Today was my first trip from Tokyo as I took the Shonan Shinjuku line to Ofuna before taking a much more interesting and scenic route to the town of Enoshima by taking the Shonan Monorail. It was a nice warm clear Winter’s day as the monorail swung it’s way to Enoshima.
Enoshima is a beautiful small seaside town and a popular day out for the Japanese. I can imagine the town being full of tourists during the Summer. Coming out from the station itself, you turn left and head straight through the town and towards the ocean. Some young Japanese males being a bit cocky pissed off an old lady who was trying to attract business to her cafe. I’ve no idea what they said to her but she was quite angry back to them to which the youths laughed it off. Idiots! As I came to the ocean and the walk towards Enoshima Island itself, hawks were circling around squawking in the air up above. There was plenty of warnings saying that the hawks were dangerous and that dive bombing by them is a potential threat. Plenty of people were making their way over to the island, taking advantage of the good weather.
The walk around the island with it’s temples and shrines didn’t take very long but the views to be had on the higher ground is breathtaking. The main street heading up to the temples have the usual souvenier gift shops and food stops. On the way back to the train station passed a whole horde of schoolgirls who did their usual staring, pointing, giggling and ‘kawaii’ speech. They must think I don’t understand what they’re saying! What time does school finish over in Japan anyway? Considering this was 2pm in the afternoon it seemed that whatever school these girls were attending everybody there had finished for the day.
From Enoshima I took the rattling old Enoden line to Hase Station near Kamakura where the Great Buddha resides. It’s a 10 – 15 minute walk from the station to see it. It’s certainly impressive close up and there was a lot of people here. Quite a bit of Westerners here too. After here I went back towards the station but went to see Hasedera Temple too where the largest wooden statue in Japan of a deity resides. Again a nice walk with fantastic views of Kamakura to be had from a viewpoint. There’s also an interesting grotto in which you have to crouch down and walk through some candle lit tunnels. In various alcoves you’ll see hundreds of tiny statues of the god worshipped here.
For the last part of my day I went to Kamakura Central itself. I was trying to find the Myohonji Shrine where the creator of Ultraman is buried but I never did find it. Instead I walked 20 mins from town into the quiet suburbs and countryside to Zeniarai Benten Shrine.
It had been a very long day but fulfilling and when I came back to Shinjuku I took a nice relaxing bath. Had a look at what was on the TV. Nothing much. It’s amazing the amount of add-ons you can get for the Nintendo Wii these days. So many ads for games and hardware. One advert was for a set of small Taiko drums for a game in which you have to bang the drums to the beat. That looked like a fun thing to buy but I doubt that it’ll ever be sold outside of it’s native Japan. I crashed out pretty quickly as I was totally knackered!
Tomorrow yet another trip out of Tokyo – to Saitama.