Enoshima is a small island, about 4 km in circumference, at the mouth of the Katase River, which flows into Sagami Bay in Japan. Part of the city of Fujisawa, it is linked to the Katase section of the same city on the mainland by a 600 meter-long bridge. Adjacent to the closest beach to Tokyo and Yokohama, the island and the nearby coast are the hub of a popular resort area.
Benzaiten, the goddess of music and entertainment, is enshrined on the island. The island in its entirety is dedicated to the goddess, who is said to have made it rise from the bottom of the sea in sixth century. Enoshima is the center of Shounan, a resort area along the coast of Sagami Bay known for its scenic beauty.
The island is the scene of the Enoshima Engi, a history of the shrines on Enoshima written by the Japanese Buddhist monk Koukei in 1047.
In 1880, after the Shinto and Buddhism separation order of the new Meiji government had made the land available, much of the uplands was purchased by Samuel Cocking, a British merchant, in his Japanese wife's name. He developed a power plant and extensive botanical gardens including a very large greenhouse. Although the original greenhouse was destroyed in the 1923 Great Kanto earthquake, the botanical garden (now the Samuel Cocking Garden) remains an attraction with over half a million visitors a year.