KCP students at Enoshima shrine.

The Beautiful Island of Enoshima

Enoshima (江の島) is an island portion of mainland Fujisawa, Kanagawa Prefecture. The small island is at the mouth of Katase River where it flows into Sagami Bay, and it’s close to Tokyo, where some of the most beautiful beaches accessible from the city are found. The entire island of Enoshima is dedicated to the goddess of music and entertainment, Benzaiten. Japanese folk legends tell us that the Goddess Benzaiten caused the island to rise from the bottom of the sea sometime in the sixth century. Enoshima was also the setting for the written work Enoshima Engi by the Buddhist monk Kōkei, which documents the history of shrines on the island. Samuel Cocking, a British merchant, also obtained an area of Enoshima and turned it into botanical garden that attracts many visitors even today.

View of Enoshima.

View of Enoshima. | KCP Flickr

There are beautiful places to see in Enoshima. Some of these are:

Enoshima Aquarium – a large modern aquarium along the beach across the bridge of Enoshima. The aquarium displays a rich assortment of aquatic life found only in Sagami Bay.

KCP students admire the view at Enosima.Iwaya Caves – along the southern cliffs of Enoshima’s coast. One cave houses Buddhist statues, and the other is dedicated to the legendary dragon that old Japanese stories say used to terrorize the area.

KCP students admire the view. | KCP Flickr

Samuel Cocking Garden –  a botanical garden that dates back to 1880. The garden features gorgeous camellia trees and a 200-ft.-tall lookout tower that allows you to see the spectacular view of Mount Fuji on a clear day.

Enoshima shrine entrance.

Enoshima Daishi – a modern Buddhist temple belonging to the Shingon Sect that houses a huge statue of Fudomyo, the protector of Buddhism.

Enoshima Shrine – is comprised of three different shrines in different areas around the island. The main complex is an octagonal building that houses three of the most venerated statue of the Goddess Benzaiten, the patron goddess of the island.

Shrine entrance. | KCP Flickr