When : Nov 1 – March 31
Winter and Christmas equals illuminated evenings at famous tourist locations in Japan. There are many famous illumination spots in Tokyo city, like Roppongi Hills or Midtown although they get restricted due to the available space that commercial establishments attempt to decorate. My personal recommendation is Sagami Resort Pleasure Forest, just an hour long train from central Tokyo is Japan’s second largest illumination spot, in terms of number of LED lights.
TIP 1 : Not many food choices at Pleasure Forest food court. Carry something along to eat, not much around the resort unless you reach Sagami Station. The Sagamiko Illumillion is located near Sagami Lake and usually begins early on November 1. Located in the forest of Sagami on the hilly region surrounding Sagami Lake the best time, throughout November when it is not yet that cold. With over 5 million LED’s Sagami Resort Illumillion is one must visit if you stay in Tokyo.
TIP 2 : Wear layered clothes since the temperatures tend to be 3-4 degrees cooler than in Tokyo.
Every year the number of lights have been increased by a million lights! and this year do not be surprised if they announce 6 million LED’s. They have been known to use solar power to power the LED’s and have been conscious of the electric power situation in Japan. The light up of the dark forest area is an awesome concept and you can walk around well crafted ways and tunnels around the Pleasure Forest establishment.
TIP 3 : If you are only interested in the evening part of illumination, you will get a cheaper entrance ticket Night admission ticket which is 800 yen for adults and 500 yen for kids starting at 17:00 in evening.You can climb the hills and reach all the way to the top where there is a Ferris Wheel which gives awesome panoramic view of the illumination on the hilly slopes of the Pleasure Forest. There is a rope-way that guides you to this Ferris Wheel too if you do not want to go all the way up.Other attractions include the a water fountain synchronizing on music. The water fountain and the light up at the backdrop is a show which continues every 30 minutes.The area of the forest is quite wide and the varied colors blue, pink, yellow of the illumination make for a romantic setup. Majority of the visitors are young couples and families.The Location : Just 50 min from Shinjuku Station via Chuo Expressway
The ropeway which leads to the top of the mountain at the resort is lit on both ends with a lot of LED lights and I took a snap of the moving lights past me on my way down to catch the below trails.There are also other attractions at the resort, various rides that you can get on if you are inclined to. I am afraid of such things and stayed with my camera while my family enjoyed the rides of varies types. I never understood the fun of paying money to frighten oneself on such rides. Waste, I say, but that’s just my personal opinion 🙂 🙂Beautiful tunnel of lights to walk through, Sagami Resort Pleasure Forest illumination is an interesting trip if you combine the day time to spend around the Sagami Lake and enjoy the later part of the day at the resort.
When : Nov 1 – March 31