Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Tokyo Day 7: Exploring Enoshima

If you're holidaying in Tokyo, I'd highly recommend that you do a day trip to Enoshima. The island is quite pretty and very easily navigated. There isn't a need to stay overnight like we did, and you can combine this with a visit to Daibutsu in Kamakura. Just leave for Enoshima in the morning, and you can explore the island in a day, easily: "Enoshima, the symbol of Shonan, has a lighthouse and botanical gardens, and many other attractions including an aquarium."

A few posts ago, there was a bluish-green torii gate that greeted us once we got to Enoshima island. After that torii gate is the quaint shopping street with lots of souvenir shops and really nice restaurants, we regretted not having our lunch here. Iwamotoro ryokan is on this street.

We come to this red torii gate at the end of the shopping street, and climbing up the stairs, you can start exploring more of Enoshima. "Getting on the Enoshima "Esca" (short for escalator) is the fast track to reaching the peak of Enoshima it takes you there in 5 minutes -or you could take the more scenic route along the "holy road" up to the top." We did the walk, but only midway through.

View from the temple at the top of the stairs.

Washing your hands and even the insides of your mouth is part of the ritual before visiting the temples.

We walked through this ring 3 times in a certain loop, not sure what the significance of the loop order was.

A couple making their prayer request.

Wishing tree?

Sean thinks, "One day, I'll be doing this outside Mann's Chinese Theatre." :)

A rare sight, boys hand-in-hand exploring the island and actually getting along. Yes, it was a good day.

Enoshima island is surrounded by Sagami Bay.

This picture was taken when we had reached the other side of the island. I think this overlooks the Pacific Ocean.

If we had walked on, there is actually a cave to explore,"Enoshima Cave was created over some 6,000 years, eaten away by the ripping tide and the passing of time. Despite it's mysterious untouched atmosphere, the cave has a walking path, so negotiating the cave is easy and safe. From the path that leads outside there is a stirring view of the seascape." But we were pretty tired from the hike, and it was time to leave for Tokyo...well, not that it was really time lah, but we wanted to get to Tokyo for lunch.

Went back down, browsed around at the shopping street.

This cracker snack deep fried in sesame oil I think, is really popular.

This is flattened cuttlefish...crunchy and quite yummy.

Poor octopus/cuttlefish.

And it was time to say goodbye to Enoshima. This is Katase-Enoshima train station, modelled after a Japanese palace apparently. The boys had McD before we left for Tokyo. Eddie and I shared a really delicious spicy chicken burger.

Enoshima is less well-known than its popular big brother Kamakura, but maybe it's me, I much prefer quaint little places to commercialised touristy spots. So I liked Enoshima a lot more than Kamakura. Would definitely try to come back for a day trip if I'm ever in Tokyo, there are lots more to explore in Enoshima. This article, titled Enoshima: Kamakura's better half, says it all.

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