Day trip to Enoshima & Kamakura

If you are a Slam Dunk fan, you’d know about Enoshima, the coastal area where the comic was set.

A few weekends ago, we organized a day trip to Enoshima to enjoy the sun at the coastal area. Located in Kanagawa prefecture, Enoshima is only an hour away from Tokyo city. We bought the Odakyu Enoshima-Kamakura Freepass at 1,470yen, that gave us access to Enoshima and Kamakura.

The rocky coastline of Enoshima.

Upon arriving at Katase Enoshima Station, we were greeted by the sea, and picnickers and beach-goers! As we crossed the bridge over to Enoshima Island, you could see the calm and smooth windsurfers on one side, and high-speed jet-skiiers doing their tricks on the other side. What a contrast!

The Hatase Enoshima station building is designed to look like the Dragon Palace of a local myth.

The local jet-skiers at their party.

Arriving at Enoshima, we were met with a very strange “welcome party” of men in loincloths! Wow! Japan never fails to surprise me! It turns out that there was some local festival going on and the men were carrying the portable shrines (aka mikoshi) around the area.

Surprise festival!

Moving on, we followed the crowd uphill to the Enoshima Shrine, and then over the hill to the other side of the island, where you can look out into the Sagami Bay. There were no sandy beaches but instead, rocky outcrops where you can stand and watch the waves come crashing in. Beware of sea cockroaches, though, because they are EVERYWHERE and it totally freaked me out. That aside, the scenery was beautiful… but perhaps better appreciated from one of the restaurants looking out into the sea! We had our lunch at one of such restaurants, with sumptuous meal of Shirasudon (whitebait and rice), the local specialty.

View from the Enoshima Shrine
This small shrine in Enoshima Shrine grounds is known as “The Dragon’s Place”. According to the local myth, the dragon protects the island, hence it is a repeated symbol you will find in Enoshima.

Having a splashin’ good time in the sea!
Shirasu-don, white bait and rice, for lunch! You have to add in a bit of shoyu, soy sauce, and mix before eating.
Lunch with a view of the Sagami Bay.

After Enoshima, we took the train on the Enoden Line. It was a scenic train ride, slowly chugging along the coastline to Hase, Kamakura, where we visited the famouse Kotokuin, the temple with the Kamakura Daibutsu (the Great Buddha of Kamakura).

Learning how to do it right at a temple.
Us in our “Buddha” posture with the Daibutsu.

Dora-yaki with red bean jam and green tea ice cream!
Another food that is popular in the area, Tako-senbei, roasted octopus cracker. While queuing up, you can watch them place the octopus and batter in the press machine and voila! Out comes a crispy cracker in a few seconds!

After which, we continued on to Kamakura station and took a walk down Komachi-dori, a shopping street with plenty of souvenir shops and restaurants. Our final stop for the day was at Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine, the most important shrine in the area. The main hall of the shrine was a big and impressive building situated at the top of a long flight of stairs, overlooking Kamakura’s waterfront.

Walking down the street of Komachi-dori

Exploring the grounds of Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine.

In all, it was a long day but we covered a lot of ground and made a lot of new friends.. all in a short day-trip from Tokyo!

Misaki Fish Market & Jogashima Island

We visited Misaki Fish Market and Jogashima Island last Sunday. Lesser-known compared to Tsukiji Fish Market, Misaki is just 60mins outside Tokyo, but famous for its tuna auction! It is only one-hour from Tokyo. You can get there with Keikyu one-day Misaki Maguro pass. It is only ¥3,060 from Shinagawa, includes train, bus, one-meal (maguro-don) and entrance to choice of onsen / aquarium / ferry.

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In order to catch the Tuna Auction which ends at 9am, we had to meet at Shinagawa Station in Tokyo at 6.15am! After a sleepy one-hour ride on the train, we finally arrived at Misakiguchi Station in Miura, Kanagawa, caught the bus to Misaki Port Bus Stop and made our way to the Fish Auction market. To our dismay, there is no tuna auction on Sundays (both tunas and fishermen are resting) so there was only the sale of some small local fish. Instead, we saw a couple of interesting fish – including flat fish, mackerel, eel, octopus…

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Most of the action died off around 9am, and we left to look for a restaurant for some maguro-don. The one-day pass actually includes a free meal at some of the local restaurants.

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After a hearty breakfast, we took a bus across to Jogashima Island, a rocky outcrop of an island where most of the shops and buildings seem to be the same from 1980s, where children are knee-deep in the water hunting for crabs while their dads await next to their fishing poles for their catch.

We walked along the coast, hopping up and down the rocks and made our way to this landmark “hole” in the rock. Then we climbed up the cliff, and continued to the other side of the island. It was an easy 1 hour hike, with some amazing views of the coastline.

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After Jogashima, we caught a bus to the Marine Park (a.k.a. aquarium). The entrance was included in the day-pass. It was a small aquarium, and seemed to have been around since 1980s. We saw some cute animals and then caught the bus back to Misakiguchi Station before heading back to Tokyo!

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It was a relaxing day at the beach, a great getaway from the busy city life!

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