Translated by Hilary Keyes
"Tower of the Sun" - A Symbol of Japanese Art in the Expo Park, Osaka
Expo '70 Commemorative Park in Osaka, built in 1970 for World Exposition, is well-known for its symbol statue, the Tower of the Sun (Taiyō no tō). It is definitely a park not to be missed.
Written by Keisuke Yamada
Today we are visiting the Expo '70 Commemorative Park (Banpakukinen kōen) in Osaka. Opened in 1970 by the Japan World Exposition Association, this public park was constructed using what was, at the time, high-technology.
The Expo '70 Commemorative Park is a place where you can enjoy open spaces full of flowers and various other plants, barbecue spaces, Japanese style gardens, sports facilities and even hot springs. Whether sightseeing at the park or stopping by to relax during your trip, while in Osaka, this is definitely a park not to be missed.
Today, let's take a look at the symbol of the Expo Park - The Tower of the Sun.
Going To The Expo Commemorative Park
Curving down the left side is the entrance to the Expo Park.
The nearest station to the Expo '70 Park is Banpakukinen Station on the Osaka Monorail line. Once you've passed through the ticket gates, head straight down along the walkway. You will soon see a large business space entitled "EXPO CITY" where if you turn to the left, you will find the entrance to the Expo Park.
Because the park is quite spacious, it is a good idea to carefully check the map before entering the grounds, just to confirm the way to the site you are interested in seeing.
The closest entrance to the park from the station is the central entrance. At the ticket machine, purchase your tickets and head inside. Adult tickets cost 250 yen and children's tickets cost 70 yen.
"The Tower of the Sun" - Right Before Your Eyes
As you enter the park, the "Tower of the Sun" (Taiyō no tō) stands right before your eyes. It's quite impressive - many people have reported being deeply moved by the sight of this statue.
What is the Tower of the Sun?
The "Tower of the Sun" was commissioned by the 1970 Japan World Exposition Association and created by the artist Tarō Okamoto.
The statue has three faces: the top golden face, (10.6 m diameter, eye diameter of 2 m), represents the future; the center sun face (12 m diameter) represents the present, while the painted black sun (8 m diameter) on the reverse represents the past. In total, the tower is 70 meters tall, has a base diameter of 20 meters and the total length of the arms is 25 meters.
By all means, if you get the chance please take a closer look at the detail work found on the Tower of the Sun. If you do so, you can get a better sense of the materials that were used and of the changing angles of the faces.
Check out the Main Festival Plaza Roof
Near the tower there is a large metal object. Built by the Japan World Exposition Association, this structure was once a central part of the main exposition space. Designed by the architect Kenzō Tange, the original structure was quite fragile, so in order to preserve the memory of this space, this roof section has been erected here. Don't forget to check this out.
Lots of Playground Equipment to Enjoy with your Family!
The Expo's Amazing Bicycle Plaza
Throughout the Expo Park there are dozens of places to visit. The Expo Bicycle Plaza is a playground where you can ride unique bicycles that can't be found anywhere else; there are about 100 bicycles in 40 different varieties here. It is indeed a place to be enjoyed by the whole family.
Yatta Ne No Ki
This is also a widely popular attraction among children. Close to the bicycle area is the "Yatta Ne No Ki", a giant slide. Standing 12 meters tall with a total length of 30 meters, this giant slide is practically overrun with children on holidays and weekends.
Boat Playground - Let's Head To The Expo's Future!
This is a boat-themed playground decorated with the slogan "Let's head to the Expo's future!" Around the circumference of the playground there are many sea monsters.
This is an octopus monster.
And here's a crab monster. Don't be scared, just enjoy these monsters as they are all play equipment.
The Dream Pond Paddle Boats
Inside the park there is a pond with boats that can be freely enjoyed by all. With boats shaped like jets, swans, cups, tents, and whales, with this many shapes to choose from, you're sure to find something you like.
There is also a yacht called Ahōdori Nisei (ahōdori "albatross", nisei "the second"). It is the smallest yacht to have ever circumnavigated the globe and is registered in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Once you've checked out the Tower of the Sun, how about taking a little time to relax and see all the other wondrous spots there are in the Expo '70 Park?
Expo '70 Commemorative Park (Banpakukinen kōen)
Address: Osaka, Suita, Senribanpaku Park 1-1
Hours: 9:30 - 17:00 (last admittance 16:30)
Other Languages: Some
Menu in Other Languages: Yes
Nearest Station: Osaka Monorail line Banpakukinen Park Station (万博記念公園駅)
Access: 5 minute walk from Banpakukinen Park Station
Price: 250 yen adults, 70 yen children
Religious Considerations: -
Phone Number: 06-6877-7387
Homepage: Expo '70 Commemorative Park