From anime to origami, the Japanese Pavilion promises to offer something for everyone, and leave visitors eager to travel to the country. A must-see at the Dubai Expo 2020, the pavilion offers an immersive experience centered around the theme ‘Where Ideas Meet’ – perfectly blending art, culture and history.
Yuko Nagayama, a Japanese architect, designed the pavilion covering an area of 5,161 square meters. The three-dimensional façade design is inspired by origami and combines the traditional Japanese Arabesque and Asanoha patterns. The architect has brilliantly used natural airflow to keep the pavilion cool amidst the Dubai heat, showcasing the Japanese cooling techniques. The structure stands for the historic ties between the Middle East and the East Asian country, as well as represents sustainable architecture.
An Hour Of Being Awe-Struck
As one enters the pavilion, they are in for an hour-long experience like none other. To personalize the experience, each visitor is given a smartphone and earphone that serves as their personal narrator and tracks their movements. In a truly Japanese way of welcoming, each visitor is given a single virtual flower on their smartphone and a unique character name.
The hour-long journey through the pavilion offers 5 different scenes in perfect cohesion:
Scene 1 – ‘Encountering Japan’
The first room uses a blend of mist and immersive technology to educate the world about Japan’s harmonious relation with the natural environment. Videos and spatial experiences introduce the country’s heritage, unspoiled landscape and make people feel as if they were standing in the heart of the country.
Scene 2 –‘Culture and History’
Standing in a visual space with floating mist, visitors are exported into the world of Japanese history. The visuals talk about the country’s unique evolution which adopted skills and knowledge from across the globe while not losing its distinguished identity.
Scene 3 – ‘Innovation’
Japan’s innovation is not limited to cutting-edge technology. Rather, it has been utilized to modernize and innovate everyday objects. The country innovates while drawing inspiration from its tradition and nature. This zone showcases various miniature daily objects to highlight innovation in everyday life.
Scene 4 – ‘Issues’
In this zone, visitors walk through an infinity mirror room. These mirrors juxtapose the images of the visitors, with ones depicting environmental and social challenges that the world is facing today. The idea is to throw light on these new challenges that not only Japan but the entire world is facing, brought about by globalization and accelerated economic growth.
Scene 5 – ‘Where Ideas Meet’
The fifth scene -true to the theme – offers an immersive 360-degree theatre experience combining real-time graphic art and cutting edge data technology. The concept is to show how people with different perspectives and experiences can work together to create a better future. Based on the visitor’s journey throughout the pavilion, every visitor is provided n avatar and a goal based on data from the journey.
The Pathway to The Future – Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai
After completing the five scenes, the pavilion offers an additional section – ‘’Designing Future Society for Our Lives – Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai’’. As Japan is going to be hosting the next World Expo in 2025, this section focuses on how challenges, ideas and actions can come together from around the world. Visitors are invited to share their messages and ideas for the next Expo.
There’s More in Store
Technology, art and culture – if these were not enough or kind of boring for some; the Japanese Pavilion promises the best PR ambassadors. From astronauts and J-Pop celebs to Anime and Pokémon characters; visitors can get a glimpse of their favorites. Food lovers can also look forward to the sushi restaurant in the pavilion!