We had a two day holiday in the middle of this week, because Waseda University (my host university) was celebrating it’s birthday of sorts. So what other way to celebrate other than to hit the train tracks and travel? While my friends (and half the people I know) traveled to Nikko to see the autumn leaves (紅葉 こうよう kouyou), I had a strong impulse to see the sea. (Besides, the autumn foliage will still be around Nikko when I make my one-man journey up next week.) Tokyo’s pretty much not a sea-side destination, so I traveled down to the Shonan (湘南) area, and paid a visit to Enoshima (江ノ島).
I’ve been pretty much stoked about my trip since I started researching for over a week and a half ago. I wanted to see sea-cliffs badly, and figured that the Izu Peninsula was a little too far and expensive for me to make a last minute trip out. Though, I’m still heading west in November. Enoshima was the next best choice, and perhaps even the best choice, due to the convenient location (about an hour and a half away from Tokyo) and abundance of cliffs and sea. Enoshima’s more known as a summer hot-spot but it’s still as beautiful — perhaps more beautiful, due to the decrease in number of tourists — in autumn.
For more background information, Enoshima’s a small island: about 4km across and it’s located in the Kanagawa prefecture. Because of it’s small size, you probably can finish touring most of the island within a day. I managed to, and I took it at a leisurely pace. There are a few ways to get into Enoshima, though the most economical way and the route I’d recommend, is buying an Enoshima-Kamakura free pass from the Odakyu Railway company for 1430 yen. It covers a round trip from Shinjuku (or some other departure stations), and all Odakyu and Enoden (that’s the old rickety but very personable train system) from Fujiawa to Kamakura. I hit up both Enoshima and nearby Inamuragasaki (稲村ケ崎) in the same day, so it was worth every cent.
At around 7:00am I left Takadanobaba Station for Katase-Enoshima Station (片瀬江ノ島) on the Odakyu Line. I had to change train-lines at Shinjuku, but it’s mostly a piece of cake if you plan ahead. There are only a few direct trains to Katase-Enoshima every day, with them mainly departing in the early morning, but you can take the Odakyu train to Fujisawa Station and switch to the Enoshima line. Wait, I know that sounds really complicated now. The Katase-Enoshima station’s the one nearest to Enoshima island, and it one of the most memorable stations I’ve ever seen? The kitschy Chinese-style front wth its really garish combination of red and green will stay forever burned into my mind.
From Katase-Enoshima station it’s around a 15-20minute walk to the island itself. There’s a causeway of sorts or,
a temperamental boat service you can take. The boat service takes you directly to the back of the island where the caves are, but due to the recent typhoon, the boat service and the caves were shut down.
Upon entering Enoshima, you’re greeted with a row of shops – totally touristy – that urge you to spend money the moment you step in. There are a bunch of eateries, including famous seafood restaurant Tobiccho, and souvenir shops. Half of which have a rather anal approach to in-store photographs.
I pretty much headed to most of the main tourist sites on Enoshima, most which can be covered within a day.
This is the Enoshima Observation tower, located in the Samuel Cocking Garden. There’s a 500yen (or was it 480yen?) entry fee for both places.
My lunch was incredibly fresh nama shirasu-don (生しらす丼), a rice bowl of raw white-fish and about five different kinds of seaweed.
After lunch, I trekked to the back of the island where it was heaven for me with sea-cliffs and crazy waves abound! I really love the ocean so if you have any recommended spots (in Japan, of course), let me know!
Has anyone been to Enoshima, or similar places before?
Please do hit up the original post for more photos!