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Enjoy the Art Aquarium that Paints Kyoto’s Nights in Vibrant Colors

The Art Aquarium is an exhibit that fuses art, design and entertainment with aquariums. For fall this year, it will be held at Nijo-jo Castle, the former imperial villa in Kyoto that boasts of a history spanning more than 400 years. Below are the details of the events that will surely fill the castle with a whimsical vibe!

What is the Art Aquarium?

The Art Aquarium is an exhibit where goldfish and colored carp swim in a magnificent Japanese-themed world that is made possible by phantasmagoric aquariums and space designs, along with the play of light, music and video. It is a work of art created by the artist Hidetomo Kimura. The Goldfish Series exhibit is a popular attraction that houses Japanese-style art pieces where the main star is the beautiful goldfish. This exhibit celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2016, and has been visited by a whopping 7.9 million guests throughout its entire run.

For Fall 2017, the Event Will Be Held at Kyoto’s Nijo-jo Castle, the Former Imperial Villa

Now, step into the world of Taisei Hokan 150th Anniversary ART AQUARIUM CASTLE ~Kyoto , Dance of Kingyo~, the exhibit that will be held in Kyoto during the fall this year. Guests will be able to appreciate fascinating artworks at Nijo-jo Castle, the former imperial villa, which has a long history dating back more than 400 years.
This year (2017) marks a major milestone for Kyoto, as it is the 150th year since Taisei Hokan (when the Edo shogunate relinquished sovereignty to Kyoto’s Imperial Court) took place. In commemoration of this, the exhibit aims to showcase new works that express the changes in Japanese art history, focusing on the impact of Taisei Hokan on the art world.

Exhibit period: October 25, 2017 (Tue) – December 11, 2017 (Mon)
Opening hours: 5:00 PM – 10:00 PM
※General admission will start at 8:00 PM only on October 25th
Venue: Nijo-jo Castle (Ninomaru Palace Garden (garden in front of the Old Chef’s Quarters) and the Old Chef’s Quarters)
Entrance fee:
General: 1,500 JPY (incl. tax)
Child: 1,000 (incl. tax)

※Photos are from past exhibits

For Fall 2017, the Event Will Be Held at Kyoto’s Nijo-jo Castle, the Former Imperial Villa

541 Nijo-jo-cho, Nijo-dori Horikawa Nishi-iru, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

Here are the Highlights!

At the Art Aquarium Castle – the only outdoor exhibit – visitors will see goldfish and colored carp in a space design that can only be realized outdoors. The new works in Taisei Hokan Byobu-e (painted folding screens) will treat visitors to a fusion of the real and virtual. They will be able to appreciate goldfish swimming in three folding screen-type aquariums that show the transitions of the history of Japanese art during the “Late Edo”, “Early Meiji” and “Modern Civilization”. New kinds of artwork that can only be displayed outdoors are also must-see pieces, along with works of art that will make their debut in Western Japan. Some of these works include the Super Oiran that features 3,000 goldfish swimming, the Kirikorium that uses Edo kiriko glass (cut glass from Edo) to symbolize Edo culture, and the Kutani Goldfish Exhibition that is made with a traditional craft called Kutaniyaki (style of pottery). Aside from those, there will be many other gorgeous artworks on display.

※Photo is for illustration purposes

Check Out the Special Stage!

Make sure to watch the special performances of festive songs and dances at the special Stage of Suigi.
At the Dance of Geiko and Maiko that will be held at night from October 25th (Wed) through October 31th (Tue), Geiko (geisha) and maiko (apprentice geisha) will perform Kyo-mai (one of the schools of Japanese dance). Visitors will experience a combination of the elegant Kyoto culture and the Art Aquarium.
Meanwhile, the Dance of Kingyo will be performed by an artist who is a star of Taishu Engeki (theater for the masses) on the nights of November 1st (Wed) – December 11th (Mon) (※ No performance on November 17th (Fri)). Clad in a kimono that is designed with seasonal flowers and goldfish, he will captivate the audience with this fascinating dance.

※Photo is for illustration purposes

Enjoy the Night Festival BAR and Tea Ceremony Space!

The venue will transform into a world of “utage” (banquet) that is reminiscent of the beautiful and elegant nights spent in Kyoto. Guests can soak in the gorgeous artworks at the vast outdoors while savoring local sake, Kyoto-style oden (various ingredients stewed in soy sauce-based broth), tsukemono (pickled vegetables) and other delights at the Night Festival BAR. They can also taste matcha green tea and Kyoto-style Japanese sweets from well-established confectionery shops in town at the Tea Ceremony Space.

※Photo is for illustration purposes

The event will sell various types of tickets, including same-day tickets. There are also tickets (General Admission: 3,000 JPY (incl. tax)) that will enable guests to enjoy priority entry into the venue on a specific date, though entrance restrictions will apply. Please check the official homepage for more details.

*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.

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