Last Wednesday was another sunny day, perfect weather for visiting the park! There was however, another good reason for visiting, the chance to have a good rummage through the bric-a-brac at a large garage sale (or car boot sale if you like) being held at Banpaku-Kinen-Koen park.
Banpaku-Kinen-Koen is famous for being the site of the Osaka Expo held in 1970 and for the imposing sculpture 'Tower of the Sun' which was originally built for the expo by the Japanese artist Taro, and which still stands at the entrance to the park, looming over visitors.
The 'Tower of the Sun' looms ahead.
The tower up close.
Round the back of the sculpture.
When we had gotten over the awe of seeing such an amazing sculpture we headed around the back to where the sale was being held. The market had hundreds of stalls, selling all kinds of interesting second hand goods and took a good hour to make our way around. I managed to come away with a horde of treasure in the form of a bundle of Famicom cartridges at 100 yen each!
That's a lot of stalls!
After the sale and a brief stop for food we headed through the park towards the National Museum of Ethnology. It was a beautiful Autumnal day with the trees displaying an impressive range of hues and for some reason I was reminded of walking in the park as a child, perhaps it was reminiscent of the long hot summers I remember from my childhood or the seventies feel of the park. The museum was impressive with different areas dedicated to artifacts from specific regions of the world, at this point in the day I felt exhausted but was soon revitalized after looking at all the fascinating items.
A stroll through the park.
Artifacts at the Museum of Ethnology.
After the museum our route through the park took us to the Japanese garden, the garden is beautifully maintained and includes a lotus garden and a pond with huge koi carp, unfortunately the lotus garden was not in bloom but the dying plants made for some great photo opportunities nonetheless.
The Japanese garden (surely all gardens in Japan are Japanese?)
One cheerful Koi!
Our final stop was perhaps the most interesting, the 70's Expo Museum. This building is one of the few remaining parts of the original Expo complex and contains a fascinating look back at the history of the event. One of the most impressive areas, situated in the the center of the building, is the 'Space Theatre Hall' an arena that still remains as it was at the Expo in 1970's. After leaving the museum I really wished I could have traveled back in time and experienced the event for myself!
The original Expo guide book.
Inside the 70's Expo Museum.
Space Theatre Hall.
Detail from the Space Theatre Hall
The Expo's uniforms.