Sunday, 9 September 2007

江ノ島 Enoshima

Yesterday we were on the trip to 川越 Kawagoe and today we already went for the next trip. This time the goal was much closer though, the island of Enoshima to be found in the bay of 東京, which is still in my state 神奈川 (Kanagawa) right between 東京 and 千葉 (Chiba). We went with the two Chinese girls, Amyko and Wendy, with the Dutch guy Randy and the new arrival from Germany Hung Lun (born in Singapore).

enoshima station, looks really cool for a station ^_^

砂浜 Beach

Before we went to the actual island, we made a first stop at the beach right before the island. Since my first visit to a Japanese beach in 逗子 (Zushi) I have learned some more interesting facts about Japanese beaches. Most natural beaches were occupied by big factories during the time of industrialization. That is why there are very few beaches left, where you can actually bath. And even apart from that is the rest very very dirty.
The beach in front of Enoshima is no exception. However only recently it had been started to be cleaned up. That is why there are already first guests to it, but few enough to have a quiet beach and no crowds. On the other hand the beach was still somewhat dirty and there was not a single facility there yet.
This was no problem at all for us, so we made a nice afternoon at the beach, bathing the sea, collecting shells and playing Frisbee on the beach.
I have not been in the sea for ages (since me childhood), so it was somewhat special for me. I especially loved the waves and we were lucky, because it was very windy, so the waves were big. On the other hand the water was still really warm from the hot summer. Yay!
Also interesting and somewhat scary were the birds which upheld the beach as their territory. No you are wrong, no seagulls. We only saw one ssingle seagull and it was immediately scared away by the rulers of the beach. These rulers had a brown feathering and were at least twice the size of seagulls, if not larger. They might have been somewhat similar to goshawks. Anyway they were not scared of people (more vice versa) and once their amazingly sharp hawk eyes discovered some good on the beach they would dive from the mid of the sky directly to the item of desire grab it and be gone again. And they flew really high for being able to spot small items. Truly hawk eyes are amazing!

the Japanese beach hawks

when we arrived 江ノ島 looked like a mystical island hid in mist

but later the mist cleared up, and the weather became really nice

from rear left to right: Hung Lun, Manu, Randy
from front left to right: Amyko, Me, Wendy

luckily my parents left their blue plane

the beach we stayed at, a bit dirty, but quiet and nice

these were everywhere

Manu and Wendy went for collecting nice shells

and later we played Frisbee

there were many wind surfers

and water scooters

and parachute surfers

the other side of the beach, we saw it when crossing the bridge to the island

on the other side was also a tent for musical concerts aaaaand they played metal! *headbang*

江ノ島 Enoshima

After some hours on the beach we went on the explore the island of 江ノ島. The island is really small, only 4 km in circumference and it is more like a mountain or hill coming out of the water. The hill again is completely covered by woods, touristic shops, one shrine and one botanical garden.
The shops aren't there for nothing, there were really many tourists on the little island. On the top of the hill were some very cool self entertainers. When we first reached the top there was a Japanese Pantomime and when we came back from our round trip there was an artistic clown balancing above four wooden plates held apart by mere glass on a wheel on a table while juggling with three pins while entertaining the kids and making jokes =O.
We did not see the botanical garden, but the shrine is pretty cool. In fact the island has some amazing dragon statues, which you can keep your eyes open for, if you happen to come by.
Eventually we reached the other end of the island, where you can climb down until you reach rocks directly above the water. And since it was very windy, we could see gigantic waves crash on the rocks directly in front of us. Really wonderful!
Usually there is also a little path around the rocks, however it has recently been damages by 台風 (Taifuns) 地震 (Earthquakes) and 津波 (Tsunamis), so it is currenlty out of order.

the bridge to the island

the pantomime

and the amazing juggling clown

from the shrine on 江ノ島

the tower of 江ノ島

one of the two cool dragons, I was talking of

countless tourist shops make the only houses on 江ノ島

many stairs

the view from the island is wonderful

A very cool warning, look closer:
地震 = 津波 => 避難
Earthquake = Tsunami => Take refuge 

At the rear end of the island you can walk all the way down to the rocks and watch the waves crush on them nearby. Really cool!

Here you can see the round walk, which alas was out order

猫島 Nekoshima

Another thing we noticed about 江ノ島 is that there live many many wild cats on the little island. So Randy correctly noticed that it should rather be called 猫島 Nekoshima (Cat Island). In fact some tourist stores sold strange cat figures. I guess we found the true secret rulers of the island. Be sure to pay them respect when you visit their island, because cats are very temperamental animals.

So much for our trip to 江ノ島 and this weekend. It was intensive having two trips on two days, but the second one here was more relaxing and invigorating than exhausting so it was a really nice weekend.

~~Reporting from the secret cat prison on 猫島 ~~



Good cats! I have done what you wanted, can I go home now?
You want more stroking? Again? ... *sigh*
You know I have to get back to work tomorrow...
What is a work you ask, you never heard of a concept like this? ... *sigh*

funny things on 江ノ島

...we are watching you...

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