use of roasted barley in the pudding itself that gives it a nicely roasted fragrance akin to hōjicha (ほうじ茶). Unlike the wobblier types of pudding, this one is slightly creamier, akin to a mousse sort of texture. They also have a variation with a thick layer of orzo (オルゾ roasted barley) for ¥400 at the top, giving the roasted fragrance an even stronger kick. The mix of slight bitterness in the sweetness of the pudding always leaves me wanting for more.

 

Enoshima Pudding (江の島プリン)
Address: 1-11-27 Katasekaigan, Fujisawa-shi, Kanagawa 251-0035
Nearest station: Enoshima Station (江ノ島駅) / Katase-Enoshima Station (片瀬江ノ島駅)
Access: 4-minute walk from Enoshima Station / 4-minute walk from Katase-Enoshima Station
Opening hours: 10am–5pm (May close early depending on stocks)
Tel: +81 466-52-7433

 

Sadly the lighting on this rainy day wasn’t great, but trust me, the crepe was. (Image credit: Jeremy Jee)

 

Another, not-to-be-missed, sweet is the bruleé crepe from Crepe Stand Honey (クレープ スタンド ハニー). At ¥880, you can choose from one of four fillings for the bruleé crepe: gelato, apple, strawberry, and banana. Apart from being a feast for the eyes, the crepe comes topped with that delectable crunchy caramelised layer of sugar, followed by the extremely generous filling, and sponge at the bottom. For the fruit fillings, the fresh fruit bits within the crepe give it variation in texture and a refreshing acidity that contrasts well with the cream. The shop is also really popular amongst youths, so expect a queue when you arrive.

 

Crepe Stand Honey (クレープ スタンド ハニー)
Address: 1-8-38 Katasekaigan, Fujisawa-shi, Kanagawa 251-0035 
Nearest station: Enoshima Station (江ノ島駅)
Access: 1-minute walk from Enoshima Station / 7-minute walk from Katase-Enoshima Station
Opening hours: 11am–9pm 
Tel: +81 466-41-9688

 

Fish are friends, not food 

(Image credit: Miyuki Meinaka / CC BY-SA 4.0)

 

While there are multiple aquariums in Tokyo, many of them are located in shopping malls and are actually pretty small. Enoshima Aquarium (新江ノ島水族館), on the other hand, is a full-fledged aquarium that is themed after the Sagami Bay (相模湾 Sagami-wan) that it sits next to. Visiting it brings back memories of excursions to Sentosa in our primary school days where we would visit the (now-defunct) Underwater World Singapore. 

 

Apart from their impressively sized fish tanks, they also feature a number of fan-favourite mammals—watching river otters run circles around their enclosure, zoom down water slides, and munch on ice never gets old. It’s also located next to the aquarium’s own cafe, so you can grab a refreshment as you watch the otters prance around. My friend was also delighted to find out that there is a sizable capybara exhibit at the aquarium, as you can watch them laze around the enclosure in their thick furry coats. Now if only there was also an onsen for them to soak in their enclosure too…

 

Enoshima Aquarium (新江ノ島水族館)
Address: 2-19-1 Katasekaigan, Fujisawa-shi, Kanagawa 251-0035 
Nearest station: Katase-Enoshima Station (片瀬江ノ島駅) / Enoshima Station (江ノ島駅)
Access: 12-minute walk from Enoshima Station / 5-minute walk from Katase-Enoshima Station
Opening hours: 9am–5pm (March to April, May to November), 10am–5pm (December to February)
Admission fee: ¥2,500
Tel: +81 466-29-9960

 

Thinking of furthering your studies in Japan?

Don’t miss out on Enoshima’s iconic sunset with Mount Fuji in the background. (Image credit: Bryan Lim)

 

While our beach cleanup event might not have gone as planned, our members still had a great time. Any Singaporean student in Japan can join our organisation—no membership fee required! Apart from organising events in Tokyo, we also help to facilitate events in Sendai, Osaka, Kyoto, and Nagoya as well. If you know anyone coming to study in Japan, or already here studying, then ask them to sign up with us at this link

 

If you or someone you know is considering further studies in Japan, check out our newly launched portal, Study in Japan Singapore. It helps to consolidate useful information about studying in Japan in a single site, framed for the Singaporean perspective—ranging from undergraduate, graduate, and even exchange programmes. We also give a summary of living costs in Japan, tuition fees at public universities, and some of the scholarships that you can apply for. Japan is a great place for a holiday, but it’s also a very liveable country for students. So if you’re looking for a country to do your further studies, why not make Japan your choice?

 

This article was brought to you in partnership with the Singapore Students’ Association (Japan), written by members Teoh Xin Yi and Jeremy Jee.

 

Header image credit: Quercus acuta / CC BY-SA 4.0

 

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