Beachy keen desu.

Not long after arriving in Japan, I noticed that it was summer. I think the first inkling I had was stepping from the plane into the tunnel leading to the terminal. Despite this being Japan, the tunnel a: wasnt air conditioned & b: didnt talk to you. But the Japanese women behind me made up for that – my soundtrack to the terminal was “Chotto! Atsui desu!”. Being an observant gaijin, I had already noticed that it was hot. Then, when the shuttle train thing that carried us to the main terminal began chatting away about not falling over and doors opening and suchlike, I thought that I might be suffering heatstroke. Or going a little troppo. Later, when we were driving home from Narita, and the car thanked us for allowing the government to fleece us each time we sped through a toll gate I began to notice a pattern. Most appliances and vehicles in Japan either play a natty tune, or speak to you, or both.

Which has nothing to do with our trip to Enoshima beach, except that I had noticed quite early on that it was warm. And I’d been seduced by a TV ad extolling the virtues of a Beer Garden style bar at Enoshima beach. We didnt actually make it to the beach bar, but it was a pretty flash day all told.

This is the Enoshima Beach railway station. When a railway station looks like this, the temperature is 32deg c. & you can smell the sea, life seems quite good.

Here is one of the many shops selling beach wares. They seem quite keen on inflatables here.

When near the sea it is important to be prepared for any emergency situation. For example, should a flash flood strike a sunny side street near the beach, should you be wearing your inflatable, you may just float safely out of it.

This is the Enoshima River, just past the railway station that you cross to get to the beach. I was coming over all Summer Bay at this stage.

There are small police stations and kiosks all over the place here. The cars arent this small just to amuse the gaijin – there are some pretty narrow streets that they sometimes need to drive up. In the background is Enoshima Island. There were a couple of reasons I wanted to visit this…

I kept looking, but couldnt see Crockett or Tubbs anywhere.

This is one of the bridges leading to the island. One for cars, one for bikes & walkers. Sweet as.

One of the reason I wanted to visit Enoshima (It wasnt all about the beer) was that I had seen an article on NHK news about how the sea eagles who nest on Enoshima Island had gotten a bit lazy (or crafty – depends how you look at it) and had taken to swooping on unsuspecting tourists and stealing food from them as they hold it. This unsurprisingly was causing some consternation as these birds could probably take your hand almost off. Given the zoom limitations of my camera, I was keen to stage a foodnapping for the sake of a good photo. Fortunately Yuka was the voice of reason…

The sight of these chaps circling overhead as we crossed the bridge to the island was pretty cool. Japan always seems to set a special atmosphere whenever you visit something new. Maybe that is why the language tends to describe things as a natural state rather than a personal point of view. Or not.

This is as close as I got to Satoru the Eagle.

This hotel greets you as arrive at the island & Im told it is quite pricey. Which is a shame, because I’d rather like to stay there. For a year or so.

The island is basically a hill with a couple of shrines on top. The street leading up to the first shrine is quite narrow and features many tourist friendly businesses. Much like other parts of Japan.

Also like other parts of Japan, pedestrians, bikes & scooters coexist happily. Im almost learning to get out of the way of scooters, which is good.

Would it surprise you if I mentioned that the machine that dispenses the “Soft Cream” plays a tune and thanks you for being an effiecient citizen (or something similar) when it has finished dispensing?

Here is the entrance to the first shrine. Quite elderly Japanese people were attacking the steps with vigor (it’s legal to posess vigor in public here and the steps seemed pretty much undamaged).

The shrine has it’s own police kiosk. And a flash bike. Which almost ran me over on the way down.

After climbing a few steps, I thought that it might be a good idea to turn around and take a look. Glad I did really. Enoshima beach is in the background. Im sure there is a beer garden down there somewhere.

Here’s the first shrine, where you wash your hands, throw in a coin and wish for good fortune and an efficient family and suchlike.

Here is the veiw from further up. The two bridges are easy to see and comfortingly, the beach is still there.

Every self respecting beach settlement needs a marina. This looks northward up Tokyo Bay.

Would this be to police scooterer that almost ran me down? Hai so desu!


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