Asia,  Japan,  Osaka,  TDM,  Travel Journal

Travel Notes Osaka (Japan) #4: Sakura at the Expo ’70 Commemorative Park, Japan Folk Crafts Museum

Last Tuesday, I went to see the cherry blossoms at Expo ’70 Commemorative Park, in full-bloom for 3 days. It is one of the best places in all of Japan for hanami (traditional Japanese custom to appreciate the beauty of flowers, mainly cherry blossoms). As JB had to work, I went there by myself

Part 1: Travel Diary
Part 2: Practical Tips

Part 1: Travel Diary

I need 2 changes and a long hour to get to Expo’70 Comemorative Park. Luckily I’m sitting down most of the time. As soon as I get off the train/subway/RER (I don’t know anymore), I see a huge wheel on my right, and a kind of penguin/moon/antenna/giant pigeon on my left

In fact, it is called “Tour du Soleil” and it is an artistic building created for the 1970 World’s Fair

I buy a ticket for the “Japanese Garden” (250yen), then a ticket for the Japan Folk Crafts Museum (700yen) before I realize that if I just want to look at the cherry trees, it’s free. No problem, I’ve come all the way here, I’m going to go and see these two other places also located in the park

I understand immediately why it is one of the favorite places for Japanese people (and not for tourists) because apart from contemplating the cherry trees, you can also picnic and play on the lawn. Some even bring tents (to escape the sun). It is very crowded (strange for a Tuesday), but when you think about it, many Japanese women stop working (or work part-time) as soon as they have a child

The cherry trees here do not have all white flowers, but white on the outside and a little pink on the inside

There are a lot of food stands next door, I really like the atmosphere! For photographers, it’s better to come here early in the morning. The small alley lined with cherry trees will look great in pictures

Japan Folk Crafts Museum

This museum is located in a place frequented by the Japanese so nothing has been translated for tourists. Luckily I spent a long time at the Museum of Traditional Crafts in Kyoto so I am able to understand the permanent exhibition here

Phones are forbidden, and so are pictures, so I’ll just describe what I saw. This museum dedicates a large part to the kimono dyeing techniques. To obtain different patterns, you have to knot the fabric differently, or create stencils… to achieve the desired pattern. These are hours and hours of manual work. You can see in this museum several kimonos dyed in the traditional way, and see pieces of fabric before and after dyeing

In the basement, just before the souvenir store, there is a long video explaining (in Japanese) all the dyeing techniques. I strongly advise you to devote an hour to it because I understood everything even if I don’t speak Japanese, and it only reinforces my respect for Japanese craftsmanship. The craft fanatic that I am, had the stars in my eyes after watching this report

The Japanese garden

As I bought the ticket for the Japanese garden, I go there, without knowing what to expect

As soon as I enter, I see an open hall where several elderly people sit on benches and admire the landscape

I am amazed by the beauty of the place. It’s so peaceful, it’s so perfect, every tree is a perfect bonsai, the hill in the distance is mowed perfectly well. You can hear the sound of water coming from the small waterfall on the left

It’s too beautiful! So beautiful that I wonder what I did to deserve so many beautiful things, and so much happiness? I have always been very selfish, all my decisions revolve around me, what I want, what I will want. There are many more people who are harder working, smarter, kinder, nicer than me, why me? I don’t have the exact answer, but I tell myself that at least I don’t harm anyone, my happiness isn’t obtained by crushing others, and I have always been ethical in everything I do

After these few thoughts and a vanilla ice cream, I walked to explore the rest of the park. There are quite a few trees and flowers that I didn’t know at all

Cherry trees are in full bloom here too

And my favorite moment: old people sitting on benches, under a rain of cherry tree petals..

… in front of this absolutely sumptuous pond..

It’s so peaceful, everything is so perfect!

I had the opportunity to work with Japanese people when I was in an agency. We were in a tender and had to audit Japanese advertising campaigns. For this, we called upon the Japanese branch of our agency

The work involved was going to take a lot of time, even for the seniors, and we gave them one day less than they needed. The work rendered was PERFECT, to the nearest comma: the slides were perfect, but on top of that the Excel work file (a kind of draft) was perfectly organized as well. I checked as much as I could, and I couldn’t find any mistakes. At that moment, a thought crossed my mind: I would love to be surrounded by people so conscientious in their work, capable of reaching such a degree of perfection. I was actually in the wrong country! I should have been Japanese, or working in Japan

And then, after almost two years of touring the world observing different peoples and ways of life, seeing Japanese people coming home at 9pm every day, getting drunk, smoking like firemen, I understood that this degree of perfection was also achieved at the expense of personal life. Added to this is a lot of pressure and competition. Now I don’t want to be Japanese or work in Japan anymore

Since our passage in Asia, and especially with the Vietnamese New Year, we have had many times the opportunity to ask the gods for something: money, success, luck… and each time the opportunity arises, I am shocked by my own reflection that I absolutely do not need anything. My life is perfect the way it is now. I’m so glad it’s finally happening to me, I never thought I would be able to say it one day, because I was so tortured, dissatisfied, anxious and pessimistic before. Before, I didn’t see any way out for me, but now that I’ve learned to live in the moment and not worry about the future, I’ve unburdened myself with a big weight

Like these flowers, everything is ephemeral, we must enjoy it now, not tomorrow, not in 10 minutes, but now


Part 2: Practical Tips


  • Transport Osaka => park: 650yen one way. It is necessary to stop at: Bampaku-kinen-koen Station
  • Hanami : free of charge
  • Japanese garden : 250yen
  • Japan Folk Crafts Museum: 700yen


  • Go early in the morning for better photos of the cherry-lined driveway
  • The Japanese garden isn’t very crowded, there is a café near the entrance, you can have lunch there, quiet, or eat an ice cream
  • The tea room on the plan (in the Japanese garden) isn’t open at the time I went
  • Near the waterfall, there are plenty of crows (they are quite noisy and can fly a little low). In any case, if I have something to eat, I’ll rather eat near the café and avoid eating in the garden, you never know.

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