Date & Time: Saturday, July 21, 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Spots: Enoshima Island
Visitors: A Family of four from the U.S.
Attendant: 1 KSGG member
We had a record breaking hot summer this year, and on that day too it was scorching hot already in the morning. Although they were visitors from Hawaii of the everlasting summer, I wanted them to be careful about heatstroke and make happy memories. I gave them an overview of Kanagawa Prefecture and the Shonan area in the lobby of the hotel at Ofuna where they had been staying; we then took two bottles of water each and started the tour.
We began our journey to Enoshima Island with a thrilling ride on the Shonan monorail. I told them a little about Enoshima Island at the tourist information office, where we took shelter from the heat. Even though it was the first day of the summer vacation in schools, there were no crowds and they thoroughly enjoyed the scenery from various viewpoints such as Samuel Cocking Garden and Sea Candle. Unfortunately, we could not see Mount Fuji that day. I joked “She is shy!” and made them laugh. I explained the key spots such as Benzaiten*¹, the Three Goddess Sisters, and the syncretism of Shinto and Buddhism*².
For lunch, at the request of the visitors we had a Japanese meal in an air-conditioned restaurant with a view of the coastline. We went to Iwaya Caves in the afternoon when the temperature rose further. They said “It’s even hotter than Hawaii!” Walking along the way to Iwaya was like a survival hike. But the cold air in the cave revived us. They thought it was exciting holding a lit candle and making a prayer in the cave, which made them feel like they were in a theme park. While leaving Enoshima Island, we talked about wanting to come again in the year of the Olympic Games. We finished the tour in Kannai where they were staying that night.
*1. A Japanese Buddhist goddess, who originated from the Hindu goddess Saraswati.
Benzaiten is known as a deity that brings benefits especially in the realms of art, music, performance and prosperity.
*2. When the divinities of Shinto and the deities of Buddhism are combined, it is called a syncretism of Shinto and Buddhism. In Japan, the Shinto religion and Buddhism have coexisted and amalgamated for a long time in the form of a synchronization of Shinto and Buddhism.