Coordinates: 35°17′59″N 139°28′49″E / 35.29972°N 139.48028°E / 35.29972; 139.48028
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35°17′59″N 139°28′49″E / 35.29972°N 139.48028°E / 35.29972; 139.48028

Enoshima yacht harbor
Various scenes of the island, 2022
Aerial photograph - Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and National Transport, Land Image Information (1988)
Looking towards Fujisawa from Enoshima Lighthouse
Viewed from Miura Peninsula.
Enoshima Shrine
Iwaya Caves

Enoshima (江の島) is a small offshore island, about 4 km (2.5 mi) 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 Katase section of that city by a 389-metre-long (1,276 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.


Classical era[edit]

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.[1] 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.

Modern era[edit]

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.

Contemporary era[edit]

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.


An escalator illuminated with space-themed lighting in the background.
Luminous Way - The first of a set of 3 escalators
  • Enoshima Shrine
  • Iwaya Caves - were formed by the erosion of waves in ancient times. It has also been a place for Buddhist monks to train. The Iwaya caves consists of the First Cave (153 m (502 ft) in length) and the Second Cave (56 m (184 ft) in length). These caves can be entered by purchasing a ticket.[2]
  • Samuel Cocking Garden- located at the island's summit.
  • Enoshima Sea Candle- located within the Samuel Cocking Garden.
  • Luminous Way - A set of three illuminated escalators which take visitors from the base of the Enoshima Shrine to the Samuel Cocking Garden, bypassing a series of long and steep stairways. Fees required.[3]
  • Enoshima Illuminations - A large-scale light show that runs from December through the end of February. The show is free, but admission to the Samuel Cocking Garden is required.[4]
  • Lover's Hill/Bell of Ryuren - A romantic place where lovers post messages with padlocks, a mini-version of the love locks in Paris.[5]
  • Enoshima Aquarium - See the exhibits of a large variety of sea creatures as well as live shows involving dolphins and penguins. Admission fees required.[6]


Enoshima was the Olympic harbor for the 1964 Summer Olympics.[7] Enoshima was also used as the sailing venue for the 2020 Summer Olympics.[8]


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.[9]

In popular culture[edit]


  1. ^ Papinot (1972:82)
  2. ^ "About Enoshima - Kamakura Travel Guide | Planetyze". Planetyze. Retrieved 2018-02-19.
  3. ^ "Daytrip to Enoshima from Tokyo". Gourmet Flyer. January 15, 2023. Retrieved February 10, 2023.
  4. ^ "An award-winning winter illumination of Enoshima". Travel Enoshima. February 10, 2023. Retrieved February 10, 2023.
  5. ^ "Love Bell: Locked in Love in Japan". Japan Talk. June 16, 2014. Retrieved February 10, 2013.
  6. ^ "Enoshima Aquarium". Enoshima Aquarium. February 10, 2023. Retrieved February 10, 2023.
  7. ^ 1964 Summer Olympics official report. Archived July 7, 2010, at the Wayback Machine Volume 1. Part 1. p. 115.
  8. ^ "東京五輪、26競技の会場決定 自転車・サッカー除き". Nihon Keizai Shimbun. 9 June 2015. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  9. ^ "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.
  10. ^ Hidefumi Kimura (writer), Keiji Gotoh (director) (November 27, 2004). "Ren'ai no Tsūyō". Uta Kata. Episode 9. TV Kanagawa.


External links[edit]