If you are new to Japanese summer, you probably figured out that it is very hot and humid here in Japan. So where do Japanese people go during summer? Well, if you enjoy the beach culture, Enoshima in Shonan is definitely one of the most popular tourist destinations where Japanese people enjoy traveling to. It is located just South of Tokyo, an hour ride by train and an hour and half ride by car, providing the open marine life many Japanese people wish to have every weekend if they could. Enoshima is called “Miami Beach” by the locals.
Shirasu don, try what Enoshima has to offer.
Have you heard of the term “Shonan Shirasu”? Shonan is an area including Enoshima with the beach, surf culture located along the sea side of Kanagawa including areas like Kamakura, Chigasaki, Hiratsuka and so on. “Shirasu” is a baby anchovy, which is freshly caught daily in this area and it is one of the most popular dishes you can try when you visit Enoshima. If you are okay with raw fish, definitely try raw shirasu, if not, you can try cooked shirasu. You can pretty much choose any restaurant and get a good shirasu bowl in Enoshima!
Nature meets Japanese culture in Enoshima
Of course, there is more to Enoshima than food! Enoshima Island offers a great mixture of Japanese traditional and modern cultures. There are many shrines you can visit, which are perfect locations for taking great pictures that will please international travelers. You can choose to walk up and down the island or choose to take an escalator, which makes Enoshima Island accessible to children and elderly people who might need some extra help.
You will see many dragons in the Iwaya Cave.
If you get too hot during summer, why don’t you make your way to the Iwaya Cave, which is located on the back of the island from the main tori, the entrance of a Shinto shrine. You can visit the Enoshima tower first and then make your way down to the cave, where you get to see various exhibits with light and sound. You can also see Sagami bay and if you are lucky, you get to see Mt. Fuji, Hakone, and Izu, other popular tourist destinations, from the bridge taking you to the cave.
Japanese traditional chirimen with modern twist of design
Enoshima is also a great place to find souvenirs to your friends and family back home. There are many stores along the side of the main street, where they sell fresh food that you might just like to try while you explore Enoshima, or take some home to your loved ones such as dried seaweed and rice crackers. There are also colorful cute souvenirs, which entails traditional Japanese chirimen, traditional waiving technique, with a twist of modern design.
Eno Pass, Enoshima one day passport!
If you are interested in visiting Enoshima Island, the best way to explore is to get “eno pass”, which is the 1 day passport at Enoshima Island. Eno pass is 1,000 JPY (8 USD) for adults and 500 JPY (4 USD) for children. With this pass, you have free access to the Iwaya Cave, the escalator, Enoshima Sea Candle (tower), and Knocking Park. In addition, most of the shops if you spend over 1,000 JPY, you get 5% discount. Since the entrance fee to the Iwaya Cave alone is 500 JPY, it is a great deal.
Enoshima is famous for its beach culture, but you don’t have to be a surfer to enjoy what it has to offer. From fresh food to traditional Japanese culture, adults and children can appreciate what Enoshima has to offer. It is a great place to visit all year round, but it definitely shines most during summer, where you are surrounded by happy active energy all around the island.
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