Ise Travel Guide
We know the Japanese are great at creating their own versions of world-famous tourist sights so they don't need to travel so far to see "an" Eiffel Tower or "some" Northern Lights. But now they've even started building replicas of their own stuff, which should cut travel time even further.
The currently famous replica is one of the fabulous Himeji Castle. One of the few castles to have been relatively undamaged over the centuries (Japanese feudal lords loved destroying each other's property), Himeji is mid-way between Osaka and Hiroshima. And now it is also in Ise, west of Osaka. A retired Japanese (obsessive) insurance assessor named Hiroyasu Imura has spent the last 12 years creating a perfect 1:23 scale replica of the castle, and now it's becoming a tourist attraction, much to the disappointment of his wife. She'd hoped that once it was finished they could finally start going on holidays again, but the real Himeji Castle officials have appointed Hiroyasu as a tourist ambassador and he's busy receiving guests at the second Himeji Castle.
· Catch the Northern Lights Without Going North [Jaunted]