Monday, August 10, 2015

Day 23/24 - Sweaty Darkness and Stunning Lights

Day 23
Jogging appears to be the most exhausting activity in the Japanese summer - even at night!! We jogged together along the Philosopher's Walk, which is close to our rental house and some 2.3 km one-way. Even though it's mostly even, you drown in your sweat afterwards. Fortunately, after 8 o'clock in the evening, there's not a soul to be seen, except very few persons who walk the dog or pet cats along the path.

Day 24
Before we went to town, we wanted to see how the Community House of Kyoto is like, and afterwards visited a friend of my former arts teacher in his gallery. I was quite afraid of entering the gallery, because there were two Japanese men sitting inside and talking. When I dared to approach one of the men and asked about the friend's name, he was the friend himself, though. Then we started talking and later went outside to involve my father, who was sitting on the outside bench. I enjoyed this meeting very much and the Japanese artist resembles my Swiss art teacher quite a lot ;-)

Continuing our bicycle ride towards the Kyo no Tanabata Festival, we had a surprise encounter: A couple driving two pimped motorcycles with music so loud that it's blasting.

The Kyo no Tanabata Festival is about a god and a goddess (represented by the two alpha-stars Vega and Altair) who are deeply in love but separated by the milky way. They can only see each other on July 7th (according to the lunar calender, which is actually in August in the Western calendar). In reference to the Chinese Tanabata legend, the city of Kyoto organized several exhibits that are all related to light, some even to stars. At 7 o'clock, with a little delay, we experienced a wonderful intro at Nijo Castle (the Shogun's palace, a World Heritage Site that was only opened at night for that special purpose):

After ten minutes of spectacle we were pushed into a flow of people and guided across the street, lead by "Star Wars" police officers (they wave around with devices that look like light swords, and they wear safety vests with blinking red and blue LEDs like the warriors in "Tron"), and flowed into the banks of a small canal to watch all the other light attractions of that evening. An uncountable number of different lanterns in each size, some individual projects and many LED light projects. The highlight was an 25 m long walk under an artificial (LED) night sky which projected shooting stars, the milky way, and of course Altair and Vega - accompanied by romantic Cello & Piano music.

For the German speaking world:
This is not related
to nudism...

Incredible, what you can do with paper, fabric and light! These mother and child figures wearing kimonos aren't painted, the fabric is just attached the back side of the umbrella surface.

No comments:

Post a Comment