Hotel Gajoen’s “Wa no Akari x Hyakudan Kaidan” illumination, now in its fourth year, features over 1,000 artworks by 63 exhibitors in celebration of Japan’s traditional arts, crafts and colorful summer festivals.
The centerpiece of “Wa no Akari x Hyakudan Kaidan 2018” is a larger-than-life illuminated Nebuta float from Aomori created especially for this exhibition. Hovering majestically above a black marble floor that evokes the surface of the sea, the Nebuta represents characters from the Japanese folktale Taketori Monogatari (“The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter”) and was a collaboration between master Nebuta makers Ryuho Tatsuta, Shunichi Kitamura and Shigeki Tezuka.
Other featured artworks include paper and glass lanterns, dried botanicals, jewelry, ceramics, and Edo Kiriko glassware, and visitors are even able to interact with some of the installations. The haunting background music in each room is by AUN J Classic Orchestra (http://www.aunj.jp/eng/eng.html), a group that uses traditional Japanese instruments like shakuhachi, shamisen, and koto to create original works.
The illuminations and various artworks are displayed in the hotel’s Hyakudan Kaidan (“100-Step Staircase”), a wooden building dating from the early Showa era. A tangible cultural property of Tokyo, Hyakudan Kaidan features seven ornate rooms originally used as banquet rooms, each lavishly painted or carved by famous artists of the era. Normally the building is closed to the public, but guests are able to photograph and record freely during the “Wa no Akari x Hyakudan Kaidan” illumination. An optional audioguide can be rented for 500 yen that gives more background on the Hyakudan Kaidan and its individual rooms (note it does not cover the exhibition / art installations, only the rooms themselves).
On your way out, be sure to check out the “Wa no Akari” gift shop featuring crafts and merchandise from featured artworks / regions, including Koginzashi embroidery and Nebuta-themed gifts from Aomori Prefecture, Kingyo Neputa (goldfish lanterns), Edo Kiriko glassware, textiles, AUN J Classic Orchestra CDs, and more.
“Wa no Akari x Hyakudan Kaidan” illumination runs through 02 September at Hotel Gajoen Tokyo; the nearest subway station is Meguro.
Wa no Akari x Hyakudan Kaidan 2018
Location: Hotel Gajoen Tokyo
July 7, 2018 – September 2, 2018 (*No Holidays)
Time: [Monday-Thursday] 10am-5pm (Last Entries 4:30pm) / [Friday, Weekends, Holidays & August 13-17] 10am-8pm (Last Entries 7:30pm)
*Photography allowed. However, tripods and flash photography are prohibited.
Entry Price: ¥1,500 / Students – ¥800 (ID Required) / Children – Free
TEL: 03-5434-3140 (10am-6pm)
Official Page: http://www.hotelgajoen-tokyo.com/event/wanoakari2018