- 4 min read

Enoshima by Night

The Lanterns of August

‘Let’s go and see the lanterns in Enoshima,’ Dee invited me while he was winding up the day at his workplace.

‘What sort of lanterns?’ I asked.

‘They are like these,’ he said as he showed the website of the event on his PC. An avenue of paper lanterns along a path with the lighthouse in the background looked very cinematic.

‘This is nice,’ I said, ‘Enoshima by night.’

I liked the idea of exploring the island at night. I had never walked around the island in the evening before. And by chance I had my battered old camera with me. Spontaneous decisions are always rewarding.

From Odakyu Fujisawa station, we took the train to Katase Enoshima. It took just over ten minutes. We arrived at about 7.00 pm just when most visitors were leaving the island. We only had an hour and a half to enjoy the illumination. The light-up had begun at six and would end at half past eight.

At the crowded convenience store by the entrance to Odakyu Katase Enoshima station, we grabbed some cans of beer and chuhai. Sipping our drinks, we crossed the long bridge to the island. There were still many young lovers holding hands walking about. But most surprising was the abundance of Pokemon hunters standing by the torii gate entrance and on the sides of the road. The island has become a sanctuary of Pokemon monsters and a lair of Pokemoners. Enoshima, I told Dee, has become a Pokemon island.

Leaving the Pokemon gatherers behind, we climbed up and walked around the island. With a few visitors and lovers (both young and not so young) left lingering around, we could enjoy the illumination to ourselves. The island, it seemed, had an air of mystery and nostalgia. It had acquired a new dimension of beauty. I had not been here before at this time of day. When there is more darkness, I felt, there is more to see and discover. Taking pictures was more challenging and fun.

‘Let’s walk all the way down to the bottom,’ I suggested to my kali practitioner friend.

‘Are you sure you want to go there,’ he answered. ‘It’s too dark. There’s not much to see.’

‘Since we took all this trouble to come here,’ I said, ‘we might as well complete the trip.’


My seasoned mountaineer-friend had had a long day at work and he was not so inclined to do more exploration at this moment. But he yielded to my curiosity.

The sea at night as viewed from the cliffs on the western side of the island had a new face; a new look. It was a perfect place to have a tall cold bottle of beer or chuhai which unfortunately we had run out of. We had finished a can each on our way up here. The sea was calm; the reflections of lights on the night horizon and on the surface were both melancholy and seductive.

‘It’s good we came all the way down here,’ I said.

‘Yeah,’ my Canadian friend said. ‘It’s great.’

At exactly 8.30 pm, the lights went off. Earlier, walking between lanterns, was a sort of privilege: someone had lit your way and had lit it elegantly. But now, they were gone and darkness was equally distributed all over the island. The privilege had ended.

After a second trip to the convenience store, my drinking buddy and I sat down on the bridge in front of the station and had another round of drinks. Relaxed and feeling blessed, we reflected on the events of the night.

Was this article helpful?
Help us improve the site
Give Feedback

Join the discussion

Elena Lisina 5 years ago
Beautiful illumination! Enoshima seems to be very popular spot with tourists, isn't it?
Elena Lisina 5 years ago
Thank you, Reynald! :) I'd like that! But I'm too far away and visit japan not often. :(

Thank you for your support!

Your feedback has been sent.