Enoshima Island—more than just fun in the sun
Enoshima Island enshrines the Naked Goddess, the deity of entertainment and good match making. This may be one reason why it is considered home to a fun-loving beach community and the sightseeing couples that visit especially in the summertime.
- A trip to Enoshima Shrine for a dose of good fortune
- Night views from Enoshima Sea Candle—an observation lighthouse
- Meeting dragons in the Enoshima Iwaya Caves
How to Get There
Take the train to Enoshima from the Tokyo or Yokohama area, or from nearby Kamakura, and then walk to cross over to the island.
Enoshima is connected to the mainland by a bridge near which two train lines and a monorail run.
Enoshima Station on the Enoden Line, Katase Enoshima Station on the Odakyu Line, and Shonan Enoshima Station on the Shonan Monorail Line are all a short walk from the island. The Enoden Line is the most convenient if traveling from Kamakura .
Enoshima Island is a small island to the west of Kamakura , connected to the mainland by a 400-meter bridge.
It has long been a popular destination for day-tripping Tokyoites and was particularly popular during the Edo Period (1603-1867), especially among people who worked in the entertainment industry such as kabuki actors. Today it is a bustling island mixing traditional and modern, packed with shops, inns, restaurants, and sightseeing spots.
Fish to catch and see
The mainland has developed to cater for visitors, boasting an aquarium and many shops and restaurants, as well as beaches where you can swim, but swimming off the island of Enoshima itself is prohibited.
This area is also popular with fishermen and windsurfers. On a clear day, Mt. Fuji is visible to the northwest, perched on the horizon.
Benefits of Enoshima Sea Candle Set Ticket
A set of Enoshima Escar and Enoshima Sea Candle (Lighthouse Observation Tower) tickets is recommended for those who want to enjoy Enoshima easily.
Enoshima Shrine was built to worship the prosaic deities of fishing and sea transport. But soon, the shrine became synonymous with the gods of music, money, and good fortune. The most famous of Enoshima's deities is Benzaiten, of which there are two depictions. There is Happi-Benzaiten, who holds various objects in her arms and represents good fortune, and Myoon-Benzaiten, who is popularly referred to as Hadaka (Naked) Benzaiten, and is the patron of arts and music. Worshipped by entertainers throughout the Edo period (1603-1867), the Naked Goddess is still popular to this day.
Worshipped by entertainers throughout the Edo period (1603-1867), the Naked Goddess is still popular to this day.
Three for one
Enoshima Shrine is actually a collection of three shrines scattered across the island. Hetsumiya is the first on the trail, originally built in 1206, and it is here that Myoon-Benzaiten is enshrined. A little further on is Nakatsumiya, founded in 853. Beyond that sits Okutsumiya. This shrine dates from 1841 after the original was destroyed in a storm.
Enoshima Sea Candle
Rising from the center of the island is Enoshima Sea Candle, a lighthouse observation tower from which you can enjoy a gorgeous panoramic view. From 100 meters up the view is amazing, especially at night.
The innermost part of the island is Enoshima Iwaya, two caves created by natural erosion and a favorite spot of Minamoto no Yoritomo (1147-1199), the shogun who erected the famous Tsurugaoka Hachimangu in its current location in Kamakura. A dragon was believed to haunt this area and the second cave is dedicated to the myth.
Rest and romance
If all the strolling has tired you out, Enoshima Island Spa offers restorative hot spring baths (some are mixed, so swimwear is required). For partners, the Love Bell is a must. Together, ring the bell and leave your names on a lock attached to the fence to ensure a love everlasting.
Set aside a minimum of a few hours to view Enoshima Island at leisure. But if you fancy an ocean swim, a beachside cafe, or a relaxing soak in the onsen, then plan for a whole day or even overnight to fully enjoy the island.
* The information on this page may be subject to change due to COVID-19.