Is the Osaka 1970 Commemorative Park (万博記念公園) worth the visit? Yes, it is!
Located in Suica City, north of Osaka’s city center, this large park is a fun addition to your Osaka trip. If you’re looking for nature walks, Japanese gardens, and museums, then this is the place for you.
Osaka hosted the World Expo in 1970. It was an international world event where countries met to discuss universal themes and countries created extravagant venues based on the Expo’s theme. The Expo 70 theme was “Progress and Harmony for Mankind.”
Even though the Expo occurred over 50 years ago, currently, the area is preserved as a commemorative park for the public to enjoy.
In this post, we’re sharing information about Osaka 1970 Commemorative Park such as how to get there, what to see, and more. This underrated place surprised us as we didn’t expect so many nature walking paths and pretty flowers in the area.
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How to Get to Expo 1970 Commemorative Park from Osaka City Center
Ensure that have a SIM card with pick up at Kansai International Airport before arriving in Osaka City.
Or, have a portable wifi device with pick up from Tokyo Airports, or have your portable wifi device delivered to your Osaka accommodation. You want to access data during your Osaka trip.
The park also has free wifi in certain areas. Find the locations on the map here.
The park is located in Suita, Osaka Prefecture.
If taking the train, the closest station to the Commemorative Park is the Bampaku-kinen-koen Station (万博記念公園駅).
Step 1: From Osaka to Bampaku-kinen-koen Station
From Osaka Station to Bampaku-kinen-koen Station, expect to take 36 to 38 minutes to get there one way. There are a few routes to take:
Option 1: Walk to Umeda Station (梅田駅) on Midosuji Line (via Local Senrichuo) to Senri-chuo Station (千里中央駅), and then transfer from Senri-chuo on Osaka Monorail (via Local Kadomachi) to Bampaku-kinen-koen Station.
Option 2: Walk to Osaka-Umeda Station on Hankyu Takarazuka Line to Hotarugaike Station (蛍池駅), and then transfer from Hotarugaike Station on Osaka Monorail (via Local Kadomachi) to Bampaku-kinen-koen Station.
Option 3: Walk to Osaka-Umeda Station on Hankyu Kyoto (via Local Takatsukishi) to Minami-Ibaraki Station (南茨木駅), and then transfer from Minami-Ibaraki Station on Osaka Monorail (via Local Osaka Airport) to Bampaku-kinen-koen Station.
Tip: From your starting location, use Google Maps to determine the best way to get to the Bampaku-kinen-koen Station.
Step 2: Bampaku-kinen-koen Station to Main Gate Expo 70
Once you exit the Bampaku-kinen-koen Station, you’l walk less than 10 minutes to the main gate entrance of Expo ‘70 Commemorative Park. You’ll pass by the ExpoCity shopping area and large Ferris Wheel.
Tickets can be bought from the ticket machine in front of the main entrance. Cash is only accepted.
The cost is:
- Adults (high school students and older) 260 yen ($1.90 USD)
- Children (elementary and junior high students) 80 yen ($.60)
When to Visit the Expo ‘70 Park
The park opens from 9:30am to 5:00pm. The last entry for admission is 4:30pm.
You’re welcome to visit at any time of the day.
We visited around lunchtime on a Saturday and it wasn’t too crowded. Although we had some rain for the first hour of our visit, there were people still walking around.
How Long to Stay Here
We suggest a minimum of 1-2 hours as the park is large and requires walking between areas. Since there is a lot of stuff to see at the park, you could spend half a day to a full day here.
Top Things to Do at Expo ‘70 Commemorative Park
TIP: Before you explore the park, we suggest that you take a photo of the park map or download a PDF of the map here. Paper maps and pamphlets are not handed out at the ticket office.
Take a photo and a tour of the Tower of Sun.
When entering the Commemorative Park, you’ll see a 70-meter (230 feet) tall called the “Tower of Sun.”
Designed by Taro Okamoto, this artwork has four faces – a golden mask, a face of the sun, a black sun, and a sun of the underworld. From a distance, the tower looks like a bird or a chicken as the tower has wings on two sides.
It’s a unique artwork that represented the theme of the Expo 1970 and is one of the important landmarks of Osaka.
The best photo spot is at the main entrance, otherwise known as the Sun Plaza. There is a podium to prop your phone similar to a tripod.
Another photo spot is off to the left side of the Sun Plaza where you can get the seasonal flower along with the tower.
If you’re interested in learning more about the Tower of Sun, consider taking a tour. Reservations are required to visit, so click here to register your spot.
Visit the Natural and Cultural Garden for nature and flowers.
