Feb. 08, 2019 UPDATE

Nijo Castle’s night cherry blossom illumination festival

The beautiful night cherry blossoms illuminated at the World Heritage Site of Nijo Castle; what else could you want?
Sampo[ Sharing Kyoto Staff ]

Nijo Castle is always a popular destination, but it’s especially popular during the cherry blossom season. And at night it’s a spectacular sight, which why there is a long line in front of the castle of people waiting to get in to see the night blossoms. 

In 2017 the cherry blossom festival was held from March 24 to April 16, and during the day tickets were 600 yen and at night 400 yen. The tickets are cheaper at night because the area you can go to is limited during the night cherry blossom illumination. Note that at least in 2017 those wearing a kimono got in for free. 

Nijo Castle

Even the moat around Nijo Castle is really pretty at night with the clouds reflecting on it. 

We got in in about 15 minutes

The line to get in is long, but fortunately, it moves fast. We got in in about 15 minutes.

3D projection mapping show

After buying your ticket (400 yen for adults) you get to see a 3D projection mapping show at a gate of the castle. There are cherry blossoms, cranes and dragons flying, and it is all very nice and colorful.

It was pretty

It was pretty, but not exceptionally interesting. But there was another projection mapping show that was just that…

we weren’t the only people even at this gate

… but we weren’t the only people even at this gate. 

The cherry blossoms

The cherry blossoms are really beautiful, but a word of warning: you can’t use tripods inside the castle park, so taking pictures is not always that easy. 

purple light

Some of the cherry blossoms were illuminated with purple light making them stand out from the rest. 

Japanese historic court clothing

This was the other 3D projection mapping show, and this one was the more impressive one. The guy on the picture wearing Japanese historic court clothing looked almost real when he danced with the storm of cherry petals flying on the Japanese doors. 

Nissan Leaf

They also had a Nissan Leaf surrounded by cherry blossoms on display. Too bad you couldn’t test drive it. 

there are food stalls

Plus if you get hungry, there are food stalls. Though of course, the prices are higher and the taste maybe not quite as good as the restaurants outside the castle. 

A comment from the staff
This event is a must-go if you are in Kyoto during the cherry blossom season. It can get a bit crowded, but the lines move fast and the cherry blossoms are pretty. In 2017 it has been 150 years since the governing authority in Japan was returned to the emperor from the shogunate, which is why they had two 3D projection mapping shows, but I’m already looking forward to what they will have in 2018.

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