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Enoshima in the Spring
Enoshima is the center of Shōnan, a resort area along the coast of Sagami Bay. In the summertime this area is overflowing with visitors but on this rainy spring day, we felt like we had the entire place to ourselves as walked up the narrow street leading to Enoshima Shrine. We found it particularly amusing that there were a series of escalators built on the island for those who felt less inclined to climb the manual staircases. So we paid our ¥300 and were ushered up the automatic Enoshima Escar to the shrine entrance. We wandered around the island a little more and stumbled upon a Buddhist temple in which the priests were performing a Goma ceremony to exorcise evil spirits by holy fire. Silently we looked on as they beat the drum, chanted and kept the fire burning. It was difficult to see after awhile and the thick smoke burned our eyes. Finally the skies cleared as we wound our way around the southern side of the island. Sleeping shops came to life while steam rose from the stone walkways. We considered stepping out on the cliffs at the back of the island but reconsidered given the slippery conditions. We descended back down the island (no escalators this time) and worked our way back to the bridge, stopping along the way to pick up some octopus crackers from a stall near the shrine entrance. They actually took whole octopus and some dough and pressed them in an old, mechanical press on to a hot stove top, creating a very flat octopus cracker.
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