Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Visiting Enoshima - Japanese Beach Town

After a pleasant train ride along the sea coast, we arrived at the Enoshima train stop and walked over the causeway to Enoshima Island. Like Kamakura, it was crawling with tourists but that didn't stop us from pushing through to see the sights:

Enoshima consists upon levels upon levels of stairs, with Torii gates, shrines and restaurants scattered along the way:

It was refreshing to stop climbing at scenic points, take a breath of salt air and take in the scenery:

The stairs and paths, while narrow, were lined with tourist shops and restaurants
pushing all sorts of odd sea creature-related junk. You could even purchase your very own blowfish:

If you were hungry, you could grab squid on a stick or a steamed clam...

Even big chunks of juicy grilled octopus tentacle:

It being Japan, there were vending machines everywhere and Andrew stopped to try another brand of coffee (with the Enoshima light house behind him):
The only disturbing sight on the island were the frighteningly large and colorfully marked spiders - ewwwwww!

One of my favorite sights of the day, the turtle dispensing cleansing water at one of the shrines (there was also a dragon statue releasing a constant flow of water in the women's bathroom, as opposed to a traditional sink):

It was very cool to round a corner and see a shrine built into a cave, complete with its own dragon guardian:
This picture is an attempt to show the many levels on the island - just picture many flights of stone steps leading from the top level down, all of which we climbed up:
While most of the climb was more mountainous in nature, as we approached the western end of the island, the stairs suddenly lead to the sea. The birds you can see in the picture are the peregrine falcons that flock around the island, there were literally dozens of them flying all over. I think we only saw two seagulls the whole time we were at Enoshima:

One of the more amusing signs on the island, perhaps not so much for the inhabitants as I don't even want to imagine a tidal wave hitting:
As we were blessed with another warm, clear and sunny day of weather, we decided to take a closer look at the rocks and the shoreline:

Between huffing and puffing on the flights of stairs and the warm weather, we shed our coats at some point - and they stayed off for the rest of the day!

Dad was the only one that was smart enough to bring sunglasses with him:
On our descent, we passed this random sign with a rather charming message:
To top it off, at around the same place, there was a musician in a clearing that started playing Pachelbel's Canon in D as we walked through. As this is the song that Andrew and I will be getting married to, I couldn't believe our luck to be walking through at the right moment to hear it playing. It was a perfect end to a great day.


CHicks said...

I would take the specific music at the specific time as a very good sign. That is truly amazing!

bcallegra said...

I agree! Life is full of amazing signs, and I'm glad we were able to experience that one.