Fujisawa City, located in the south-central part of Kanagawa Prefecture and facing Sagami Bay, is the city with the highest population in the Shonan region, and has the fourth highest population (around 430,000 people) within the prefecture, right after the cities of Yokohama, Kawasaki, and Sagamihara. Out of all the cities in Japan, it has the 38th highest population.
The city has JR, private railways (Odakyu Electric Railway, Sotetsu Railway, Enoshima Electric Railway), subway (Yokohama Municipal Subway), and monorail (Shonan Monorail) stations, making it very easy to get around. It is also a city that can be easily accessed from Tokyo.
Fujisawa City is a popular beach town. There is the Shonan coast that attracts people who love surfing, as well as those who are seeking for nature and a nice place to live with good education. As a result, many people move into the city, and the population keeps increasing.
Please have a look at this promotional video “Discover.FUJISAWA” created by Fujisawa City Tourist Association.
There are various theories regarding the origin of the name “Fujisawa”.
① It is a waterside city with plenty of wisterias (fuji)
② It is the residence of Fujisawajiroukiyochika (Kamakura period)
③ It is an area with plenty of deep pools (fuchi) and mountain streams (sawa)
These are some of the most typical theories on the origin of the name.
However, it’s hard to think that Fujisawa has anything to do with “wisterias” (jap. fuji). Regarding theory number ②, it is often considered that place names come before people’s names. Thus, theory number ③ seems like the most reasonable theory, and the name Fuchisawa likely transformed into Fujisawa over time.
Must-see Spots to Visit When Visiting Fujisawa City
Reproducing That Scene in Slam Dunk!
Kainan University Affiliated High School, that appears in Slam Dunk (a basketball-themed manga), is said to be modeled after “Shonan Institute of Technology High School” in Fujisawa City. In addition, Ryonan High School is said to be modeled after “Kanagawa Kenritsu Kamakura High School” in Kamakura City, which a city next to Fujisawa City.
Kugenuma Beach, located in the southern part of the city, has a swimming beach that was opened long time ago. It is known as Japan’s best swimming beach, with over 1.5 million visitors in 2017. In addition, Enoshima thrives as a pilgrimage site for the goddess Enoshima Benzaiten, because it is the place where Kamakura Shogunate founder Minamoto no Yoritomo prayed to Benzaiten for his victory. In 1964 Tokyo Olympics, the Shonan coast in Enoshima was chosen as the Olympic venue in sailing, and it has been chosen as the Olympic venue in sailing for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, as well. Even today, Enoshima is the most popular tourist site in the Shonan region, gathering around 10 million tourists yearly, with many tourists visiting the place even outside the summer and hatsumode (the first shrine visit of the New Year) season. In the coastal region of the city (Katase, Kugenuma, Tsujido Beach, Enoshima), you can do marine sports like sailing, surfing, windsurfing, beach volleyball, as well as enjoy swimming, fishing, and Enoshima Aquarium. It is one of the biggest marine resorts in Japan, and because it is a sister city with Miami Beach, Florida, it is often called “the Miami Beach of the east”.
Together with Itsukushima Shrine/Miyajima (Hiroshima) and Chikubushima (Shiga), it is one of the Three Great Shrines of Benzaiten. The entire Enoshima is also called the dragon’s nest, and it is an important place in Kanto that contains the dragon god Ryujin. Enoshima used to be an island where people did ascetic practice. When you pass the torii gate and climb the stairs, you will see “Hetsuno-miya”. It has Chinowa (a grass ring) that people who want to get rid of bad luck pass through, and a place where pink ema (small wooden plaques) are hung, which is something that is popular among women who are in love. While you visit the shrine, you can also take wonderful pictures!
The First Vacation Hotel in Shonan Opened in Fujisawa
The beloved old hotel “Fujisawa Hotel” has been completely remodeled into “FUJISAWA HOTEL EN”, which had its grand opening recently.
Every year, many tourists visit Fujisawa City, which is the starting station of the atmospheric Enoshima Electric Railway, and the access point for people who are going swimming or going on a pilgrimage to temples and shrines. However, so far there has been a lack of resort hotels.
As a response to this need, the concept of the newly opened “FUJISAWA HOTEL EN” is to be a vacation hotel.
It is the long-awaited hotel in the Shonan region. You can take it easy, have a rest and enjoy your freedom after you have had your fill of traveling in the Shonan region.
The editorial staff of Inside Local Japan, who actually stayed at “FUJISAWA HOTEL EN” and can recommend it, will talk about the charm of the hotel here.
①”Guest rooms” that answered the needs of different guests
The hotel has various types of rooms for various needs, such as for couples, married couples, foreign tourists, and girls-only gatherings. For example, “Room in Bath Twin with Spa Space” is a guestroom with two comfortable double beds, and a half-open-air bath where you can feel the wind passing through, “Room in Capsule Twin” is a room with two novel capsule beds, and “Japanese Modern Semi-Double” is a great room even for people who are travelling alone.
②“Lobby & Lounge Space” where you can feel the Shonan region with all the five senses
Products like local beer, Shonan juice, and snacks like nostalgic dagashi (cheap Japanese candies) are sold at the lounge, which has a big screen with images that have the feel of the Shonan region. The concierge service offers help, like guidance on restaurants, suggestions on places to visit, and preparing birthday cakes, to make your stay at the hotel as comfortable as possible.
③”Breakfast” overflowing with morning light
Until check out at 11 am, you can enjoy breakfast at Restaurand & Lounge. On the menu there is salad and soup, which allow you to enjoy ingredients that have been harvested in the Shonan region, freshly baked bread, as well as “EN-original curry”. Enjoy a luxurious breakfast on the wood deck terrace in the lounge, which overflows with morning light, while viewing seasonal flowers, like cherry blossom trees and hydrangea, along the Sakai River.
All of this and plenty of more things are waiting for you to discover in Fujisawa City, Kanagawa Prefecture.
You can of course make a day trip to the city, but why not try fully enjoying your time in the newly remodeled hotel?
FUJISAWA HOTEL EN
Address: 12-9 Minamifujisawa, Fujisawa City, Kanagawa Prefecture