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“TOKYO TOWER CANDLE DAYS 2023" to light candles during Halloween season

Translated from Japanese by
Candles have long been indispensable items for illuminating the darkness, but now they are also loved as tools that soothe people's hearts and bring peace of mind. “TOKYO TOWER CANDLE DAYS 2023” will be held at Tokyo Tower during the Halloween season to widely spread the appeal of candles. Organized by the Tokyo Tower CANDLE DAYS Council, comprising the Japan Candle Association and the MINATO Travel & Tourism Association, the event will be held for three days on Friday, October 27th, Saturday the 28th, and Sunday the 29th at the Event Space (1F) in front of the main entrance and the Tower Hall (B1) of Tokyo Tower. We asked Takuya Kanazashi, representative director of the Japan Candle Association, to give us an overview of the event, its history, and the contents of the event.

The significance of holding the event at Tokyo Tower

-- First of all, could you tell us about the background of the event?

This event started in 2021 as the Japan CANDLE ARTIST AWARD, a contest to choose the best candle artist in Japan. With each successive event, content other than AWARD has increased, such as candle nights, candle markets, and on-stage talk shows, and both the content and scale have expanded, and from this year it has been renamed DAYS. When people think of candles, they think of nighttime, but as the name DAYS suggests, during the three days when the event is held, people can enjoy the day as well as the night at workshops, galleries, and markets.

Last year's event

-- I heard that it was held at Tokyo Tower from the first time.

Tokyo Tower is definitely a symbol of Tokyo, and when it is lit up and stands out in the darkness, it also reminds us of a candle. I think everyone will feel a sense of relief when they see those lights gently illuminating the streets of Tokyo. I believe that holding this event at Tokyo Tower, which is like a candle, is of great significance. As a matter of fact, with the cooperation of the Tokyo Prince Hotel, we have also arranged a special accommodation plan that allows guests to view the illuminated Tokyo Tower with about 2,000 candles from the rooftop of the Tokyo Prince Hotel, which is not normally accessible, on Saturday, October 21st, the week before the event, and on Saturday the 28th, the day of the event.

-- Do you have any other events linked to the event?

We have also partnered with J-WAVE, and a special segment related to the event is being broadcast on the J-WAVE (81.3FM) program “GOOD NEIGHBORS,” where our association director Chris Tomoko serves as the navigator. It will be broadcast every Tuesday from 15:43 to 15:48, so please listen to it.

Three days filled with rich content and a large number of visitors

-- It seems that this year's event will also attract a lot of visitors.

I think many people will come not only from within Japan but also from overseas. Also, most people think that candle lovers are women because of aroma candles, but now we are seeing an increase in the number of male visitors. Even when camping, many men like bonfires, do they not? For the past few years, there has been a trend of people who could not go camping because of COVID-19 getting into candles, which can be enjoyed with all five senses, like a bonfire. Also, there are many people who come to the event even though they are not interested in candles. They come because of an event going on. We would be happy if you could stop by while sightseeing at Tokyo Tower.

-- I heard that many people who enjoy photography as a hobby would come.

I would say that Candle Night, when candles are lit at the foot of Tokyo Tower in conjunction with the lighting up of Tokyo Tower, turns out to be a great photo spot. You can take fantastic photos, so I think people will enjoy that aspect as well.

Last year's Candle Night

-- The scale of the event is also bigger than last year.

Overall, it has expanded by 1.5 times compared to last year. The Candle Market sells works by candle artists as well as candles and candle-related items. There are also booths sponsored by companies that have an affinity for candles. We try to make it possible for people to interact in various ways through candles, such as between companies and users, candle artists and users, and so on.

-- In addition to Candle Night and Candle Market, your stage is also attracting attention. What kind of performances do you have planned?

This year's stage will be candles and traditional performing arts, with a Japanese theme. Originally, traditional performing arts were performed under candlelight. We want to recreate the Noh, Kabuki, Rakugo, Kodan, and Japanese musical instruments of the time when they were lit by candles. The lanterns illuminating the stage this time are also made with Japanese paper called ""Gundo-kami"" from Akiruno-shi, which is designated as an intangible cultural property by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. I think it will be a stage like never before, so please look forward to it.

Kameyama Candle House Aoyama Store, which houses the secretariat of the Japan Candle Association

The best candle artist in Japan will be chosen!

-- Also, the award ceremony for ""JAPAN CANDLE ARTIST AWARD 2023,"" one of the main contents, will be held on Saturday the 28th, the middle day of the event.

This year, the number of applicants has increased by about 1.5 times compared to last year, and we are really getting a sense of the high level of attention it receives. Up until now, there have not been many contests to choose the best candle artist in Japan in public spaces, so I think AWARD itself is becoming recognized in that sense as it is being held for the third time. This time, there were many entries from overseas candle artists. People think of Japan as a country of craftsmanship with dexterity and high technology. Plus, you have the quality award-winning works from the first and second AWARDs. I believe that more and more people are interested in submitting their works to a contest held in Japan. This year, there are 10 categories in total, including the newly established Mixture category, and the finalists have already been chosen. From among them, the awards in each category and the overall Grand Prix will be determined after judging on the day. At the event, we will also have an exhibition gallery where you can see the finalists' works and interact with them. Not only the number of entries, but the quality of the work has increased, so please take a look at the works in person.

-- Finally, please give a message to the visitors.

Halloween has a lively impression, but we thought it would be nice to have a luxurious Halloween for adults, so we decided to have three days where you can relax and unwind a bit. Tokyo Tower is 333 meters tall, and this is the third year of the event. We are planning a variety of things with particular attention to detail. We expanded the space and enhanced the contents. It would be great if people could experience candles and use the event as an opportunity. We look forward to seeing you at Tokyo Tower.

<TOKYO TOWER CANDLE DAYS 2023>
Dates: Friday, October 27th, 2023, Saturday the 28th, and Sunday the 29th
Time: 10:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. *October 27th only: 2:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Location: Event Space (1F) in front of the main entrance and Tower Hall (B1) of Tokyo Tower
(Address: 4-2-8 Shibakoen, Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-0011)
Organized by: TOKYO TOWER CANDLE DAYS Council
Admission: Free

Japan Candle Association: https://japan-candle.org/

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