As part of a new campaign to promote domestic travel, the posters below explicitly compare Japanese tourist attractions to Western ones. But for some reason, the Japanese examples are all kind of low-key and uninspiring. The text on the left poster says: “The Statue of Liberty may be awe-inspiring, but Ueno’s Saigo (Takamori) statue is also cool (kakko ii).” In other words, hey, the Statue of Liberty may be this giant, meaningful world-famous object, but why go see it when on your way to work you can briefly glance at a pretty neato small bronze statue of a Meiji-era figure who revolted against the central government?
Poster two: “Big Ben may be handsome and grand, but so is Ginza’s Clock Tower.” Are these posters fighting against some meta-battle against the arbitrariness of tourist attractions? I could go for that, but instead, they just seem like a desperate, passive-aggressive attempt to woo Japanese eyes back to Japan. Hey, the rest of the world may be exotic and interesting, but Japan has a lower cancer rate and a world-class postal system!
Why not compare Japan’s more magnificent locations and historical objects instead of banal versions of Western ones? I’d rather see something about the great temples of Shikoku than: Forget Paris! We have the Tokyo Tower!