Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Digital Gate

Digital sakura in full bloom at Kyoto's Nijo Castle

The Asahi Shimbun    By TOMOYOSHI KUBO/ Staff Writer  April 4, 2017 

The projection mapping show of cherry blossoms at Nijo Castle’s Karamon gate in Kyoto on April 3 (Yoshiko Sato)

KYOTO--“Sakura” in full blossom are already attracting visitors to Nijo Castle here, thanks to a projection mapping show.

Cherry blossom-inspired digital images are being projected on to the UNESCO World Heritage site’s Karamon gate, which is designated as an important cultural property. The digital images show the cherry blossoms in full bloom and petals blowing about beautifully.

Real cherry blossoms have also just started to bloom at the castle, but have not yet reached their peak. The digital sakura continues through April 16.

It is being held for the first time to mark the 150th anniversary of when the castle hosted the Taisei Hokan event, in which political power was returned to the emperor by the Tokugawa Shogunate.

The current event's motif is the spirit of sakura that is often featured in traditional Noh plays. The CG-imaged story at Nijo Castle shows cherry blossoms in full bloom covering fields and when two cranes fly through the gate, the petals follow through behind the majestic birds. A pair of cranes are actually featured on the Karamon gate.

According to the Nijo Castle office, 300 cherry blossom trees of 50 varieties in the castle grounds are expected to be in full bloom by the end of this week. They are illuminated from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Admission is 400 yen ($3.60) for an adult.

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