Nijo Castle to combine digital fireworks, metaverse for summer festival visitors

Digital fireworks created by visitors’ smartphones will be staged at the Nijo Castle, a UNESCO world heritage site in Kyoto, during an interactive fair that will also stretch to the metaverse in late July.

The event, NAKED Summer Festival 2022 World Heritage Nijo Castle, will be held from July 22 to August 21 and give a taste of how visiting a historical site can be combined with Web3. 

Visitors will be invited to log in to the virtual Nijo Castle in the metaverse via a smartphone browser to create and send their virtual fireworks, which will then be projected onto the inner moat stone wall of the actual Nijo Castle using projection mapping, said AR and VR product developer Naked, an organiser of the event.

Traditional games such as target shooting and yo-yo fishing will be held alongside a digital fair. In the castle’s kitchen vestibule, visitors can have their faces photographed on the spot and then transformed into digital masks. They can put the digital masks on their avatars and then take part in a virtual Bon dance competition in the virtual Nijo Castle.

There will also be games designed to promote awareness against COVID-19. In one of them, participants will see image projections of goldfish and fireworks when receiving sanitising spray in their hands. Light patterns will be projected by lanterns to suggest a social distance.

Organisers will issue two types of NFT tickets from July 12. One of them will come with digital items and a virtual lantern on which visitors can put their own names. 

Naked has been involved in other interactive art projects, including the Dandelion Project that has been staged in cities around the world. This year, it launched a project to promote Kyoto’s culture both virtually and in real life.