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Japan Trip 2023 - Day 6, Enoshima Day Trip, Iwaya Caves

Japan Trip

Japan Trip 2023 - Day 6, Enoshima Day Trip, Iwaya Caves

Don't know if it's a trend but so many families out in the hotel dining area this morning and it's a Saturday. Usually it's very quiet at this hour.

Ended up locking myself out because I forgot to my key card so had to go to reception and it was peak checkout time too...

Originally I was going to take the earliest local train to avoid the Kamakura Slam Dunk crowds so I could get a better shot of the spot but, locals interviewed on the news said they're already there even by 5am in the morning. So, might as well just go whenever.

Or rather, at least have breakfast at the hotel first since I've paid for it then head out.

Wasn't until around 10am from Ueno Station. It was a long 1 hour trip by local train which has a toilet but very few seats so I recommend going by reserved limited express, Romancecar if you don't want to risk standing for an hour.

Think I've yet to see a double-decker train in the UK.

A double-decker train.

I decided to stop off at Ofuna because I read there's a suspended monorail there that also leads to Enoshima. No tickets required, just your IC card like any local train.

Ofuna, Shonan Monorail

The suspended monorail actually doesn't feel much different from regular trains, both the ride and scenery. If you've been on the Yurikamome then you'll have a fair idea of what the ride will be like; very rough. Maybe due to one rail and it's built by Germans ironically.

It's over-rated really.

Suspended monorail not that special.

Can't get away from Pokemon in any touristy part of Japan it seems.

Yet another Pokemon themed vending machine.

Headed off to the Kamakura Koukou-mae Station [Front of Kamakura High] where the Slam Dunk crossing is first via the local train, Enoden. Get some nice views of the sea already as you ride.

Saw an interesting use of older trains too.

Rundown Enoden train being re-purposed here.

Interestingly enough, the stations have no gates. There's two IC card readers; one in, one out and it's up to you to remember which to tap.

No gates at the Enoden stations.

Aaand here is the infamous Slam Dunk crossing. No doubt the recent First Slam Dunk movie helped re-kindle the excitement for this spot.

I was actually just interested in heading to Enoshima but since I was here, might as well check the spot out. As seen on Japanese news people standing on road and rails to get the perfect shot.

It is a nice view though travelling on the Enoden and watching the sea go by.

The latest entry in the Buta Yarou/Rascal series "Does Not Dream of Sister Venturing Out" features the city of Fujisawa mostly of which Enoshima gets a brief appearance which, is probably why all the promotional posters.

It really only featured the nearby beach with a shot of the Sea Candle though...

Buta Yarou at Enoshima.

Cool little model of the nearby area.

Miniature model of the area.

A... pizza tree?

Pizza tree...?

The walk to the actual Enoshima island is very windy here so bring a hat or just a hooded jacket. You'll most likely end up with sand in your mouth if you talk.

It's worse than the stormy days in Scotland. Probably closer to the T10 storms you get in HK.

Which way now?

If you took the Romancecar run by Odakyu then you'd have ended up at this bright red Katase-Enoshima Station.

Planning to take take the limited express train back so I don't have to stand like I did in the morning.

Katase-Enoshima Station

Google says half an hour to cross Benten Bridge but actually felt quicker than that.

Crossing Benten Bridge.

Keep seeing Mount Fuji during this trip. Ironically I never saw the mountain during my last trip even though I was hoping to.

You can see Mount Fuji.

Observation deck Sea Candle visible in the distance.

Sea Candle in the distance.

Walking up Enoshima feels like the same as walking up to the Kiyomizu Temple in Kyoto, only this place is only an hour's train away from Tokyo.

Feels like walking up to Kiyomizu Temple.

Mai suggests drinking tea.

Mai suggests tea.

There are seriously a lot of "Buta Yarou: Sister Venturing Out" posters around...

Want an official Buta Yarou tour of the place?

Don't know why cats are so popular around here.

Let me hold your chopsticks, nya.

Ended up buying a Hokusai wallscroll and the sticks were sold separately from the cloth. Couldn't fit into my backpack so left it literally sticking out.

Sticks and cloth can be bought separately.

Don't know what all the blue Shonan snacks is all about. Dye the food blue to attract tourists?

Blue Shonan

Saw a quiet place that only did 4 dishes, lol... Thought they did omrice too because it was on the display but they didn't.

Vintage restaurant was nice and quiet.

Inside it's quite a nice vintage place run by an old couple. The few choices might be why it was so quiet.

Nice vintage place.

I think I've had enough katsu or fried food in Japan but didn't want to just walk out so ordered pork katsu on its own ^^;

It was so tender and tastier compared to the bentos I usually get for the night though... Probably because it's freshly made. Almost thought it wasn't cooked though but the chicken looked fine.

It's katsu again...

Always some art on the ground wherever you walk in Japan it seems.

Always some ground art in Japan.

All the shrines feel the same once you've been to one in Japan imo so didn't spend much time here.

