Sakura Season in Kansai - Hanami in the Expo ’70 Commemorative Park! - Vikingess Voyages

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Sakura Season in Kansai - Hanami in the Expo ’70 Commemorative Park!

This is the season when Japan's beloved cherry threes are in bloom, and people gather in parks and other public places to do hanami, or "flower watching" with friends and family. The second Hanami-event I went to this year was arranged by my friend Masaki from the graduate school, and I went there together with some of my good friends to spend a nice day in the Expo '70 Commemorative Park (Also known as Banpaku-Kinen Kouen: 万博記念公園which is situated close to Osaka.
This park was the place of a World's Fair back in 1970, with the theme "Progress and Harmony for Mankind". At this fair they displayed technical objects such as mobile phones and the world's first IMAX-film, but one of the biggest attractions was a display of a moon rock brought back from the moon in 1969 by  astronauts of Apollo 12.
One of the main attractions of the Expo '70 Commemorative Park: The Tower of the Sun (太陽の塔)

One of the biggest attraction in the park today, is the Tower of the Sun. This statue is the first thing you'll see when you approach the park, and it can also be seen if you the blue line by train to/from Kansai Airport (KIX). I have actually passed by the statue quite a number of time, wondering what the statue was supposed to be.. So it was kind of funny that I ended up in that park for this Hanami.. :)
Anyway, the statue was also designed for Expo 70', and it has become a symbol of the 1970 World's Fair.
The park itself is really huge, and it is divided into different sections as well. We mostly stuck to one part of the park where we pulled out our big, blue mat, along with snack and drinks.
Gathered in the Expo '70 Commemorative Park for hanami!
We were by not the only people here this day..
There was also an area where they sold Japanese pottery!

We did however walk a little bit around in the park, and found one area where they were selling all sorts of pottery. Some of it was in really traditional style, and I just had to take some photos here too, of course^^
Japanese pottery dolls! 
A wide range of traditional style Japanese pottery
But this is what we came for: The Sakura!
I guess if I had a lot more money and not to mention space to put things there is a chance I would have bought quite a lot of pottery this day. But I resisted it for this time..
The day in the park was really great, meeting both new and old friends and relaxing in the sun was a perfect way to spend the day! I took a lot of pictures, and here I have included some of them:
Entertainment in the park
Sunset and sakura!
In the evening they have light-ups in the park
..and they sell delicious Japanese food too
More pictures of food stands and sakura
The Tower of the Sun seen from behind, along with the sakura flowers
A light-up of the sakura, in different shades of pink and purple.
We stayed in the park until the sun went down, and we could see the park turning in to a light-show with the sakura as the main attraction. After having taken another bunch of photos it was time to return to Kyoto again for this time.. But the sakura season is still not over, so I will be back with some more sakura-related posts in the near future as well..! じゃ、またね!

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About Anette
Anette came to Japan as an exchange student in 2010, met the love of her life and got stuck. From her base in Tokyo she writes about her experiences as a full-time worker in Tokyo and about her travels in Japan and abroad. She's a free-spirited adventurer who enjoys both the great outdoors and her urban lifestyle.

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Adventures ofAnette

A modern day shield-maiden who loves to explore the unbeaten paths of the world. From her base in Tokyo, Anette takes on both rural and urban challenges, and goes by the motto "No challenge too big, no adventure too small"!
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