Sagamiko Illumillion: Experience One of Japan’s Most Spectacular Winter Illumination Events

With a seemingly endless number of holiday illumination displays throughout the city, Tokyo has no shortage of holiday cheer. There are fantastic light displays in several convenient locations, but to see the best and brightest that the country has to offer, you must venture well beyond central Tokyo’s skyscrapers and out into the countryside.

Thankfully, the Sagamiko Illumillion, held since 2008 at the Sagamiko Pleasure Forest resort and amusement park, is well worth the journey. Read on to find out what to expect, how to get there, and ways to make the most of your trip.


An award-winning display of holiday lights

One of the top three illumination displays in the Kanto region, Sagamiko Illumillion is a spectacular winter light display held in the mountain ranges just outside of Tokyo. All it takes is a 90-minute commute to transport yourself from the urban hustle and bustle of Tokyo to an otherworldly winter wonderland filled with over 6 million bulbs of light. The lights are on display annually, from early November through early April, which makes it easy to fit the Sagamiko Illumillion into your travel plans.

Your ticket to a winter wonderland

Perhaps the most challenging part of your journey to Sagamiko Pleasure Forest is figuring out how and where to buy tickets. First, let’s look at the two kinds of tickets that are available:

  • – Night Free Pass (2,500 yen): an all-access ticket that gets you into the park, lets you view the lights, and grants you unlimited access to all of the park’s attractions from 4 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
  • – Illumillion Ticket (1,000 yen): this simply covers the park entry fee and access to most of the light displays. You can still enjoy rides and attractions, however, you’ll have to pay for each one as you go (and possibly wait in additional lines to do so).

Even if you don’t plan on enjoying the park rides, I still recommend the Night Free Pass. Without it, even the iconic chairlift that will whisk you up to an illuminated mountain peak will cost extra.

Time is money (especially when standing in line to buy chairlift tickets on a cold winter night), and when you combine the price of the lift tickets and the extra time required to buy them, the Night Free Pass pays for itself. Besides, if you change your mind and decide to try an attraction or two, the deal gets even sweeter.

Whichever ticket you go for, I’d recommend coupling it with a chartered bus ticket via this package. This “Special Bus Set Ticket” is the best way to avoid the crowds and traffic jams associated with other transportation methods. You can purchase tickets online, at a convenience store, or on site.

Come for the lights and stay for the adventure

If you have extra time in your itinerary and love outdoor activities, consider spending an entire day (and night) at Sagamiko Pleasure Forest. Beyond hosting one of the country’s most famous illumination displays, the theme park grounds include cottages for overnight stays, barbeque grills, and a hot spring facility.

The surrounding area is great for nature walks and hikes. Ambitious adventurers can even reach famous peaks such as Mt. Takao and Mt. Jinba.

Illuminated nights and the great outdoors—however you decide to celebrate the holidays, you won’t regret taking a trip to Sagamiko Pleasure Forest.

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AUTHOR

Anthony

Anthony

Writer / Translator

Originally from Riverside, California, I've been living, working, and writing in Japan since 2009. Japan has become my second home, and I'm especially fond of Shinjuku, Tokyo. That being said, I also love getting out into the countryside and exploring the entire country. Through Tadaima Japan, I hope to share the wonders of Japan with a wider, international audience. Check out my articles if you enjoy exploring on foot, convenient cafes, and affordable dining.

Information

Address 1634 Wakayanagi,
Midori Ward,
Sagamihara,
Kanagawa Prefecture
252-0175
Hours 4:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
(nighttime illumination)
Price 1,000 yen ~ 2,500 yen
Close None
Access 90 minutes by highway bus from Shinjuku Station
Phone +81- 0570-037-353
Language Japanese
English
Website http://www.sagamiko-resort.jp/illumillion/