The KIMONO FOREST: the forest that lights up at NIGHT. A hint for EUROPE?

It is defined as the best fusion of nature and culture in the whole world. But where is it located and why isn't a European version created?

credit: mainichi.jp

It is defined as the best fusion of nature and culture in the whole world. But where is it located and why isn’t a European version created?

The KIMONO FOREST: the forest that lights up at NIGHT. A hint for EUROPE?

The whole world knows the Japanese word “kimono”, but few people know what it really means. It can literally be translated as “what you wear”, emphasizing not its shape or scope of use but simply its function. So who or what wears the kimono doesn’t matter, and the Japanese had the good idea to put many colorful kimonos on artificial trees, resulting in a magical forest of kimonos. Defined the highest expression of the union between nature and cultural tradition, where is the Kimono Forest located?

# The best fusion of nature and culture ever created by man

credit: siviaggia.it

The “Kimono Forest” is a permanent installation near Kyoto, precisely in the tourist resort of Arashiyama. This town is known all over the world for its immense bamboo forest, of which the web is now saturated with photographs and videos. For recalling the natural ecosystem of the city, adding however the touch of class of the Japanese cultural tradition, has been created a work that merges them: a forest of kimonos. Anyone who has been there has been fascinated by it and there are many who argue that it is an example of the perfect fusion of nature and culture, the best ever created by man.

# A place that is more unique than rare, yet reserved for a few

credit: en.japantravel.com

Despite being so special, it is hardly ever counted as one of Kyoto’s top tourist attractions and is therefore often overlooked. The positive side? This unpopularity makes the forest a place reserved for a few, increasing its magic and dreamlike atmosphere. A path of 600 cylinders about 2 meters high¬†that have been expertly “dressed” with colorful fabrics decorated using the traditional Kyo-Yuzen technique.

# During the day an explosion of colors, at night a mystical journey

credit: siviaggia.it

Both day and night, the forest is a magnificent spectacle: an explosion of colors during the day but even more beautiful and with a mystical and almost spiritual charm after sunset. It is not very famous, yet the kimono forest has been placed right under everyone’s eyes. In fact, it surrounds the Arashiyama tram station, on the Keifuku Randen Tram Line, making it truly unique in the world. Obviously, admission to the forest is free and it is worth visiting especially in the evening; after sunset until 9 pm the “trees” of the forest light up, illuminated by LED lights that enhance the decorations and colors even more.

credit: siviaggia.it

In short, it is an absolutely unmissable and not very mainstream stop for those who are planning a trip to Japan. But why not design one in Europe too, perhaps replacing the traditional Japanese dress with typical European elements?

ROSITA GIULIANO