OSAKA, Japan, Dec. 15, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — To gain momentum for EXPO 2025 Osaka-Kansai, a large-scale special event, “Midosuji Runway,” was held by the Executive Committee of the Midosuji Party around the Midosuji Avenue in Chuo Ward, Osaka, on Friday, November 3, under the theme, “Be the Bridge!” The event fascinated approximately 300,000 spectators.

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During a parade, world-renowned dancer KENTO MORI showed a dancing performance with about 380 other people. In the performance of “Iwami Kagura,” a traditional performing art in Shimane Prefecture, great snakes made of paper dynamically danced to dynamic traditional Japanese drums and flute. In “Tohoku Kizuna Matsuri,” which brought together six representative festivals from six Tohoku prefectures in northeastern Japan, audiences were impressed with dynamic “nebuta” big paper lanterns (Nebuta Festival in Aomori), “kanto” bamboo poles (Kanto Festival in Akita), “waraji” straw sandals (Waraji Festival in Fukushima), “hanagasa” flower hats (Hanagasa Festival in Yamagata), “Sansa”-style dance (Morioka Sansa Odori Festival in Iwate) and “Tanabata” midsummer star festival of Miyagi.

Osaka-born model Ayami Nakajo, AHN MIKA who serves as ambassador for the “Come-to-Osaka! Campaign,” and other models appeared in an EXPO uniform fashion show, “Road to 2025 Midosuji EXPO Fashion Runway!” attracting crowds of spectators.

In a special program at the end of the event, MISIA, an iconic singer in Japan, moved onlookers with her overwhelming singing while riding on a float with a colorful goldfish motif, and sent a message to the world, saying, “Music is a ‘bridge’ that connects people’s hearts. I’d like to continue to connect people’s hearts.”

In the grand finale, Osaka Mayor Hideyuki Yokoyama told performers and spectators that he “would like to pick up steam with you toward the EXPO.” Gov. Hirofumi Yoshimura also said, “I’d like to enliven Osaka.”

Dance and vocal unit GENERATIONS from EXILE TRIBE collaborated with more than 150 high school students in a dancing performance while children also danced to the EXPO’s official theme song, “Kono Hoshi no Tsuzuki wo” (meaning “extension of this planet” in Japanese), highlighting the vigorousness of Osaka as one of the 2025 EXPO hosts.