Kew Gardens’ Japan Festival is a wonderful way to welcome autumn this year.
Yes, we’re all sad to see our long-awaited British summer go, but I’m secretly thrilled it’s finally autumn! And with a number of amazing events in London already announced, it’s quite easy to get excited for this season. Joining the line-up of happenings is the wonderful Japan Festival over at Kew Gardens, which aims to celebrate the fascinating plants, art, and culture of Japan.
Running from October 2 to 31, the festival takes over the Kew Gardens trail and Temperate House with colourful installations and performances. The artwork adds to the already stunning displays of nature during the season, when the trees start brimming with red leaves and gorgeous foliage. During the month of October, you’ll find a dedicated ‘Momijigari trail’ which celebrates the seasonal beauty of nature, and will lead you past Japanese landmarks such as Chokushi-Mon, the Japanese Gateway, the Minka House and Ginkgo Grove.
The Marianne North Gallery showcases more Japanese plants and landscapes, while the Temperate House at Kew Gardens will be home to a number of installations and events. One Thousand Springs by Japanese artist Chiharu Shiota is a ‘construction of 5,000 haikus suspended in a web of red threads’, and you’ll also find displays of Japan’s national flower, the chrysanthemum. The sound designer Yosi Horikawa will mesmerise visitors with his soundscape show, where they can listen to tranquil sounds recorded in Japan, such as rocks thrown into pools and wind rustling through trees.
On weekend mornings, a busker will delight the crowds with his handmade instruments, and the afternoons will see unique performances of calligraphy (shodō) art, an age-old Japanese tradition.
The Momijigari trail and art shows are included with entry to Kew Gardens, inviting visitors to properly welcome fall to London.
Find more info on Kew Gardens’ website.