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Goin’ Japanesque!

The Lair of the Dragon Lord: Historic Iwaya Cave in Enoshima

Is This an Underwater Temple?

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Writer’s Photo

With a candle stand in one hand, going deeper into the cave where drops of water fall… As you go deeper, it gets darker to the level where you can’t even see your foothold and the smell of the ocean fills the air.  
The “Watch Your Head” warning sign is very conspicuous. As the warning suggests, there are places where you need to stoop down to go through.

This place, called “Iwaya” is a cave that was created by long-term wave erosion, and you can enjoy the feeling of being a main character of a game in which the player explores the underwater dungeon.

 

Sunlight Filled Enoshima, Kanagawa Prefecture

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This cave is located in Enoshima, a land-tied island in the southern part of Kanagawa.

Enoshima is a holiday resort known for its beautiful view and marine sports. Especially in summer, it becomes crowded with young people looking to enjoy the open atmosphere of the sea.

“Iwaya” is located at the deeper part of the island which takes about 20 minutes going up and down many stairs.

 

Trace of Ancient Religion That Still Remains

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Iwaya is separated into two caves; the first Iwaya (152m deep) and the second Iwaya (56m deep). The place has been long used for training and worhip and many Jizo (guardian deity of children) are scattered in the caves.

There is a fence in the first cave to prevent people from entering into the deepest part of the cave. It is said that the cave continues further and eventually connects to Mt. Fuji.

 

To the Second Iwaya

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The path connects the first Iwaya and the second Iwaya. When you are temporarily released from the darkness in the cave, you feel that outer world is so bright. A view from this corridor leaves you mesmerized for a while.

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And if you look down to the shore, you will find “Kame Ishi (Turtle Stone)”. As its name suggests, it’s a stone shaped like a turtle showing its face between waves.

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Now, here is the deepest part of the second Iwaya.

There is a drum and a dragon in the cave and it is said that if you hit the drum slowly two times while making a wish and if the dragon shines each time, then your wish will come true. If the dragon only shines once, then half of your wish will come true.

 

Use the Passenger Ship To Get Back If Your Legs Are Tired From Walking

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“I’m exhausted from walking the path to Iwaya… I don’t want to go back the same way.”

Don’t worry, in that case, there is a regular passenger ship “Bentenmaru” connecting the place close to Iwaya and the entrance of Enoshima. You can also use this passenger ship getting to Iwaya if you want to visit Iwaya directly.

Access : 
– 30 minute walk from Katase Enoshima Station of Odakyu Line
– 40 minute walk from Enoshima Station of Enoshima Electric Railway
– 40 minute walk from Shonan Enoshima Station of Shonan Monorail

Entrance Fee : 500 JPY for adults, 200 JPY for children
Open Hours : Basically its 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. in summer and 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. in winter but it differs by day so we recommend that you either check the website of the sightseeing association or go there earlier.

*When it’s crowded, a candle stand may not be provided in order to avoid causing accidents.

Related Articles:
Oya Stone Museum: Gigantic and Mysterious Underground Space

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Momoi

About the author

I am an otaku that likes rare and unusual things. My hobbies are martial arts and touring historical sites, shrines and temples! These days, I want to learn more and more about the world. I am currently studying Ancient Western History.

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