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The teamLab Kairakuen Light Festival Returns to Ibaraki in 2022

The teamLab Kairakuen Light Festival Returns to Ibaraki in 2022

Date published: 7 February 2022

This spring, the popular art collective, teamLab, returns to one of Japan's most famous gardens, bringing nature back to life with their interactive outdoor digital art exhibition.

teamLab is a digital art collective with a knack for combining dazzling displays of light and projection mapping with the beauty of nature. From February 1 to March 31, 2022, teamLab will team up with LuckyFM Ibaraki Broadcasting to transform Japan's historic Kairakuen garden into an interactive art exhibit that changes with the movements of the visiting crowd.

Historic Japanese Garden Transforms Into Futuristic Fantasy Land

Historic Japanese Garden Transforms Into Futuristic Fantasy Land
Image Source: PR Times

Kairakuen is known as one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan, alongside Kenrokuen Garden in Kanazawa and Korakuen Garden in Okayama.

The exhibit takes place at the perfect time, too, as it coincides not only with the garden's 180th anniversary but the annual Mito Plum Festival. The Mito Plum Festival is a 120-year old celebration that draws visitors in droves to the garden every February and March to appreciate their 3,000 blooming plum trees.

The installation by teamLab, called Digitized Kairakuen Garden 2022, is an immersive light experience that explores how artists can use digital technology to turn nature into works of art without harming the environment.

But that's not to say that nature isn't already a work of art in and of itself. teamLab uses its fantastic displays to enhance the garden's natural beauty, transforming it from a historic garden into a futuristic fantasy land.

Digitizing Nature to Express Life's Cycles

Digitizing Nature to Express Life's Cycles
Image Source: PR Times

The works on display follow the theme, 'unfathomable lengths of time,' which is appropriate considering Kairakuen's long history (it was built in 1842) and one of the garden's long-time residents, a giant, 800-year-old tree. The exhibition will consist of eight brilliant works that attempt to express 'the continuous cycle of life and death.'

The entire exhibit spans the vast garden grounds, making use of 1,500 plum trees, a bamboo grove, pine trees, azaleas, and the giant, 800-year-old cedar. The display will incorporate light projections, moving images, audio effects, and colorful interactive ovoid lights that change color when visitors come near.

With light as the main art medium, the exhibition ensures there will be no damage to the plants or buildings. Also, as the displays are all light-based, the exhibit is an after-dark event, running from 6:00-8.30PM every day throughout the event period. Admissions end at 8:00PM. 

Note that the art exhibit is a separate event from general entry to the garden, and park visitors who enter before 5PM must leave and re-enter to see the teamLab exhibit from 6PM.

Digitized Kairakuen Garden 2022 Event Details

Kairakuen 180th Anniversary teamLab Light Festival 2022
・Exhibition Period: February 1-March 31, 2022
・Time: 6:00PM-8:30PM (Last entry 8:00PM)
・Venue: Kairakuen (1-chome, Tokiwa-cho, Mito City, Ibaraki Prefecture)
・Ticket Prices:
-Adults: 1,800 yen (tax included)
-Junior high/high school: 800 yen (tax included)
-Elementary school and under: Free
*Sales begin in early January 2022; purchase online from the Official teamLab Website
*Limited same-day tickets only available onsite from Monday-Thursday, excluding holidays

Mito Plum Festival Details
Official Site

Event Access

By car
・20 min from Mito I.C. on Joban Expressway
・20 min from Ibarakimachi Higashi I.C. on Kita Kanto Expressway
・20 min from Mitominami I.C. on Kita Kanto Expressway

*Please consider using public transportation during the Mito Plum Blossom Festival, as parking lots and surrounding roads tend to be crowded.

By Public Transportation
・20 minutes by bus from JR Joban Line Mito Station (North Exit)
・5-min walk from Kobuntei Omotesando bus stop to East Gate
・3-min walk from Kairakuen Higashimon bus stop to East Gate
・3-min walk from Kairakuen Mae bus stop to East Gate
・5-min walk from Kairakuen bus stop to East Gate
・10-min walk from Sembako bus stop to East Gate

Please Note:
・Portions of the venue may be unpaved or have stairs and may be inaccessible to people with wheelchairs, disabilities, and strollers.
・Event subject to cancellation due to inclement weather.
・Outside food and drink are prohibited in the park.
・The exhibition entry is separate from the general Kairakuen Garden entry. Separate ticket purchase required.
・Exhibition contents are subject to change depending on the coronavirus situation.
・Visitors requested to comply with proper health and safety measures, including wearing masks, temperature checks, disinfection of hands, social distancing, and registration in the Ibaraki Amabie-chan contact confirmation system.

For more details, please see the official website.

Source: PR Times

Written by:

Krys Suzuki

Krys Suzuki

Krys is a Japanese-fluent, English native speaker from New York City. A former JET participant and private English teacher, Krys now works full time as a remote Japanese-to-English translator, author, and artist, with a focus on subjects related to Japanese language, travel, and culture. (JLPT Level N1.)

*This information is from the time of this article's publication.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.

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