|Groups of Geisha Crossing the Spit of Land to Enoshima, Hiroshige, c. 1850|
|Enoshima Island, off the Shonan Coast|
So we hopped the train and went, since it's not too far from where we are (just change trains at Fujisawa and go three stops to the end of the line at Katase Enoshima, if you take the Odakyu Line instead of the Enoden).
|Katase Enoshima Station|
I love the Enoden (an adorable, tiny little train that goes squeeeeee right down the middle of the road and past people's windows... but more about that one another time;-), but I also love the train station at Katase Enoshima-- all green roof and upturned golden curlies on the corners.
...No trip would be complete, to be sure, without a couple of Harajuku girls for color (at least, their hair and shoes were colorful)...
The island is visible almost as soon as you walk out of the station--at low tide, it's connected to the mainland by a narrow spit of land (which is what Hiroshige painted in the print at top). Naturally, there is a shrine on it-- the Toori of which you can see almost from the causeway before you set foot on the island proper.
|On the causeway, looking toward Zushi|
No seagulls, though. Weird, no?
|鳶に、エサ を やらないで！|
This is why there are no seagulls to be seen anywhere on the Shonan beaches or on Enoshima Island.
Tobi. Black Kites.
|Milvus migrans... I didn't think this shot would turn out!|
This particular one was circling *very* low, just above one of the bridges. The Kites have figured out what a good deal the seagulls had going, and have taken over the territory.
They will swoop down and take food right out of your hand-- a friend of mine had her hand badly scratched by a Black Kite grabbing an onigiri she was eating from her hand. The gulls have prudently moved up and down the coast, and ceded the area to the Tobi. One is so accustomed to having gulls around at the beach, that it's slightly unnerving to have raptors circling overhead...
Still, it was a lovely day.
I love the view through the Toori gate, up the narrow street to the Benten Shrine. If you squint, you can almost see that Hiroshige print right in front of you;-))
I love how the shrine is still surrounded, almost protectively, by trees.
There's another shrine in a cave around on the side of the island--probably the original shrine-- though the whole island is dedicated to the goddess Benzaiten (goddess of music and entertainment who is said to have caused Enoshima to rise from the ocean).
|Mukashi, mukashi (once upon a time)...|
...possibly around on this side (if you crop your photo right, the island still has that wild look in spite of the crowds).
Since it's right on the ocean, naturally the Fruits of the Sea are available in every market...
Freshly grilled Ika-on-a-stick (Cephalo-pops!)...
...and a variety of mussles to choose to have grilled on the spot or to bag up to take home.
...and the Kurage (jellyfish). Oh my, I could stand all day watching jellyfish dancing in the water...
|I was a bad girl and didn't write down names of types of jellyfish...|
Did you know that His Majesty Akihito (the Heisei Emperor) was also a Gentleman Scientist? Neither did I!
|He's silver-haired now, but he still looks cute;-)|
Aren't they adorable?:-)) They are completely amphibious, breathe cutaneously (through the skin and the lining of the mouth and throat), and can flip themselves up to 2 feet into the air. How cool is that? His majesty has discovered and named several species that can be found around the Japanese islands.
You wanted to watch the Mudskippers... right? Hai, dozo!
Mata asobou, ne!