expo 2005 photo essays
- weekly report from the World Exposition in Aichi, Japan

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Week 29 (09.10.05)
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Expo demolishing
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Expo construction
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Week 29 (09.10.05)

Epilogue & Outtakes

Almost seven months after my first entry on this site, my Expo essays account is nearing its completion. Now that I have returned home, I have plenty of time to expand on incomplete entries and add more content in order to conclude this half-year mayhem. This is the time to summarize the final facts of the Expo.

Week 28 (02.10.05)

Turning off the lights

Since we had to start working at eight o'clock on the day after the end of the Expo, I had the chance to see the state of the Expo site after the final night. In places, the dismantling of the pavilions and the Global Loop had already begun. I also visited the Expo staff thank-you party and a very special place on my last day on the Expo site.

Week 27 (25.09.05)

The final week at the Expo

As expected, the "closing doors panic" (as we say in German) had many many people coming to the Expo, causing incredibly long waiting queues. Every day recorded more than 200,000 visitors, so the Expo site was basically one large crowd. Queues were everywhere - even pavilions with large capacities (such as China) created waiting lines of more than 30 minutes.

Week 26 (18.09.05)

Expo highlights roundup

This week I will summarize my personal Expo highlights - in contrast to many official guides or Expo guide web sites, this will include not only the Japanese presentations but all, and will focus on both the positive and negative aspects of my Expo experience and what I have seen here. This has finally become a kind of "Best of" summary, since the Expo is almost finished by now.

Week 25 (11.09.05)

Corporate Japan vs. The World's Countries Revisited

I will follow up on my very first entry, 'Corporate Japan vs. The World's Countries' which I wrote before ever coming to the Expo and witnessing the presentations with my own eyes. Now, almost exactly half a year later I will once again put these pavilions in contest and see whether the free world can still keep the pace of the Japanese corporations.

Week 24 (04.09.05)

Day of Reckoning

Expo organizers, your time has come - this is my final verdict on the failures and missed chances at the 2005 World Exposition in Aichi, Japan. A (bigger than expected) part of this web site already collects some criticisms of mine, starting with the Week 6 entry "Major blunders in the organization of the Expo"). This will be a summary of all the major points were I could see room for improvement.

Week 23 (28.08.05)

A trip around the Global Commons (Part 2)

In a previous update, I started my small virtual tour of the so-called "Global Commons", the six areas of the Expo that house the foreign countries' pavilions. Here are the remaining four Global Commons.

Week 22 (21.08.05)

"Nature's Wisdom" - a folly?

This week I will focus on the theme of the Aichi Expo, "Nature's Wisdom" (shizen no eichi). I visited the Expo's other area, the smaller Seto Area, recently and witnessed how the nature theme is tackled there. These observations and others I made in other parts of the Nagakute Expo site helped me form my thoughts about the way the approach to the nature theme is handled here at the Expo.

Week 21 (14.08.05)

China takes the flag from Japan

Unfortunately, the planned update about my personal Expo highlights could not be finished in time, so this week I will once again focus on a different topic. Upon visiting the Chinese pavilion last week, I led an interesting conversation with a representant of the 2010 Shanghai Expo Office and also received a few information sources about the exposition, which sparked my interest.

Week 20 (07.08.05)

My view of the EXPO 2000 Hannover

This week's entry once again focuses on a completely different topic. The World Exposition before the current one was the so-called Millenium Expo (EXPO 2000) which took place in Hanover, Germany. For me, having had the chance to visit that exposition, it makes for an interesting perspective when comparing the two expositions.

Week 19 (31.07.05)

The popularity of the German Expo represenation

I guess it's about time to focus on the German representation here at the Aichi Expo, which has become one of the most popular at the whole Expo - probably without actually intending so originally. The queues in front of the pavilion and the restaurant usually are the longest of all country pavilions and on some days even beat the ever-popular Hitachi and Toyota pavilions.

Week 18 (24.07.05)

When the future was still the future: Osaka Expo 1970

Let's have a little time slip and go back to the year 1970, the year the first ever World Exposition was held in Japan. Back then, the terms "future" and "futuristic" still had a meaning - it was the "space age", and in this era of rivalry between the world's superpowers of the US and the USSR, Japan held its first Universal Exposition (and the first World Exposition in Asia).

Week 17 (17.07.05)

"World" Exposition - for whom?

Maybe it's just me that is mistaken about what makes up a "World Exposition" - is it a fair to present the world to the visitors of the home country or to present the host country to the world? Actually it should be both; however, in the case of Japan, as difficult to access for foreigners as it is, the latter seems to play a much larger role.

