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A visit to the Japanese Pavilion. Here we feed on ideas for the future

14 Oct

Padiglione Giappone visita immagine dettaglio

There is no doubt that the Expo Milano 2015 visitors are satisfied with the Japanese Pavilion. In fact, the Land of the Rising Sun has condensed all the imaginative capacity of this secular culture in the exhibition area. Moreover, the pavilion has attracted over 200,000 visitors so far.
Immersed in harmonious diversity

The participation theme is "Harmonious diversity" and intends to convey the gratitude for the natural riches and the love of nature typical of the country’s culinary traditions. The focus of the visit is the virtual meal at the end of the exhibition tour: the great theater is in fact a restaurant with tables and seating for the guests. The orders appear on the table in the shape of an interactive video: touching the food with chopsticks, we learn more about Japanese cuisine. An actual restaurant of the future!
The beginning of the trail is the Aioi

In the first room, which is a kind of prologue to the exhibition, the co-existence between man and nature is represented by calligraphic works and paintings. A fascinating movie (with a shadow effect) on a central video screen tells about the Aioi, namely the natural harmony and its disruption by man. The first room shows the production areas at the basis of Japanese staple foods, primarily rice: rice fields with storks flying above is, indeed, one of the symbols of Japan. All this in a half-lit room in which we move through oval-shaped plates hooked to the floor like flowers. Rural landscapes in the four seasons are projected on the walls, made with a half-reflecting mirror, using a brand-new projection mapping technology.

The Waterfall of diversity: technology back in the forefront

We move along a corridor reproducing seasonal sounds and smells where pressed flowers are displayed. These evocative spaces give way to the most advanced technology with the "Waterfall of diversity": an installation consisting of a central column surrounded by a table. The entire surface is a video screen that projects images of food. After downloading the app, it’s possible to place the smartphone in specific slots and drag the food to your plate. The photos are stored on the device along with information on the chosen food. The next room is amazing because it condenses, on one wall, a reproduction of all the typical products of Japanese food culture.
From global challenges to the solutions of the Rising Sun

The focus then moves onto innovation: two animated mascots, Morizo and Chiccolo, explain the Planet’s food challenges to a robot in an easy language. Touching one of the four special globes on the sides of the room, it is possible to discover the solutions to the various problems that Japan has proposed on a global scale. The rich exhibition of the Pavilion could not forget the excellence of the production of dishes, ceramics and homeware art achieved in Japan: a big laid table conveys the Cool Japan Dining concept. Before entering the live performance room, visitors are entertained by videos on new technologies and on the excellences of Japan.

These are available to taste too: two restaurants are placed at the exit of the exhibition area. Four stations with automated payment offer Japanese curry, riceburgers, tempura and kobe beef, while - for those who want to enjoy a special meal - the Minokichi restaurant offers four traditional Japanese cuisine menus.

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