Andrew’s world in Japan 2018/November

Artist & researcher based in KL since 2009, passionately exploring the creative process & connecting with other creative people.

Strolling Island Steps, Slopes and Small Streets ① – The Enchantment of an Island

Rapidly approaching is the return of the Summer Olympics to Japan. It is scheduled for the year 2020. Enoshima was the Olympic harbor in 1964, and will be the sight for the sailing venue for the upcoming games soon. This pleasantly attractive 4km stretch of island in Kamakura is a quick ride outside of the nearby mega cities. Clocking about an hour’s ride from Tokyo or Yokohama, the sandy beaches and forested hills call you to them. Here is a fascinating spiritual place that continues to draw hundreds of thousands of visitors per year. With great seafood, ancient shrines, historic gardens, intriguing caves and beautiful views, I can definitely understand why. Whether you arrive by one of the nearby train stations, or drive, the fresh salty ocean air instantly raises your spirits.

In the beginning, the story describes how the mysterious goddess of music and entertainment, Benizaiten (quite possibly the Hindu goddess of knowledge, music, art, wisdom and learning Sarasvati) brought the land to the waters surface sometime between 500-600 AD. This island is dedicated to what is considered one of the first recorded deities in Hinduism. Here on Enoshima, you can see two different styles of the goddess represented. If you have visited another island, Bali, Indonesia, you may have also encountered statues and figures in her honor. This is not the only important link to art and Japanese cultural history. At the peak of his career in 1830, Hokusai Katsushike began his series of 36 Views of Mount Fuji. Enoshima is one of the 36. The view on a clear day whether sunrise or sunset, is fantastic.

A visit will mainly be focused on the shrines, shops and caves accessible through the forested hill. Summer holidays can see the beaches here packed with visitors. There are even some popular surfing spots a bit east in Kamakura. The beach is free, but there are fees to enter many of the other attractions. While the beach is free, there are fees to enter many of the other attractions. Make a full day of it with the combo ticket Enopass. It also includes discounts at dedicated shops and restaurants and entrance into the aquarium, Enoshima Spa and the Benten Statue. There are really a number of memorable locations to visit. All of this while taking in the fresh ocean air.