The Magic of Enoshima
I once had a dream. I was walking by a cliff-side and I was being told of a story about dragons and how they have made a home inside the mountains. I remember the dream vividly, and in my recent trip to Enoshima, it all seemed like Déjà vu.
Enoshima is an island that protrudes into the Sagami Bay, legends would tell you that it is home to the goddess, Benzaiten. She is the goddess of everything that flows, water, time, music words and eloquence, this is probably why she is often depicted with a lute.
A popular story about Benzaiten is how she created the Island of Enoshima to imprison a 5 headed dragon but later on married the dragon when he promised to change his ways. This is probably the reason why the island has a very romantic vibe to it. Couples come to the island to post a pink heart Ema or ring a love bell together.
Enoshima is approximately four kilometers, and it is linked with the opposite shore of Katase by the 600-meter-long Enoshima-ohashi Bridge.
There are three shrines there dedicated all to Benzaiten and until today, of course, a number of celebrities visit the shrine to wish for success. The other tourist sites on Enoshima Island include the Enoshima Samuel Cocking garden, the Enoshima Sea Candle (Observation Lighthouse), the yacht harbor, and a cave called Enoshima Iwaya, created by approximately 6,000 years of sea erosion. It is believed that a prominent monk Kobo-Daishi (Kukai) and a shogun Minamoto-no-Yoritomo visited this place to train or to pray for victory.
How to Get There
By taking the regular transportation, the Odakyu Line from Shinjuku Station to Fujisawa Station, then transfering to the Odakyu Enoshima Line and getting off at Katase-Enoshima Station (the closest station to the main beach area – 630 yen one-way). Or you can take the Odakyu Romance Car from Shinjuku Station that’ll bring you directly to Katase-Enoshima Station without transfer, but that will cost you twice as much.
If you’re also heading off to Kamakura, consider the Enoshima-Kamakura Free Pass, which includes unlimited use of Enoden trains between Fujisawa and Kamakura and it will only cost you about 1,400 yen.