Last time I visited Tokyo, me and my friends went for a little day trip to Enoshima. It's a small offshore island at Sagami Bay that’s connected with the mainland through a long bridge and belongs to the city Fujisawa.
It took us around one and a half hour to go by train to Katase Station from where you can reach the bridge to Enoshima within a few minutes walk. Crossing the roughly 600m (~1900 ft) long bridge was fun in itself as the waves of the sea crashed against it on both sides (must be even cooler on windy days) and we were able to see Mt. Fuji in the distance thanks to the amazing weather. Enoshima really is small, only 4km (2,5 mi) in circumference. But despite its size there's a lot to do and see!
We first went to see the beautiful Enoshima shrine. You have to climb up a lot of stairs to reach it and you can even go up further to an observation deck but the view is amazing and totally worth it. At the shrine you can get omikuji (fortunes written on paper strips), buy charms for several occasions (love, health, safe travels, luck at tests, etc.) or offer some money and pray to the gods. The shrine in Enoshima is dedicated to Benzaiten, goddess of water, art and wisdom (and also war) who is often depicted as a serpent or dragon. There is a small pond at the temple with a dragon statue and a little box for offerings standing in the middle. You can try to throw your money into the box and if you make it, legend says Benzaiten may grant your wish. My partner and one of my friends tried but sadly didn't make it.
Later we went downstairs and right into the bustling tourist area. A very narrow street leading from and to the shrine filled with shops for omiyage (souvenirs), food stalls and restaurants. There was one stall with only cat-themed souvenirs where I spent a lot of time, since cats are my favorite animals. We ate sea food bowls with rice for lunch at a restaurant and it really tasted amazing. The prices are, as expected, a bit higher in this tourist area but climbing all those stairs had left us really hungry so we didn't care. I even tried shirasu, very small, raw fishes that came with my food bowl. It wasn't as weird as I expected it to taste (I'm not a big fan of raw fish usually). I also highly recommend getting some mitarashi dango ( rice dumplings skewered on a stick) while you're at Enoshima, they have some of the best I've ever eaten.
There is more than just the shrine and good food to Enoshima but due to Covid we couldn't visit all the places there. The iwaya caves at the south side of the island were closed, as was the botanic garden. I would have loved to go there, especially to the caves since they are a place of worship to the gods too.
Later that day we sat on the pier, enjoyed the sun and listened to the waves as we ate some other snacks we got at the food stalls (more dango and tako senbei (octopus crackers).
Hopefully I can visit the island again soon and see the caves.
What kind of food would you like to try while on Enoshima? And would you try to make a wish to Benzaiten? Let me know in the comments!