The recent establishment in Japan of the gaikoku mura “foreign village” theme parks – caricatured miniature versions of European towns, built according to the local architectural vernacular and featuring famous landmarks – is audacious but perhaps not so very surprising. Travel to Europe for the Japanese is still expensive, time-consuming and scary – only one Japanese in four holds a passport. So why fly 13 hours at great expense to Heathrow, and then spend a day finding your way to Stratford, when instead you can hop on the bullet train from Tokyo and, a couple of hours later, be in the Murayama Shakespeare Park?
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Written by Paul Love who lives and works in Edinburgh building useful things.