After visiting the World Expo 2005 in Nagoya, Japan I like to share some of my experience for those who may wish to visit it.
The World Expo 2005 runs from March 25 - September 30, 2005 is hosted by Japan in the Aichi Prefecture area, Central Japan, near the city of Nagoya.
World Expo normally happens every 5 years and Expo 2010 had been won by China and will be hosted in Shanghai.
Advanced reservations are a must, if you like to visit all the popular pavilions without spending all your time waiting in lines; they are very very long. Waiting in line for 2 hours is not unusual. Advanced reservations are only available if you have an actual physical ticket, because the reservation system requires you to enter your (12 digits) Ticket Number. At the time of writing majority of the pavilions' advanced reservations are already full until June 26th.
Some of the pavilions I think any visitors should not miss are:
- Toyota Group Pavilion - its robots and "personal mover" show is a must see. Tickets goes extremely quick and if you do not have advanced reservations, you will want to be in line for the "numbered tickets" distribution at least 1.5 hours prior to the time at which they begin (twice daily).
- Mitsui-Toshiba Pavilion - this is where you can experience the joy of staring in a Hollywood style movie. Although advanced reservation is suggested, you can also wait in line for entry.
- Japan Pavilion Nagakute - has one of the most interesting video presentation.
- Global House (Blue House) - featured the world's first 50 meter wide video screen by Sony.
Here are some of the pavilions you can safely skip:
- JR Central Pavilion - this 3D movie of the world record maglev train is so boring, if you are tired you can easily fall asleep.
- Earth Tower Nagoya City - although it has a world record size kaleidoscope, it definitely does not worth the long wait in line.
If you want to cover all the pavilions most will want to visit, you will need at least 3 days, given the amount of time you will be spending in line ups.
- Do bring along a hat.
- Definitely prepare some rain wear if there is any chance of rain in the forecast.
- Do wear comfortable shoes and clothing.
- Don't bother with eating at the German restaurant in the German/French Pavilion.
- Don't bother bringing any drinks to the Expo [Editorial: except water carton, not the bottles you get from the convenient store], due to security reasons all drink containers are banded.
- Don't miss the evening performance at Koi Pond
Definitely go there on a weekday, don't even think of going on a weekend or Japan public holiday, if you're planning a short visit to the Expo.
I found the best and most direct way to get to the Expo from Nagoya is via the Higashiyama subway line to Fujigaoka (290 Yen) where you transfer to the Linimo (Japan's first maglev train) to Banpaku Kaijo station (340 Yen), the Expo's North Gate, which will place you at the entrance closest to the Corporate Pavilion. On subsequent visit to the Expo you may want to consider getting off one station before, Koen Nishi Station, which is closest to the Expo's West Gate, where you can visit the Global Common 3, 4 & 5 Pavilions.
Two last things to remember though, the transportation to and from the Expo are most busy in the morning and after 18:00, and all pavilions close 1 hour before the Expo closes (22:00).
BTW: please feel free to check out my short photo documentary of my visit to the World Expo 2005.
I hope by reading this article it will make your visit to the World Expo 2005 a more enjoyable one. See you in Shanghai 2010.