Enoshima is an island that families and couples frequent. Apart from its specialty, shirasu (whitebait), it has a variety of foods to offer, from fulfilling meals to light fare and street food. Now, let's explore what foods locals consider to be specialties of Enoshima!
Shirasu - A True Enoshima Specialty!
"Shirasu" is the Japanese term used for very small white or translucent fish. Most of these are young anchovies, but young sardines and herrings can fall into the mix. They go bad easily, so they were only consumed by people living near fishing districts until refrigeration technology was developed. Nowadays, they are able to be eaten across the country thanks to the development of technology and Japan's transportation network. Despite that, one can say that the taste of shirasu is especially exceptional when eaten locally and fresh!
Raw and Boiled Shirasu
Fresh shirasu are often eaten raw or boiled in Enoshima. Boiled shirasu are offered throughout the year, while raw shirasu are not available during January to March since fishing in this period is prohibited. Even outside of this period, you may not be able to buy raw shirasu if the fish are not caught or the amount caught isn't enough. Raw shirasu is so delicious that some people drive more than one hour from nearby prefectures just to purchase some, as raw shirasu goes bad quickly. When in Enoshima, it is recommended to try a donburi (rice bowl) dish with both sticky and sweet raw shirasu and slightly salted, boiled shirasu on top. Both kinds of shirasu are delicious in their own way, so why not compare the two?
iL CHIANTI BEACHE is the place to visit for Italian dishes with a large amount of shirasu in them, such as their Shirasu Peperoncino (1,380 JPY (incl. tax)) and various snacks that go well with white wine. Their most popular dish is the Shirasu Margherita (1,420 JPY (excl. tax)), which is a pizza with plenty of shirasu on top. This pizza dish achieves the perfect balance between the saltiness of the shirasu, the tomato sauce, and the cheese.
Thanks to its close proximity to fishing ports, Enoshima is also a great place for eating delicious kaisen-don (seafood rice bowl). Many restaurants offer their own version of this dish. Don't miss out on this exceptional dish piled with many fresh, seasonal, local fish!
Tako senbei is a kind of crispy cracker made by taking two to three seasoned octopuses and squashing them under a one-ton weight on a hot plate set at 185 degrees Celsius. You'll know it's done when steam wafts out and it makes a loud sound. This cracker tastes like octopus, but with a slightly spicy soy sauce flavor. You can also get shrimp and jellyfish versions of this cracker.
At Enoshima, you'll see fresh seafood like shellfish and squid being grilled in front of restaurants, luring people in with their delicious aroma. Choose what you'd like to eat from the selection they have available!
This mandarin orange comes from Kanagawa and looks like a lemon. It has a juicy sweetness, along with some sourness and a refreshing aroma. It is rarely seen in markets because it has a short season and few are sold outside of Kanagawa. However, its flavor can be enjoyed in processed drinks such as soda and beer. The catchphrase behind it is "an orange that brings happiness by providing a new sensation". Why not purchase a few as souvenirs?
As expected of an island surrounded by the ocean, Enoshima has many restaurants that offer fresh, delicious seafood. But it also has a lot to offer in terms of sightseeing, with places such as the Enoshima Aquarium, the Enoshima Sea Candle, shrines, caverns, and more! So, please don't forget to sightsee around the area as well.
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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