Japan Pavilion is my most favorite pavilion. Before I arrived at the Expo, this is one pavilion I must see, regardless of the time I’ve to queue for it. I Love Japan! And having been to the country more than 2 dozen times, I know even before I visit the Expo that the Japanese pavilion would be one of the most innovative, creative and best designed of them all. After having checked its official site, I’m sure it’d be a blast. Still, going to the expo requires a huge amount of stamina. And, I must admit I don’t have that much of it after my initial night trip to the Expo. This Expo has to be the biggest of them all in its history & also the most crowded with more than ¼ million visitors per day! I was prepared for queuing but was not prepared to do so for almost every single standing pavilion!
China, Japan, France, Germany, U.S.A. & Saudi Arabia are a few of the most popular pavilions in this Expo. Each one requires a minimum of 2 hours queue in the day & some as much as 4.5 hours (Saudi’s)!
Some background facts about Japan Pavilion: Theme: Harmony of the Hearts, Harmony of the Skills Highlights: Breathing Organism National Pavilion Day: 12 June Pavilion Area: Around 6,000 Square Meters Location: Within Zone A of the Expo site
One of the best strategies to enjoy the Expo to the fullest is to familiarize oneself with the plan of the site. Other than knowing where each country pavilion is, it helps to cut down the time spend looking for what interest you. In addition, try to read up the official site of each pavilion you intend to visit. By doing so, you will at least be able to appreciate what the country of origin wish to convey and display. Japan did a great official site to pre-empt the visitors with what there will be at its site.
Eco Breathing Architecture It all started with a basic concept. Each architecture in Expo has its distinctive idea. For Japan, it’s that of a “structure that breathes like a living organism”. Its design is that of large roofs which creates “a distinct exterior that appears to be alive”. In the morning, it looks like a pink structure while at night reddish violet. “This color is viewed as a natural color that arises from the harmony of red, symbolizing the sun, and blue, symbolizing the water. The outer covering changes to highlight and complement changes in daylight or at night, so that the movement of nature can be felt.”
[For those who are interested in architecture and would like to know more about environmental technology and ecotube, you can read more here.]
Japan Pavilion is separated into 3 distinctive zones. Visitors go through historical connections Japan had with China and extend towards the future.
Zone 1 entails a walk down memory lane. It depicts cultural impact on Japan from the Tang Dynasty in the 7th & 8th century. Here, it’s merely a light stroll with pictorial delights. Nothing very fanciful and difficult for the throng of visitors to truly enjoy as it’s just too crowded to stop and stand to look. Move along, that’s the push…
Zone 2 involves nature an seasons. Cities and environmental problems are highlightedand new technologies in solving these problems are showcased. Hands on display and models are exhibited and offer visitors a taste of the ‘real’ Japan.
Zone 3 is where all the actions are. This is where technology plays a part and where Japan excels. This is also what going to Expo should be about. Not the long extended queuing, not the huge slabs of architecture (without much substance inside for most of them) but what technology brings about changes in lifestyle. This is my idea of a World Expo!
In Zone 3, 3 important exhibits:
Robotic musical display. A life size robot playing the violin is a novelty to all visitors, especially those living in China. It's one of the many WOW factors in this Expo!
Video Imagery. Giant screens which changes the landscapes of your walls, a ‘jumbo’ camera which captures faraway images to its precision. In addition, the futuristic iReal ‘car’ which looks more like a ‘wheel’chair than a car! I look forward to the days when iReal will be in the market as a transportation tool and one which does not power on petroleum but by some green energy!
Musical show. It’s a combo of Japanese Noh & Chinese Kunqu drama. I didn’t appreciate it as much as I’d have appreciated the iReal that the performers are seated on!
Zone 3 showcases technological advances which all viewers could look forward to. This is the area where you’d want to spend the bulk of your time in and marvel at how life could be in future!
P.S. This is the only Expo Pavilion I was at which does NOT allow photography. But, the crowd just couldn't resist themselves and by the time everyone gets into zone 3 and the robot started playing the violin, not a single soul cares about what's allowed or not allowed ;-) That's life in China. When the crowd is having herd instinct, in no way can the organizers stop a maddening crowd!
What were they thinking anyway? So much goodies and not allowing visitors to take pictures? That's insane!!! ;)
For those with extra cash to spend, you might be interested in an authentic Japanese restaurant within this pavilion which is said to serve a course of dinner for some RMB 3000 per person! Check it out and let me know if it's any good! I might just give it a try sometime in September!