Other Activity

Light-up Workshop in Akiu Hot Spring


(2020.11.18  Noriko Higashi

The lighting event Akiu Lumina was held in the Akiu Hot Spring area of Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture from November 14-23, 2020.  Lighting Detectives was invited to the event to conduct a light up workshop.

Light up at Rairaikyo gorge. The dark and gloomy canyon reveals itself by the light up.

Rairaikyo gorge daytime.   Huge rocks are outstanding.

During the day we inspected Rairaikyo gorge near Akiu Hot Springs.  Akiu used to be a quarry and the enormous rocks in the gorge are spectacular.   The leaves were also just starting to turn fall colors, creating the perfect location for a workshop at dusk.

About 30 people, including local artists, hotel workers, and shopkeepers, gathered to start the workshop. After an introduction of the lighting detectives and a lecture on the importance of nightscape in the city, we headed into the canyon with flashlights and color filters. When we illuminated the rocks from the bridge called “Megane-bashi (glasses bridge),” the water and the canyon, which had been submerged in darkness, came to the surface. The participants were amazed at the way the water looked different depending on the angle of the flashlight. We went down to a spot near the water and used a color filter to illuminate the rocks. They were also surprised to find that some of the colors came out exactly as the filter indicated, while others did not.

The rocks were illuminated with red, blue, and green light, and we discussed our impressions of each. There was also a discussion about which location was best to illuminate. Not only the rocks, but also the autumn leaves and the boardwalk were illuminated and photographed. Some visitors also expressed their opinions that the illumination of the autumn leaves at the hotel was too dazzling for pedestrians and that the promenade was too dark.

Explanation of the Lighting  detectives and lecture on the importance of nightscape.

Each has a flashlight and color filter to experiment.

Light up with different colors,  experiencing the differences in impression

Visit installations for events along the way

After about 60 minutes of the lighting experiment, we headed

to the venue for the review meeting. On the way to the venue, we stopped by the installation that had been created for the event and shared our impressions.

In the review session, we used the photos taken during the experiment and reviewed them. Many positive comments were made, such as “I had a wish to light up the area but did not know how to do it,” and “I found many hints by exchanging opinions with the participants through the various experiments we conducted together today,” and “I would like to hold such workshops on an ongoing basis. Many positive comments were heard. They also talked about areas for improvement, and shared that there are many problems that can be solved not only by lighting up the area but also by making minor improvements to the existing lighting.

It was a very valuable meeting for us to hear from the locals about their expectations for the future nightscape of their city and what improvements they would like to see. We hope to be able to continue the workshop in a different form next year.  (Noriko Higashi)

Reviewing the experiment and exchanging opinions during the salon session.

The number of participants was limited to about 30 local residents.