May 29, 2024

Olympia Travel Tips

Maniac Travel Update

Exploring the “Otaku Island” of Enoshima

Exploring the “Otaku Island” of Enoshima

A key tourist desired destination crowded with website visitors year-spherical, the wonderful, tiny Kanagawa Prefecture island of Enoshima has recently attracted the focus of scores of otaku fans hunting for their beloved manga and anime places.

Located in the middle of Kanagawa Prefecture’s Shōnan region, Enoshima has been a scenic spot due to the fact historical situations. Having said that, in the past 20 yrs, numerous manga and anime creators have established their tales amid its winding lanes and steep slopes. This article will emphasis on 3 in individual: the 2012 fishing-themed manga Tsuritama, the 2012 anime collection Tari Tari, and the 2002–5 Erufen rīto (Elfen Lied).

Our wander commences at Enoden Enoshima Station, whose mountain-cottage-hunting building is revealed in A channeru (A Channel, launched as a manga in 2008, and an anime in 2011). In the fifth episode of that Tv series, the major figures go on a journey to the beach front experiencing the island, so we switch still left at the station exit and observe their footsteps down Subana-dōri, the local searching street. When you go away the station, do not miss out on the metallic fences in entrance of the ticket gate. They are adorned with modest birds wearing colourful knitted hats and jackets that are altered every single thirty day period or two.

Enoshima Benten Bridge

Right after about 10 minutes, we access the sea. In the past, Enoshima was obtainable on foot at reduced tide. Now, having said that, it can only be attained through the 389-meter Enoshima Benten Bridge, named soon after the deity who, in accordance to legend, brought on the island to increase from the base of the sea in the sixth century.

Pedestrians make their way across Benten Bridge, Enoshima. (© Benjamin Parks)
Pedestrians make their way across Benten Bridge, Enoshima. (© Benjamin Parks)

In accordance to this colorful legend, Enoshima was born in 552, throughout the reign of Emperor Kinmei. At that time, an earthquake shook the earth for 10 times, and a pillar of fireplace rose from the sea flooring, forming Enoshima. Then, a celestial maiden appeared and married a 5-headed dragon.

Otaku fans will straight away figure out Benten Bridge and the island’s most important avenue, Nakamise-dōri, for the scene in Tari Tari in which Wakana, just one of the protagonists, commutes to college on her bicycle. The bridge has also been utilized as just one of the vital visuals in Tsuritama, even though in Elfen Lied, it gets to be the battleground for the duels involving Mariko, Nana, and Lucy. It is the object of numerous attacks and sustains in depth injury, notably in the anime variation. On a brighter note, it is a person of the spots from which, on a distinct working day, we can appreciate a superb look at of Mount Fuji.

A view from Enoshima Sea Candle, the observation tower on the island. (© Benjamin Parks)
A view from Enoshima Sea Candle, the observation tower on the island. (© Benjamin Parks)

We lastly attain the island and are welcomed by the majestic environmentally friendly bronze torii gate marking the entrance to Enoshima’s shrine. At first erected in 1747, it was rebuilt in 1821, and the names of the believers who donated funds have been engraved on its pillars. This torii, by the way, seems in both the 2013–17 Himōto! Umaru-chan and the 2007–16 Shinryaku! Ika musume (Squid Female).


Nakamise-dōri is always packed with vacationers due to the fact it is lined with dining establishments and shops. Indeed, the scene the place Wakana rides her bicycle down the slope could only transpire early in the morning, when the stores are even now shut. This is also the neighborhood in which 1 of the figures in Tsuritama lives and operates a retail store. If you enterprise into one of the slim passages on the suitable side of the slope you will attain Nishiura Cove, a minimal-known place featured in Tsuritama. But anime aside, the maze of alleys on both sides of the primary searching lane are nicely worthy of discovering and astonishingly tourist-totally free.

Nakamise-dōri and the island’s green bronze torii gate. (© Benjamin Parks)
Nakamise-dōri and the island’s inexperienced bronze torii gate. (© Benjamin Parks)

Samuel Cocking Backyard and Enoshima Sea Candle

Our subsequent end is the Samuel Cocking Garden, which owes its name to the London-born trader who in 1880 purchased part of the island and two several years later opened a botanical yard whose fashionable version can be visited to this day. In Tsuritama, this is the position in which Kate, the grandmother of 1 of the boys, will work.