Enoshima Shrine

Pay to take the three escalators up or walk. If you plan on heading to the caves you might opt to take the escalators because there's quite a climb ahead.

This happens to appear in the KanoKari Anime, episode 34 or S3E10.

You can buy a combined ticket to use the Sea Candle observation deck which was only 700 Yen so it's not that expensive anyway.

Sea Candle escalator combination ticket.

Yup, lots of temples. Yasaka Shrine in this case worshipped for good health.

Yasaka Shrine

And the second escalator up. At this point some people were considering taking it up but didn't know it was paid and required a ticket.

I think you can get a ticket midway too but probably not worth the money because you can only go up.

Second escalator up Enoshima.

You get some nice views as you make your way up already.

Some nice views on the way up.

Difference is, you're shielded from the strong sea winds.

The outdoor part of the deck was closed when I was there, probably because of the wind. You could actually feel the tower swaying beneath your feet once you're up on the deck!

Enoshima Sea Candle

There was also a garden you usually have to pay to visit but it seemed to be free on weekends and it was a Saturday today. Wasn't that exciting but maybe nicer at night with all the fairy lights all over the place.

Off towards the Iwaya Caves now.

Heading towards the Iwaya Caves.

There was a buddha art exhibition on but it was 3pm so I wanted to get to the caves and back before it got dark.

Some Snoopy style art on the signs.

Snoopy style art?

You actually see hawks circling around the island as you walk along Benten Bridge. Didn't know they go for your food like seagulls do in the UK.

I don't walk around eating though since it's considered rude in Japan so you don't see many natives doing that.

Beware of hawks after your food.

The "Yama Futatsu" or Split Mountain. You see these kind of gorges back in Northern Scotland really but oof, the wind was really strong today!

Yama Futatsu

There was a dragon shrine along the way, Wadatsu no Okami who they believed to dwell on the island.

Wadatsu no Miya

Picked up a 200 Yen omikuji with no particular intentions and got a great fortune reading. Nearly everything such as career, relations go well but health may not be so great apparently.

Omikujis came with charms.

Since its not a bad omikuji, I didn't need to tie it up on the racks nearby. Came with one of seven charms too.

One I got was in the form of a dragon for establishing career.

Omikuji charms.

There's a lot of stairs going up and down towards the caves. Not so great if you've got poor knees from injury.

Up the stairs we go...

Don't know if it's usually so windy but you really had to push against the winds and be careful not to be blown off balance on the stairs.

The alleys and closed pathways end up acting as a tunnel, blasting the channeled winds against you.

And down stairs fighting against the winds.

The view was really nice, surrounded by natural rocks and tides as you reach Iwaya Bridge outside the caves.

The tides can get really bad though. A poor unsuspecting group ahead of me got hit by a large wave and ended up getting soaked.

Some people actually got hit by the waves.

It was 500 Yen to enter the Iwaya Caves. Otherwise it was the end of the path at this point.

Into the Iwaya Caves.

It doesn't take long to go through the caves but it was fun.

They're split into two main parts. One was mainly a gallery while the other you're given a candle on a wooden pad to carry as you explore a low ceiling cave full of stone carvings.

Iwaya Caves gallery section.

So no worries about carrying a candle that's too hot. It's small like a cake candle and it's unlikely it will have finished burning by the time you're done. Cave is also illuminated so it's just to create atmosphere really.

Time to explore with a candle.

I managed to bump my head once. Tapestry I bought earlier also couldn't fit in my bag so part of it was sticking out. Somehow it caught onto someone's sleeve maybe but luckily it didn't turn into an accident.

Time to make the climb back.

Leaving the caves now.

It was just pass 4pm and was already starting to get dark as the sun began to set.

Was starting to get a bit dark.

Wind was even worse as I made my way back to the station and the sun was setting. Everyone was struggling against the wind.

Sunset in Enoshima.

Nice views but can't really imagine what it's like living and working long term here really.

Nice views over the shores as we descend.

Place I dropped into for a bit of lunch was packed now.

Restaurants getting packed.

Never noticed this post office on the way up. Established Meji 20th Year, 1887 in the Western calendar and restored for current use.

Usually it's those big red boxes with a T-like symbol on them.

Enoshima Post, Meiji Year 20

Katase-Enoshima Station was looking welcoming with its warm glow.

Katase-Enoshima Station looking welcomingly warm.

For the return journey I just bought a ticket for the next Romancecar since I've done a whole day of walking. Very few people taking this limited express train. Probably because it wasn't that much faster but the interior's almost like a bullet train and the seat's were cosier than the Keisei Skyliner.

No views on the way back though since it's dark.

Katase-Enoshima Odakyu Romancecar

Well, been a fun day and goes to show you don't have to travel as far as Kyoto to experience traditional Japan.

Probably most I bought in one day even though most are small items.

Souvenirs for the day.

Bought a little pin badge from Sea Candle because I liked the design. The circular keyrings were too big and they didn't have fridge magnet versions of the design.

 

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