Planning and preparing your visit to the expo in advance is essential for the full enjoyment of your expo experience.

Over 100,000 people visit the expo every day, resulting in fierce competition for admission into the popular pavilions. For insufficiently prepared visitors, an expo visit will likely start with the frustrating insight that all the best pavilions are already booked out for the day or require at least two hours of lining up.

By carefully preparing your visit in advance, you can minimize getting stuck in congestion and maximize the enjoyment of your visit. Below are some advice on how to prepare your trip and avoid disappointments:

Lining up in front of a pavilion
Terminals for making same-day reservations

How much time is needed to see the expo?

The expo site is vast and the number of pavilions large. Very few people will ever visit all the pavilions. In order to see most major attractions, you will need at least three days and careful advance planning. Of course, also a one day visit can be very rewarding with the right preparations and expectations.

How do I avoid the crowds?

It is impossible to avoid the crowds. However, you can reduce the crowds by visiting the expo on weekdays. If possible, avoid weekends, national holidays and the summer holidays (mid July to end of August).

Furthermore, you can bypass the crowds by making reservations for visiting pavilions, an important tool for the full enjoyment of the expo.

Make reservations

Making reservations for popular pavilions is an essential key to enhance your visit to the expo. Reservations can be made in advance of your visit via the internet or on the day of the visit in front of pavilions. Click here for more details.

Get the actual admission ticket as early as possible

In order to make advance reservations, you will need your actual, physical expo admission ticket rather than some kind of exchange voucher, because the serial number printed on the actual ticket is required in the reservation process.

Inside Japan, actual admission tickets are sold at the expo gates and major travel agencies across the country, however, if you purchase your tickets via the internet, you will receive a voucher. Likewise, many travel agents outside of Japan can only provide you with vouchers rather than actual tickets.

If you get a voucher rather than an actual ticket, you will have to exchange it at the ticket counters outside the expo gates. Ticket counters open 30 minutes before the gates.

Click here for more information about tickets, exchange vouchers and operation hours.

Actual admission ticket

Be aware of congestion outside the expo site

The large numbers of visitors streaming to the expo site in the morning, put a strain on the public transportation network around the expo. The Linimo elevated train, in particular, is getting very crowded around opening time in the mornings, resulting in considerable waiting times at the station, especially Fujigaoka Station. Consider alternative access methods, such as the JR Expo Shuttle.

Another place where you can get stuck in a queue before even having entered the expo site, are the entrance gates around opening time, since many people want to be there early and a security check is performed on each visitor.

There might also be some congestion at ticket counters around opening time by people purchasing tickets and exchanging vouchers against actual tickets. In order to avoid losing time here, try to get your admission ticket before coming to the expo site (see above). Note that ticket counters open 30 minutes before the gates.

Go early

Same-day reservations for most popular pavilions get booked out within a few minutes after the gates open in the morning. In order to make same-day reservations, you will have to get to the site early in the morning.

In order to get pole positions for the hunt after same-day reservations, some visitors will line up at the entrance gates two hours before opening time and earlier. Not only do they increase their chances of making reservations, but they also encounter less congestion when accessing the expo site.

Stay late

After around 5pm the crowds start to get smaller, hungry and tired, resulting in a decrease in waiting times for many pavilions.

Crowds thin out in the evenings

A suggested strategy for visiting the expo

The following is a suggested strategy for people who wish to see as many popular pavilions as possible:

1) Get your actual expo admission ticket (as opposed to an exchange voucher) at least one month before your visit.
2) Try to make advance reservations for the maximum allowed number of two pavilions over the internet as soon as this becomes possible at 9am one month before visiting date.
3) Get to the north gate at least two hours before opening time and line up. The north gate is the closest gate to the popular corporate pavilions.
4) After entering the site, try to make a same-day reservation for a popular pavilion or line up in front of a popular pavilion when waiting times are still relatively short.
5) During the busy morning and afternoon, visit the pavilions for which you have reservations. In between, visit some of the less busy pavilions.
6) In the evening, when crowds have decreased somewhat, visit popular pavilions, for which you could not get a reservation.

Guide to the Expo 2005 Aichi: