From a place of Buddhist practice and prayer to an area of tourism
The Iwaya caves of Enoshima, formed through wave erosion from ancient times, had been places of Buddhist training for the monks. Afterwards, the first shogun of the Kamakura Era, Yoritomo Minamoto, established Enoshima Shrine so that generations of shogun would visit it to pray. The enshrined god of water was also made to be the guardian deity for kabuki, so people of culture also visited the shrine, and gradually it developed into a resort area for the common people. Currently, not just Enoshima but the surrounding beaches and aquarium have made the area into a huge tourist spot.
Get a glimpse of history through a 4-hour trip around the island
There is a tourist information office once you get off at Katase-Enoshima Station on the Odakyu Express Line and cross over the bridge in front of the station. Stopping off there before walking over to Enoshima, you can obtain some useful pamphlets. When you cross over to the island via the Bentenbashi Bridge, you will encounter a bronze torii gate at the entrance. Beyond the gate, there is the path going toward Enoshima Shrine. On either side, there are souvenir shops lined up. Going up the sloped path toward the shrine and through the red torii, you will see Zuishinmon Gate which is said to resemble Ryugu-jo Castle. Enoshima Shrine is one of The Three Great Shrines of Benzaiten in Japan which have enshrined three sister goddesses. There are three shrines which are located on the island. At the very back of the island where Okutsumiya Shrine is located, walking from there for 10 minutes will bring you to the Iwaya caves. There are the First Cave (length 152m) and the Second Cave (length 56m), and with a purchase of a ticket, you can enter them by candlelight. A group of stone formations and a dragon god among other things are enshrined there. There is a mystic atmosphere to go along with the naturally-created scenery.