Expo City: Japan's Largest Entertainment/Shopping Center
Expo City is an exciting entertainment center located near the famous Banppaku Park, located in the area that was the spot for the Expo '70 Commemorative Park and the site of the beautiful Tower of the Sun. This amazing state of the art epicenter of fun contains everything the heart desires for the avid shopper to the fanatical movie lover.
Expo City is located in Suita City. It is accessible by train on the Osaka Monorail. From the Osaka subway transfers can be made on the Midosuji at Senrichuo station, the Tanimachi at Dainichi station or the Sakaisuji/Hankyu-Kyoto line at Minami-Ibaraki station.
Expo City has many areas on it's large campus. Let's take a look at everything the park has to offer.
The outdoor center of the entertainment zone that is home to a small patch of finely cut grass for lounging and play. A small stage sits in the plaza for concerts and performances for the the whole family.
A small amusement park for children with small rides in the shape of animals.
IMAX Movie Theater
The i09 movie theater with a brand new IMAX with Laser screen. One of the only laser screens in Japan. The theater also features 2D screens and the brand new 4DX movie interactive theater. With rumbling seats, neck tickler and environmental control.
One of the many animals on display at Nifrel. Photo by Bong Grit on Flickr
Home to many beautiful and exotic fish, it's not your typical aquarium. Some animals get to run free giving you the chance to get up close and personal with variety of birds, capybara, penguins and ring tailed lemurs. Nifrel is also home to a white tiger, but don't worry he's behind glass.
Pokemon Expo Gym
The place to fight your Pokemon. You will need a ¥500 members card to get in and then charge more money on your card to take advantage of all the fun inside the gym.
English Village with a CNN Cafe
Not really a place for English speaking visitors, but looks pretty cool. Inside they made a replica of the New York subway and once you walk out you're in Times Square. Next door you can take a break at the CNN Cafe (about ¥380 for a medium blend) and see CNN International news on four televisions.
Redhorse Osaka Wheel
Looming over the Entertainment Zone is the Red Horse Osaka wheel. It is the largest ferris wheel in Osaka at over 120 meters. The seat compartments are glass so you can see a panoramic view of the city from top to bottom. It can be an exhilarating experience from high above day or night. Get a ticket and take a ride to get a birds eye view of Banpaku park right next door and of beautiful north Osaka.
Between the Entertainment Zone to LaLaPort is the fine dining experience of Expo Kitchen. A row of restaurants catering to the foodie in all of us. You can eat sushi, udon, soba, okinomiyaki, yakiniku, Hawaiian pancakes at Eggs 'n Things or a little taste of home at the KFC Buffet where for two hours you can have all you can eat. Still can't make a choice? Try the Buffet Restaurant Atlantic, another buffet with different cuisines from around the world. But this isn't all, there's much, much more to choose from in this area.
One place that bridges the Entertainment Zone and the Expo Kitchen is the Gundam Square. Half store, half cafe. You can sit down to eat and get all your Gundam kicks at the same time.
Three floors of endless stores containing all the famous brands from around the world including the popular Japanese clothes store UniQlo. Anything and everything you thought you would ever need or want. Didn't find what you wanted to eat in the Expo Kitchen or the lines were too long? No worries, many more fine eateries are inside including the Food Pavilion with delicious Japanese, American and Chinese style food. When your finished head next door to Entertainment Field to play some arcade games or try your luck on the UFO catchers to win great souvenirs. Hang out in the Tsutaya book store, one of the largest book stores I've seen with a massive selection of books. Then grab a coffee or a Pinkberry and relax in Hikari square.
This is just scratching the surface of all the wonderful fun things you can do at Expo City with new stores and exciting attractions continuously being added. Get there early and make a day of walking around the park before heading over to the entertainment and shopping utopia. You'll be glad that you did.