Enoshima: Island chill out on a budget

Just over an hour away from Shinjuku and nearby to Kamakura at the end of the Odakyu line, is Enoshima, a relaxing day out that has the feel of a seaside holiday. The island of Enoshima is connected to the mainland by a bridge, from which you can see Mt. Fuji on a clear day. Once you reach the island you will be faced with a narrow street of souvenir shops and street food places and you can begin a circular walk of the island.  The walk is largely uphill, but don’t worry – there are plenty of snack and rest stops and even escalators that you can pay to use if you want to bypass some of the steeper stretches.

The walk takes you past several shrines of varying sizes. I recommend going inside Enoshima Jinja Bentendo, which is dedicated to the goddess of love, art and money-making.

There are plenty of seafood restaurants to choose from, both as you arrive on the island and when you reach the top of the hill. A wide range of local street foods are also scattered along the way, including the popular Tako Senbei (a roasted octopus cracker). There is also an impressive range of soft-serve ice cream flavours on offer. Whilst there are lots of opportunities to try seafood snacks along the way, watch out for the hawks that might try to snatch your picnic!

The Enoshima Iwaya Cave, on the far side of the island, is a shady and peaceful respite from the sun. There are two caves to explore – in the second you will be given a candle to help light your way. Look out for the turtle rock between the two caves.

Can you see the Turtle Rock?

Access: Take the Odakyo line to Katase-Enoshima. You can see the island from the station, or follow the crowds.

Price: The island is free to enter, and you can choose to pay to enter the sites that interest you (mostly around 500 Yen). Alternatively purchase the 1 day Enopass (1,000 Yen) which gives you access to the caves, gardens and viewing tower as well as all the escalators.

Guest post by Clare Fielder

Published by Matthew Baxter

Japan travel writer and onsen addict