I’m a little late with this post, but a few weeks ago, in order to properly celebrate the beautiful weather we had in Tokyo on the first day of spring, my roommate and I decided to get away from the noise of the city and instead spend the day around the noise of the tourist filled, yet strikingly beautiful island of Enoshima.
Enoshima is a small, rugged island about an hour by train south of Tokyo’s Shinagawa station, off the coast of the beach town of Fujisawa. An easy and incredibly popular day trip, the island is home to numerous small restaurants and bars, shops, ancient shrines, a massive cave (inside of which is the ancient-ist of all the ancient shrines), and best of all, in my opinion, some incredibly breathtaking views out over the Pacific Ocean.
From Enoshima station, the island is accessible by a crowded pedestrian bridge that takes you to the small, shop filled town at the base of the small mountain that covers most of it. From there we decided to take the central staircase up to the first shrine, from which, when you turned back to look out over the bridge, gave an impressive view of the town and the bay. The weather was impeccable, clear and cool, and while seemingly all of the Tokyo area had the same plans as us that day, we honestly couldn’t have picked a better day to go.
My favorite part of the day came when we climbed up to the very top of the island. From there, on the east side, we had an incredible, unobstructed view of the ocean, standing up on the edge of the cliffs that led down to the water. At the bottom of the cliffs, large, flat rocks jut out into the Pacific, making it look like the edge of the Earth, or the classic cover of Shel Silberstein’s Where the Sidewalk Ends. There was a steep staircase that led down from the top of the island to the rocks, which we climbed down to go walk around and stare out at the sea. The waves would crash against the rocks, throwing spray down the backs of all the families posing for pictures.
Eventually, we got hungry, but instead of trying the overpriced food on the island, we decided to walk into town to go to what looked like an incredible burger place we saw on the way from the station. The sun was starting to set, and with that the temperature started to drop, reminding us that, although it was the first day of spring, it was only just. As we walked over the bridge to the mainland at sunset, Enoshima began to look just like Hawaii, with the shadows of the palm trees on the coast being thrown out over the bay. Altogether, it was a very successful and refreshing trip outside of the city.