A few days back I posted about Sagamiko Illumillion an illumination spot under an hour (Just 50 min from Shinjuku Station via Chuo Expressway) from Tokyo. Every year the theme keeps changing and I visit this spot every year with 2015-2016 theme being LONDON. Due to work I have to travel to London every month and when I came to know that the theme was based on this frequently visited country by me, I went on the first day of the illumination season which began from November 1.
Here are a few snaps from this years event. The entrance is modeled after the iconic spot of London Westminster area, the Big Ben! This year around 5.5 million LED lights have been used to illuminate the complete forest area.With the sunset these days at 17:00 itself, it was already getting darker when we reached, and the lights were already ON. A beautiful tree in the twilight blue hour welcomed us at the venue.
At the entrance beautiful lights all around the ground and the trees. Nothing LONDON about this and we made our way ahead onYEAH, London’s famous double decker bus with a bus stop sign on the left of it!!! Nice and noted that the sign was made with all the original looking logo, the “night bus” sign in blue complete with the “Towards” data an exact replication of how it is in London. Nice. You can enter the bus from the rear and take snaps too.
Up next was the big Paddington Bear lit up with the UK flags in the background. Paddington Station is the first stop I get off after I take the Heathrow Express from the Airport and Paddington bear is a kind of welcome mascot in London personally for me. Its always great to bump into him.There is a place that has been setup for general snacks called as British Market, but honestly beyond Fish and Chips, there is mostly all Japanese food varieties than British ones. Not impressed. They should have made the menu there more British and included some other food varieties. Nevertheless there is also a food court inside which one can always fall back on in case you get hungry.
The regular light up across the forest is beautiful as always and this small road winding through lights on both sides adds up to the overall beauty and ambience.With the season being autumn and the colored leaves all around, the Sagamiko is best to visit in autumn when the temperatures are also pleasant to go around the forest with a light sweater on. Beautiful London Eye like Ferris Wheel in the backdrop..The most amazing light up of all that I saw at Sagamiko this year was the Buckingham Palace. Its really nicely done and quite massive in size.I have been to London so many times that I have lost the count, but I remember all the good and not so good aspects from all my trips and the one thing which I believe is more hype, less content is the Palace Change of Guard ceremony. Crazy crowds line up near the palace to watch this and honestly I was not that impressed.
The same is in an illumination format here at Sagamiko, and honestly I have no interest in watching the change of guards, but the band music was nice to hear and the illumination sequence was kind of cute with those LED format guards in the orchestra.The Piano kid was the most cute of them all and more than the original London stern looking guards, this one at Sagamiko was a lot human….There are some British style park in an illumination format with full water fountains and things which will keep you busy here for atleast 3-5 hours. This years Sagamiko illumination is a notch above every years format with half a million extra LED lights and the theme close to my heart, London.You can enjoy various thrilling rides too in a spinning wheel as in the image on the left, get on the rope-way to reach the Ferris Wheel or many others in the vicinity.The Location : Just 50 min from Shinjuku via Chuo Expressway