Enoshima (江の島) is a small offshore island, about 4 km in circumference, at the mouth of the Katase River which flows into the Sagami Bay of Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. Administratively, Enoshima is part of the mainland city of Fujisawa, and is linked to the eponymous Katase section of that city by a 600-metre-long (2,000 ft) bridge. Home to some of the closest sandy beaches to Tokyo and Yokohama, the island and adjacent coastline are the hub of a local resort area.
Benzaiten, the goddess of music and entertainment, is enshrined on the island. The island in its entirety is dedicated to the goddess, who is said to have caused it to rise from the bottom of the sea in the sixth century. The island is the scene of the Enoshima Engi, a history of shrines on Enoshima written by the Japanese Buddhist monk Kōkei in 1047 AD.
In 1880, after the Shinto and Buddhism separation order of the new Meiji government had made the land available, much of the uplands was purchased by Samuel Cocking, a British merchant, in his Japanese wife's name. He developed a power plant and extensive botanical gardens including a very large greenhouse. Although the original greenhouse was destroyed in the 1923 Great Kantō earthquake, the botanical garden (now the Samuel Cocking Garden) remains an attraction with over half a million visitors a year.
Enoshima is now the center of Shōnan, a resort area along the coast of Sagami Bay.
Enoshima is served by three nearby railway stations: Katase-Enoshima Terminus on the Odakyū Enoshima Line, Enoshima Station on the Enoshima Electric Railway ("Enoden"), and Shōnan-Enoshima Station on the Shonan Monorail.
- Okutsumiya Shrine- located at the very back of the island.
- Iwaya Caves- it is formed by the erosion of waves in the ancient times. It had also been a place for Buddhist monks to train. The Iwaya caves consists of the First Cave (153m in length) and the Second Cave (56m in length). These caves can be entered by purchasing a ticket.
- Samuel Cocking Garden- located at the island's summit.
- Enoshima Sea Candle- located within the Samuel Cocking Garden.
While the bridge and town area of Enoshima are wheelchair accessible, anything past the main gate of the shrine (including the observation tower, caves, etc) is inaccessible to those with mobility difficulties.
- Papinot (1972:82)
- "About Enoshima - Kamakura Travel Guide | Planetyze". Planetyze. Retrieved 2018-02-19.
- 1964 Summer Olympics official report. Archived July 7, 2010, at the Wayback Machine Volume 1. Part 1. p. 115.
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- "Enoshima - Accessible Japan | アクセシブルジャパン". Accessible Japan | アクセシブルジャパン. Retrieved 2018-04-12.
- Papinot, E. (1910). Historical and Geographical Dictionary of Japan. 1972 printing. Tokyo: Charles E. Tuttle Company. ISBN 0-8048-0996-8.
- Sabin, Burritt (2002). A Historical Guide to Yokohama. Yokohama: Yurindo. ISBN 4-89660-172-6.
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