Is you visit Tokyo or Yokohama, Kanagawa is always a popular place to visit but if you head south just a bit more, you will arrive at Enoshima.
Enoshima is an island that hosts several shrines, hot springs, caves and beautiful views of the sea with Mt. Fuji in the distance. If you take the train from Shinjuku, it will take you about 1.5 hours to arrive. The contrast from Tokyo is instantly noticeable. Most everyone is tan and many are on bikes with surfboards attached. The beach is made of soft black volcanic sand and in the summer it feels almost tropical. There are plenty of beach-stands, surfers and Hawaiian themed burger places.
While you are walking along the bridge you can take in all the beach activities and scenic views. That is just a taste of what you will see once you get to the island. Once at Enoshima you will feel like you stepped back into the Edo period similar to Kyoto. Following a narrow path you start to make your way up to the steps of the shrines.
There are several shrines include one for love (of course) and you can make plenty of wishes along the way. You may encounter a cat or two or more. Some are friendly while others are rather skittish. From several spots you get great views of the surrounding areas and you will probably notice the hawks. Beware of the hawks as the signs warn.
If you have enough energy you can make your way across the island and start descending towards the sea. On the other side of the island, you can go explore the caves or just hang out avoiding getting wet from the waves. There are also a lot of small crabs that people like to chase. If the sky is clear but near you and surrounding Mt. Fuji, you can get some stunning images. It is more difficult in the summer season as there is a lot of humidity and this usually blocks the view.
Enoshima is also included in the 36 views of Mt. Fuji by Hokusai and you can see why when you are there. Here are some shots I took during the Enoshima Tenno Matsuri.
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