Site of Reversible Destiny

A grandscale artpiece by Shusaku Arakawa

By Michelle Ishiki    - 2 min read

Don’t know how I stumbled across the website a few years ago. (I still have never seen this in any tourist brochure.) Perhaps it was destiny. With a name like Site of Reversible Destiny I immediately thought, “I have to check it out.” Was it just an indoor/ outdoor fun house? It came across as slightly cultish. How would a cult try to convert people through a place like this? How would I know if my destiny had been reversed? So, many questions.

Luckily, I was wrong. It wasn’t related in any way to a cult. This grandscale artpiece was created in 1997 by New York-based contemporary artist Shusaku Arakawa and poet Madeline Gins to get visitors to connect with their surroundings in a unique way.

We received a pamphlet with a layout of the place at the ticket window, but with so much to check out my friend and I just dove right in and started exploring. The hilly terrain, and fun house type rooms kept my senses and curiosity wondering, “What’s going on?“or “I wanna see what’s over there.” I remember meandering around the forested parts, trying to get my bearings, and looking across the way wondering how those people got to top of another curved ridge. There’s a maze like room with home furnishings, (couches, sinks, etc.) blocking the way. (Maybe this would seem like home for some people.) It took a while to find Gifu while walking all over the large map of Japan that covered a huge mound; glad I wore my shoes with good tread.

This is definitely a place for people of all ages. I'd allow for at least two hours so you can fully explore the indoor parts and the unusual landscaped sections of the park. I don’t want to go into too much detail about what awaits you. That would take away from the fun of experiencing this place first hand. Next time though I’ll pack a lunch and have a picnic in the grassy area next door.

Still not sure if my destiny had been reversed. And if I go back would it be reversed back? Hmm.

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Michelle Ishiki

Michelle Ishiki @geminimoai

I came to Japan from the U.S. about six years ago to live, work and play. There's always something new to be discovered, and every day is still an adventure here.

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