Enoshima Island: shrines, caves & Mt. Fuji views

Mayo Harry | Live the World

November 23, 2022

Enoshima is an island located in Fujisawa City, Kanagawa Prefecture, next to Tokyo. It is located just off the coast and connected by a bridge to the mainland. It can be easily crossed by car or on foot. Enoshima Island is famous for its historical shrine, observation tower and caves. On days with good visibility, you can even enjoy views of Mt. Fuji in the distance.

Enoshima can be accessed easily from the Tokyo metropolitan area by train, and it usually takes about one hour. Due to this, it has been a popular tourist destination for a long time. The island offers a place of worship, unique gastronomy, cute cafes and shops, incredible sunset views, and even Mt. Fuji views. Three train and monorail lines go into the Enoshima area on the mainland side, and each has its separate station. It is highly recommended to catch a train to Fujisawa Station from Tokyo, then transfer to a local train line called, Enoden. Retro station buildings, retro vehicles, seasonal nature, townscapes, and sea views from the train windows will start adding some excitement to your Enoshima visit before you even arrive there.

© iStock/Robert Way

Enoshima can be divided into three areas: a yacht harbor accessible area, a vehicle accessible area and a forested hill that can be explored only on foot, where most tourist sites exist, including several shrine buildings. These buildings are collectively called Enoshima Shrine. Enoshirma Shrine worships Benten, a popular goddess of good fortune, wealth, beauty and music. Some believe that the Benten goddess created Enoshima before being attached by a five-headed dragon. 

© iStock/Koichi Yoshii

If you want to fully enjoy your day in Enoshima, it is recommended to get Enoshima one-day passport, called Enopass. You can use it in the tourist facilities of Enoshima as many times as you want in a day and receive discounts in the shops on the island. Enopass can be purchased at the tourist center or tourist information center before entering the island.

Walking through Nakamise Dori to the peak of Enoshima

© iStock/Laseri1987

Crossing the Benten Bridge, and immediately after landing on the island, you can see Benzaiten Nakamise Dori, the main shopping strip on Enoshima. Benzaiten Nokamise Dori offers restaurants and souvenir shops which are lined up on both sides. When you visit Enoshima, eating the local specialities in this street is the first thing you need to do. Shirasu don is Enoshima food that you cannot find anywhere else. Shirasu is the general term for baby white fish which are caught in Sagami Bay around Enoshima. Very fresh shirasu are served raw or cooked on white rice. And the best place to try this food is Uomitei restaurant.

© iStock/KotoeF

This street is always crowded with people as it leads to Enoshima Shrine. It is full of energy with the voices of shop people and the laughter of tourists. You can find various souvenirs - from handy souvenirs to traditional crafts from the Kamakura and Shonan area.

Enoshima Shrine

© iStock/Tatiana Patrova

Three separate shrine buildings form Enoshima Shrine. These three shrines are located in different places on Enoshima Island. A convenient way to visit these shrines is to take an outdoor elevator called Enoshima Escar. Without Escar ride, it would take about 20 minutes of rock steps up to the peak. 

© flickr/Ray Yu

Enoshima Escar has three wards. The first stop will take you to Hetsunomiya Shrine. A tree called “Musubi no Ki” (connecting tree) is known as a power spot for good relationships and marriage. The next shrine, called Nakatsu no Miya, is located near the second ward of Escar. The beautiful vermilion-painted shrine is spectacular, and the view from there is breathtaking. Nakatsu no Miya is a well known praying spot for beauty. The famous octagonal building in this main complex is known as one of three venerated statues of Benten goddess in Japan

© iStock/Tatiana Petrova

The last shrine, Okutsumiya, is located further off the third ward exit of Enoshima Escar, on the peak. Also, do not miss Wadatsunomiya, which is located right next to Okutsumiya. The dragon on top of the shrine's entrance is worth a walk to check out.

© flickr/Wayne Hsieh

Enoshima Iwaya Cave (Rock House)

© flickr/Yoshihiro Kudo

Only 10-minute walk further from Wadatsunomiya, you can visit Enoshima Iwaya Cave. It is a sea cave created naturally by the erosion of the waves, and the inside is a dim and mysterious space. It consists of the first Iwaya (rock house) with a depth of 152 m and the second Iwaya with a depth of 56 m. The inside is well maintained so that you can enjoy sightseeing with peace of mind.

Samuel Cocking’s Garden and Enoshima Sea Candle    

At the peak of Enoshima, after getting off the third ward of Escar, there is a pleasant park with a 60-meter tall observation tower called Sea Candle, which serves as a lighthouse. If you visit it at night, you can see another appearance of Enoshima. Illuminations may be held depending on the time and events, so it is a good idea to check online before your visit. 

© iStock/Kanzilyou

The garden is built on a former site of the residence of Samuel Cocking, a British trader who purchased a considerable part of Enoshima in the late 19th century and built a botanical garden there. There is a café to hang out with a gorgeous view from the peak of Enoshima.


Enoshima is a convenient island for sightseeing. You can visit its shrines, caves and enjoy Mt. Fuji views if you are a bit lucky. However, the night view of Enoshima from the opposite bank is breathtakingly beautiful. There is an interesting aquarium, and some of the closest beaches to Tokyo are located just off Enoshima. If you have time to stay overnight in the Enoshima area, you could fully absorb Japan’s urban puls and the beach countryside with a taste of tradition. By the way, do not forget to bring your swimsuits when you visit Enoshima, you might need them. 

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