The plan for Tuesday was to visit Yokohama, but after Skytree we wanted some “nature”, so I looked up Enoshima, and off we went.
Enoshima is a very popular tourist spot among Japanese people, but doesn’t see much foreigners as they visit the nearby Kamakura instead. In summer, it’s probably hell, given how many people were there during a weekday.
To reach it, there are quite a few ways, and we took the easiest from our station: Keihin Tohoku line all the way to Ofuna, then the monorail to Shonan-Enoshima. From there it was just a few minutes walk to the sea.
Enoshima is a tiny island but don’t expect it to be an easy walk because it’s so full of hills that you spend your time hiking up and down stairways, it gets tiring fast. On the island, you can find quite a lot of things to see for such a small place. Shrines, temples, caves (the caves themselves aren’t impressive at all but the jagged seashore around them is gorgeous. You’re also given a candle to hold while you walk through the tunnels, which was a cute addition to the whole thing), museums, many restaurants (all serving the same thing for the same price) and touristy shops, as well as an observation tower. There is a nice harbor and a luxury spa establishment when you cross the bridge from the mainland to the island.
You can do everything on foot. We took a boat before crossing the bridge, because it seemed like a nicer way to do things. A short ride brought us to the stony shoreline near the caves, were kids played in the puddles left by the tide, finding fishes and baby eels in there (one of them named his catch “chibi unagi” after I asked him if that was what it was). After the caves, we hiked up the stairs, stopping on the way to eat, then visiting the shrines and temples, finding some rare trees starting to bloom. It was exhausting but I’m really glad I went. The stairs always look like you’ve reached the top but don’t be fooled, it’s a trap!
I highly recommend it on a sunny day, however I would avoid it on the weekends or on a summer day, or a day hot enough to swim. You can do everything in less than a day when people aren’t queuing. We arrived around 11am and were leaving before 4pm. The crowd started to arrive after 2.
Today was just as exhausting but not for the right reasons. We’re now in Kanazawa. Mom got sick in the train, and I have the worst headache. We spent some time in the AEON mall, finding lots of Engrish / Franponais (the French equivalent) everywhere, then ate a seafood okonomiyaki and went back to our hotel. We’re now going to crash in bed!