Osaka Expo Park

Original ground for the 1970 World Exposition

 By Jeannie Gan   Nov 30, 2011

It was mid-August when I first came to the Expo Park. So it was really really hot, yet amazingly, the wide space of massive greenery does give you a cooling effect. The park area is 264 hectares to be exact. This park was the original ground for the 1970 World Exposition, thus its name the Expo Park.

Upon entering the park, The Tower of the Sun–the most symbolic structure in the park will be there to welcome you. The tower is actually bigger than I’ve expected, standing majestically at 65meters and arms stretching outwards on both sides at 25 meters long. The tower has 3 faces, the golden and red face in front and a black face at its back. The red face in front symbolizes the sun and the one at the back, the ‘Black Sun’. One unique and creative structure in your photos for memories to this land of the rising sun!

My first recommended stop would be the Japanese Garden. This is in fact 4 gardens in one, portraying the Heian Period (8-11th century), the Kamakura Period (10-12th Century), the Muromachi Period (12-16th Century) and the most recent Edo Period (17th-19th Century). This garden is also known as one of the most beautiful gardens in Showa period.

I really love the park and let myself be absorbed in the simple yet elegant landscapes. There are streams and ponds that with Koi fishes that adds to the harmony of the garden. At only 500 yen you can enjoy traditional macha (thick green tea) and also a sweet Japanese dessert in the tea house. Simply blissful to just sip the hot green tea and feast your eyes with the great view by the tea house.

Of course the Japanese garden is not the only reason to come here. The other main attraction would be natural and cultural park, covering 90 hectares of land in the Expo Park. No matter which season you are here, you will be mesmerized by the flowers blooming. In spring, there is the picture perfect Cherry blossom trail with a small stream running by it. By summer the sunflowers would be greeting you with their brilliant colors and in autumn, you wouldn’t be able to miss the colored maple tree leaves. After enjoying the beauty of the flowers, remember to head to the Sorado (空道–Sky trail). As its name suggests, this is a 300 meter sturdy aerial promenade. You can get a bird’s eye view of the whole park in mid-air, an experience you will not forget.

Finally, besides nourishing your appetite for green doses, you can also visit the Expo pavilion, Folk Craft Museum and the National Museum of Ethnology. It is rather rare to find a museum with ethnological and cultural displays that goes to cover items from nine different world regions. You may even find something that is close to your heart and culture!

Written by Jeannie Gan
Japan Travel Member

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