The award winning Jewel of Shonan or Shonan no Hoseki is an annual winter illumination event that that attracts numerous visitors every year. The illumination events is famed for its beautiful sceneries created by the mixture of thousands of sparkling lights and the tourist attractions on Enoshima island. While many famous annual events and festivals were forced to cancel, postpone or scale down, there are still a number of exciting options that will bring you into the festive mood and create some memorable experiences. Here is the ultimate guide to the enjoyable illumination event!
1. Enoshima Island
Shonan no Hoseki Winter Illumination is an iconic winter event that is held from November to March every year since 1999. The main venue is Enoshima (江の島), an small island located a short train ride west of Kamakura in Kanagawa Prefecture. The beautiful island is connected to the mainland by bridge and is a popular day trip destination. Enoshima is easily accessible from Tokyo in about 1 hour.
Enoshima Island and Enoshima Beach, located on the mainland, attract large crowds especially during summer season with the ocean views, sightseeing attractions and a number of surfing and other watersport spots. The weather conditions are outstanding here and for this reason Enoshima has been chosen as the Olympic venue for the sports competition. Of course, the location also ensures the availability of high quality seafood and the area offers some great local specialties featuring fresh seafood.
2. The Jewel of Shonan
Each year, Enoshima Island is colored with award winning, outstanding large-scale illumination art installations. This year Shonan no Hoseki (Jewel of Shonan, 湘南の宝石) Winter Illumination is celebrating its 21th anniversary. It is also claimed as one of the three greatest illumination events in the Kanto region in Japan, while being ranked in the 2nd place among the all illumination events nationwide.
November 21, 2020 – March 7, 2021
5pm – 8pm (Weekdays & New Year’s Holiday)
5pm – 9pm (Weekends & Dec. 23 – 30)
Enoshima area (江ノ島エリア)
Katase Coast area (片瀬海岸エリア)
There is no admission ticket to be purchased to access the event, but a ticket to the gardens (¥200) and for observation tower (¥300) are required.
2. How to get to Enoshima Island
There are several ways to get to Enoshima, depending on where your trip starts:
To Enoshima from Tokyo (Shinjuku Station)
Taking the Odakyu Odawara Line is the easiest and fastest way to reach Enoshima area from Shinjuku Station. Take the line to Fujisawa station where you need to transfer to the Odakyu Enoshima Line. It takes less than 10 min until you reach Katase-Enoshima station.
Shinjuku – Enoshima: 65-75 minutes, ¥640
Travel tip Enoshima
If you are planning on taking the Odakyu Odawara Line, make sure to check Enoshima-Kamakura Free Pass! It is a convenient combo ticket that includes:
- Round-trip fare from Shinjuku Station to Fujisawa Station
- One-day train pass for the Odakyu Enoshima Line (known as “Enoden”)
It gives you one day unlimited travel with the Odakyu Enoshima Line, the main transport in Shonan and Enoshima area! Please visit their website for more information.
To Enoshima from Yokohama Station
Yokohama is the biggest city in Japan and also the prefectural capital of Kanagawa prefecture. You can take the JR Train from Yokohama Station to Fujisawa Station. From Fujisawa Station, proceed as was described above.
Yokohama – Enoshima,: 40 min, ¥580
3. Highlights of Enoshima Winter Illumination
During Shonan no Hoseki, one of Japan’s most amazing winter illumination events, the entire island of Enoshima is filled with glittering illuminations and bright light displays. You can explore the famous tourist attractions on the island that are illuminated by the magical lights with different designs and features. Here are highlights of the popular illumination event.
Enoshima Sea Candle 江の島シーキャンドル
Enoshima Sea Candle is a 60 m tall landmark on Enoshima Island that offers a panoramic view from the glass-walled observation deck. Views of Mount Fuji can be enjoyed on days with good visibility and at night the many stained glass objects hanging from the trees and lights connected to the tower create a mysterious atmosphere.
Tunnel of Crystal & Shonan Chandelier
Shonan Chandelier fascinates visitors with the incredible scenery created by a tunnel of thousands of lights and a giant chandelier made with Swarovski crystals! The Tunnel of Crystal is one of the most popular attractions each year. Walk through the sparkling light tunnel and feel the romantic atmosphere.
Hoseki Forest is held at Enoshima Samuel Cocking Garden, a beautiful botanical garden which was originally established by the British merchant Samuel Cocking. The design displays a mixture of Japanese and Western styles, creating a unique landscape with seasonal plants and flowers, beautiful all year round. During the illumination event, the entire garden is transformed into a mystical world completely covered with lights! Explore the scenic garden filled with a variety of light decorations while admiring tropical plants and winter tulips.
Hoseki Forest is open from November 21, 2020 until February 19, 2021.
Japan Wonder Travel Tours
The best way to discover a city or area is when a local guide can explain to you all the best places to see and go. Japan Wonder Travel offers a wide variety of tours throughout Japan, with local and passionate guides, who love to share their favourite places and recommendations with you. All of our tours can be tailored, according to your time and preferences. Some of your popular tours include:
Tokyo 1-Day Highlights Tour
Join our private walking tour to explore the highlights in Tokyo, such as Asakusa, Meiji Shrine, Tsukiji Market and many more.
Explore this historical capital city full of traditional and beautiful spots before heading for Enoshima to visit the illumination event!
Visit Shonan no Hoseki Winter Illumination and you will be able to spend some memorable time with your family or friends. Since the most part of the event is enjoyable outside, it also helps you stay safe with less exposure to enclosed space with crowds. Not only the illumination event, Enoshima itself is also a perfect day trip destination from Tokyo that can be explored in a day. Get away from the bustles of the Tokyo city life and let yourself unwind in the scenic island offering a range of activities and memorable experiences!