An early cherry blossom viewing.

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March 2020, from Tokyo to Kyoto.

In celebration of our grand opening in March, we hosted an event in mid-February, a delightful mix of live performance, music, art and food.  The highlight of the event was the performance by PLAY JOURNEY!, a theatre group who have gained popularity at our Tokyo Hostel bar HOWL, and performs plays based on photographer Makoto Suda’s photobook NO TRAVEL NO LIFE.  Together with the performers, Suda reenacts some of the experiences he had while travelling.  The play they performed at our reception, PLAY JOURNEY! Kyoto Edition, however, was specially written for this occasion by playwright Takehiro Yoshida to include themes such as “Kyoto”, “travel” and “sakura”.

The story centers on the friendship of three men in Meiji Era Japan.  The play begins to the live piano of E. Watson (SALVALAI), music written for the performance.  On stage behind the performers is propped a 3 meter wide photograph of a leafless cherry tree…  the canvas for the live painting.  As the story progresses, so does the live painting, and by the end of the performance, the painting is complete.  The blossoming of the cherry blossoms heightened the emotions of the performance.


PLAY JOURNEY! Kyoto Edition was performed for three consecutive days.  On each day three different artists painted blossoms onto photographs of bare cherry trees taken by three different Tokyo based photographers.

Afterward, all three paintings were hung up on our lounge walls, bringing an early spring to WISE OWL HOSTELS.

At the afterparty, our guests enjoyed delicious cuisine by our food manager under the freshly painted cherry blossoms.  We will be keeping up the artwork until summer.  Please feel free to come and enjoy the artwork!