Enoshima is a small island to the west of Kamakura and is a popular beach escape for Tokyoites in the summer as it only takes around one hour on the train from Shinjuku. It’s linked to the mainland city of Fujisawa by a 600 meter-long bridge. There are many popular attractions in Enoshima including beaches, an aquarium, caves and sometimes, you can even catch a view of the shy Mount Fuji on a clear day. Enoshima isn't just great in the summer, if you go in the winter, you can catch the winter illuminations which lights up the stunning nature surroundings. Shrines around the island are dedicated to Benten, a goddess of good fortune, wealth and knowledge. Benzaiten is believed to have created the island of Enoshima before calming a five-headed dragon that had been causing trouble to the local area. Another attractive tourist spot is the Sea Candle which is an observation platform.
Side trip: Head to nearby Chigasaki for a Japanese calligraphy lesson with a shodo master!
Pro Tip: Use the Enoshima-Kamakura Freepass for unlimited rides around the area! Plus, you'll get special discounts/gifts at select locations, such as Enoshima Aquarium, Enoshima Lighthouse Observation Tower, Hase-dera Temple, and Enoshima Iwaya Cave, to name a few.
This small island is a popular date spot as the cliffside restaurants make for a romantic setting at sunset. As Enoshima is an island, be prepared to enjoy a lot of freshly caught, quality seafood including Shirasu cuisine, and handmade sweet treats, too. So, here’s our guide to what to eat in Enoshima.
What to Eat in Enoshima
Here are some of the best foods to eat in Enoshima!
- Tako Senbei
- Seafood Skewers
- Ice Cream Monaka
1. Tako Senbei
Tako senbei is one of the most popular things that you can buy on the island, and you can spot the shops that sell them from the long lines outside. Tako senbei is a type of cracker that’s typically made with octopus, but you can also find shrimp and jellyfish versions of it, too. It has a crunchy texture until you get to the soft parts of octopus which then gives of a gentle, slightly spicy soy sauce and grilled seafood-like taste.
Shirasu is the Japanese term used for small whitefish; it’s an Enoshima specialty and something that you have to try while in the area. There are many ways that you can enjoy it and the people of Enoshima get creative in the way they serve it. Shirasu bread is very popular; made with shirasu and cream cheese, it is best enjoyed while warm. The fish are also enjoyed raw, although raw shirasu is not available from January to March as fishing in this period is prohibited, so during these periods you are more likely to find boiled shirasu. While in Enoshima, it’s recommended to try shirasu donburi (rice bowl) which has lightly salted shirasu, raw or boiled, on top of a bed of rice.
Shirasu korokke (croquettes) are also very popular and are often filled with the whitebait. You can order the black shirasu korokke which is black on the inside! They’re best enjoyed while still hot. Other creative ways to eat shirasu, if none of the above take your fancy, is in a burger or on a pizza! It creates the perfect tasty harmony of a lightly salted fish, tomato, and cheese. It certainly makes for a unique eating experience that you won’t forget!
Many restaurants in Enoshima offer kaisendon (seafood rice bowl), with each offering their own version of the dish. It has a rice base which is then piled high with different types of seasonal, fresh local fish. Delicious.
4. Seafood Skewers
While exploring this beautiful island, you’re bound to get peckish. Luckily, you will find a lot of stalls selling seafood skewers for a fair price with plenty of choice. You can choose between fresh shellfish and seafood, such as scallops, clams, squid, and shrimp that are grilled over charcoal. Top it off with some teriyaki sauce and be prepared for a flavor explosion in your mouth. Enjoy straight away standing by the stall if you can’t wait, or munch on while sauntering down to the beach.
5. Ice Cream Monaka
If you aren’t full from all the aforementioned food and still have room for dessert, try the ice cream monaka, which is similar to an ice cream sandwich. A spin on the traditional sweet bean paste-filled monaka, this classic Japanese sweet gets a makeover in Enoshima where it meets crowd-pleasing ice cream flavors. Popular versions are matcha and vanilla ice cream, sandwiched between two crispy wafers that are spread with sweet red bean paste.
Fresh, delicious seafood is to be expected from most islands, but Enoshima sure knows how to do it right. Whether you’re visiting Enoshima Shrine or chilling out on the beach, we hope you use byFood’s What to Eat in Enoshima guide to help you make the most of the unique island specialties.