©iStock/danieldep
©iStock/danieldep

The Tower of the Sun, Osaka Banpaku park

3 minutes to read

The Osaka Banpaku park in Suita, northern Osaka, is extremely famous among Japanese people for its Tower of the Sun.  The Osaka Banpaku park is located on the site of Japan's first World Expo, which was held in 1970. It offers a Japanese garden, a natural culture garden, and a pavilion that introduces the history of the Expo. The "Tower of the Sun," which became a hot topic due to its impressive appearance at the time of its construction, and whose interior had been closed for a long time, recently opened to the public, since March 2018. When you are visiting Osaka Banpaku park, the Tower of the Sun cannot be missed; going inside of the tower is also super highly recommended.

Taro Okamoto, the artist of the Tower of the Sun

Taro Okamoto, the artist of the Tower of the Sun, was born in 1911 and lived until he was 84 years old. Taro Okamoto left much powerful and energetic artwork, and the Tower of the Sun is among them.  “Art is an explosion” is one of Taro Okamoto’s famous quotes. You can witness his amazing mural “Myth of Tomorrow” in Keio Inogashira Line connection walkway, at Shibuya station in Tokyo. Check it out if you are around Shibuya station.

@flickr / yoppy
@flickr / yoppy
'Myth of Tomorrow' mural, Shibuya station
'Myth of Tomorrow' mural, Shibuya station
1-chōme-12-1 Dōgenzaka, Shibuya City, Tōkyō-to 150-0043, Japan

The Tower of the Sun

©flickr /  TAKA@P.P.R.S
©flickr / TAKA@P.P.R.S

Taro Okamoto, who was the designer of Tower of the Sun, passed away recently; however his unique, powerful artwork is still admired not only by Japanese people but also from people from all over the world. Taro Okamoto built the tower of the Mother, the tower of Youth, and a large roof as a theme building in the symbol zone of the Japan World Expo 70. The Tower of the Sun has three faces; a golden face which symbolizes the future at the top of the tower, a sun face which symbolizes the present at the front of the tower, and a black face which symbolizes the past at the back. It is said that the tower symbolized the energy of all living things that existed in the world. The Tower of the Sun was also considered a symbol of the central energy of the Expo. The height of the tower is about 70m, while its diameter of the base portion is about 20m, and approximately 25m length.

©iStock / EarthScapeImageGraphy
©iStock / EarthScapeImageGraphy

Inside the Tower of the Sun

The interior of the Tower starts from the Underground of the Sun. It is a treasure trove of Taro Okamoto's exploded art world. During the Expo, inside the Tower, there was a theme hall that represented three themes, the past, present, and future. Since it became open to the public, the visitor can see not only Okamoto's work for the Expo but also Okamoto's works from around the world. When you go inside, a powerful underground sun, numerous deities and masks welcome you. The changing images and the mysterious unfolding music combine to create a wonderful world there. Furthermore, in the Tower, you will witness The Tree of Life, which penetrates the interior of the Tower from bottom to top. Objects of 183 various creatures, from 33 species, are displayed and entangled on the branches, which represent the process of evolution of life. The top of the Underground of the Sun is named 'Space of the Sun.' When you climb the tree, you can gaze into its root from there. You may be drawn into the magical energy. Regarding the 'Space of the Sun,' Okamoto commented, "The sun is the root of human life. This is a sacred nucleus that radiates light and heat generously; we reciprocate with the sun through a fierce festival and respond to its burning energy."

Visiting

When you are in Osaka, the Tower of the Sun is one of the highly recommended unique exhibitions to visit. The Tower of the Sun is erected in the massive Osaka Banpak Park that offers a garden and cafeteria, so you can spend a relaxing time after absorbing Taro Okamoto’s powerful message at the Tower of the Sun. Make sure you book the ticket to go inside of the tower online before your visit, to avoid disappointment.

Tower of the Sun, Osaka
Tower of the Sun, Osaka
Expo ’70 Commemorative Park, 1-1 Senribanpakukōen, Suita, Osaka 565-0826, Japan

The author

Mayo Harry

Mayo Harry

Hi, I am Mayo from Japan. Travelling around the world and Japan since my late teens, my life has been a continuation of trips. I am excited to share my knowledge and experiences of Japan with all of you.

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