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Posts tagged enoshima

Kamakura Fireworks from Enoshima

hanabi festival japan panasonic lumix lx3

As mentioned yesterday, we lucked out and happened to catch an unexpected fireworks display. Our original plan for the day was to hang out on the beach near Enoshima, head in to Kamakura to see the Daibutsu (as the kids had yet to see him), and then head back to Enoshima for the sunset. We stuck with the original plan but hoped to get back to Kamakura in time for the fireworks. We didn’t have enough time to get back so we ended up watching the show from Enoshima. The view wasn’t bad and there were no crowds, but the show would have been far more spectacular from Kamakura.

Mt. Fuji (富士山)


I never tire of seeing Mt. Fuji.

Mitsui Memorial Museum (三井記念美術館) – Part 2

Continuing from yesterday’s blog entry, the “Special Exhibition: Vision and Reminiscence of Edo – Masterpieces from the Takahashi Seiichiro Collection of Ukiyo-e Prints” was a lot of fun to stumble upon.

This next ukiyoe reminded me of another recent scene.

enoshima fujisawa

I didn’t take a photograph of Enoshima from the same angle drawn by Hiroshige in “The Fifty-three Stations of the Tōkaidō,” but I did take one, below, on the bridge out to Enoshima (江ノ島).

enoshima stone

And I took one looking back, to where Hiroshige did his drawing 180 years before, from the shrine at the top of the stairs on Enoshima. Much has changed on the landscape with 180 years of development, but you can still feel the ukiyoe if you visit the area on something other than a weekend or holiday.

fujisawa enoshima kamakura bridge

Finally, there was another ukiyoe (浮世絵), below, that was very fresh in my mind. We crossed Nihonbashi (日本橋) in order to get to the Mitsui Memorial Museum just a half hour before.

hiroshige nihonbashi

It, too, has changed (and yet not changed) in the subsequent centuries–especially with the freeway being built right over the top.

nihonbashi nihon bashi bridge japan tokyo

But some things are still there, even if in a slightly different format…

nishikawa nihonbashi since 1566

How many other department stores have been in business for more than 450 years?

Mitsui Memorial Museum – Part 1

Our 8th usage of the Grutt Pass was going to be at the Bridgestone Museum of Art near Nihonbashi. For the second time we encountered a museum that was closed due to a rotation in exhibits. Ugh.

We flipped through our pass booklet to find the closest museum, and it turned out to be the Mitsui Memorial Museum. We had no idea what to expect as we hadn’t researched this fall-back museum at all. We got really lucky.

Nothing was available in English so we didn’t know what we would be seeing. In the second room of the exhibit I realized that we had stumbled upon some of the most famous works to ever be created in Japan. Thank you Bridgestone Museum for being closed! Otherwise we would have never seen these originals.

Photography was not allowed so the pics below were not taken by me.

hokusai under a wave

First up was Hokusai’s “Great Wave off Kanagawa” (Katsushika Hokusai 葛飾北斎 神奈川沖浪裏). The original is not as pretty as the prints you normally see which have been altered, but the feeling while seeing the real thing is far better than the cleaned-up prints. The above is a photo of the original. Click on the above to see the version you are probably more familiar with.

hokusai branches willow tree

The above was drawn from basically the same spot that I took this next picture on Enoshima.

enoshima sunset compared to hokusai woodblock ukiyoe

Another ukiyoe that brought back a recent memory was this next one by Hiroshige (歌川広重) from his series “The Fifty-Three Stations of the Tōkaidō.”


We were near that spot a few weeks back in Hakone at the Old Tokaido Hakone Checkpoint. Here is a photo I took then from the same general location. Unfortunately, the clouds obscured Mt. Fuji for my picture, unlike Hiroshige’s.

hakone checkpoint tokaido ashinoko lake ashi

By the way, the museum entrance fee would have been 1,200 yen. We got in free with the Grutt Pass.

Mt. Fuji Sunset from Enoshima

mt. fuji san japan sunset enoshima

I visited Enoshima (江ノ島) for the first time during my second trip to Kamakura. I arrived at about 4 p.m. to see the sights and take in the sunset. Strangely, as the weather was perfect and the skies were clear, nearly everyone was leaving the island. After walking up hundreds of stairs I reached the top and began my descent to the back side of the island. Although there was space (and restaurants with stunning views) for thousands of tourists only a few of us were there; half were fishing.

How a place (稚児ヶ淵, chigogabuchi) with such an incredible sunset could be so deserted on a warm, Friday evening in September with a population of 15+ million living less than an hour away baffled me. I didn’t complain though. The experience, like many sunsets, seemed surreal. Many of the restaurants mentioned above sat completely empty or were closed. Either this place is something of a secret or the numbers change dramatically on the weekend.

The giant hawks at this place (photos coming here soon) were a welcome change from the typical sea gulls at places like this around the world.