Happy Valentine’s Day to all ❤
Since it is Valentine’s Day, a post sharing about the most romantic place I have found in Tokyo would be perfect for today. Enoshima. You might think wait, what? Enoshima island? Isn’t it a summer getaway for Tokyo people? The images of bright sunny skies, sandy beaches and numerous surfers might be in your head, but allow me to change your mindset.
For those who don’t know, Enoshima is a small island in Fujisawa, Kanagawa Prefecture, located just over an hour away from Tokyo, and is famous for its historical shrines and beaches in summer. Yet this little island is at its most beautiful in winter.
One of the biggest and longest running annual winter illumination starting from late November and ending in mid February, the Jewel of Shonan Enoshima illumination centers around the 60-metre tall Enoshima Sea Candle in Samuel Cocking Garden.
As I was there sometime in January, I was able to see winter tulips, which blooms from the period of mid December to late January. But from February onwards, while there might not be any vividly-hued tulips, you will be given a visual treat to one of the earliest night cherry blossom viewing (yozakura) in Tokyo, as an early blooming cherry blossom, kawazu-zakura, is planted all over the garden.
The garden is like an enchanted forest, and at certain areas, perhaps even reminiscent of Avatar’s Pandora Forest at night, with the trees and grass all set aglow by thousands of fairy lights.
A tunnel of purple fairy lights adorned with chandeliers made with Swarovski crystal lead the way to the Sea Candle, and I was promptly reminded of hanging wisteria, bioluminescent in the dark of night.
Right before the Sea Candle, which is my favourite area, a cluster of psychedelic jewel-shaped spheres appear to float above ground, with a huge rainbow-hued “jewel” rotating slowly, sparkling like a magical gem.
While it may be cost you 200 ¥ to enter Samuel Cocking Garden, there are actually other places where you can view the illumination for free in Enoshima island during this period. But nothing can compare with the ethereal beauty of Samuel Cocking Garden.
To top it off, Enoshima also has a special place perfect for Valentine’s Day, which is also illuminated for this event. Ryuren no Kane (The Bell of Dragon’s Love), located at Lovers’ Hill facing the Sagami Bay, is a sacred bell built to commemorate the legendary love story between the five-headed dragon and the sea goddess, Enoshima Bentaizen. It is said by that ringing this bell and attaching a padlock bearing their names to the surrounding fence, a couple will be blessed with eternal love. Built to face the sea, the romantic spiritual site is even more heavenly as the sun sets into the sea and emblazons the sky in fiery gold to match the golden fairy lights around the bell and fence.