With the holiday season in full swing, we searched the internet for illumination shows in Kanazawa prefecture. Last year we visited several at Yokohama’s bay area and will visit those sites again before Christmas. When we lived in Georgia there was a great light show on Lake Lanier, but after viewing the Sagamiko lights, we felt that it left Lanier’s in the dust. Touted as the largest in our area with 5.5 million lights, it was almost magical.
Japanese love the lights and have the record with the largest light show in the world held each summer in Myoko-shi, Niigata. I plan on being there next year.
For the winter months there are over 20 displays in just the Tokyo area alone. The decision to try Sagamiko was based mainly on size and remoteness. It was an easy get out town for a few hours while enjoying the atmosphere.
The Sagamiko Illumillion is located near Sagami Lake and houses around three million lights, but the fun does not end there. By..
We boarded a non-stop bus just outside of Yokohama station for a 90-minute ride and arrived about 20 minutes before the lights were turned on. You can also take a train from Tokyo station to Sagamiko station in about an hour and take a bus to the park. The show is held at a British theme park called Sagamiko Resort Pleasure Forest with Paddington the Bear as the mascot.
There is a lift to the top of mountain, then a Ferris Wheel ride for a spectacular view of the park and surrounding area. There are a couple of nice gift shops with items from Great Britain at pretty reasonable prices. To ensure I had a true British experience I tried the fish and chips at the restaurant. Having eaten the real thing on a trip to England this was a far cry from reality, but was tasty.
Make sure you follow the music to the far end where a light replica of Buckingham Palace plays Pomp and Circumstance to the changing of the guard. Both Miwa and I have been humming that music since we returned from the show. To see all the activity with the lights, you need to sit through the presentation at least two times or more.
There are several rides for both children and adults and the fees are not too high. To get into the park after 5 p.m. is only 800 yen, 500 for children and you can purchase tickets for rides at each venue or a game pack at the ticket counter.
Walking the entire park can wear you out a little, but fear not - there is the Sagamiko Onsen Ururi (Hot Spring) near the entrance, that is open from 10:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. You can relax in a carbonated spring and rejuvenate your weary body.
The great part about this light show is that it will continue until mid April 2016. (After January, weekends only) If you're a local resident or planning a trip to Japan you can easily include it in your itinerary.