Aichi World Exposition 2005

A non-sequitur if ever there was one.

The Aichi Expo is a world exposition (Remember '67 in Montreal or '86 in Vancouver?) where countries and large companies can show off their technological and cultural achievements to visitors from all over the world. The theme this year is "Nature's Wisdom" with the focus being on slowing down our consumption of the Earth's dwindling resources and using our space wisely. Some countries took this theme to heart, while others totally ignored it and showed off their wares like they probably do every Expo.

Read on for the account of my trip to the Expo on July 1st and 2nd of this year!

(Click on any image for a close-up.)

Our journey begins with a short plane ride from Hanamaki Airport to the new Chubu International Airport. Nothing eventful on this flight.
Fujigaoka station is the last stop on the Nagoya subway line before boarding a MagLev train to the Expo site.
But you're not reading this; you're looking at the woman in the kimono, right?


It was a slightly rainy, humid day as I entered the Expo site. I walked along a beautiful and long elevated walkway made entirely of wood. It smelled wonderful in the dampness, like a cool sauna or an old Japanese temple.
(Though I find it an odd application of the Expo's theme to use hundreds of trees to build a walkway that doesn't really go anywhere.)
(And I also don't see the practical use of installing a canyon and waterfall inside of an office building.)

The Canadian Pavillion

And this being Canada Day, I made a beeline to the Canadian Pavillion to see if anything special was going on.
And indeed something was! Japanese kids were getting their pictures taken with fake Mounties.
But also! I was wearing a shirt with a nice big "Canada" emblem on it, and one of the staff called to me and let me bypass the line outside and watch the show directly. It got better after the show...


The motifs for Canada's film presentation was the natural beauty of Canada, and a day in the life of 6 Canadians. It was beautiful but had no words or narration, so naturally many people found it totally boring.

After the short film, visitors could touch computer screens and get a 3-D tour of some Canadian cities.


After seeing everything in the pavillion, I was invited by the staff up to the VIP room where there was a party to celebrate Canada Day. I met the staff of the pavillion, some politicians from Alberta, the musicians that were to sing later, some consulate staff, and a couple other Canadian tourists like myself that got pulled up to the party.
We drank some strong punch, mingled a bit, then cut up Canada's birthday cake. What an unexpected treat!

We felt no shame in indoctrinating anybody that passed by.


Some quite talented (but unknown to me) Canadian musicians performed at a small venue near the American Pavillion. They were going to perform in the main Expo concert area, but the show had been cancelled due to rain.

The U.S. Pavillion

On to the U.S. Pavillion. In true form, it was the only country at the Expo to have metal detectors at the front entrance.
A statue of Benjamin Franklin performed Olympic ribbon twirling.


After an entertaining show covering the wonders of electricity (let's all forget the lame sight of Ben Franklin rapping and playing air guitar, please!) the lobby at the exit covered America's innovations in flight and space travel.

Here is a model of the Mars rover.


This is me saying "Never mind this American crap. Go Canada!"
I met some nice ladies at the Expo. Three of these girls are Canadian. Can you spot the one who isn't?


Indeed many tourists had trouble adjusting to the humidity of Central Japan.

Robot Fun Area

Give the guy a more oversized head, and he could pass for Bonk, easily.
One of these girls is a robot.
(No jokes here; move along.)


Look, we're staring at you because you have a face where your crotch is supposed to be.


This is a cute security robot.
(Bet it can't climb stairs, the useless thing.)
And this is -- all yawn in unison, now -- a garbage disposal robot.

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