ONSEN Interactive Installation


The traditional cultures of Latvia and Japan are similar in many ways, from traditional buildings to ancient Latvian signs many of which can also be found in Japan – where visiting ONSEN (public bathing place at a hot spring) is a long-standing traditional popular to this day. The ONSEN ritual is meant for not only bathing, but also encourages socialisation. Latvia is known for its bathing traditions, too, and a lot of people still believe that going to sauna cleanses body and soul.

The joint project of the Japanese artist Hayashi Yasuhiko and Latvian artist Aigars Bikše involves building a small log house where people could change and take a shower, and then visit ONSEN in one of the fountains at the Esplanade. A wood-powered heater will keep the water warm, so residents and guests of the city could enjoy a hot bath in the autumnal city.

ONSEN will be open from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Applications are accepted at the website onsenriga.lv.

Thematic division: Without thematic division

Begins : 29.09.2014 21:00

Ends: 11.10.2014 21:00


  • Esplanade

Form of event:

  • Object in the city environment
  • Event

Category of event:

  • Architecture
  • Participation of the public
  • Tradition

Audience of event:

  • Children
  • Youth
  • Adults

Project description:

Following the appeal by Antwerp, the 1993 European Capital of Culture, to involve Japanese artists in the capitals’ cultural programmes, European ambassadors to Japan, the largest Japanese companies and greatest cultural personalities of Japan established the EU-Japan Fest Japan Committee, a non-profit and non-governmental organisation. Every year, the committee provides support for Japanese artists’ co-operation with the pending or current European Capital of Culture as well as co-operation initiatives that continue after the European Capital of Culture year ends. Riga, too, is planning to have as extensive contacts as possible with Japanese artists in visual arts, urban environment, photography, and contemporary dance.

Web address: http://riga2014.org/japan



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