Colors the mid-summer night of a old temple near Enoshima

Illuminated buildings of Ryukoji Temple near Enoshima.
On the first Saturday and Sunday of August, another summer illumination event using 5,000 pieces of trunk of bamboo tree "Tatsunokuchi Take-toro" [龍ノ口竹灯籠] is held in Ryukoji Temple [龍口寺], an old historical site near Enoshima Island.
Why not try experiencing this traditional and stingy atmosphere by extending the length of your stay a while on your way back to the swimming in the sea around Enoshima?

About the festival

  • When: First Saturday and Sunday of August, From 18:00 to 21:00 (6:00PM.- 9:00PM.)
  • Where: Ryukoji Temple in Katase Town (5 minutes walk from Enoshima Station and Shonan-Enoshima Station)
  • Admission: Free
  • It might be cancelled in case of rainy or too strong windy night.

Before sunset

Bamboo lanterns lined up in the precincts of Ryukoji.
Ryukoji Temple, a temple in not so far away from Enoshima Island and with several hundreds year history, is usually covered with silence. But on this Saturday of the event day, many staff of the illumination event are run around the precincts and line up the bamboo lanterns.
However, it is possible to visit and worship the temple during the line up works.
The work is completed at around 16:30 and only waiting for sunset to ignite the lanterns.
The bamboo lanterns Lanterns are placed in the main hall building of Ryukoji Temple.

At the entrance

Lit-up entrance gate of Ryukoji Temple in Japan.
When the summer slow sun finally dropping to the west and the sky gets blue more and more, the lights of lanterns start lighting. The illumination of precincts is turned on at the same time, and the historical buildings are dyed various colors.

Flickering lights of Bamboo lanterns

Bamboo lanterns illuminate Ryukoji Temple.
When you pass through the entrance gate of the temple, there is the fantastic space spreads throughout the precincts where the light of numberless bamboo lanterns wavers.
This lantern put a candle in the trunk of a bamboo tree which cut into various lengths and lights it.
Bamboo lanterns. A candle put in the trunk of a Bamboo tree.

The origin of the event

Original style lantern for the event.
Originally, this lantern event was flowing lanterns like the above photo in a nearby river as an "Okuribi" for "Obon" season ("Okuribi" is ceremonial bonfire to seeing off the spirits of ancestry of family on the final night of Obon. "Obon" is a period and traditional customs of Japan that the spirits of ancestry of family goes home during the middle of summer days.).
However, the event is transformed to such a style in 2010, to environmental protection. Since then, the scale of the event such as the number of lanterns and period of holding has been expanding year by year.

Various light patterns emerges in the night dark

Bamboo lanterns covered the ground of the precincts of Ryukoji Temple.
A number of bamboo lanterns lined up on the ground of the precincts of old temple emerges various patterns of light in the night dark, such as a letter of Japanese Kanji, a image of dragon and more. There is also a fine embossed decoration combined with lanterns. While walking around the precincts, you can see these decorations.
another combined lanterns decoration. Combined lanterns decoration.
A picture drawn with light leaking from breaks of bamboo. Lanterns lined up the shape of the head of the dragon

Colorful lights surrounds old buildings

Lit-up main temple building of Ryukoji
The colorful lights illuminate the buildings of old temple. It is unusual sight in Japan to make flansy light-up decoration like this at an old temple. And during the event period, a live music concert will be held at the main temple building.
In the end of the event on Sunday (around 21:00), you can take a favorite bamboo lantern to home for free!
Another colors of illumination dyed the old temple. The precincts of Ryukoji Temple while in the event.

Lanterns in the town

Bamboo lanterns exhibited in the street.
In 2017, the bamboo lanterns leave the precincts of Ryukoji Temple for the first time in history and was also exhibited in the surrounding streets. We could see the rare sight of the Enoden train passing near the bamboo lanterns in shopping street in Koshigoe town.
Another bamboo lanterns exhibited in the street in Koshigoe. The huge gate of the bamboo lanterns appeared in Koshigoe town.
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