Culture Chalet Closes with the Opening of Onsen

Culture Chalet Closes with the Opening of Onsen
Mārtiņš Otto, Riga2014
The culture chalet “Esplanade 2014” closes on the last day of September. For two seasons in a row, “Esplanade 2014” has been the “Riga 2014” information office and the venue for a great variety of cultural events. On the 30th of September, the culture chalet will close with the opening of Japanese hot spring bath – the interactive installation Onsen.

Onsen will be open to residents and guests of the city until the 12th of October every day from 12 noon to 10 p.m. Visiting the installation is free of charge.

Those who wish to experience traditional Japanese hot spring bathing culture are requested to register here; visitors have to bring along a towel and swimsuit.
 
Onsen will be located in one of the fountains at the Esplanade. A wood-powered heater will keep the water warm, and the water will be enriched with bath salts from Japan.


 
The project, one of the events on the “Riga 2014” Programme, has been created in collaboration with the EU-Japan Fest Committee to give residents of Latvia opportunity to get to better know the culture and history of Japan. Visiting Onsen is a long-standing Japanese traditional that is popular to this day. A small log house has been built at the Esplanade so any person could have a warm, pleasant bath in the autumnal Riga.
 
The Japanese bathing tradition is in many ways similar to Latvian bathing traditions. The hot water of Onsen is believed to cleanse the physical body and soul. The installation at the Esplanade has been created by two artists - Hayashi Yasuhiko from Japan and Aigars Bikše from Latvia.
 
The European Capital of Culture Programme of Riga is prepared and run by the foundation “Riga 2014” in collaboration with state, municipal and non-governmental cultural organisations and creative associations. The Programme is financed by the Riga City Council, Ministry of Culture and the European Commission, and offered to the public in partnership with “Lattelecom”, which also provides technical support for the Programme.

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