Universal Studios theme parks have a lot going for them – Harry Potter, Despicable Me, Jurassic Park, and many more attractions to make a day or two at the park(s) worth a visit (that’s not even including special events like Halloween Horror Nights). But if you’re going to Universal Studios Japan, make sure that you actually wind up at the theme park and not at the Maishima incineration plant in Osaka.
According to reports, literally thousands (like, 12,000+) of tourists make a trek to visit the garbage incinerator plant every year and many of them are doing so because they think it’s part of Universal Studios Japan theme park.
Apparently, the incinerator, which opened in 2001 and handles up to 900 tons of trash every day, was designed by the late Austrian artist, Fredensreich Hunderwasser, and followed the Osaka government’s request to show the fusion of technology, environment and art.
And this is what they got:
To be fair, I could see how people might be confused – the gold domed chimney stands just shy 400 feet (120 meters) high and with all the different colors on the main building, it certainly does LOOK like it could be part of a theme park. It’s also just a 7-minute car ride (or a 23-minute bus ride) between this unusual tourist site and Universal Studios Japan, so the two really are very close. But I bet more than a few theme park tourists wound up scratching their heads ;-).
In all seriousness, the incinerator plant actually does tours by appointment (no walk-ins) Monday through Saturday (they’re closed on Sundays and national holidays). Heads up that the tours are only done in Japanese and, not surprisingly, the outside is much more beautiful than the inside (which is apparently just a typical Japanese incinerator plant). So although it might be an interesting way to spend an hour or two, Universal Japan it is not ;-).
Our thanks to Christian D. for the heads up on this topic!
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary