Chiba Days #19 - My Field Trip to Enoshima

Hello everyone and welcome to Enoshima! In the previous installment of Chiba Days, we took a quick look at the quiet yet, popular town of Kamakura which is located on the outskirts of Tokyo. Not too far away from Kamakura, is a much more popular tourist attraction particularly popular among the locals. 

This location is, of course, Enoshima, a small island off the coast of the mainland which is connected via a bridge. Besides being a tourist attraction, Enoshima island is also a historic location with both iconic shrines and structures. 

Despite being a weekday, Enoshima had no shortage of visitors both foreign and local. In fact, there are probably more visitors to the island then there was to Kamakura. 

One of the iconic locations in Enoshima is the Enoshima Shrine which is located down the main path uphill in the island's mountain. Rest assured this is one spot that you would not miss as it is directly in the way of the main path. The other shrines located throughout the island may be a little more easy to miss though.

The Enoshima Shrine is the main and largest shrine of the island and is indeed an impressive sight to behold. It is all the more impressive when you consider the fact that the shrine is built on an island. The logistics to build a shrine of this scale on an island must have been rather terrifying. 

The building's traditional Japanese architecture coupled with the autumn colors make for a lovely sight. It may be nearing the end of autumn but, many of the leaves were still light green providing a pleasant contrast between the browning autumn leaves. 

Of course, no shrine or temple in Japan is complete without these. Write your wishes on them and pray that they come true!

As we climb further up the island's mountain, the view becomes all the more spectacular with an encompassing view of the building's below and the ocean  surrounding the island. 

Fair weathers meant taking photos was a breeze. The tall structure on the left hand side is the Enoshima Sky Candle which is the spot of an old lighthouse which has now been rebuilt into an observatory tower. That was to be the main attraction for my visit as I always seem to gravitate towards tall structures of all sorts.

Within the Sky Candle's park, there is a small veranda dedicated to the continued relationship between Enoshima and its sister town in China, of which I am unable to remember at the moment. 

Looking down from the top of the Enoshima mountain, we can see many boats around and about. Most of them are for recreational purposes as the ocean route surrounding Enoshima is no longer a merchant route anymore. 

From atop the Sky Candle, the view is even more impressive. Being hosted up a hundred meters over the peak of the island grants an overall view of the entire island which encompasses both its nature and buildings. 

On the other side, we can observe the connection between the mainland and Enoshima. These days, there is a convenient bridge which connects the two land masses. But, in the pass, boats and rafts may have been the primary mode of traveling between the two. 

Over on the horizon, we can see the many buildings which make up the coastline. The tall buildings particularly stand out as most buildings in Japan tend to be of the same height due to earthquake hazards. 

Having reached the Sky Candle, you would then realize that only half the path through Enoshima has been covered as there is a remaining half yet to be trekked. This path is considerably less populated as it is much further from the bridge. 

If you want to, you can also opt to walk down the Sky Candle. Those afraid of heights may want to opt out of this experience especially since the wind can be pretty strong. 

A little naming discrepancy exists between the English and Japanese name as the tower is called the Sea Candle in English and Sky Candle in Japanese. 

At the bast of the tower, there exists a small museum commemorating the long and varied history of the Enoshima lighthouse. There is even a highly detailed scale replica of the original lighthouse before it was replaced with the existing structure. 

Lighthouses were an incredibly important building back in the days especially concerning naval routes and navigation. The heart of every lighthouse is its bright lamp which serves to illuminate the dark night sky and ocean. 

The other half of Enoshima is a downward descent and is largely optional as it features more of the same that can be seen in the first half. 

The buildings in the latter half also seemed more dilapidated as obvious signs of wear and tear are present. Being semi-isolated, it is understandable that repairs and maintenance can be very difficult to manage. 

Reaching the end of Enoshima together with its final shrine, I decided to put away my camera and take in the rest of the hike back to the foot of the island. At the end of the day, I left Enoshima feeling most content. With its careful blend of scenic views and traditional architecture, Enoshima is one of those out of town places which really give a feeling that is uniquely Japan. 

Maybe in the future, I will get the chance to visit this beautiful island once more. Until then, thank you so much for reading and have yourself a wonderful day ahead!


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