Digital art display in Nagano moves into its final form.

A number of Japan’s castles are modern reconstructions, their prior structures having been lost to the fires of war, the wear and tear of time, or simply the gradual dismantling of the feudal warrior class following the end of Japan’s Sengoku period. Matsumoto Castle, though, is one of the still-standing originals.

Located in the city of Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture, Matsumoto Castle was built in the late 16th century and is an officially designated National Treasure of Japan. That doesn’t mean Matsumoto Castle is stuck in the past, though, as this winter the castle is being lit up nightly as part of a breathtaking projection mapping art project.

The display is all the more impressive thanks to the pond that Matsumoto Castle sits at the center of. While such a feature would be a valuable anti-siege feature back in the day, here in the modern era it creates a mirror-like surface for the castle to reflect onto, doubling the amount of color for visitors’ eyes to enjoy.

▼ Video of the Matsumoto Castle projection mapping display

The entire program, produced by Nagoya-based digital art creative company Hitohata, lasts for roughly nine minutes, and is shown nightly between 6 and 9 p.m., with an approximately three-minute break between cycles, so you’ll never have more than a 12-minute wait to see the whole thing. The surrounding park is also illuminated as part of the festivities.

The display debuted on December 16, with its first phase running until January 7. The second phase (seen in the video above), with new patterns, began the following day and concluded on January 26. That doesn’t mean you’ve missed your chance to see this amazing artwork on-site, though, since the third and final phase of the Matsumoto Castle projection mapping event kicked off on January 27 and will continue until February 14.

Source, images: PR Times
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Follow Casey on Twitter, where between castles, hiking, onsen, and soba, he’s always down for a trip to Nagano.