It’s summer here in Japan and nearly impossible that you don’t sweat like pig and settle to endlessly fanning yourself wherever you go. Don’t expect that all trains, shopping malls, office buildings are with full blast AC, since after the great earthquake the government has launched an initiative to conserve electricity. Maybe cumbersome for some tourist but should not hinder anyone from enjoying the places to see. For someone who spent 3 years in the Middle East, I should say this is way better and still manageable to the extent where you can still walk around during lunch hour without passing out.
Summer obviously means beach, island, getaway, relaxation. Like me, those who don’t have time go farther than the place reachable by JR or subways, we normally end up at the nearest open beach park or island for a day of exploration. One of the closest and most popular tourist getaways for those living in Tokyo and Yokohama area is Enoshima.
Divided into two areas and connected by the Benten Bridge, visitors are given plenty of options and activities to do whether on the island (to be explored by foot) or the mainland (beach) which is accessible for motorized vehicles.
I am more interested to see the Enoshima Island and decided to skip the Aquarium and Ryukoji Temple of the mainland. In any case, I advise anyone to stop-by at the nearest Tourist Information bureau in front of First City Convenience Café for a free map around town and to buy the 1,000 Yen Eno-Pass. The Eno-pass is a combination ticket that will allow you free access to the island main attraction and most importantly, it allows you to use the island escalator. Yes, there is an escalator and on a scorching summer heat, I am pretty sure you will be thankful that you have the pass.
What will you see in the island? There is the observation tower at the Samuel Cocking Garden, Enoshima Shrine with the statue of Benten- the god of wealth, six meter tall statue of Fudomyo at the Buddhist temple of Enoshima Daishi, southern coastline, Love Bell and the Iwaya Cave.
I like the Iwaya Cave and the cliff side, it may seem to be cheesy exploration for adventure seekers but it’s a good enough alternative from endless temple viewing along the way. Even with escalators around, walking in the island could be very tiresome and I don’t see myself taking the same route to go back to the mainland. So for anyone who might feel the same way, you can always take the 400 yen ferry ride at the end of Iwaya cave cliff side for a trip back to the mainland.
You can do sun bathing or go for a swim at the open beach area, the water is clean enough but don’t expect blue ocean colors and white sand. With several shops along the coast, blasting hip hop music and few drunks with one guy who purposely showed his manhood to everyone, things that I like to do in a beach (like reading a novel while sipping iced cold latte) is something that is impossible here. So, I settle on taking some lomo shots on whatever interest me.
With their fair white skin and fake blond hair, the Japanese girls are fun to watch. They are the types who on their skimpiest bikini, you don’t consider them as sexy but still fall in the category of “cute”. If you see how a Japanese girl ate you will start to wonder on how they are able to maintain such lean figure. This reminds me, I need to start dieting.