Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Tokyo Hotaru Festival 2012

"If Sumida River is filled with fireflies..."

Tokyo Hotaru Festival


 Mention Asakusa and this famous landmark of Kaminarimon of Sensoji Temple will pop out.

That was the main idea behind the event; to create a scene that resembles hundreds of thousands of fireflies flying along Sumida River in Tokyo. They call this event, Tokyo Hotaru Festival 2012. 'Hotaru' by the way, refers to firefly in Japanese. However, there are no fireflies found naturally in Sumida River. Neither would it be possible to capture that huge amount of fireflies from elsewhere and release them at Sumida River. 

The creative Japanese had another idea - by using LED bulbs to replace the fireflies and lid up a section of the river.

 Sumida River is beautifully lighten up with blue LED floating along the river.

I only found out about this event at the very last minute. In fact, it was running when I got a phone call from Kai Cung who told me to look out for the Tokyo Sky Tree as they were lighting up the tower that night. It is relatively near from my place to see the tower; I just need to take about a ten-minute walk and the tower will be visible to me. 

Kai Cung also told me to Google for Tokyo Hotaru in the Internet and that was what I did right immediately. Realised that the event is definitely something not to be missed, I took a quick shower, grabbed my camera and the rest of the gear and threw everything into my camera backpack, and took a short train ride to Asakusa (only fifteen minutes away from my place) to catch the magnificent show along Sumida River.


Tokyo Sky Tree on the right and Sumida River.

 It certainly makes Sumida River looks like it is filled with hundreds of thousands of fireflies.


 The two most famous landmark by Sumida River - Tokyo Sky Tree and Asahi Beer building.

The event was gonna end at nine and it was already half past eight when I arrived. I wasted no time and quickly got into action. Perhaps I could say it was a blessing in disguise that I arrived late, because I saw visitors had begun to leave the place and it was not as crowded as I expected. That is a good news because I had more chances to look for better angles for my photos.

Just a brief info about this event, Tokyo Hotaru Festival 2012 is part of the two-day festival that takes place in the Sumida River basin with the majestic Tokyo Sky Tree in the background. With the slogan "To bring the proud and beautiful Tokyo to the world", the event attempts to reincarnate the breathtaking Tokyo wrapped in water and green corridor, while enjoying the Sumida River area and its environment.

 Closeup shot of the 'inori boshi'.


 The LED are retrieved at the end of the event.

This event is also part of the current effort made to promote 'Sumida River Renaissance', a modern effort to reincarnate the hustle and bustle of the Sumida River in the Edo period.

For this purpose, an approximately 100,000 of solar-powered LED bulbs, called 'Inori boshi' (いのり星) are released into the river. It is indeed a grand light art installation, creating a breathtaking scene under the bright moonlight along Sumida River. At the same time, the Tokyo Sky Tree, due to be officially open to public later this month, was illuminated by fantastic white and blue LED lights throughout the festival.

The 'inori boshi' is a specially designed spherical LED around the size of a tennis ball, equipped with rechargeable battery, solar panel and LED. When it makes contact with water, it will light up automatically. As it uses solar panel as its electricity source, the electricity usage during the event is zero. The battery, solar panel and LED, by the way, are sponsored by Panasonic.


  Floating LED before they are recollected. Their arrangement reminds of of the atomic structure in chemistry lesson.

I'm not sure if these LED are for sale, but I should have brought back one of them as a souvenir. Never mind, I guess I'll try to do that next year *evil grin*


Sandra said...

First time visiting your site and I really like it. Minimalistic design, and it's about Japan. I really wanted to learn more about that place. :) and hopefully someday I could travel around. :)

I like how the led lights really do seem to be real fireflies.♥ Relaxing to see them, even just through pictures. :^^

calvin said...

@ dara g:
hello there dara! thank you very much for your compliment. do pay a visit to japan if you have the chance to do it. i'm pretty sure you will love the place a lot!

yeah, i'm so looking forward to the same event again in one year's time (^.^;p