Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennial

After we checked out of the House of Light, we took the train over to the next town where there were more art installations. The weirdest thing happened on the train ride. We had to go though this long tunnel through a mountain, and since another train passes going the other direction while we going are going through the tunnel, our train had to stop for safety reasons. So we are waiting there, and as the oncoming train is passing, everyone in the train get this strange feeling instantaneously. It was kind of like when you are changing altitudes and have to pop your ears, except this was ten-fold. It felt like we were being sucked into a vortex or something. It was bizarre. And the bizarre-ness did not stop there! When we got off of the train, we walked into this fantasy land. There were all these art installations and sculptures everywhere! Apparently, the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennial is the largest international art festival in the world. And it is in the most (seemingly) remote place. This town in the mountain was super small, with rice paddies everywhere. It was one of the strangest, yet coolest, things I've ever seen. The natural landscape was amazing, so lush and pure. We strolled through the forest and up this mountain, seeing dozens of different art pieces. Absolutely amazing. They do this every three years, and this summer will be the fourth time it occurs. This is definitely on my list of things to see again if and when I ever come back to Japan.

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