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Snapshot |Japanese Self-Kitsch Tourism

Snapshot |Japanese Self-Kitsch Tourism

Recently having spent a harrowing week in Tokyo juggling the ostensibly separate demands of American friends and Japanese family, I'd like to share a helpful discovery: if anyone could be more enthused about being a tourist in Japan than Americans, it's Japanese. But beware, Japanese self-tourism is not of the relaxed, meandering style popularized by Americans -- it's evolved, almost aerodynamically, into a tourist trail one joins rather than blazes.

Here, at the Kegon Falls, for example, there are two tiny observation decks jutting out of an adjacent mountain which, while terribly inconvenient to access (tourists are packed into a single elevator and then politely, yet insistently shuttled down a dripping rock tunnel), are exactly perfect for maximizing the impressiveness and photogenic splendor of the Kegon Falls. These observation decks are, logically enough, the only places to view the Falls. Why improve on perfection? Nevermind that everyone has the same photos in the end.
-- Nikko Lencek-Inagaki

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