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Japan Pavilion

Japan Pavilion

THEME: Harmony of the Hearts, Harmony of the Skills

PAVILION: The Pavilion is a semi-circular structure covered by a purple membrane material. Several antennae and caves make the Pavilion “a breathing organism” which will express the harmony between the human heart and technology. The Pavilion has been dubbed “Purple Silkworm Island” by the Chinese people. It uses solar energy collection batteries hidden in the double-layer membrane and the cave will collect rainwater to spray on its exterior surface to keep temperatures cool.

EXHIBIT: Visitors will enter the Pavilion through a queue where pre-show videos will be played. As visitors are admitted into the Pavilion, they will pass down a corridor into the first section of the Pavilion that is concerned with the past, in particular the friendship between Japan and China. A lighted panel illustrates an ancient painting of envoys from Japan to China during the Tang Dynasty, envoys known as kento-shi. The panels roll out obi-like to create a pleasing visual texture. An escalator then brings visitors through a tunnel decorated with pictures of artifacts from that era in Japanese history, showing the influence of Chinese culture on the Japanese. Ancient crafts such as Nishijin weaving are on display. At the top of the escalator is a sakura (tea ceremony room) with a flowering cherry blossom tree shading it, a representation of the delightful seasons of Japan.  That theme is expanded upon as you walk down a ramp past projections of natural scenes and colors of the Japanese seasons. Each of the following galleries represents a different season, showing how the Japanese people live in harmony with each. The next major gallery looks at the urban setting of Japan, showing the trendsetting architecture and fashion that make up the cities of Japan. Now we have entered the second section of the Pavilion, focusing on Modern Japan. The next gallery focuses on water and the technology being used to reclaim this precious resource. From the Membrane Bioreactor, being used to convert sewage into drinking water, to a reverse osmosis membrane which helps desalinate seawater, Japanese technology is on the cutting edge to help soothe a thirsty world. The next exhibition spaces introduce “Zero-Emission Town,” utilizing current technology to create an urban environment of zero carbon emissions by the year 2020. Video displays, physical exhibits and photomurals show us what life would be like in this city. Technologies being introduced include floorboards that can generate electricity by walking on them, windows covered with thin clear solar cells that generate energy, intelligent robots and advanced motor vehicles that emit almost no carbons at all. We then enter the final section of the Pavilion where we look at the future. The next exhibition area shows us the need for connections between people to help make viable positive changes on a global level. Videos, waterscreens and other media help illustrate these concepts. We then enter the pre-show area where we are introduced to the crested ibis. This bird was declared extinct in Japan in the 1970s. The Chinese government began giving some of its stock to Japan in the 1990s and the birds managed to re-establish themselves in Japan. Visitors will then enter the main theater, where the Pavilion will present a modern opera developed by both Chinese and Japanese directors. The opera combines both Chinas Kunqu opera and Japan’s Noh drama to show friendship and exchanges between the two countries, using the crested ibis as a motif. Exiting the theater, images of smiling faces are meant to lighten the mood.

CUISINE: Restaurant Yamazato is located at the exit of the Pavilion. The 94-seat restaurant includes private dining rooms, teppanyaki dining (in which diners are seated in front of an iron plate where a chef cuts and cooks their meals before their eyes). In addition, diners may order tempura, sushi, broiled eel, broiled beef and tsuki-kaisegi among other treats. The Yamazato restaurant grew from its origins in 1962 at the Hotel Okura Tokyo into one of the most acclaimed restaurants in Japan. There are seven Yamazato restaurants throughout Asia, including one in Shanghai. The chefs will come from various Yamazato restaurants around the globe.

SHOPPING: While there is no specific shopping facility listed for the Pavilion, it’s a good bet that there is a souvenir area somewhere near the exit.


One Response

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