Today started much the same as yesterday…wake up at 6:30am (I’m tellin’ ya, it’s killing me), stop at Starbucks for a quick take-out breakfast (you should SEE how they wrap stuff when it’s “to go”), and on the various trains to the Expo.
We got there around 10:30am and thought about going to some of the corporate pavilions.
Unfortunately, the lines for the corporate pavilions were already upwards of 50 to 150 minutes long. Apparently, the Japanese have no issues with standing on long, LONG lines, if they know they’re waiting for something good, or even just consider it to be the “in thing” (I kid you not) to stand in line to do something. Not being of that Japanese mindset, we decided to skip the long lines of the corporate pavilions for the time being and take the skyway (¥600…about $5.40) to the “World Showcase” (not the real word, but you know what I mean) countries, sharing the car with 3 giggling Japanese school girls who squealed every time the car bounced.
Our descent into the “World Showcase”
We started in Europe…saw Poland, Lithuania, Russian Federation, U.K.,Czech Republic, Ireland, Austria, Romania, Switzerland, Belgium, then back to Romania around 1:45pm for lunch. Then we visited Portugal, Bosnia Herzegovina, Tunisia, Greece, Bulgaria, Spain, South Africa, Africa and finally Egypt.
Outside of the Poland Pavilion
The “salt mines” inside the Poland Pavilion. The hosts and hostesses in here were very impressed that Joe was half-Polish
Genuine wooly mammoth skeleton, as seen inside the Russian Federation Pavilion
Sharon (videotaping as she tobogganed – she’s talented like that) and Steve Tobogganing in the Austria Pavilion
And you can’t have Austria without dancing to the Blue Danube!
Joe and Sharon in front of a mock-up of the Swiss Alps in the Switzerland Pavilion. Ricola!
Outside the Holland Pavilion, with the monster-size horizontal tulips
Joe in front of a HUGE platypus model in the Australia Pavilion. The hosts in there, who were THRILLED to have people who spoke English, said that several Japanese guests were asking if the platypus was life-size ☺.
I don’t remember where this guy was from, but he was cute. And it’s a decent picture of me, despite the (intentionally) HUGE eyes
The food kiosk at the USA Pavilion had steak sandwiches and Yankee dogs! (sorry for the sideways picture)
…and Manhattan steak curry, corn soup and Budweiser!
Original bust of Nefertiti from the Egypt Pavilion
Authentic King Tut stuff from Egypt Pavilion
We strolled around for a little while after that and spent some time in the gift shop (which was more crowded than Magic Kingdom on New Year’s Eve!).
Sharon (and plush friends) outside the main gift shop
After some more alternating strolling and sitting/resting, we visited some more corporate pavilions, since we noticed around 4pm that the park was finally starting to empty out.
Toyota Pavilion at nighttime
Gas Pavilion at night (yeah, we made a lot of jokes at its expense. Wouldn’t you?)
Steve and friend
Pretty nighttime shot
Another pretty nighttime shot
These girls were a riot. They were in front of one of the Gas Pavilion and at closing time, they’d stand in a perfect row and say goodbye to people, thanking them for visiting, sometimes with a little dance, always in unicent. I walked in front of them more than once, just to make them do it again. Cuz I could ☺.
And what WAS our impression of the 2005 World Expo in Nagoya Japan? Well, some of it was very nice and a lot of it was very pretty. Perhaps the artistic and cultural differences had some thing to do with it, but several of the exhibitions DID just make us scratch our heads and say, “WTF?” Don’t get me wrong…we had a really nice time and we’re glad to say we went. But a LOT of the presentations were very….Japanese….which is VERY different from how we’re used to seeing things in the States. And when we see a 3D movie with fish and flowers and lights and music and no narration in ANY language, well, we think we missed something by only having the perspective of being Americans who, like it or lump it, are used to being offered “in your face” entertainment that’s aimed at the lowest common denominator. But we had a good time (grin).
We left the fair around 9pm and decided to go to the Nagoya Hard Rock Cafe for dinner. It was typical HRC and we got to add to our various HRC collections (pins, shirts, magnets, etc).
Sharon and Joe and plush friend and our server (who LOVED America)
Took a taxi back to our hotel around 11pm (¥1180 [figure about $10] for a 15-min ride) and getting ready for tomorrow…do a full laundry, check out of the hotel, ship our non-essentials to TDL if we can figure out how, and travel to Hakone.
We’ll only have dial-up service from Hakone and TDL, so my messages may start to become sporadic. Until next time…
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