Thursday, 28 September 2017

2017 Summer Memories: Enoshima Lanterns

Set  number 1069 of the EMU Odakyu 1000 series passes through Kyodo Station

As I mentioned before, the weather had been unusual this mid-summer in the Tokyo metropolitan area. It was rainy every day, so that I had to find short sunny days for strolling, and visited only the nearby Tokyo Metropolis. Enoshima Island was one such place.

Enoshima Island is a famous sightseeing spot in the Tokyo metropolitan area. It is located about 60 km southwest of the city center. When I visited there in the middle of August, the Enoshima Lantern Festival was being held. It was one of the events during the "obon" period. "Obon" is a Buddhist festival to recognize ancestral spirits. The souls of the dead are believed to return to their families during the obon period in the middle of August. It is an occasion for people to visit their ancestors' graves, temples or shrines to pray. 

During evening of the obon period, Enoshima Island was decorated with many lanterns to repose the souls of the dead. For instance, I saw plenty of lanterns on the approach of Enoshima Shrine. It was beautiful and mysterious, and reminded me of my ancestors.

To visit Enoshima Island, Odakyu-Enoshima Line is convenient. The nearest station is Katase-Enoshima, which is the gateway to the island. When I headed to Enoshima, I came across the old EMU 1000 series with rollsigns (destination signs). Trains with rollsigns are currently quite rare on the Odakyu Line, as most of the rollsigns have been replaced by LED-type destination signs.

A visit to Enoshima Island offered rare experiences to me.

Lanterns are seen on the approach of Enoshima Shrine near Katase-Enoshima Station