I went to see the inside of the Tower of the Sun!
Spoilers. For those who think, "I'm going to the Tower of the Sun very soon, so I don't want to know too much about the details," please read the article after you've finished your tour.
Advance reservation online is recommended. 930 yen including admission to the Expo '70 Commemorative Park, Japanese Garden, and Natural and Cultural Gardens. Even if you don't have a reservation, you can buy it on the day if it's not busy. It is better to make a reservation on holidays when it is likely to be crowded.
This Expo was held in 1970, long before I was born. I didn't have a chance to find out anything about the Expo, so I didn't know what was inside the Tower of the Sun. Recently, I found out that it was a tower where you can admire the inside as well. It was refurbished and reopened in the spring of 2018.
I kind of remember watching it on TV during the world Expo where tourists were on the observation deck of this tower. Oh, come to think of it, a strange person climbed to the top of the outer wall of the tower during the Expo and refused to leave for days. Did you do that?
There was a huge object called "Tree of Life" inside, and it seems that 33 types and 183 creatures were attached. After the Expo ended, the Tree of Life fell asleep for decades. It sounds romantic when I say it have fallen asleep, but it was neglected.
On the official site of the Tower of the Sun, you can see how it was during the Expo and the state before restoration.
Inside tour begins on the ground floor. When you pass through the corridor with Taro Okamoto's rough drawings, you will see the underground sun in the open space. I learned for the first time that the Tower of the Sun has four faces.
Golden Mask - Face of the Sun - Black Sun - Underground Sun
This Underground Sun was exhibited in the first basement floor "Inori (prayers)" space at the time of the Expo. There are many other masks, all of which were used at the Expo.
After receiving an explanation from the guide, enter the room with the base of the tree of life. From here, you can see the entire Tree of Life from below. By the way, taking photos of the tree of life is only allowed from this floor.
Great (very strong) use of color, as expected of Taro Okamoto. Along with the fantastic music, the lighting will also change. Trilobites and dinosaurs catch your eye, so you can immediately see that the motif is the evolution of life on earth for 4 billion years. I like art with a clear theme like this.
The broken squid-like creature I showed you earlier was also reproduced. It's very cute. There are 30 protists called sun insects floating, which is fantastic.
Taking pictures is prohibited at the upper floor, so I took pictures of the upper part with a zoom lens from here. After you satisfied with this floor, you can just use the stairs to climb up. (There is also an elevator to go to the top floor) At the time of the Expo, there was an escalator, and it seems that people could not stop to look.
The names of all creatures are introduced with pictures in the pamphlets given. There are quite a few dinosaurs which doesn't ring a bell (at least for me), and it's interesting. There is only one skeleton of an unnamed creature. "Why does this animal only have bones?" Apparently, judging from the order in which they are lined up, it seems to be the era when an extinction event occurred.
There's also one weathered animal that seems to be a 1970 Expo original that hasn't been restored. I don't know why the project team didn't fix this one, and why they chose this animal. I felt this is very intentional and have a deep meaning.
My final impression is that I am very glad I went to this tour. It was so Mr. Taro Okamoto, and It made me interested in 70', so I watched old documentary programs on Youtube. I can see from the video that it was a very interesting era.
This concludes my review of the inside of the Tower of the Sun.
Tower of the Sun Gallery
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