The small island of Enoshima (江ノ島) lies a short distance away from Kamakura in Sagami Bay. It is connected to the land by a bridge and can be conveniently reached by the Enoden train line or the Shonan Monorail (an interesting experience in itself). Enoshima is the Japanese tourist’s paradise: full of souvenir shops, restaurants with local seafood overlooking the cliffs, temples, shrines, even a viewing tower! Immediately upon entering the island I felt in a holiday mood!In winter season, the clear views of Mt. Fuji across the sea are a special attraction (which was also the reason we had visited the nearby beach of Shichirigahama last January). The island consists essentially of a steep cliff, and for those unwilling to ascend the top on foot, a number of elevators and escalators are provided (we did not try them). We did, however, go up the tower to enjoy the panoramic view of Sagami Bay. The garden (founded by the British merchant Samuel Cocking) surrounding the tower sports many varieties of Camellias which are presently in bloom. There was even a tulip exhibition going on!
The whole island is full of restaurants and cafes with scenic views. It was very hard to decide which one to choose, but in any case our choice turned out more than satisfactory.
At the far side of the island, one can climb down to sea level where some elevated rock pools facing Mt. Fuji make for the possibly most scenic fishing spot in Japan! There is even a cave one can visit, an endeavor which we had to skip due to a slight miscalculation of our available funds in cash (hey, it was cave or lunch – which one would you have chosen?).
Enoshima island, while a bit touristic, is a charming getaway within a reasonable distance from Tokyo and provides a pleasant mix of culture, food and scenic views.