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Enoshima Island: Take A Stunning Day Trip From Tokyo

The main street of Enoshima island seen through green leaves

A day trip to Enoshima Island offers dramatic ocean views, ancient shrines, and, on stormy days, melodrama with the elements.

Enoshima Island’s main allure is its natural beauty and walkability. The island is small enough where you don’t need to follow a tightly managed itinerary. Instead, from the bridge leading to the island, follow the main street up to Enoshima Shrine. From there, leisurely explore paths to ancient shrines, rugged bluffs, and stunning ocean views.

How To Get There

Waves crashing and green grass

Enoshima Island takes roughly 1.5 hours by train and bus to reach from central Tokyo.

Use Google Maps to route the best path for your departure time, but you will likely arrive at one of two train stations:

  1. Fujisawa Station (and take bus F3 for 20 minutes to Enoshima Bus Stop)

  2. Katase-Enoshima Station (and either walk 20 minutes or take bus F3 for 5 minutes to Enoshima Bus Stop)

What To Do


Surfers  on a grey day

Katase Higashihama Beach

Enoshima’s beaches offer some of the most popular, casual surf spots near Tokyo. This stretch of coastline is generally friendly for beginner surfers.

Most surfers in Enoshima gather around Katase Higashihama Beach. In the summer, this broad beach has lively crowds and music.

Bronze Torii Arch

Bronze Torii Arch of Enoshima Island

The Bronze Torii Arch greets visitors to Enoshima Island. The gate was originally constructed with wood, but remade with bronze in 1821.

The aged bronze gate leads to the island’s main shopping street, which extends straight to Enoshima Shrine. The shopping street is lined with restaurants and souvenir shops. Like in most historical Japanese towns, you’ll find shops selling chopsticks, dango (rice dumplings), and ceramic trinkets.

The street just behind the Bronze Torii Arch is the most accessible and therefore congested area of Enoshima Island.

Enoshima Shrine Gatehouse

Kodama Shrine

The bright red torii gate of Enoshima Shrine Gatehouse beckons visitors up the hillside. This is the starting point of the main loop around the island. While the island is small and exploring it is by no means strenuous, there are a half-dozen, moderately steep staircases along the way (alternately, you can pay ¥600 to use escalators).

The gatehouse’s formal name is Zuishinmon, meaning “pure soul” in the hopes that visitors can purify their minds by praying here.

Enoshima Shrine

People wait to pray at Enoshima Shrine

Enoshima Island’s main shrine, Enoshima Shrine, is a collection of three shines perched on the center of the island.

The original shrine was established in 552 in Iwaya (you can see the original location in the Enoshima Iwaya Caves, described lower in this article).

Today, Enoshima Shrine exemplifies the coexistence of Shintoism (Japan’s indigenous religion) and Buddhism. Both religions have been practiced in Japan for centuries and as a result, have developed a syncretism. Many modern Japanese people incorporate both Shinto and Buddhist practices and beliefs in their daily lives.

The three shrines that collectively comprise Enoshima Shrine contain imagery, statues, and objects from the two religions.

Dragon Love Bell (Bell of Ryuren)

Love locks at Dragon Love Bell

Tucked away down a narrow dirt path lies Dragon Love Bell. According to legend, an evil dragon from the sea fell in love with a woman from Enoshima. The bell commemorates how the dragon reformed his evil ways to pursue a life with her.

Couples that ring the bell are said to never break up. For added measure, many write wishes or loves notes on padlocks and attach them to the fence around the bell.

Enoshima Iwaya Cave

Original Enoshima shrine of Enoshima Iwaya Cave

The original Enoshima Shrine

Enoshima Iwaya Cave is located at the far southwest corner of Enoshima Island.

Natural erosion developed the cave thousands of years ago and it is believed that the cave leads all the way to Mount Fuji. Visitors have access to two 50-150 meter cave networks lined with historic carvings and statues.

At the back of Enoshima Iwaya Cave rests the original Enoshima Shrine from 552. Since then, the caves have been a religious training ground for monks.


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