Celebrating a new season and a milestone moment for Las Vegas, Bellagio’s Conservatory & Botanical Gardens will make its dazzling debut on June 4 as the resort opens its doors to guests for the first time in more than two months.
“Japan Journey: Magical Kansai” takes guests on a cultural voyage through the Land of the Rising Sun, paying homage to the customs, traditions and landmarks of Japan’s Kansai region.
On view through September 12, the summer display, featuring intricate replicas of significant sites in Osaka, Kyoto and Nara, reflects MGM Resorts International’s commitment to celebrating Japanese culture.
In celebration of Sanrio’s 60th anniversary and new to this year’s Japanese display is the beloved pop culture icon Hello Kitty, who can be found in the Conservatory’s South Bed adorned in her Bellagio kimono, as she flies a kite.
Historically, kites in Japan were used to communicate across long distances and Hello Kitty flies the kite as a symbol of communication and friendship with the Conservatory’s visitors.
Standing at 14 feet tall, Hello Kitty is made of 30,000 preserved roses in multiple vibrant colors. To the right of Hello Kitty, a family of Sika deer watch over the Conservatory.
Often referred to as the helper of Gods, Sika deer have flourished in Nara Park for over 800 years and are considered one of Japan’s natural treasures.
Upon entering the Conservatory’s East Bed, guests will be welcomed by an enchanted bamboo forest. Bamboo, a symbol of prosperity, purity and innocence in Japan, rises from a traditional Japanese moss garden intended to create a moment of tranquility as visitors pass through a large statue of a lion’s head, inspired by Shishi Den at Osaka’s Namba Yasaka Shrine.
The wide-opened mouth of the lion is believed to swallow evil spirits and bring about success and good fortune. The bed is flanked by four Japanese-style stone lanterns, illuminating the pathway.
A stunning 30-foot replica of the iconic Osaka Castle stands as the focal point of the West Bed. Recreated in precise detail, the Edo-era landmark is trimmed in gold and sits above a lively water feature home to live koi. The bed signifies spring’s arrival, as cherry blossom trees, synonymous with springtime in Japan, create a magical canopy over the regal structure. The celebrated blooms are adorned with the koi kites that often dot early summer skies in Japan, as they are believed to attract good health and strong futures for families and their children.
Lush botanicals, floral butterflies signifying endurance, change and hope, and a grand floral clock embellished with Bellagio’s signature “B” decorate the base of the bed.
Located near the West Bed is an easel displaying a painting titled Phoenix by renowned Japanese calligraphist and artist Sisyu. Phoenix symbolizes the foreshadowing of a new age and was commissioned for the MGM Resorts Fine Art Collection during Sisyu’s recent residency in Bellagio’s Artist Studio.
The North Bed showcases a rendition of the three-story pagoda that is part of the Seigantoji Temple in Wakayama Prefecture. The temple sits beside a beautiful depiction of Nachi Falls, the tallest waterfall in Japan. An ornate floral sculpture swirls above the pagoda, its vibrant floral pattern emulates that of Nishijin-Brocade, an ancient traditional textile woven with a variety of colored yarns.
The Bellagio Horticulture Team acquired an authentic, century-old Chokibune boat that delicately floats in a pond with live koi. Dating back to the Edo-era, the boats were used as a means of water transportation through canals.
To ensure the “Magical Kansai” display accurately conveys the historical and cultural significance of each of the featured landmarks, designer Ed Libby and the Bellagio Horticulture team collaborated with Japan-based producer Noriko Minai and her team at Dentsu Live Inc. to bring the vision to life with a combination of colors and flowers.
Furthermore, the team consulted officials at Osaka Castle, Namba Yaska Shrine, Nachisan Seiganto-ji and Kumano Nachi Taisha for approval throughout the design process.
The Conservatory & Botanical Gardens is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is complimentary to the public.
Health & Safety Measures
In order to create a comfortable and safer environment for our guests, we have implemented a few changes in how the Conservatory will be experienced:
- All guests will enter The Conservatory through a dedicated entryway; floor markers and employees will guide guests through the correct path
- The number of guests allowed within The Conservatory at one time will be closely monitored by operations and security; when the space reaches capacity, guests will queue (physically distanced) while they wait for their opportunity to enter
- The Bellagio team stationed within The Conservatory will encourage guests to continue moving through the space and exit when they are done enjoying the space so more guests can be accommodated
- A dedicated path has been created, and is identified with floor markers, indicating the path guests can take to explore The Conservatory
- One path within The Conservatory will be maintained for guests accessing the restaurants that sit within the space to allow them direct access