Kyoto is, of course, one of Japan’s most loved and visited sightseeing destinations, so it doesn’t really need any extra help drawing crowds. But that doesn’t mean something a little extra-special would hurt anything! This year marks the 400th anniversary of Rimpa, a traditional school of Japanese painting that came from a community of craftsmen founded in 1615. In honor of the anniversary, the Rimpa 400 Year Celebration Festival is being held in Kyoto, and one of the events is the Art Aquarium, making an appearance in Nijo Castle!


Combining fish and bright neon lights might seem like an odd endeavor, and we suppose it actually is fairly odd, but that hasn’t stopped the crowds from flocking to Nijo Castle at night to enjoy the event. Art Aquarium events have thoroughly proven their popularity in Tokyo, but this is the largest version yet!

▼ The popular actress Mitsu Dan even put in an appearance!


The event is situated in Moto-Rikyu Nijo Castle, and open in the evening hours when the castle is typically closed to the public. This is actually the second time Art Aquarium has been held at this location, but the event is still a special chance for the average person to see the castle at night.

▼ Here’s the centerpiece of the event as it goes through some color changes.




With all the lovely colors and its prominent position in event posters, this piece, called “O-oku,” is roughly three meters (just shy of ten feet) across. The goldfish flitting around the water are certainly enchanting as well!


In addition to the center piece, there are numerous smaller tanks placed around the venue. Some of them, like the ones pictured above and below, come in simpler colors, providing a bit of a breather from the intensity of O-oku’s striking neon lights.


Here’s also where the aquarium part really shines, giving visitors the opportunity to get a good look at some of the fish floating around. Many of the visitors have thoroughly enjoyed the cute little creatures. Hopefully you’ll agree!



The event is filled with numerous unique tanks, lights of all colors, and plenty of fish. You’ll definitely want to take your time to look at all the displays, basking in their cool glow! Here are a few more photos of the stunning colors.







The event will run until mid-December, so if you’re planning to be in Kyoto over the next month and a half, you’ll probably want to set aside a night to see the Art Aquarium at Nijo Castle!

Event Information
Rimpa 400 Year Celebration Festival — Art Aquarium Castle
Address: Moto Rikyuu Nijojo 541 Nijojo-cho, Nakagyou-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto-fu
元離宮二条城 京都府京都市中京区二条城町541
Open 5 p.m.-10 p.m. (last entry 9:30 p.m.)
Period: From October 23, 2015 to December 14, 2015
Admittance fee: 1,600 yen (US$13) for general admittance, 1,000 yen for elementary school students or younger, free for children three or younger

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