As Japan’s heatwave brings record-breaking temperatures, a beach or island getaway is at the top of everyone’s wish-list! Did you know that Enoshima, a small island just slightly west of Kamakura, boasts some of the closest beaches to Tokyo? From Shinjuku Station, it is only about 1 hour away! 

My colleague Iwami-san had been recommending this island to me for some time, so finally made it there for a day trip with my brother. Read on for photos and tips on what to do in Enoshima!



About Enoshima

Originally a religious site owned by the government (the island is the scene of the Enoshima Engi, a history of shrines on Enoshima written by the Japanese Buddhist monk Kōkei in 1047 AD), Enoshima is now a popular seaside tourist destination.




We took the Odakyu Romancecar from Shinjuku to Katase Enoshima Station, the closest station to Enoshima itself.

Enoshima-Kamakura Free Pass
I would recommend getting the Enoshima-Kamakura Free Pass (1,470 yen, purchase at Shinjuku station) which includes unlimited use of the Odakyu trains between Shinjuku, Fujisawa, and Enoshima as well as the Enoden trains between Fujisawa (Enoshima) and Kamakura for the day. Additionally, this pass gets you discounts for entrance tickets to various attractions!
(Note: if you choose to ride Romancecar instead of the regular Odakyu line, the Free Pass only covers the base fare and you will still have to pay an additional 620 yen limited express surcharge for reserved seating.)

On the bridge towards Enoshima (江の島), an island just off the coast but connected by bridge with the mainland.


The island offers a variety of attractions, including a shrine, park, observation tower and caves.



There are also plenty of stores for shopping and food! This is the main branch of “Asahi” 「あさひ」for barbeque rice crackers (maruyaki senbei丸焼きたこせんべい), where an octopus or prawns are fully pressed into a cracker. I picked the large prawn (Daikairō, 大海老) cracker, and it comes out piping hot! A delicious snack!

お店もたくさんありますよ~ こちらは「あさひ 本店」で丸焼きたこせんべいで~す。


You can walk next to the water at Kagoshigaguchi. This rocky area was the result of the Kanto Earthquake of 1923, and it is now a popular beach fishing point. A lovely walk under blue skies.


海がきれいですね!The water is beautiful!

If you go to Enoshima, you cannot miss out on the fresh seafood such as Chirasu (whitebait) and Sazae (Turban Shell)!

There are many restaurants on the island that give you a great view overlooking the sea. For chirasu don, you have two styles of rice bowls to choose from, either raw sashimi style (nama-chirasu, 生しらす) or kettle boiled (kama-age chirasu, 釜あげシラス). We tried both!


海を見下ろすレストランで、江ノ島で味わう「生しらす丼」と「釜あげシラス丼」を食べました!サザエ焼きも食べました~ 美味しかったですよ!


By the way, raw chirasu rice bowls are not available throughout the year, as it is prohibited to catch whitebait from January – March. The best season for raw chirasu is April – May, July, and October. October is said to be the most delicious time for chirasu in Enoshima.


Blue Enoshima Beer was quite refreshing!



After lunch, we visited the Iwaya Caves, caves made by natural erosion. Dimly lit, the caves evoke a mysterious air. There are two caves: Daiichi Iwa-ya (Big Cave) with a depth of 152m, and a second smaller cave of 56m.

After receiving your candle at the entrance, begin exploring the caves!



There are some narrow paths throughout the cave that you can explore. A peaceful yet exciting experience recommended for all ages, especially couples and families with kids!

To finish of the day, we rode the Enoden to Hase Station (長谷駅) in Kamakura to visit the Big Buddha statue.



*~* Last Thoughts *~*

Next time, I plan to visit Hakone. I have been to Hakone twice so far, but as a foreigner, I did not know the area very well, and both times I only visited the nearby areas of Hakone Yumoto station. According to Iwami-san, this is only the starting point of visiting Hakone! Hence, I promised to go back and make a proper visit soon.

今度は箱根に行ってみたいと思います。今まで、2回ぐらい行ってきましたけど、外国人にとって、箱根の辺りはよく知らないですので、いつも箱根湯本駅の周りに限り観光しました。石見さんから、「箱根湯本駅は本当の箱根の出発点だけだよ」という言葉を何回も言われたので、私は、「いつかちゃんと箱根へ遊びに行く」と、彼に伝えました ^^;


About Rachel

Rachel Leng is COO and Co-Founder of SeiRogai, Inc., a Tokyo-based business consultancy & media production company. Previously, she was Leader of Business Development on the Investment Management team at a Japanese private equity fund, as well as Policy Analyst at a top think tank in Seoul, South Korea.

As an East Asia specialist and former Miss Singapore titleholder, Rachel is passionate about the potential of media to educate and raise awareness about history, culture, art, business, and societal issues to enhance mutual understanding.

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