How often do you see something so amazing you can’t wait to tell everyone? Well, that will happen when you see the “Space Printer” when you visit Osaka and Kyoko, Japan. Add it to your bucket list immediately! These fountains were dubbed “space printers” by their designer, Koei Aquatec Company, because they use complex computer-controlled releases of water droplets from thousands of tiny spigots (they sound like rain) to create amazingly intricate waterfalls that are illuminated by lights from above to look like images from a dot matrix printer. They tell digital time minute by minute, and during each intervening sixty seconds, they display graphics that include names or other messages, flowers, animals, geometrics, or abstract designs. Look and listen! (Video courtesy of Koei Co.)
Although Canal City Hakata, on Japan’s southernmost island, also has a printer fountain, two of the most accessible are at the Osaka Station City Complex (in the South Gate Building) and at Miyako Michi in Kyoto Station. The recently constructed Osaka Station City Complex is the largest shopping mall in the country, an exciting venue for shopping, dining, entertainment, and recreation. You not only can enjoy the fountain but also shop in either of two major department stores or any of 200 shops under the glass roof, enjoy the sun plaza or healing gardens, take in views over the city, and dine in style. A half-hour ride on Japan’s fastest local train, the JR Shinkaisoku (“special rapid”), takes you to the Kyoto Station where you can depart for visits to historical temples or visit the shops and space printer fountain at Miyako Michi Mall before embarking on the 2-hour bullet-train ride to Tokyo. Don’t just have a holiday; have an adventure in Japan, and send us back great photos and video of your journey to the Space Printer Fountains and beyond!