The Natural and Cultural Garden is a nature area where you can walk through the forest area, experience a forest foot bath, ride the swan paddleboats, go on an adventure playground, and more.
It’s a nice, quiet spot to relax and get some nature in after spending a few days in Osaka’s city center.
If you have limited time to spend in the Expo, we highly recommend that you visit this area. The walking path is easy to follow so you can walk around and explore.
Many of the attractions are free to access.
We spent the most time here and loved our experience. Here are recommended places to visit:
During late April time, there is a 2-week Tulip Festival to showcase the colorful tulips. It’s recommended to go earlier in the festival as tulips do not last long after blooming open. When it rains, the tulips flop over since they’re fragile.
This is a small waterfall in the forest area. You can walk along the lower levels to see the waterfall or see a part of it from the Sorado Aerial Promenade (more info below).
Sorado Aerial Promenade
In Japanese, “sora” means sky, and “do” means road, so Sorado is a sky road.
We highly recommend that you walk along this 300-meter (984 feet) long walkway through the forest area. It’s well-maintained and provides you with an aerial view of the nature area. There are pretty flowers along the way, such as wisteria.
The walkway ends at the Observation Tower, a multi-floor tower to give a 360-degree view of the forest, and a Ferris Wheel, located at ExpoCity, nearby the park main entrance.
If you love seeing colorful flowers, then you must visit Flower Hill. Seasonal flowers are grown here on top of a hill, so the hill is bursting with orange, yellow, and blue flowers. During our visit, we had beautiful poppies and nemophila on display. This is a perfect spot if you’re looking for Instagram-worthy shots.
Next to the Watermill Tea House, walk through the bamboo garden. It’s another pretty area to take photos. The fence around the bamboo garden has adorable small windmills spinning too.
Note: Additional fee for the paddle boats, playground, etc.
Check out the cherry blossoms in springtime.
Springtime is the best time to visit Japan as cherry blossoms are in full bloom.
There are many cherry blossoms (sakura in Japanese) in the Expo Commemorative Park, so you can walk around and see the pretty flowers. Many of the sakura trees are nearby the East Gate and North Gate.
We missed the blossoms by two weeks but saw a few of the blossoms still hanging on the trees.
Visit the Japanese Garden.
The Japanese Garden is an original exhibit area sponsored by Japan for the Expo 1970 event. It has four styles of gardens based on the historical periods – Heian (8th to 11th century), Kamakura and Muromachi (12th to 16th century), Edo (17th to 19th century), and present day.
We didn’t have a chance to visit the Japanese Garden as it was rainy on our visit. On a return visit, we’ll check out the Japanese Garden.
Visit the cultural museums.
The park has a variety of museums to explore based on your interest.
Expo ‘70 Pavillion
If you want to go down memory lane or see what the 1970 Expo was like, then check out the museum at Expo ‘70 Pavillion.
You get to see photos and videos of when Osaka was chosen for the 1970 event, signboards of what was used during the Expo, uniforms, and other unique memorabilia.
Additional admission cost: Adults (high school students and up) 200 yen ($1.40), Children (elementary, junior high, and younger) free
Natural Museum Ethnology
This museum focuses on understanding different cultures and ethnicities around the world. Check out exhibits based on themes – music, language, daily life, and more. Photos, film, and other mediums are used to showcase the collection.
We didn’t have a chance to visit, but based on the reviews, it’s well worth the visit.
Additional admission cost: Adults 420 yen ($3.00), Older Adults (65+ years) 350 yen ($2.50), High school & University students 250 yen ($1.80), Children (junior high and younger) free
Visit special events on the weekends.
Depending on your visit, the park may have a special weekend event. Check out the Expo 70s Park Facebook Page for current information.
During our visit, there was a Curry Festival where you can try a variety of curries made by restaurants, food vendors, etc.
Note: With special events, there is an extra admission fee. Crowds will be higher with a special event.
Stop by the gift shop when exiting the Commemorative Park.
When exiting the Commemorative Park, there is a small gift shop in the Expo City area. Here, you can find unique souvenirs such as stuffed animals, stickers, and shirts with the Tower of Sun artwork. There are also other artworks created by Taro Okamoto here.
If you have extra time in Osaka and want to experience outdoor nature areas and museums, then visiting Osaka 1970 Commemorative Park is a good option.
The park surprised us with the amount of nature in the forest area. From the manicured gardens and flowers to the bamboo trees, there are many places to get fresh air and go on a forest bathing experience.
Plus, the general admission to enter this park is affordable, so it’s a budget-friendly place to visit in Osaka.