Japanese Ghost Stories & Private Garden Exploration - Atlas Obscura

Van Nuys, California

Japanese Ghost Stories & Private Garden Exploration

Experience ancient Japanese horror through the lens of modern immersive theater.

Witness supernatural tales of Japan's ancient spirit underworld.

Join Field Agent Sandi Hemmerlein at "The Garden of Water & Fragrance" for a multi-sensory retelling of supernatural tales, featuring ghostly vengeance and strange, bewitching apparitions. 

Months ahead of the immersive show's 2017 opening in Little Tokyo, the Los Angeles Obscura Society will have the opportunity to sneak a peek at a workshop performance of Kaidan Project by Rogue Artists Ensemble, which is supported in part by the Jim Henson Foundation.

We'll split into small groups for our own unique, intimate experience of Japanese ghost storytelling—a tradition that's believed to have been a test of courage for samurai—surrounded by the backdrop of the Japanese garden.

In an exclusive post-show Q&A reception with Kaidan Project's creators and performers, we'll learn how Rogue Artists Ensemble has developed the piece so far, utilizing traditional puppetry and bringing these spooky folk tales into the modern age.

And it'll all kick off with a private tour through the 6.5-acre "stroll garden," guided by expert Michael Fritzen. As we cross bridges and hop paving stones, we'll be following a path similar to 18th and 19th century Japanese Feudal lords. 

These rituals may cleanse you of evil spirits, but they may also open a window into the spirit world. As the program concludes, it will be your duty to figure out how to close it back up again.

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Notes for this adventure:

- Inclement weather cancels.

- Event is all ages, but very young children may find the stories, puppets, and masks too scary. 

- Wear sturdy shoes for up to an hour of easy walking. Please stay on the path at all times. 

- A portion of our tour will be outside, so please wear sun protection (sunglasses, hat, sunscreen) and wear layers for variable temperatures.

- No outside food or beverage (other than bottled water) allowed. 

- Do not feed the fish or birds—and please, leave no trace.

- Personal photography encouraged, but no tripods please. Tag @atlasobscura #atlasobscura on social media!

- Free parking onsite.

- Sunset is at 4:44 p.m., so please plan for a dimly lit walk back to your car. 

Advance Tickets Only. All Sales Final. No Refunds or Exchanges.