A Unesco World Heritage Site, Kyoto’s Nijo Castle is getting a new look this spring with a collaborative digital art event hosted by art collective Naked. This is not the first time the company, led by actor and artistic director Ryotaro Muramatsu, has hosted an immersive light-up display at the 400-year-old castle, but last year’s event was cut-short due to Covid-19. This year, the spectacular event is scheduled to run from March 19 to April 11 2021.
This edition of ‘Flowers by Naked’ is a collaboration between Muramatsu and fashion photographer Leslie Kee as well as ikebana artist Yuki Ikenobo, who is the the designated fourth generation headmaster of Japan’s oldest school of ikebana. The joint-creation with Ikenobo, titled ‘Breath/Bless Project’, is one that has never been shown in Kyoto before. The dandelions in this artwork were originally designed to release fluff when participants blew on them. Unfortunately, due to coronavirus safety protocols, the fluffy seeds will now float when a smartphone is waved over them instead. Nevertheless, it still makes for a magical sight.
Because the event will coincide with Nijo Castle’s cherry blossom festival, the compound’s 300 cherry trees will also be lit up after sundown. There are 50 varieties of sakura on site, including the popular Somei-Yoshino trees, weeping cherry trees and Sato trees.
The light-up event will run every night from 6pm to 10pm (last entry 9pm). Admission is ¥1,400 for adults and ¥800 for children from Monday to Thursday. Ticket prices are slightly higher from Friday to Sunday: ¥1,800 for adults and ¥1,000 for children. VR goggles to enhance the experience are available to rent for an additional ¥600. You can book your tickets here.
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