The Enoshima Island in Kanagawa Prefecture is a picturesque island located just 45 minutes on a train from central Tokyo. Benzaiten (Indian Goddesses Saraswati) , the goddess of music and entertainment, is enshrined on the island. The island in its entirety is dedicated to the goddess, who is said to have caused it to rise from the bottom of the sea in sixth century.
Every night in August, the Enoshima area is lit up with 1,000 Japanese lanterns (tou-rou), creating a magical mood.Enoshima Jinjya Shrine is famous as one of the three famous Benzaiten in Japan. Goddess of art and knowledge, her music instrument Biwa at the entrance Torii of the shrine look so beautiful in the night time.
Whole Enoshima is light up with the lantern of the Japanese style. Shadow picture show and a fireworks display are also held with 18th August in 2015 the date for the fireworks. Couples and youngsters in yukata give a traditional feel to the overall atmosphere.
Roads leading to the shrine are well lit up with the lanterns adorning both the sides of the walkway. The night time gives an overall mystic feel and you can feel like you are in the Edo time of Japan.
The Benzaiten Shrine is well lit up a sight you can only experience in summer of Enoshima. Usually it runs between August 1 and 31 for the lantern event.
The Hetsu-no-miya Shrine was built in 1206 by the order of Minamoto-no-Sanetomo (the third Shogun of the Kamakura shogunate). Two Bentens (Happi and Myo-on) are enshrined here. Enjoy the night time lantern view in summers only.
You can either take a walk on the stairs and climb up to the Ensohima Candle spot or you can also take a paid elevator to the Enoshima Candle, if walking up the hill is difficult.
The Benzaiten enshrined here is open for viewing only a few days int he year and as usual on the day we went, the shrine was closed, but the beauty of the overall construction was visible from the outside and as the Japanese belief goes that you visit the shrines not to “see” but to “feel” the spirit of the god, was well fulfilled.
As you keep walking up the stairs you will reach the main spot of the Enoshima Candle. The light up and the lanterns around are truly romantic.
The road leading up to the candle winds through various trees with lanterns adorning both sides of the walkway.
Beautiful lantern views, surely you will forget the summer heat and enjoy the yu-suzumi, cool nights on the Enoshima Island.
A final look at the Enoshima Candle and the illumination.
Experience Tokyo’s Enoshima Lantern festival. The official poster is below
Location : Enoshima Island, Kanagawa