** Presently the caves are closed due to damage from Typhoon #12 in October 2017, but they will reopen Golden Week 2018. We will post new information as available. Thanks Lauren and Sandra.
One hour from central Tokyo you can ride the waves, smell the sea air and explore the Enoshima island and caves (江の島). A great day trip which can be combined with a trip to the Enoshima Aquarium. If you leave Tokyo early in the morning, you may be able to stop in Kamakura on the way back. The island is connected by a bridge to the mainland and can be reached by walking about 15 mins from the train station, or you can take a small boat that leaves mid bridge (adults 400 yen, kids 200 yen) to the cave side of the Island, and walk back over to the bridge side. We took the boat. Enoshima Island has a lot to see, and you should plan for about 3-5 hours. You can also see Fuji-san if the weather is clear.
My kids loved the two caves that visitors can enter. The caves are quite deep and dark, but the walkways are smooth so it is safe for even little ones. With admission, you will be given a handheld candle to light your way. Folklore states that a five-headed dragon used to live in the caves until Benten, a popular goddess of good fortune, wealth, music and knowledge killed the Dragon. Many of the shrines on Enoshima are dedicated to Benten for removing the dangerous dragon. In cave two there is a statue of the five-headed dragon and a taiko drum that people can hit. Along the pathways of the caves are also some lovely statues of priests.
After spending about 45 mins touring the caves, we hiked for about 30 mins to the peak of the island. Not easy if you are carrying a toddler. There are many friendly and well fed stray cats on the island who will give you an excuse to stop and catch your breath. If you want, you can also stop and have an ice-cream or drink at many of the small shops along the way. At the peak are some shrines and the botanical garden.
The walk down is a lot easier, and it was at this point we saw that the north side of the island has a few escalators
for which you can buy tickets. There is a pass called the Enopass (from Shinjuku adults 1,970 yen, children 990 yen) which you can buy at the Odakyu ticket office in Shinjuku. The Enopass includes: Odakyu Line train tickets (Stopovers unlimited Fujisawa Sta.-Katase Enoshima Sta.; the Free pass covers only one round trip on the Odakyu Line your departing station-Fujisawa Sta.), Enoshima escalator, Enoshima lighthouse and observatory, Enoshima Samuel Cocking Garden and the Enoshima Iwaya (cave).
Enoshima Island and Caves Details
(Japanese language only)
Enoshima Island and Caves
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