Week 16 (10.07.05)

A trip around the Global Commons (Part 1)

This week's topic is probably long overdue - up to now, I have concentrated more on general affairs than specific presentations at the Expo. Upon reading a one-day trip account of an Expo visitor, I decided to write a similar report about the six Global Commons that are home to the foreign countries' pavilions - one difference being that I took these photographs over the course of nearly half a year.

Week 15 (03.07.05)

Japanese "World" Exposition

Another week goes by and there are still new things coming to the surface that make me critical and kind of angry about the way the Expo is organized. I know that it's dangerous to be overly critical, but I feel like there are many lost chances left to the wayside here.

Week 14 (26.06.05)

Around the block in Nagoya

I went on various strolls around my apartment near the train station of Hoshigaoka, all the while carrying my camera and recording what met my eye. Later, I started venturing into the city center and take pictures of the (sadly mostly rather uninteresting) Nagoya cityscape.

Week 13 (19.06.05)


It goes without saying that since the theme of the Aichi Expo is "Nature's Wisdom" (shizen no eichi), a special focus is laid on proper garbage disposal and waste recycling. The hosting of the World Exposition without a doubt posed a good opportunity to once again indoctrinate the Japanese people about the need for garbage treatment and separation.

Week 12 (12.06.05)

Night activities

Last week we had a fine opportunity to observe the different way of partying here in Japan: the weekend had a staff party by the Expo association and another open-air one by the Global Common 2 (the Americas) going on. I went to both of them and I can tell you it was quite a different experience respectively. Also, the German pavilion held the "peak festival" to celebrate the half-time of the Expo.

Week 11 (05.06.05)

Kindergarten Japan

Foreigners living in Japan often complain that the whole society for them seems to be set up like a kindergarten. Japan sometimes just seems so harmless that it starts getting boring, and life in Japan (for the most part) is so safe and protected that the insufficient ability of many Japanese to deal with unexpected situations doesn't surprise much.

Week 10 (29.05.05)

May events roundup

It's about time to give an update from the "party front" here at the Expo. I hope you appreciate my selfless sacrifice of sleeping time and the alcoholic torment I put unto my body just to offer you up-to-date infomation about the noteworthy events of the last month.

Week 9 (22.05.05)

Web sites about the Expo

This week will introduce you to some other websites about the Expo, all of with treat the subject matter from a different angle. You may take a look at them, however, of course, you are not supposed to stop reading my site in favor of theirs - I am logging your IP, duration between clicks, everything, so beware.

Week 8 (15.05.05)

Working at the Expo as a foreigner

The 50th day of the Expo has passed and we are nearing the completion of the first two months of our stay here. Work is becoming routine, however, there are some special factors to be considered when working in Japan: one is the so-called "May sickness", the other is the way some Japanese regard foreigners.

Week 7 (08.05.05)

The German-French partnership

The next update is threading on thin ice since it touches on some political and historical topics. I do not attempt to give an objective view, and I want to make it very clear that the following describes how I feel towards the German-French relationship and is not supposed to be representative.

Week 6 (01.05.05)

Major blunders in the organization of the Expo

I have lived in Japan before and am somewhat used to the overly correct and slow way official affairs are run here. Therefore, I am a little more understanding towards certain procedures that make some of my colleagues reach their boiling point. However, some of the organizational failures drive me up the wall, too.

Week 5 (24.04.05)

Mascot madness

This week's entry is dedicated to Expo mascots: Morizo and Kiccoro, the official Expo mascots, the German mascot (die Maus) and some more of the country pavilion mascots.

Week 4 (17.04.05)

The busiest week

This week was rather busy; for once, we had the German National Day on Wednesday. There was a lot of pressure that nothing would go wrong on that day. There also were a few staff parties at various pavilions, most notably the long-awaited Croatia party which lasted until the early morning.

Week 3 (10.04.05)

Faces of the Expo

It's still a quite thrilling time at the Expo right now because you meet new people all the time: during lunch, at the cafeteria, in the train, on your way home etc. There aren't so many established groups of people yet, so everything is still pretty much in motion and just forming.

Week 2 (03.04.05)

The first week at EXPO

Since I arrived the night before the opening of EXPO, I haven't had much free time yet. So I have hardly had the chance to move around and see anything on site, but for now there have been enough interesting things happening around me.

Week 1 (27.03.05)

My trip to Japan develops into a major disaster

My supposedly first day in Japan and I haven't even arrived! My trip to Japan developed into a major disaster, which could only be resolved by the very kind help of the Korean Air staff at Incheon International Airport.

Week 0 (20.03.05)

Corporate Japan vs. The World's Countries

I read an article about EXPO in a magazine recently which was mainly focused on the pavilions of Japanese corporations but hardly mentioned individual countries' pavilions. I started wondering how the pavilions created by the world's countries fare against the ones funded by corporate money.