Every year around autumn colours (in November), a digital art studio would collaborate with Himeji for a night time light-up event. If you enjoy digital art as much as I do, you're appreciate the creativity that go into the displays and how they try to incorporate it with the space they are working with.
If you're not a fan of art, I think you can still appreciate the esthetics of it. Last year was the Himeji Castle Night Fantasia, which I wrote about... last year (duh)! It featured digital art to tell a heroic story of a warrior fighting a bunch of Japanese oni (demons) and protecting its princess. The story kind of added a nice little touch to it, especially for younger audiences, which made it extremely family-friendly. But regardless, plenty of couples and adults visit this place as it's also a great excuse to see Himeji Castle at night. All of the installations were outdoors last year, which sort of makes it a good transition into this year... with COVID19 and ventilation.
This is a walk-through type of art installation. This means there's a set path you should follow to see everything. Of course, no one is holding a gun to your head to make you follow through it. But it is highly recommend to do so.
This year's theme, if you haven't caught on already, is Ninja Night.
The installation's display period is also pretty short this year. It only ran for one week as oppose to almost an entire month last year, which I suspect is due to COVID19. Upon entry, everyone must add a government-run channel by Hyogo Prefecture on LINE (chat app). You must self-report any symptoms, and even now it continues to ask me to self-report every couple of days. Whether you think that's enough is a conversation outside of this post, but that's what was in place during admission. And.. Masks and sanitizer of course are a must, as usual.
To enhance the experience, people can rent a lantern to carry around as they walk. However, even without it, you can still fully enjoy the experience.
The stage of the ninja performance is right in front of the full view of Himeji Castle. Performances are every 40 minutes until closing time, but while you wait, you can go back or go forward to look at the other installations before coming back.
Or, just enjoy the night view.
I arrived about 10 minutes before the next performance, so I didn't have to kill a lot of time. It was a good time for me to look for a spot to watch the performance whilst social distancing, which was being encouraged via announcements before the performance.
And before long, they started.......
Here's a snippet of how the show was like:
After the show, it was time to move on to the rest of the art installations.
The above is a photo spot, but I opted out due to the line ups and crowds.
My favourite added addition at the end was this bubble machine at the very end of the walk. The bubbles lit up so if you stood in the right spot, you could take photos like these:
And finally, the million-dollar photo. The water reflection is a really nice added touch at night time. I always love seeing Himeji Castle, whether it's night or day.
Overall, this year's art installation was really short. There were less places to stop at to watch or look at things, which I think is because of the current situation we're in... The less spots to stop, the less crowding there would be.
That's it for this one, until next time!