Osaka is known for hosting the first World Expo to occur in Asia, spanning 183 days between March 15 and September 13, 1970. With the theme of “Progress and Harmony for Mankind,” it brought a huge success, inviting 77 countries and about 64 million visitors. With their technology and their innovation, Japan is currently submitting a bid for Osaka to host the World Expo again in 2025.
The former venue of 1970 World Expo, the exhibition grounds have now been turned into the memorial park. The park totals approximately 260 hectares, featuring area with a Japanese garden where you can enjoy viewing seasonal flowers with green forests and large grass fields. The Expo’70 Commemorative Park holds an iconic figure of both this park and the expo, the Tower of the Sun created by the artist Taro Okamoto. Although it is now undergoing repairs, the inside of the tower will reopen to the public in March 2018. Not only offering many facilities for culture, art, sports, and recreation, the Expo Memorial Park strives to proceed the nature restoration project by planning various kinds of plants.
Osaka, an aqua metropolis where water transport has prospered since far back in history, features rivers, big and small, flowing through the central part of the city. Historically, this has let Osaka have an important role as a hub for land, sea and river-canal transportation. Now around the square-shaped water corridor, Osaka is striving to promote itself as a Aqua Metropolis Osaka by maintaining its waterfront – attracting guests by holding light displays and projections around the river walls and bridges.
Festival of the lights in Osaka features several spectacles, including “Midosuji Illumination” – a four kilometer long series of lights strung through trees along Midosuji street, as well as “Osaka Hikari-Renaissance”- showing the illumination art festival at Nakanoshima, which has been dubbed the “symbol of Aqua Metropolis Osaka”. It also hosts the Museum of Light that colours Osaka’s Nights, in cooperation with several communities which strive to for urban revitalization.