Posts Tagged ‘Enoshima’

ENOSHIMA AND KAMAKURA

Posted: March 17, 2013 in Japan
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Enoshima is a small island in the city of Fujisawa and Kamakura is an old historic sightseeing area. There are a lot of beaches around this area as well. I had heard about Kamakura and when I looked up what places to see in Kamakura, I realized that Enoshima is also quite close and it makes sense to see both places in a single trip.

Getting There

The best way to see Kamakura and Enoshima is to get the Enoshima-Kamakura Free Pass. The Pass costs you 1430 Yen and it includes one round trip from Shinjuku to Fujisawa and then unlimited rides on both the Enoden Line between Fujisawa and Kamakura and the Odakyu Railways between Fujisawa and Katase-Enoshima. The pass can be bought at Shinjuku. We took the Odakyu Express line from Shinjuku to Fujisawa which is about a one hour ride. Then at Fujisawa, which is the last station we changed to the local Odakyu train and reached Katase-Enoshima.

Enoshima

The Enoshima Island is about a 15 minute walk from this station. The Katase Enoshima station has a unique structure. It is apparently designed to evoke the image of Ryūgū-jō, or Dragon Palace, the underwater dwelling in the Urashima Taro fable. The view of Mt. Fuji from the long bridge that connects Enoshima island to the mainland was amazing.

Fuji

Mt. Fuji from the bridge to Enoshima

On the Enoshima island we visited the main complex of the Enoshima Shrine. There is no entrance fee for this place. It was interesting to see people washing their money (coins) at the shrine’s pond and then offering it to the statue of a god there.

Enoshima Shrine

Enoshima Shrine

Then we walked back to the Enoshima station, which is about a 10-15 minute walk from the Katase Enoshima Station. From here we took the Enoden line (also called the Enoshima Electric Railway) to Hase. This train ride is quite nice. It is like a tram system that runs through the town and along the coast. The view of the beach from the train is really good.

Enoshima shrine statue

Enoshima Shrine

Kamakura

At Hase there is a temple called Hasedara that we visited. Admission is 300 Yen for this place. The complex is very good. It has a beautiful garden with different types of trees and flowers. There was one Sakura tree that had already blossomed. The complex also houses a huge shrine at the top. You can get a good view of the city and the beaches from here. There is also a small cave inside this place.

Hase Temple

Hasedara Garden

Then we went to see the Great Buddha of Kamakura also called the ‘Kamakura Daibutsu’. It is a bronze statue of Buddha which stands in the grounds of Kotokuin Temple. The height of the statue is 13.35 metres. This statue was built in 1252, so it is a very important national monument for Japan. Admission to this site is 200 Yen and it’s another 20 Yen to go inside the statue.

Hase - Buddha

The Great Buddha of Kamakura

Next we went to the Kamakura station. While we were looking for directions in a map outside the Train station, a kind Japanese man asked us if we needed help. I told him that we were looking for Tsurugaoka Hachimangu. Then he pulled out an English Map of Kamakura which showed all the important places that are in and around Kamakura. I later found that this map is available in this website also. We visited the Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine. This is apparently Kamakura’s most important shrine. The road leading to the shrine is quite nice. It’s a long road with a couple of Torii gates along the way. As with many other shrines, this shrine is also on top of a small hill.

Road

Pathway to Myohon-Ji Shrine

The final place we visited was the Myohon Ji Shrine. This was a really cool place. There weren’t many people here so it was nice and quiet. The architecture of this shrine looked a bit different from all the other shrines we had visited. The shrine complex also had a graveyard. This was the only shrine where the graveyard wasn’t blocked off.

Myohon-Ji

Gateway of the Myohon-Ji Shrine

There are a number of other shrines also around the Kamakura region that we didn’t visit. From Kamakura we took the Enoden line back to Fujisawa and then the Odakyu Express line to Shinjuku. It was exciting to see all these places in a single day but it was quite long and tiresome too. The weather was pleasant, so that was helpful.

Have you been to any of these places?