Osaka Expo City
It’s not a theme park, but then again, maybe it should be. We can’t think of another place where you could pack more into one day in the area.
Japan isn’t slow when it comes to modernizing and rebuilding. In the larger cities especially, you’ll be hard-pressed to find any residential building more than 20 or 30 years old.
One area that has, thankfully, been largely unspoiled for most of the last 50 years is Osaka Expo City.
Universal Studios Japan
Amongst other things, Expo City is home to one of Japan’s most famous soccer teams, Gamba Osaka, who play their home games at the Suita City Stadium, next to the world famous Bampaku Koen. Bampaku Koen is better known by its English name Expo ’70 Commemorative Park. The huge park covers 60 hectares and still includes the original Japanese Garden from the expo at its centre.
Tower of the Sun
You’ll also find one of Expo 70’s most memorable icons nearby, the “Tower of the Sun.”
This beautifully bizarre structure, which kind of looks like a cross between a totem pole and a giant penguin, is 65 meters tall and 25 meters wide and can been seen for miles around. Its vibrant red and white design, with flashes of silver, black and gold across its multiple faces was said to be the one exhibit that best encapsulated Expo 70’s main theme: Progress and Harmony for all Mankind.
It’s not all echoes of the past however. The modern day Expo City also has plenty of innovative entertainment to offer too.
More to see and do
Nifrel is a state of the art aquarium and animal sanctuary. In addition to all manner of tropical fish, seafaring mammals and other creatures, you can also see the likes of crocodiles, tigers and monkeys.
Expo City also makes for a great dating venue. The Redhorse Osaka Wheel is the tallest Ferris Wheel in Japan, towering 120 metres above Expo City.
The Nearby Lalaport shopping centre also offers plenty of food and entertainment options for couples and families alike. And, of course, the perfect way to round off a day out is to see a good movie. Once again, Expo City has you covered. The 109 Cinema, located next to lalaport is the most hi-tech Imax theatre in the region. Go see a 3D or even 4D immersive movie experiences are also available at the cinema. (4D can get quite crazy here in Japan — depending on the theatre that can mean different things, but some even include, smoke, water, and more!)
For kids and kids at heart, there’s also the nearby Pokemon Gym! So, all things said and done, Expo City has everything you would look for in a perfect family day out.