A view from above of Samuel Cocking Garden. (© Benjamin Parks)
A watch from previously mentioned of Samuel Cocking Back garden. (© Benjamin Parks)

Within the backyard garden stands Enoshima Sea Candle, a significant lighthouse that soars at the best of the island. Created in 2003 and 60 meters significant, it attributes a glass-enclosed observation flooring 120 meters earlier mentioned sea level and an outside deck, and is a person of the premier civilian lighthouses in Japan.

After sunset, the illuminations transform the yard and lighthouse into a well-known romantic place. Even so, as Elfen Lied lovers know very well, some of the story’s darker and a lot more climatic events arise here, notably at the end of the manga model when the Sea Candle will become the saga’s final battleground.

Sea Candle, Enoshima. (© Benjamin Parks)
Sea Candle, Enoshima. (© Benjamin Parks)

With all its ups and downs, discovering Enoshima requires a sure dose of stamina, so let us acquire a break at a pair of cafes that are featured in Tari Tari. The to start with a single, Enomaru, has a retro nostalgic come to feel and a shop selling solutions these as postcards designed from washi paper and other handicrafts. In Tari Tari‘s to start with episode, Konatsu and Sawa are seen right here consuming handmade banana cake, while in the 3rd installment, Wakana has tea all by herself.

A walk on the island involved plenty of ups and downs. (© Benjamin Parks)
A stroll on the island concerned a lot of ups and downs. (© Benjamin Parks)

The 2nd place, Aburaya, is an aged Japanese-style café and sweets store and is highlighted even extra prominently in the tale (in which it is referred to as Kokageya) simply because it takes place to be Wakana’s loved ones dwelling. It is effortless to location since the characters are usually drawn on a signboard strategically put near the entrance. Its signature dish is shiratama zenzai (sweet azuki bean soup and rice flour dumplings) with matcha ice product.

The sign marking Enoshima’s Aburaya café. (© Benjamin Parks)
The signal marking Enoshima’s Aburaya café. (© Benjamin Parks)

Chigogafuchi Abyss

After descending a different steep flight of stairs, we lastly get there at the again of the island and the rocky coast recognised as Chigogafuchi. This attractive sea-eroded plateau was established by an uplift phenomenon in the course of the Great Kanto Earthquake (1923) and is famed for the fierce waves that crash incessantly.

A view from the walkway at Chigogafuchi Abyss. (© Benjamin Parks)
A look at from the walkway at Chigogafuchi Abyss. (© Benjamin Parks)

It has been picked as 1 of Kanagawa Prefecture’s 50 scenic places simply because from below 1 can see the island Izu Ōshima to the south and Mount Fuji, as effectively as the mountains of Hakone and Tanzawa, to the west. It is identified as a common location for shore fishing, and at small tide, it swarms with persons checking out all its nooks and crannies.

Just be very careful the place you place your ft. The rocks are frequently slippery, and some of the seemingly harmless swimming pools of drinking water can be upward of a meter deep. In Tari Tari, for instance, there is a scene in which Konatsu loses her footing and ends up in a single these pool, just like the fish that regularly get trapped at reduced tide.

Also, due to the fact Chigogafuchi is just about at sea level, it is constantly a great strategy to test the climate beforehand, and in case of a rough sea, steer distinct of the rocks and get pleasure from the watch from a safe and sound length.

The rocky coastline of Chigogafuchi. (© Benjamin Parks)
The rocky coastline of Chigogafuchi. (© Benjamin Parks)

On the way back again, a helpful shortcut permits fatigued walkers to stay clear of all people methods. Change proper when you arrive at Okutsu Shrine, then take the initially alley on the left. Follow that route and in a number of minutes you will be back again at Enoshima Shrine. Otherwise, if you visit on weekends or a holiday, you can go back again by boat. It only prices ¥400 and it drops you off in close proximity to the entrance of Enoshima Pier.

Enoshima Shrine. (© Benjamin Parks)
Enoshima Shrine. (© Benjamin Parks)

(Initially prepared in English. Banner photo: Viewing Enoshima from the beach at sunset. © Gianni Shimone.)