The 2019 Wano Akari Exhibition

An exhibition of light in the old Hyakudan Kaidan house

By Elena Lisina    - 2 min read

Japan has many unique traditions, festivals and arts, and one of them is the art of lighting objects such as lanterns. Good examples include Kanto Matsuri of Akita City and the Aomori Nebuta Matsuri which is famous for its elaborately lit giant lantern floats.

The Wano Akari exhibition is held in Hotel Gajoen located in Meguro, Tokyo in the Hyakudan Kaidan - an old wooden house with a number of stories and each room decorated with beautiful paintings and carvings. Besides wall panels, the ceiling is painted as well. I’d never seen such unique house before and was much impressed. The house alone is worth visiting!

The title of this year’s exhibitions is ‘Colors of the Heart’. Each room is devoted to one theme, such as ‘Japanese Parasols’, ‘Glass Art’, ‘Shadows’ and so on. If detail is your thing, it can take quite a long time to examine and enjoy each piece on display. I was particularly impressed by the lit 'lacy’ lamps giving off beautiful shadows and the rows of fish-shaped lanterns. I also enjoyed the funny dolls composed into scenes with different light sources.

Some of the exhibits are available as gifts in the souvenir shop as well as books, post cards and other such items. I’d highly recommend catching that exhibition as it runs until September 1, 2019.

Photography and video are allowed, but no flash. At the entrance of the exhibition you'll need to take off your shoes. Shoes can be left in the lobby or you can carry them in a plastic bag available at the entrance. The ticket price of ¥1600 may seem expensive, but the exhibition and the house are worth it.

Getting there

Hotel Gajoen is located in Meguro. From the West Exit of Meguro Station turn left and walk down the steep street for about 5 minutes.

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Elena Lisina

Elena Lisina @shiroi.tenshi

I love Japan very much! I like small towns of Japan where I can watch people doing their business and talk to them carefully. They're always friendly. I like Japanese gardens where I can just sit or walk and take my time. Also I like Shinto Jinja as being there I feel in peace. I like to watch sunsets and then to dine in some small local places. I like to soak into onsen after a long day of wandering. I like Japanese crafts very much as all items are made with great taste and skill. Nihon wo daisuki desuyo! My photos from Japan I also place here: https://gurushots.com/f10384/photos Matane!