Enoshima island [江の島]
Enoshima is a small island in Sagami Bay and is connected by a sand bar about 500 meters long.
It is located near the coast Fujisawa city, and about 7 km west of Kamakura city.
The island is only 1 km from east to west and 0.5 km from north to south.
It is mostly surrounded by a cliff and looks like a tableland.
The highest place is 60 meters above sea level.
Now this island is connected with the mainland by a bridge, so we can visit here easily.
It is said that a shrine was built on this island by order of the Emperor in 552 for the first time.
And the formal building of the shrine was built by Minamoto Yoritomo, the founder of Kamakura government, in 1182.
It is current Enoshima shrine (江島神社) located in the center of the island.
In the old days, this island was a sacred area and a place for religious training.
But, here is a scenic place, so this area became a sightseeing spot since the 18th century.
In the later 19th century, a Japanese-style hotel was opened.
Since that, many people has visited here as one of the sightseeing spots.
In 1923, the Great Kanto Earthquake occured, Tsunami attacked this island, and most fasilities on the island were destroyed.
Tsunami attacked this island and the whole island rose about 2 meters by the earthquake.
After that, more facilities were built than before and here became one of popular sightseeing spots.
Street to Enoshima Shrine
Zuishinmon gate to Hetsumiya
There is a town of shops after crossing the bridge from the mainland.
At the foot of the hill, there is a big red Torii gate.
It is the entrance of Enoshima Shrine.
You climb the slope and steps to the main shrine.
And you can use a pay escalator.
Hetsumiya of Enoshima Shrine
Hoanden of Hetsumiya
The central area is Hetsumiya (辺津宮).
There are the main shrine and Hoanden shrine (奉安殿), etc. in this area.
There are Nakatsumiya (中津宮, about 150 meters from Hetsumiya) and Okutsumiya (奥津宮, about 600 meters from Nakatsumiya) as the other areas.
Nakatsumiya of Enoshima Shrine
Samuel Cocking Garden
In the center of the island, a lighthouse Enoshima SeaCandle stands.
The height is about 60 meters.
(So, the top is at the height of 120 meters above sea level.)
There is an observatory at the highest part.
Near the SeaCandle, there is the botanical garden Samuel Cocking Garden.
This was opened in 1882 by Samuel Cocking, an Irish marchant.
From Okutsumiya at the west part of the island, a walking trail leads to Iwaya Caves (岩屋).
They are two sea caves and the length of the caves are 152 meters and 112 meters.
It is said that many priests practiced asceticism here in the ancient times.
Additionally, abandoned cats has increased since the 1980s, then many stray cats are living comfortably in this island.
How to get here
- Get off at Enoshima station on Enoden. It takes 23 minutes.
- About 12 minutes walk from the station.
- Get off at Katase-Enoshima terminal station on Odakyu Line. It takes 7 minutes.
- About 5 minutes walk from the station.