When picturing famous Japanese castles, people often have in mind vivid cherry blossoms or clear-blue skies in the background. Recently, however, castles are becoming more attractive at night through efforts such as projection mapping technology.
Events to view images projected on castle keeps or other parts of famed castles are spreading around the nation. In 2016, Matsumae Castle in Hokkaido, Odawara Castle in Kanagawa Prefecture, Kokura Castle in Fukuoka Prefecture, Karatsu Castle in Saga Prefecture and some other castles were awash with brilliant colors.
Simple projection of images are not the limit as various attempts have been launched to create attractive events.
At Himeji Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage site in Hyogo Prefecture, an event named "Night Adventure KIRAMEKI" was held from Dec. 2 to 11. "Kirameki" means "glittering."
The castle held a similar projection mapping event in 2015 at its main keep, but there was confusion at the event as the viewing area became overcrowded partly because admission was free.
Reflecting on that experience, the organizers refrained from conducting the projection mapping at the main keep during the event last year. Instead, the projection mapping was given at several places at the castle so visitors could stroll the castle grounds to see the images.
On a day in early February that saw a dusting of snow, about 70 people from 11 countries visited Aizuwakamatsu in Fukushima Prefecture. The visitors - from countries including France, Spain and Italy - were participating in a tour organized by Tokyo-based travel agency Miki Tourist Co. (the-japan-news.com)
Universal Studios Japan on Wednesday unveiled the world's largest amusement area featuring the popular animated movie characters the Minions ahead of the area's official opening on Friday. (Japan Today)
Narita Airport and 11 other Japanese airports on Saturday started using portable personal identification devices to speed up immigration checks, at a time when the number of tourists from abroad is soaring. (the-japan-news.com)
A tourist train running on tracks of a now-defunct local railway operator in the town of Takachiho, Miyazaki Prefecture, southwestern Japan, is winning popularity for its panoramic views of nature. (Jiji)