Tokyo Day Trip: Enoshima Island!

Mario and I had always wanted to visit one of Japan’s many cat islands (islands populated by more cats than humans), but these cat islands are usually in very inaccessible areas, and getting there can involve lengthy train rides, bus rides, and then a ferry ride. So, when we found out about Enoshima being also a cat island, but a much more accessible one (just 1.5hr from Tokyo by train, and no need to get onto a bus or a ferry), we decided to check it out.

You can walk to Enoshima Island from either Katase-Enoshima or Enoshima Station, so plot your route carefully using Hyperdia to check which destination station is a better route for you! Enoshima is actually very near other tourist hotspots like Kamakura and Yokohama, so you could stay in Yokohama or Fujisawa (in between Yokohama and Enoshima/Kamakura) as a base for exploring the area for 2-3 days. This would reduce the amount of travelling needed if you intend to visit these areas!

For us, we alighted at Katase-Enoshima Station, which has a really cool temple-like facade.

IMG_2388

Then we had to cross a bridge to walk to Enoshima Island. The sun was killing me, so I succumbed and bought the largest floppy hat I could find.

IMG_2389

IMG_2390

It was about a 10-minute walk in the sweltering heat, so the first thing we did when we got to Enoshima Island was to grab some soft-serve ice cream!

IMG_2391

In my research, I found out that Enoshima Island was very hilly and there are three long escalators built especially as a short cut alternative to the never-ending stairs that you would otherwise have to climb. The catch – you have to pay to use the escalators. Since it was summer and unbearably hot, we decided not to make ourselves suffer any more than necessary, so we bit the bullet and paid to use the escalators. Good thing there was an ENOPASS option! You pay 1000yen and get to use the escalators, plus get free entrance into the main attractions on Enoshima Island! Pretty good deal!

IMG_2392

While buying the ENOPASS, we spotted the first Enoshima cat! It was just snoozing.

IMG_2393

We’d purchased some cheap cat treats and kibbles from Lawson100 earlier in the day, but even the treats weren’t enough to stir the cat!

IMG_2395

We decided to leave the cat to its own devices and take a ride on the first escalator!

IMG_2396

It was really quite long! Money well-spent. πŸ˜›

IMG_2398

When we stepped off the escalator, we found ourselves at the Enoshima Shrine.

IMG_2399

I made a beeline for this area – only because it was summer!

IMG_2400

Snapped some shots of my nails then as well:

IMG_2401

IMG_2402

We then entered the Samuel Cocking Garden.

IMG_2404

IMG_2405

IMG_2406

IMG_2407

IMG_2408

IMG_2409

IMG_2410

Mario is my biggest fan/stalker.

IMG_2413

We then went up the observation tower, which was a godsend because… IT WAS AIR-CONDITIONED.

IMG_2414

Plus, you get a good view of the entire island.

IMG_2416

IMG_2418

Oh, one more thing about Enoshima’s escalators – they only go up, so you have to walk back down. While making our way to the Iwaya Caves on the other side of Enoshima Island, we spotted some flowers and berries:

IMG_2420

IMG_2421

IMG_2422

IMG_2423

… AND ANOTHER CAT! We were starting to despair because we hadn’t seen any more cats and were starting to feel very let down. Where were all the cats we were promised?!?!?

IMG_2424

IMG_2425

We’d read articles that mentioned a cat population of 200, but… so far we’d only seen two. Okay. Onwards to the caves.

IMG_2426

The caves were ok, but nothing spectacular because they weren’t very long. Very small caves! A little wet and cool inside, and dark too, but we were given lit candles to light up the way.

IMG_2435

Outside the caves, you can see the sea. And if you step onto the rocky shore, where plenty of people like to take photos, you might find a surprise.

IMG_2438

Like maybe a hundred sea cockroaches.

IMG_2441

Super gross. They moved quite fast too.

Ok, back to nicer photos. We found more cats!

IMG_2448

IMG_2457

IMG_2465

IMG_2468

IMG_2471

… making that a grand total of 5 cats. I think our HDB void deck has more cats than that.

IMG_2474

Back in the streets! We decided to queue for super-flattened octopus crackers!

IMG_2479

IMG_2488

It was paper-thin and quite yummy!

IMG_2496

Even better – found another cat right across the cracker stall.

IMG_2497

Snacked on a grilled corn (not so good) from another roadside stall before we left Enoshima.

Instead of returning to Katase-Enoshima Station, we decided to explore the mainland a little by wandering along the alleys until we reached Enoshima Station… which had these cute little bird sculptures on the railings, with knitted clothes on!

IMG_2500

IMG_2501

In summary… DON’T BELIEVE WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT ENOSHIMA BEING A CAT ISLAND. You’d be better off in a cat cafe, or committing to a longer journey to a proper cat island. If you’re into cultural stuff like shrines, caves, gardens, etc, Enoshima can still be a pleasant day trip for you. For us – once was enough. If you plan on visiting Enoshima, check out this useful guide!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s