They’re Unexpectedly Near Tokyo! Top 5 Famous Spots in Shonan, Kanagawa
If you ask about the signature tourist spots in Kanagawa Pref., Tokyo’s neighbor, then those would have to be Yokohama and Kamakura. Apart from those areas, though, there is another secret place in Kanagawa that is teeming with little-known great spots: Shonan. Here are five recommended spots in the popular area of Shonan.
Shonan is the area along the coast of Sagami Bay, located on the southern part of Kanagawa. Meanwhile, the small island floating on the sea over Shonan is Enoshima. This island is home to Enoshima Shrine that is dedicated to Benzai Tennyo, the deity of arts that invites good fortune and wealth. With this, Enoshima has long been drawing a lot of visitors as a spot for pilgrimage and leisure.
Enoshima Sea Candle, the beloved symbol of Shonan, is a particularly recommended spot on the island as it treats guests to magnificent views of Mt. Fuji, Izu Peninsula and Hakone from the observation deck. The mystical caves called Enoshima Iwaya are also a must-see here. Further, there are rows and rows of seafood restaurants where visitors get to taste the local seafood in season, a standalone cafe with a cute cat, and other establishments for dining.
2. Enoshima Aquarium
The next hot spot on this list is Enoshima Aquarium, an aquarium that was designed under the concept of an “exciting and thrilling adventurous aquarium.”
You have to watch the dynamic dolphin show at the stadium that is set against the backdrop of Mt. Fuji and Enoshima. A visit to this aquarium will be packed with fun programs such as the performance of divers and fish inside a water tank, and projection mapping show. Pay attention to the massive aquarium that reproduces the marine ecosystem and underwater environment of the local Sagami Bay, and the jellyfish exhibition that showcases the fantastic movement of jellyfish while they drift and swim in the water.
Admission fees: Adults: 2,100 JPY, High school students: 1,500 JPY, Elementary/middle school students: 1,000 JPY, Children (3 years and older): 600 JPY
3. Enoshima Electric Railway
Called “Enoden” for short, Enoshima Electric Railway is a retro railway system linking Kamakura and Shonan that is well loved by the local residents. It is also popular among sightseers and tourists as it runs along the coast, giving them a chance to gaze at many beautiful sceneries such as the sea and the townscape from the train windows.
The railway line is filled with noteworthy sightseeing spots, including the Kamakura Great Buddha, Hasedera temple and Enoshima. Inamuragasaki is famous for its setting sun, so you might want to adjust your itinerary so you get there in time for the sunset. Now if you will take the train to go sightseeing, then it would be convenient to avail of the Noriorikun (600 JPY for adults and 300 JPY for children) ticket, the one-day train pass that will let you ride and disembark from any station in the Enoden system for one whole day.
4. The local delicacy: shirasu
There is probably no other Shonan specialty more famous than shirasu (the young of anchovies and other fish)! The restaurant iL CHANTI BEACHE that sits right next to Enoshima Aquarium is a place that has been enjoying rave reviews for its array of dishes that incorporate shirasu.
Out of the variety of dishes available here, the Shirasu Margherita (1,420 JPY (excl. tax)) is especially famous. Shirasu goes really well with tomato sauce and cheese. The Shirasu Margherita is an exquisite pizza that is baked in a special stone kiln that they call “ishigama” in Japanese.
This restaurant is located on the beach, so all seats have a view of the ocean! Come here and enjoy the glimmering sea during the day and the romantic sunset glow at dusk.
5. Zushi Kaigan
Zushi Kaigan (Zushi Beach) is a shallow beach with calm waves. This spot boasts a prime location that enables visitors to marvel at the gorgeous view of Enoshima floating on the sea and Mt. Fuji from afar. The swimming area is open in summer, and during that time, the coast will be lined with beach huts. These huts can be used for selling food and drinks, as well as for renting out umbrella and play equipment, and as changing room and shower.
When you are here, however, there are several rules that you have to follow to ensure that everybody will have a pleasant time. For instance, drinking alcohol, barbecuing and playing songs on speakers outside of the beach huts are prohibited. Smoking can be done in the designated areas only. Further, people with exposed tattoos will be warned.
※For 2016, the beach was open from June 24th until August 28th
Going to Shonan takes about an hour by train from Tokyo. How about going a little farther from the city to relax and explore the seaside town of Shonan?
*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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