Kairakuen garden makeover by teamlab

TeamLab is renowned for their amazing art exhibitions, which make use of digital technology to create beautiful displays. 

Kairakuen teamLab - massless exhibition in beijing
teamLab’s “Massless” exhibition in Beijing.
Image credit: teamLab

Kairakuen teamLab - everywhere is a door miami
teamLab’s “Every Wall is a Door” exhibition in Miami.
Image credit: teamLab

On 1st Feb 2022, Kairakuen garden’s makeover by teamLab was finally open to the public after a long period of anticipation. 

Kairakuen teamLab - giant cedar forest visual
Image credit: teamLab

Kairakuen garden – one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan

Kairakuen garden is a national historic site that was built in 1842, and was designated as one of the “Three Great Gardens of Japan”. This year will be its 180th anniversary, and teamLab is celebrating it by giving the garden a futuristic makeover.

At Kairakuen garden, there are about 3,000 plum trees with over 100 different varieties. It’s widely known for its beautiful plum blossoms, especially from February to March, when they are in full bloom.

Kairakuen teamLab - mito plum blossoms
Image credit: @fusan_23

The teamLab exhibition will be running concurrently with the annual Mito Plum Blossom Festival, which has been held for over 120 years.

TeamLab teases us with a video of the installations

Kairakuen teamLab - giant cedar forest
Image adapted from: teamLab

The first installation shown in a video by teamLab is the Autonomous Resonating Life and Resonating Giant Cedar Forest. The illuminated egg-like objects are touch-sensitive and change colour when they are touched. 

Since the illumination of the eggs and the surrounding trees are connected, the lights installed on the trees will also change when the eggs change colour. This concept of using light to show movement is meant to help people be more aware of the existence of other people in the same space.

Kairakuen teamLab - moso bamboo forest
Image adapted from: teamLab

The Walk, Walk, Walk – Moso Bamboo Forest installation depicts different anonymous characters walking along the bamboo grove at Kairakuen garden. The characters in the installation continue to walk endlessly as they face different events. 

According to teamLab, these characters are drawn in real time by a computer program. As such, the image you see at the present moment will never be repeated again.

Kairakuen teamLab - giant taro cedar
Image adapted from: teamLab

The Ever Blossoming Life Tree – Giant Taro Cedar features a giant taro cedar with digitised flowers blooming and scattering over time.

This installation seeks to feature different space-times at their intersecting points. For instance, the flowers that repeat life and death have a different flow of time compared to the giant cedar trees, whose lifetimes are much longer.

Kairakuen teamLab - enso circle
Image adapted from: teamLab

The Enso in the Natural Spring – Togyokusen installation portrays the Ensō circle in zen, which is a circle that is drawn in a single stroke. The Ensō circle is a symbolic representation of enlightenment, truth, and the universe.

Seeing as the Ensō stroke in the installation was drawn on a two-dimensional plane and then superimposed onto the three-dimensional natural spring, the calligraphy is thus given a new meaning as it sits in between the two planes.

What we’ve listed isn’t all the installations teamLab has to offer – you can check out their website for the full list of works. Alternatively, you can watch the full video here:

チームラボ 偕楽園 光の祭(2022)/ teamLab: Digitized Kairakuen Garden(2022)
play button
チームラボ 偕楽園 光の祭(2022)/ teamLab: Digitized Kairakuen Garden(2022)

Video credit: teamLab

Getting to Kairakuen garden

Before making a reservation to visit Kairakuen garden, do note that the event is not wheelchair-friendly as there are stairs, steps, and unpaved areas in the garden.

There are also two entrances to the garden, and you are advised to enter and exit from the same entrance as you may miss certain installations should you choose to do otherwise.

In the case of bad weather, the event may be cancelled. Lastly, eating and drinking is not permitted in the garden.

Getting there: Kairakuen garden is a 20-minute bus ride from Mito Station. There is parking available, but it is normally crowded during the Mito Plum Festival. It is thus advisable to use public transport instead.

Address: 1 Chome, Tokiwa-cho, Mito-shi, Ibaraki-ken
Available dates: 1st Feb 2022-31 Mar 2022
Opening hours: 6PM-8.30PM (last admission 8PM)
Admission: Ticket prices are ¥1,800 (~USD15.83) for adults, ¥800 (~USD7.03) for students 18 years old or younger, and free for children under 13 years old.

Note: Due to Covid-19, all tickets have to be purchased in advance here. Do make sure to select the correct date before making your purchase.

Telephone: 029-243-4111

teamLab gives Kairakuen a makeover

The Kairakuen garden illuminations are back again this year, with beautiful and philosophical installations by teamLab that will not only wow you, but also make you think deeply about life. 

If you are in Japan from February to March, be sure to visit Kairakuen garden for a truly unforgettable viewing experience.

For more beautiful places to visit in Japan, check out:

Cover image adapted from: teamLab

Drop us your email so you won't miss the latest news.