The sight of 20,000 tulips in perfect bloom is extraordinary at any time but in the middle of winter, on top of Enoshima Island, and after having been dusted with flakes of snow several times that morning it was quite unexpected.
Read more: Things to see and do on Enoshima Island
Enoshima Island is on the coast of Japan south of Tokyo and Yokohama. It’s very close to Kamakura and you could easily combine the two into a day trip if you’re a quick-paced traveller. We’re snail-paced travellers who stopping to investigate anything that takes our fancy and regularly get lost on purpose so we did the two on separate visits. You can read about our Kamakura trip here.
We arrived in Enoshima via JR train from Tokyo and the highly unusual hanging Shonan monorail from Ofuna. It’s not the fastest way to get here but I totally recommend the experience, it was well worth the diversion. The monorail floated so close over local homes and gardens which were bathed in a light dusting of snow as we passed.
We’re told snow like that is quite unusual in that part of Japan but the old wobbly monorail was fabulous anyway. The causeway to Enoshima Island isn’t far from the monorail station and when you arrive on the island there’s a quaint shopping street and cafes.
You can walk the whole island or buy a ticket for the escalators, I didn’t really think we needed them but it’s a unique experience ‘climbing’ an island by escalator so why not? I was quite glad we did after going down to the caves on the other side and climbing back up, it is quite steep so I didn’t feel short of my daily exercise.
Tulips normally bloom in spring, in Japan that is in March or April, they have similar timing to the spring cherry blossom but the thousands on show at Enoshima Island are brought on early for a winter display. Tulips in Enoshima is advertised as taking place for the month of January but when we visited it was mid-February and was still in perfect bloom so I guess nature makes the final call.
Here are a few shots, yes I was a bit over-enthusiastic, but they were pretty. Tulips don’t really grow in the sub-tropics so they were something very different for us.
While we weren’t aware of the floral display until we arrived it made an interesting addition to the day. It was particularly cold and overcast on the day we went so the bright colours seemed almost neon bright.
Have you seen the tulips in Enoshima or other parts of Japan? Please comment below with your thoughts and whether it’s something you’d consider adding to your itinerary.