Despite having lived in Japan for 2.5 years, I had not attended any of the large-scale illuminations in Kanto / Tokyo before last December. One of the most impressive / spectacular is the "Jewel of Shonan" illuminations that cover Enoshima Island, particularly those in the Samuel Cocking Garden (which charges a minimal entry fee). I arrived at Enoshima around 3:30 in the afternoon and decided to visit several temples and shrines before sunset / illuminations.
I started with Ryūkō-ji (龍口寺), a Nichiren-sect temple near Enoshima Station. It was very quiet the afternoon I visited, and the temple and grounds are very beautiful. I then headed to Enoshima proper to visit Enoshima Shrine (江の島神社) before making my way up to the top of the island to view the magnificent sunset. The illuminations were turned on approximately 20 minutes after sunset after a brief countdown (I managed to film the very end of the countdown!).
As the thousands of twinkling LED lights in purple, blue, yellow and white sprang to life, there were appreciative gasps of delight from the crowd. The gardens were divided into different thematic sections; my favorite was a sea of aqua and purple net lights studded with white candles and glass lanterns.
The 2018-2019 illuminations feature installations by my new favorite artists' collective MIRRORBOWLER, whose gorgeous colored glass installations also move and feature music.
Illuminations run through February 14, more information at: https://enoshima-seacandle.com/event/shonannohoseki2018-2019/