Izakaya Lantern Day and Night …



Osaka Ali was visiting the old neighborhood one afternoon in Saitama and while waiting for the next bus, spotted this brightly colored lantern. Wanting to see what it looked like when it was illuminated, he returned one evening to see the colors vividly come to life. The loud colors and dynamic imagery fit better with the cacophony of sounds that emanated out of the clubs and izakaya nearby at night more than it did the sleepy train depot across the street that operated by day. Kanto is full of charms like this one.

(This photo location is not far from 35.828056, 139.690556)

Alien Bird Satellite Moonface Statue?

File this under “only in Japan”.

Taro's TowerIf you have the opportunity to visit Osaka, be sure to head to “Expo Commemoration Park” (万博記念公園) in Suita where you’ll find this spectacular statue, created by Taro Okamoto.  Okamoto created the statue as the symbol of  “Japan World Expo ’70” in 1970.  He named the tower the “Tower of the Sun” and during the 1970 Expo visitors could enter the tower and visit an art gallery called the “Tree of Life”.

The tower stands nearly 230 feet tall, is over 65 feet wide at the base and it’s arms are each over 82 feet long.

The golden face at the top of the statue (which is actually not supposed to look like a satellite dish) is 36 feet in diameter and represents the future (or at least the future as seen in 1970).  It’s eyes light up at night and the antenna is supposed to be a conductor.

The face at the middle of the statue between the two arms represents the present.  On the back of the tower is another face that represents the past.  There also was a face located in the basement of the statue called “Sun of the Underworld”, but it was removed.

The red lines across the statue represent lightning bolts.


So what do you think?  Is it amazing art?  Weird 1970’s junk?  Or something else?  Let’s hear your opinion of Taro Okamoto’s “Tower of the Sun”!


If you’re interested in visiting Expo ’70 Commemorative Park or just want to know more, click the link below.