Shinto Sites on Enoshima Island
Enoshima island is a part of Japanese mythology. Benzaiten, one of the Seven Lucky Gods in Shintoism is associated with the island. This figure is a fascinating one with origins in the Indian subcontinent. Placenames associated with this kami are everywhere on this little island.
The name Bentenbashi for the bridge linking the island to the mainland comes from her name. Before this bridge was constructed, those wishing to worship at the island could only do so at low tide.
Three sister goddesses are also enshrined on this island and they each have their own dedicated shrine.
Enoshima is a great spot to see some special versions of Shinto shrine structures and objects of worship, for example a Bronze Torii Gateway, unique statues, and halls with fine kachoga artwork of birds and flowers on the ceiling.
Second Torii Gateway with symbols of Benzaiten’s association with music
A symbol of the Edo Period (1603 – 1868) and standing very proud and tall, this torii provides a grand welcome for visitors to the shrines.
It shares this striking vermillion color with its sister shrine at Miyajima off the coast of Hiroshima.
Sea Candle & Samuel Cocking Garden
There are great views of Mt. Fuji on clear days from this symbolic Enoshima tower.
The Enoshima Tropical Plants Garden and greenhouse were named after the British merchant who established them in 1880.
A little rocky corner of the island – it is a favorite spot to spend a few moments admiring the beauty of the Pacific Ocean.
Short Crossing on board the Benten-maru
Yet another institution of the Enoshima area named after that Lucky God, Benzaiten, the Benten-maru boat offers a quick voyage to see the coastal scenery and, on nice days, even Mt. Fuji. The boat can get from the rocky Chigogafuchi viewpoint right back to Bentenbashi Bridge in about six minutes.