1. Enoshima Sea Candle
    Photo: Enoshima Sea Candle
  2. Enoshima, Mt Fuji
    Photo: Yorozu Kitamura/DreamstimeEnoshima Island in the shadow of Mt Fuji

14 best things to do on Enoshima: attractions, restaurants, cafés and shops

Take in the Mt Fuji and sea views and spend a perfect day on Enoshima island, just south of Tokyo

Kaila Imada
Written by
Kaila Imada
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Travel down to the Kanagawa coast and you’ll run into the small but beautiful Enoshima. The hilly island lies off the Shonan coast in western Kanagawa, and it’s connected to the mainland by a bridge open to both vehicles and pedestrians.

Enoshima is one of the most popular islands nearest to Tokyo. Here you’ll find a number of cultural monuments, quaint cafés and sightseeing attractions, enough to fuel a day trip. When the weather’s clear, you can even see Mt Fuji in the distance. 

Getting here: You can reach Enoshima Station in just under 40 minutes from Yokohama Station or 70 minutes from Tokyo Station. Enoshima Station is on the mainland just across from the island, but the walk over to Enoshima is approximately 20 minutes. Alternatively, the train ride from Shinjuku Station to Katase-Enoshima Station is about 70 minutes with an additional 12-minute walk to the island.

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Go sightseeing

Iwaya Caves
Photo: Mandegan/Pixta

Iwaya Caves

While making your way around the island, don’t forget to stop off at the Enoshima Iwaya Caves, just below the cliffs on the southern coast. Start your exploration by trekking through the caverns and visiting the on-site shrine. Don’t forget to turn around and enjoy the gorgeous view out over the ocean – it’s especially beautiful at sunset. The surrounding reef is also a popular fishing spot.

  • Attractions
  • Zoos and aquariums
  • Enoshima

Inspired by the nature-filled Sagami Bay, Enoshima Aquarium, also known as Enosui, invites you to discover the magnificence and diversity of local marine life. You can get an up-close look at sea turtles on an artificial beach, admire jellyfish inside an impressive spherical tank and get splashed at the dolphin show while gazing out over Enoshima with Mt Fuji in the background.

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Katase Higashihama Beach
Photo: Shuu/Pixta

Katase Higashihama Beach

Located right next to Enoshima on the mainland, this beach has been a popular swimming spot since the 1800s. The waves here are also ideal for surfers of all levels. Stick around for sunset and you won't be disappointed – you'll get a sparkling ocean view along with the scenery of Mt Fuji, the Izu Peninsula and the Hakone mountains in the background.

  • Things to do
  • Enoshima

No visit to Enoshima is complete without taking in the jaw-dropping scenery from this lighthouse observation tower. A ¥500 (¥250 for children) entry gets you up to the viewing deck, but for ¥800 (¥400) you can purchase an Enoshima Sea Candle Ticket, which also gives you access to the Enoshima Samuel Cocking Garden as well as the escalator up from ground level to the base of the lighthouse. From the top of the Sea Candle, enjoy a great view of Mt Fuji to the west, the Miura Peninsula to the east and Oshima Island to the south.

Note: Due to the state of emergency, the Enoshima Sea Candle and Samuel Cocking Garden are temporarily closed.

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  • Health and beauty
  • Spas
  • Enoshima

Looking to sit back and relax? Nothing beats some onsen (hot spring bath) time at Enoshima Island Spa. The complex is right on the island’s coast and features natural hot springs plus ten different heated pools where you can even wear your swimsuit. Although the hot spring baths are separated by gender, the pools are mixed. Highlights include the stunning outdoor infinity pool looking out over the ocean as well as a cave pool with a perfect view of Mt Fuji. Don’t forget to try out the sauna and the carbonated hot spring bath – it’s a great way to relax after a day of exploring the island.

Eat locally

Lon Cafe Enoshima
Photo: Lon Cafe

Lon Cafe Enoshima

This café in the Samuel Cocking Garden is surrounded by numerous trees and flowers, and offers one of the best views on the island. Take a seat on the terrace and enjoy the sweeping panorama of the surrounding area including the ocean. The café is best known for its famous French toast, but there’s a range of sweet and savoury options here including crème brûlée and even a BLT-inspired French toast. Hearty sandwiches are also on offer, as well as the signature French toast soft serve ice cream – perfect for dessert.

