After wandering around the Kamikura area for a while, I had arrived at the last stop of the day, Enoshima station. Across a long bridge and at the top of an island mountain, there was a certain iconic lighthouse waiting for me. It was time for the climax of my Elfen Lied anime pilgrimage.
As i walked down the tiled path surrounded by gift shops and beach gear-wielding Japanese people, I knew I was approaching a popular attraction. I was headed the right way, for sure.
When I emerged into the clearing in the buildings near the shore, I could see the island in the distance, and signs pointing me to a tunnel for crossing underneath the busy road.
On the other side of the tunnel, there were beaches on either side of me. Most of the people who had spent their day on the beach were gearing up to go home at this point.
Directly in front of me was the bridge leading to Enoshima. Without further ado, I started along the scenic route to the tree-covered island.
I recognized this location, particularly the other side of the bridge, where cars were passing by at high speeds, as one of the final battle locations from Elfen Lied. That's the main reason I was there, after all. Also, there were dachshunds!
Unbeknownst to me, there was also a rather famous temple on the island. Actually, that's probably the main draw of the island. Tourists loooooove temples. That being said, there weren't a whole lot of foreigners there. It was mostly Japanese tourists pouring out of the temple towards the bridge. It was getting late, so I was in the minority heading inside. Leading up to the temple, there were many shops and food stands.
|I got the feeling this cat was really comfortable here.|
When I arrived at the foot of the first staircase, I knew I was in for a climb. I would have taken the escalator, if I was a square. The trip there was going to be half the fun, so why would I expedite it?
This sign is pretty interesting. There are supposedly "unlucky ages" which are different depending on whether you're a man or a woman, apparently. I guess I'll be hitting my unlucky age pretty soon. Spooky!
This shrine was featured in Elfen Lied to some degree, although I didn't recall that, and thus didn't try to get a suitable angle for it. But it's there.
Outside one of the main temple buildings, which was up a few flights of stairs, there was another one of those hoop things. Maybe it's more of a Tokyo thing than a Kyoto thing.
There was something pretty unique about this temple, almost enough so to get me excited. There was a dragon watching over a pond, and pink ema.
From the level with the temple, I could see the entire bridge, and a great deal of the city I had just explored, and I wasn't even halfway up the mountain yet.
There was a ramshackle, scary outhouse (although still better than most outhouses in the US), which I was forced to use because my bowels were still giving me trouble. I think I'll stop right there with the details. Outside the outhouse was a much prettier garden.
I used a convenient platform designed specifically for taking pictures of oneself to... you guessed it: take a picture of myself!
Near the top of the stairs, there was a cat perched on a pillar like it owned the place. I actually saw quite a few cats on this island, but they usually ran away before I could take a picture. This one was unfazed by my presence.
There was a gate near the lighthouse. I had to pay an entrance fee to get in. The sign said "Entry + Lighthouse 500\, Entry 200\," but I asked the gate attendant, and it sounded like the "lighthouse" was only for those who wanted to climb to the top of the lighthouse. I just wanted to see the base of it, so I paid the 2 bucks to get in.
There was a garden, and a few structures to see, but I just went straight to the lighthouse.
Under the viewing platform, there were a couple of shops, tables and vending machines. On top of the viewing platform, I found what I had come for.
The viewing platform from which the lighthouse stands is not only iconic and instantly recognizable to anyone who has seen Elfen Lied or Tari Tari; it is surrounded by a beautiful view.
There was one other person on the platform, with a huge SLR camera. I couldn't help but wonder if her interest was anime-related or not. Probably not.
I took pictures of the surrounding island, including this cat sitting calmly by a table, despite the people in the seats.
These scenes perhaps would have been better replicated if I: A. Had reference shots or B. Came at the right time of night. For some reason, however I get the feeling they wouldn't have let me in at the right time of night. At least I got a selfie.
|Selfies are serious business.|
After descending from the platform, I decided to get a drink from the vending machine. My beloved "Aqua Bulgaria" drink which I mentioned in the previous post was in this machine as well! What a great day.
When I left the gated off area, I found the cat from earlier still on it's perch. It was sleeping so I was able to get a better photo of it. Cat. Kitty cat.
I took some more pictures of things I missed as I climbed back down the- Oh my god! Is that another kitty?!
This one even let me pet it. What a good kitty cat.
|I've always kind of wanted to try this.|
The path to the temple was a lot less crowded on the way back. That cat was still sitting comfortably on its wooden platform, though.
Instead of taking the same side of the bridge I used to get to the island, I decided to walk in the shoulder lane on the other side of the bridge. It was technically against the rules, but I had seen a couple people do it on the way there, and I could always just play the gaijin card. As much as I hate the implications of pretending to be stupid and perpetuating stereotypes, I was willing to take the risk.
That being said, it turns out that I would have to walk down the middle of the bridge to get adequate photos to match the anime. Even if I had known that at the time, I probably wouldn't have done so, despite the lack of traffic.
I made it to the other side of the bridge unharmed and un-yelled-at, and then promptly went back to the station. My work in Kamikura was done.
|Another Tari Tari screenshot.|
There was a small train museum inside the station. It was pretty uninteresting, as I am far from a train enthusiast.
When I made it back into Tokyo, I spent a bit of time in Akihabara, as usual. That night I took a closer look inside Yodobashi Camera, specifically their figure section. It was surprisingly complete for such a huge chain store.
They even had a Kotobukiya section, which I found odd, since Kotobukiya is the name of a store which also sells figures and anime-related goods.
Yodobashi Camera is open later than most stores, but they were getting ready to close, so I headed back to the Khaosan Ninja and called it a day.