Updated on September 26, 2017
Day 7 of University Graduation Trip, Fujisawa on May 6, 2017
Seventh day of our graduation trip in Japan, and my last day in Tokyo.
The plan of the day was to visit Fujisawa and Kamakura, once the capital of Kamakura Shogunate.
The images in this post are hosted on Imgur. Email me should there be any display problems.Since this is a public post, usual components of graduation trip such as poker games, pillow fights, ghost stories won’t be part of the post.
Since we lived near Shinjuku Station, so for transportation it’s a easy choice of Enoshima Kamakura Pass by Odakyu.
Unfortunately, we played card games late into the night last night, so it was almost noon by the time we woke up today. After finishing a brief breakfast/lunch made of convenience store stuff we headed for the nearby Shinjuku Station.
I was standing idly in line at Odakyu Travel Agency for quite some time before realizing that I can purchase this pass from the ticket machine. So I rushed through my purchase and through the gates and boarded the train, and it’s less than two minutes till departure by Google Maps.
Only to find that our departure was delayed by three minutes.
After arriving by train at Katase-Enoshima Station, I decided to visit the nearby Enoshima island first, so that my friends on a later train can join me.
Which was a mistake.I should have taken Enoshima Electric Railway to Fujisawa to visit its temples, which had closing times.
Enoshima (江の島) is a small offshore island and tourist destination, about 4 km in circumference and 60 meters in height. Benzaiten as a goddess of music and entertainment was being worshipped on the island. She’s also one of the Seven Gods of Fortune.
Since it’s Japanese Golden Week, there were quite many visitors to Enoshima Island.
This historic torii made of bronze is Fujisawa’s designated cultural heritage.
There were escalators on Enoshima Island for those that didn’t want to take the stairs.
Which weren’t many, and most people took the stairs
so as to display their sincerity in worshipping the island’s goddess.
And the OCD-infested Japanese people set ticket gates before each of the escalator, with ticket price decreasing as one climbed up the altitude. This kept me in awes.
Probably because all my income was legal, I threw a one-yen coin at very close distance, and it bounced off.
Not long after that I was at the top of the island. Probably because it’s Japanese Golden Week, it seemed that all the country’s juggling artists were at work.
There were many viewing platforms at the summit of the mountain with views of outer sea. But it was a windy day and there’s no sight of Mount Fuji, so I didn’t stay there for long.
Then I paid a brief visit to Enoshimadaishi Temple, a Shingon Buddhism temple with six-meter height Statue of Acala being worshipped.
Enoshima Island Rock Temple
Solutional cave from sea erosion, a holy ground for Benzaiten in Edo period.
It’s a downhill trail to reach the Rock Temple (but uphill for the return). I saw it offered candle-lending service and decided to give it a try, envisioning some nice romantic experiences.
The fact was that, the Rock Temple put a strict limit on the number of visitors allowed inside the cave out of
stupidity safety, so there were long lines outside the cave. When it’s finally my turn, I found that since it’s Japanese Golden Week, for reasons only known to the management of safety they suspended the candle-lending program.
Which dealt great damage to my morale.
There’s English translation of the poem
Wind from the sea,
The shimmering candle light,
A drop spread,
The cave of Enoshima
After standing for nearly an hour in line, I visited the entire Enoshima Island Rock Temple in about 20 minutes. After which I joined my friends and walked back to the shores of Fujisawa, planning to take Enoshima Electric Railway next.
Enoshima Electric Railway
Railway connecting Fujisawa and Kamakura, the majority of which were single-track railway. Part of the line was along the coastline (but not as close to ocean as Sri Lanka’s coastal railway I experienced later in July). Nice scenery along the way.
Based on the timetable, my friends and I then rushed from the Island towards the railway station, and found the trains were late.
Oh my God, how could Japanese trains be late…
Then we came to the conclusion that Japanese single-track railways were perpetually late, while dual-track railways were punctual to the second, which was further proven during the rest of our visit.
I had never seen a railway line so close to residential life.
There were posters along Enoshima Electric Railway line that the railway company is hosting a town hall discussing noise from the trains, and its timetable didn’t quite extend into the night by Japanese standards, which must be a compromise of both sides.
That afternoon I got off the train early at Hase Station, hoping to visit the giant Buddha Statue of Kōtoku-in Temple before it closed, (I had given up on Hase-dera Temple). Unfortunately I followed Google Maps, which led me to the back door of Kōtoku-in Temple. So it’s just a couple of minutes and I missed the final admission time of Kōtoku-in.
In hindsight, even if I made it into the temple, I won’t be able to see the giant Buddha Statue, which closed earlier than the rest of the temple.
So I headed back to Hasa Station in disappointment and took the next train to Kamakura.
After reaching Kamakura and having experienced most of Enoshima Electric Railway, my friends and I had a lengthy discussion about where to had dinner, and settled on a local gourmet restaurant in downtown Kamakura which would be their last proper meal in Japan during our visit.
And in this way we visited the quaint little town of Kamakura.
Head of Kamakura Shogunate, the guardian gods of Kamakura warriors were worshipped here.
After dinner, I found that the nearby Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gū temple seemed open all day around, so I suggested that we pay it a visit before heading back to Tokyo, helping us digest from overeating.
haunted temples at night turned out to be an exciting experience to my friends and I.
By the worshipper passage of Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gū there’s a public bathroom, which was the dirtiest we’d seen during our visit in Japan. (Janitor: Not my working hour.)
But, that’s also where I found a vending machine that sold the Calpis jelly drink that I so desperately desired. I immediately bought three of them and began my feast.
Then we were back at Kamakura Station, ready to take Enoshima Electric Railway back to Fujisawa, and then Odakyu train back to Shinjuku.
The same railway crossing as in Slam Dunk. It’s just that we arrived in the evening, which was quite different than the scenes in the animation.
Since here Enoshima Electric Railway was still single tracked, so we got off the train, waited for a train in opposite direction to arrive to take these photos, walked back to the station and took the next train to Fujisawa, which didn’t cost us much time.
It’s past 9pm in the evening, so after that we took the train back to Shinjuku.