Tousha Coffee & Teishoku
Photo: Tousha Coffee & Teishoku

Tousha Coffee & Teishoku

This quaint coffee shop and restaurant specialises in teishoku set meals, so you'll get to sample handmade dishes served with rice, miso soup and Japanese pickles. As for the main course, expect lots of seafood dishes using fresh fish and seasonal veggies. If you're just stopping by for coffee, don't hesitate to order a slice of freshly made steamed bread or even a kakigori shaved ice during the warmer months.

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Enoshima Koya
Photo: Enoshima Koya

Enoshima Koya

You’ll find this delicious spot near Katase-Enoshima Station, just across from the island and a short walk from the bridge. Open from breakfast through to dinner, the restaurant is all about seafood dishes with a focus on donburi bowls filled with local specialities such as shirasu (whitebait) and fresh caught fish. Heading down early? Don’t miss the fishermen’s breakfast set for a filling start to your day.

Tobiccho Benzaiten
Photo: Lim Chee Wah

Tobiccho Benzaiten

Being an island, Enoshima is naturally blessed with an abundance of seafood, but there’s one ingredient that reigns supreme: shirasu. Shirasu is a catch-all name referring to small fish, fry or whitebait, and it’s usually eaten raw, or boiled and piled onto a bowl of rice in a dish known as shirasu-don. 

Tobiccho is one of the most popular restaurants on Enoshima for sampling this local speciality. In fact, waiting times can sometimes reach two hours, so here’s a pro tip: stop by and get a queue ticket before exploring the island. On the menu, you’ll find shirasu in all imaginable cooking styles: aside from the standard raw and boiled, you’ll also get them in oversize deep-fried fritters (kakiage), as crispy wafers, steeped in chawanmushi, and more.

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  • Restaurants
  • Hawaiian
  • Enoshima

Get into the island mood at Moke's, an Instagrammable café complete with fluffy pancakes and cute décor. Diners can expect menu offerings such as Moke's signature lilikoi pancakes, which come topped with a tangy passion fruit sauce, and the equally delicious macadamia nut pancakes. The café also features Enoshima-exclusive dishes using shirasu (whitebait) – a speciality of the area.

Asahi
Photo: Asahi

Asahi

Looking for a tasty souvenir or just a great snack? Asahi specialises in maruyaki tako senbei, large rice crackers with two or three pieces of octopus pressed right into the cracker. At the takeaway stand, you can purchase boxes of crackers which make for a nice gift, or instead, get one hot and fresh off the grill to munch on right away.

Experience local culture

Enoshima Shrine
Photo: Tatiana Petrova/Dreamstime

Enoshima Shrine

The must-see Enoshima Shrine is actually a collection of shrines spread out across the island, the largest of which, known as the Hetsunomiya main shrine, is located on the route up to the picturesque Enoshima Sea Candle observation tower. You can't miss the shrine entrance – there's a large red torii gate standing at the end of the Nakamise shopping street. After passing through the gate, you'll also spot the wooden Zuishinmon Tower Gate up over the staircase that leads to the main shrine building.

Ryuren Bell of Love
Photo: jooko3/Pixta

Ryuren Bell of Love

A must-stop for couples visiting the island, this special bell, also known as the Bell of Dragon’s Love, is where couples can profess their love for one another by ringing the bell and hanging a padlock on the nearby fence. The bell was inspired by the ancient legend of the goddess Benzaiten and the five-headed dragon Gozuryu who fell in love with her.

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Nakamise Street
Photo: Miyuki Satake/Dreamstime

Nakamise Street

No visit to Enoshima is complete without a stroll down Nakamise Street, a charming old-fashioned shopping alley filled with local stores and restaurants. The street is on a slope that leads up to Enoshima Shrine. You’ll know you’re on Nakamise when you pass under the old bronze torii gate with its green patina. Pick up a few souvenirs at the zakka (miscellaneous goods) shops, or taste local specialities such as turban shell and shirasu (whitebait).

The street also leads out to a hidden bay called Nishiura Cove. You'll find the entrance to the bay on the right side of the Iwamotoro Hotel. Follow the alleyway down and you'll find the serene spot which faces Mt Fuji.

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