Nikko, Japan

Nikko, Japan

Tobu World Square, Nikko, Japan

The energy level in the children rose with each structure; from the feet dragging, too-many-temples-shuffle, to uncontrolled laughter and feet flying to the next building.






Nikko and Tobu World Square; around the world in one afternoon, page 2.

Raymond, my brother, had lived in Japan for more than seven years, raising a family there. This gave us a tour guide-interpreter for our travels, as they joined us on our adventures. Raymond had been to Nikko before, and told us we really must take the girls to this place where they had built miniatures of many of the architectural wonders of the world. I would not have chosen it, had it shown up in any of my travel guidebooks; it sounded a little cheesy to me. And, the admission price wasn’t. But, the girls needed a change, and Raymond was sure this was the perfect contrast to all the seriousness of the morning’s sightseeing.

We’ve done a number of things with Raymond and Nina in Japan that were not in my tour books. We rode a little chairlift with umbrella seats like those you might find in the little kids’ section of the county fair carnival, up to a temple on Mount Takao. We fed squirrels which climbed on our arms and Macaques from inside a protective building (they were on the outside.) We visited a creamery on Izu Oshima Island to eat ice cream made from the milk of cows who eat a plant that only grows on the island, flavoring the milk. We’ve gone places where the locals could not understand why we had come there, and small children stared, wide eyed, at our blonde little girls. So, although we carried doubts, we followed him to Tobu World Square.

The buildings are 1/25 scale, much larger than many dioramas, and made with painstaking detail. They include cars, and crowds of miniature people.  Photos of them, when they don’t include giant-sized knees in the background, or buildings from other continents, look much like the real thing. There are over 100 of places represented here, a round-the-world trip in one afternoon.  Before one is built, a team goes on location, taking measurements and photographs. The detail is impressive, and the result is, in fact, worth the time and hefty entry fee to visit. ...Read More

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