It’s Out of this World! Osaka Banpaku Memorial Park’s “Tower of the Sun” Opens to the Public

  • Jan 19, 2020
  • Jan 10, 2024
  • Monique Lu

The “Tower of the Sun” has an, in many ways, unforgettable appearance. This building which is one of the symbols of Osaka was built as part of the 1970 World Exposition (a.k.a. Osaka Banpaku) in Suita City of Osaka Prefecture. It was left in the memorial park (Expo ’70 Commemorative Park, a.k.a Banpaku Memorial Park) after the exposition ended. For almost half a century the inside of the tower was not opened to the public, until March 2018 where it was renewed and opened to public as a permanent exhibition. Our FUN! JAPAN team visited the tower to uncover the interior of the tower and its unwithering life energy over almost 50 years. 

About Tower of the Sun

Tower of the Sun, which made an appearance in various media such as movies and comics, was designed by artist Okamoto Taro. Along with The Tower of Mother, The Tower of Youth, and The Big Roof, Tower of the Sun is one of the themed buildings in the Symbol Zone of the Osaka Banpaku in 1970. The display area is divided into 3 floors: ground, basement, and sky. It was the most appropriate representation of the Osaka's World Exposition’s theme "Progress and Harmony for Mankind". 

Photo provided by Osaka Prefecture Government

The Four Faces: Golden Mask, Face of the Sun, Black Sun, Underground Sun

The Golden Mask, which represents a shiny bright future at the top of the tower, Face of the Sun which symbolizes the present, and Black Sun at the back of the tower representing the past, are the 3 faces of the tower. During the expo, there was actually a fourth face: Underground Sun, which was exhibited at the underground exhibition site. However, the huge Underground Sun of over 3m tall and 11m long went missing after being dismantled when the exhibition ended. It was recreated for the public opening of the tower based on photos and documents of it during the exhibition.

Let’s Take a Look Inside!

Right after entering, the first thing you will see is the drawings panel area drawn by the tower’s creator Okamoto Taro during its creation. It is exciting to see the tower from the inside!

Going further inside, we reached the recovered Underground Sun. The projection mapping used changes the color and expression of the sun and projects the video taken during 1970 which shows the underground exhibition site at that time.

Unwithering Life Energy: “Tree of Life” Zone

In the interior space of the tower, there is a 41-meter tall steel “Tree of Life”. On its trunk and branches, there are 183 models of 33 types of living things from unicellular organisms such as amoeba to reptiles, dinosaurs, and human, depicting the evolution of life.

Make reservations to enter the tower! Because same-day tickets are only available if vacancies are available

Tower of the Sun allows maximum 1000 people to visit per day. Entry reservation can be done on its official website. Reservation is completed once you pay the fee by credit card. Same-day tickets are sold at 5 gates of Natural and Culture Gardens of Expo '70 Commemorative Park (Central gate, gate in front of Japanese Garden, East gate, North gate *closed at the moment, West gate) and the reception of Tower of the Sun. If entry reservations are full, same-day tickets will not be sold, so if you want to guarantee an entrance to the tower we recommend that you make reservations beforehand.

Spot Information

  • Spot name: Tower of the Sun

  • Address: Senri-Banpakukoen, Suita-shi, Osaka
  • Opening hours: 10:00 – 17:00 (L.O. 16:30)
  • Closed days: Wednesdays (open everyday from 1st April to Golden Week holidays, and the whole months of October and November)
  • Languages of reservation site: Japanese, English
  • Languages of reservation guide: Japanese, English, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Korean
  • Entrance fee: 720 yen (adult), 310 yen (Middle School and Primary School children, around 7-15 years old), Free admission for children below primary school age ※A separate admission fee (260 yen for adults, 80 yen for Middle School and Primary School children) is required
  • Access: 10-minute walk from Bampaku-kinen-koen Station (Osaka monorail)


Survey[Survey] Traveling to Japan