Art Aquarium at Kyoto’s Nijo Castle this Fall

Art Aquarium at Kyoto’s Nijo Castle this Fall

The Art Aquarium show, which has made a major splash with people all across Japan, is currently exhibiting at Nijo Castle in Kyoto.

Produced by aquarist Hidetomo Kimura, the aquatic art exhibition is a fusion of the concepts “art” and “design” with “aquarium.” Combining the rippling and shifting illumination of the aquarium itself with video feed and aquatic life, this new and original exhibition began in 2011 at Nihonbashi in Tokyo and has since skyrocketed in popularity, with a total attendance of over 5 million.

The sight of schools of goldfish swimming in the waters of novel and gorgeous tanks truly makes for a work of art you can’t enjoy anywhere else. The vibrant colors of the Art Aquarium will decorate Kyoto’s Nijo Castle until Monday December 14, 2015.

With the World Heritage Site Nijo Castle as its site, Art Aquarium Castle is being held again as a continuation of events from last year. The castle normally closes at 17:00, but the event is held in the evening, a time when the castle would otherwise be off-limits. This is truly a special exhibition, as the venues include places generally not open to the public, such as the austere inner garden of Ninomaru Goten.

In the "World of Japan Art Aquarium," which focuses on the quintessentially Japanese beauty embodied by ornamental carp and goldfish, you will find the elegant jewel of the gigantic fishbowl series "O-oku" presented in a gorgeous and graceful realm that's infused with kimono and those other works of traditional Japanese craft that are the pride of Kyoto.

A first for Kyoto, the Byoburium (“byobu” refers to jointed Japanese panel screens) is a work fusing the virtual world (video projection) with the real (aquatic life). Atop a video of a byobu painted in black ink, goldfish swim and dance, casting their shadows to complete this work of art. "Nijushisekki Shichijuniko," a work whose title refers to the 72 5-day "weeks" and 24 15-day “months” of the old solar calendar, changes its theme every five days, creates a space truly suited to Kyoto by presenting collaborative items (e.g., traditional flower arrangement) and a collection of kimono in themes of seasonal flowers woven through with goldfish.

In addition, inspired by an imagining of the gorgeous banquets once held here in the old capital, there are performances and displays of traditional entertainments held on a specially-created stage. At the Yomatsuri (“night festival”) Bar, bewitchingly illuminated by traditional paper lanterns, you’ll be able to enjoy a rich selection of elements of Japanese culture, savoring not only the local drinks and pickles of Kyoto but also teas and traditional Japanese sweets, as well.

A completely new type of artwork, this melding of traditional Japanese performance arts and entertainment is not to be missed!

【 About the Exhibit 】
Art Aquarium Castle ~Kyoto, the Dance of Kingyo~
Place: Motorikyu Nijo Castle
Date: October 23, 2015 (Fri.) to December 14 (Mon.) - Every Day
*Though the event will be held in the rain as well, if a rough weather warning is issued, the event may be put on hold temporarily.
Opening Hours: 17:00 to 22:00 (Last admission 21:30)
*About a 17-minute walk from JR Nijo Station
*A short walk from Nijojo-mae Station, Tozai Subway Line
*A short walk from the Nijojo-mae stop on Kyoto city bus routes 9, 50, and 101, all departing from JR Kyoto Station
Official Website:

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