In 1970, Expo '70 was organized in Senri, Osaka under the grand theme entitled Progress and Harmony for Mankind. The Expo organized at the vast site of 330 ha, three times as large as the Osaka Castle Park, brought participants from 77 countries, international organizations, states and provinces, cities and other entities (the then largest number of participants ever recorded in the history of international expositions). 116 pavilions were built and 64 million people visited the Expo from all over the world. Now the former Expo site is reborn on a grand scale as a park full of greenery and cultural mood. It includes the comfortable Japanese garden, the always-vibrant sports facilities, the museum with an intellectual ambiance and other uniquely attractive spots. At this time of year, the Expo Park is also a reputed sightseeing spot full of scarlet-tinged leaves that symbolize the beautiful Japanese autumn.
The Expo Park is situated in Northern Osaka. When approaching the Park from the city center by car or via the Osaka-Monorail, the Tower of the Sun, with the unique profiles symbolizing Osaka, stands amid the great forest. It reputed as one of the largest public artwork pieces in Japan, was created by Taro Okamoto (1911-1996), an artist representing Japan, for the Expo '70.
Now the Tower, surrounded by the four seasonal colors, such as cherry blossom in spring and tinted foliage in autumn, pleases the eyes of visitors all year round. The Osaka-Monorail has the longest stretch of its kind, with 23.8 km entered in the Guinness World Records. It will be nice to visit the Park by riding aboard this Monorail, which gives visitors the feeling of being “No. 1 in the world.”
After the Expo, the Park was built in the basic conceptual image of the “verdurous cultural park.” After the pavilions were demolished, the vast area was heaped up earth and planted with trees and flowering plants. Now, 30 years after its afforestation, those trees and plants have grown fully and the Park is inhabited by many wild birds, insects and other creatures. Continued efforts are being made to develop the Park into a forest as a whole self-supporting ecosystem.
For those who wish to appreciate nature more, come and enjoy the Japanese Garden, created with superior landscaping and garden-making skills. The whole garden represents the four historical eras. Visitors can enjoy a promenade along the little stream flowing from the west to the east, leading into the refined world of “wabi” and “sabi,” which form the very essence of the Japanese sense of beauty and remain in a timeless space of absolute serenity.
There are also spots where visitors can enjoy sports and cultural activities. They include Expo '70 Commemorative Stadium, which is the home ground for the professional football team, Gamba Osaka, many of whose team members were selected as members of the Japan National Team for the 2006 FIFA World CupTM Germany. The Park also holds the International Institute for Children's Literature, Osaka, which is an international center for collection, research and information on children's books. Come and enjoy leisurely and relaxing moments in the Park, nurtured by the surrounding nature and interesting cultural activities.
The Expo Park Natural and Cultural Gardens/Japanese Garden
Hours open: 9:30AM-5:00PM (Admission allowed until 4:30PM). Days closed: Wednesdays (If a Wednesday is a holiday, closed on the following day. No days closed from March through June, October and November), December 28 through January 1 Admission
1-1 Senri Banpakukoen, Suita-shi, Osaka phone: +81-6-6877-7387 http://www.expo70.or.jp/
From: Brand-New Osaka vol.1 (2006.11.)