Illuminating Kyoto’s Evening Glamorously NAKED FLOWERS 2022 -SAKURA- World Heritage Site Nijo-jo Castle
During the cherry blossom season, various locations in Kyoto are lit up, making the night view of Kyoto even more spectacular. One spring night evening, I took my bicycle and visited the night art event “NAKED FLOWERS 2022 -SAKURA- World Heritage Site Nijo-jo Castle” (Event Dates: March 18, 2022 – April 17, 2022).
Even though tickets can be purchased at the sight, I knew that only limited number of tickets were available, I quickly took out my cell phone, and accessed the event website to purchase my ticket. It is recommended that you obtain tickets in advance.
🌸Hand Sanitized with Art!?🌸
It was around 8pm, when I entered the castle gate. The sunset was already well passed and inside the castle walls was dark and calm. Walking for a while, I found a black boxes standing, and discovered that these boxes were spot for hand sanitation. Even regular hand sanitation here was an art experience!!
🌸Become one with the Art of Nijo-jo Castle🌸
Walking further, the Karamon Gate(唐門), the Japan’s Important Cultural Property, came into my view. The Karamon Gate is characterized by glittering, extremely colored carvings and massive black colored gates.
After waiting for a while, you will hear the sound of Japanese instruments, and soon, cherry petals, butterflies and birds will dance on the Karamon Gate…, gorgeous projection mapping on the Karamon Gate welcomes guests and announces the arrival of spring.
Just past the Karamon Gate, I received the “NAKED Distance Lantern ®.” This lantern is one of the art experience programs, which you can get by taking a “cherry blossom diagnosis” by scanning the QR code at the venue.
“Your Cherry Blossom” will be chosen from the cherry blossom trees blooming at the Nijo-jo Castle, and you can walk with the lantern of your cherry blossom trees. There are a total of five different colors of lanterns. This time, “My Cherry Blossom” was the orange image of the “Gosho-Mikuruma-Gaeshi.”
By walking with a lantern of different color swaying inside the castle, you will actually be part of the art!
🌸1st Cherry Blossom Spot “Cherry Blossom Garden”🌸
Walking with my orange lantern, I arrived at the first nighttime cherry blossom spot, the “Cherry Blossom Garden（Sakura-no-en）.” The beauty of the cherry blossoms stands out at this sight, as they turn various colors with the light-ups. You can experience “Hanakagari,” an interactive artwork that allows visitors to change the color of the lightings into the color of your lantern. Once you find the “Hanakagari” spot, hold your lantern over it!
🌸Giant art about 140 meters long “Colors of Spring”🌸
Passing the “Cherry Blossoms Garden,” I found a huge projection mapping. This work, one of the largest ever created, is about 140-meter-long stone wall filled with magnificent cherry Blossom. The images are also reflected in the pond below the stone wall, creating a fantastic area that colors the night of Nijo-jo Castle.
🌸2nd Cherry Blossom Spot ”Seiryuen”🌸
The second nighttime cherry blossom spot which captured my heart was the “Seiryuen”. The Japanese traditional pond garden and tea house are illuminated to show different aspects of the garden.
Passing through the arch of cherry blossoms along the “Seiryuen” sidewalk and enjoying the cherry blossoms, the exit is almost there.
At the exit, near the area where I was returning my lantern, the “DANDELION PROJECT,” a participatory artwork, excited my heart as well.
Enter your name and you can create a digital dandelion fluff which flies and dances on the special project mapping. By holding your smartphone over the QR code at the venue, the fluff will be sent also to the global “DANDELION PROJECT” sites, where it will bloom into flowers of peace.
There were some events cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemics, but NAKED, INC. has continued to collaborate with Nijo-jo Castle since 2016.
I hope to see the gorgeous art works that will color the cherry blossoms again next year!
🌸 NAKED FLOWERS 2022 -SAKURA- World Heritage Site, Nijo Castle 🌸
Motorikyu Nijo Castle
541 Nijojo-machi, Nijo-dori Horikawa-nishiiru, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto 604-8301, Japan
-March 18-April 17, 2022: Open from 6:00pm to 9:00pm (closing at 22:00)
🚉Nearest stations and bus stops:
-Kyoto City Subway “Nijojo-mae station”(a 5-minute walk)
-JR Nijo Station (a 17-minute walk)
-Bus stops : “Nijojo-mae” bus stop.
【About NAKED, INC.】
NAKED, INC. is a creative company founded in 1997. Having expanded from its roots film production, today the company utilizes compelling storytelling and creative visions while wielding cutting-edge technology to craft next-generation experiences. NAKED’s works have been presented around Japan as well as in global cities such as Paris, Shanghai, and Singapore, with brand new productions constantly underway. Notable works include the Tokyo Station projection mapping spectacle “TOKYO HIKARI VISION” and the experiential digital art series “NAKED FLOWERS”, and more.
【About Nijo-jo Castle】
This palace was built by Tokugawa Ieyasu in 1603. It witnessed the ups and downs of the Tokugawa Shogunate for nearly 300 years until the 15th shogun,Tokugawa Yoshinobu, announced his resignation andpolitial power was restored to the emperor. Ninomaru Palace, comprising 6 buildings connected in the Ganko style (the V-shaped formation of flyingeese), impresses visitors with gorgeous decor typical of the Momoyama Period (1573–1615). The Ohiroma (great room) has sliding doors with gorgeous Kano school paintings and a gridded ceilingwith colourful flwers and birds painted on it, while the Shiroshoin (shogun’s living quarters) has a calm atmosphere with ink-wash paintings intead. The 3 gardens, including Ninomaru Garden, are designated by Japan as places of Special Scenic Beauty.
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