Every year, around Christmas time various parts of Japan sparkle with colorful assemblies of lights. A simple walk down the road, and you may see lines of trees or buildings covered in lights. There are a few particular areas that are known for their light shows, and one of the most popular ones is on Ennoshima Island.

Enoshima is lovely at all times of the year but especially so in the winter time as you can visit the “Shona no Hoseki Illumination”. It should go without saying, but the best time to see the illumination is after sunset. This beautiful assembly encompasses an entire elevated park on the island. It requires a bit of stair master action to get there, but once at the park it’s an amazing experience. The lights make the entire place seem straight out of a fairy tale. During early February, there are a few cherry blossoms there in full bloom and lit up with soft pink lights, making them a perfect setting for cute photos or a romantic walk. Another cute feature is the light tunnel in the center of the park. It’s filled with crystals and mirrors reflecting splashes of purple and blue light – definitely another Instagram worthy spot. The main feature of the island can actually be spotted all the way from Zushi as you drive towards the bridge leading to Enoshima; it’s a giant tower known as the Enoshima Sea Candle. The Sea Candle is also lit up in a miraculous display, and if you buy tickets to go up the tower you can get a wonderful view of the entire island. And fortunately, the tower itself is open year round. 

Enoshima Island is honestly a treat in and of itself. Only a fifteen minute drive from Zushi, the island is filled with rows of cute restaurants serving some of THE BEST sushi around. We saw various store front shops serving grilled corn, squid, clams and various other treats. Ultimately we decided to get a sashimi bowl composed of the FRESHEST seafood I’ve had in Japan. 

Shona no Hoseki Illumination ran this past year roughly from December to February. For those who happen to be in Japan during this time frame, it is a must see. 

TRANSPORTATION: Recommend driving to the island 


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