Enoshima, A Sacred Site
Ancient Japan’s spirituality was in reverence with nature mysticism, where the forces of nature were seen as spirits…and this evolved into a religion called Shinto. Nature was the heart of their spirituality and culture. Even their shrines and temples were placed according to its natural landforms.
Buddhism, which came from India, made its way to China, then Korea and became widespread in Japan around fifth century but was officially admitted by the imperial court in sixth century. Zen Buddhism, which emphasized on enlightenment through meditation and koan study, emerged in the year 1200. The Zen teachings and aesthetics instilled simplicity, discipline and artistic insights… a way of life carried on by contemporary Japanese people.
A cute vintage Enoshima Electric Railway known as Enoden, with 100 years of history, will take you from central Tokyo to Enoshima in about an hour while enjoying the picturesque countryside and coastline sceneries.
Enoshima, a tiny island, 4 km in circumference and .037 km2 in area, with its beckoning bright sea, distinct shape and glowing forested hill! This is a historical scenic place with cultural assets designated by Kanagawa Perfecture and Fujisawa City which offers, aside from the temples and shrines, a variety of interesting attractions such as an aquarium, Iwaya Caves, Shonan Beach, island spa, a botanical garden, lighthouse, and a 60 meter high observation tower which allows a 360 degree panorama view centered around Shonan, such as Miura Peninsula to the southeast, Izu-oshima Island to the south then Mt. Fuji and Hakone mountains to the west .
Going around this quaint little island is a refreshing way to experience rural Japan. Slow rhythms and rich natural environment captivate people seeking refuge from a busy world. It can only be leisurely explored on foot. The place is pretty crowded during weekends.
It’s time to go back to Enoshima Station and once again take the retro train while enjoying the beautiful seashores, tunnels and villages on a 10 kilometer ride to another historic site, Kamakura.