Little World: Inuyama
When I planned a trip to Little World; I was planning to see an indoor museum, filled with interesting artifacts, and documentaries of approximately 70 countries. I expected to enjoy, this indoor museum, with more than 6,000 items showing evolution, technology, language, society and religion. I expected to travel the world mentally, only through the stimulation of 3 senses: sight, hearing and touch. I was grossly unaware of the opportunity, I had afforded myself.
Little World is more than what has been mentioned above; It is also an open air museum, spanning over 1,230,000 square meters. It has 33 reconstructed traditional buildings, including houses, of 22 countries.
Getting to Little World from Nagoya, meant going to Inuyama station on the Meitetsu line, and taking a bus. The journey was a little over an hour, but worth the ride. Admission was \1700, and the Little World Passport was \300. The goal was, visit all the countries and stamp your passport as you do the round-trip. Afterwards, you get a final stamp and a small gift.
We went to the indoor museum first, and spent most of our time there. We lost ourselves in the videos and exhibitions. After all, what could possibly be more interesting than this place? We were immersed intellectually, learning about the past and present way of life of many countries.
After many pictures, and feeling satisfied, we decided to explore the grounds. It was then, we realized that Little World was more than an indoor museum, and we could travel the world in one day.
We purchased a round trip bus ticket for \500. We needed to see everywhere and we were strapped for time. The hours of operation are: 9.30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. depending on the season.
If you have time, I would advise taking the 2.5km stroll. After stopping at every country and enjoying the exhibitions there, you really don't feel as if you`ve walked at all. The wait time for the bus, from one stop to the next is only worth it, if you plan to skip places.
The first country we rode to was Germany.
We soon found out most countries allowed you to try on their traditional dress for only \500.
We also learnt that Japan was a cash dominated society. Thus, no establishment on the premises was willing to accept card payment. Also ATMs, were non-existent on the entire property. The nearest ATM was either a 20 minute car drive, a 30 minute bus ride plus 10 minute wait time, or an hour walk. As a result, we didn`t get to enjoy the additional features we had not known about prior to our arrival.
Nonetheless, we had a grand time. We examined the traditional architecture of various buildings located in each country.
Furthermore, we enjoyed the smell of various traditional dishes, and enjoyed Italian gelato. The dishes included: South Africa's ostrich and alligator; Turkey’s kebab, Korea’s pancakes and lots more.
At the end of our journey, we received the final stamp plus a gift. We got a miniature craft Japanese whistle. All in all, it was a sensual, rewarding experience. It is surely worth the time and money, if you are willing to see, feel, hear, taste and touch 22 countries in one day. So bring enough cash, plus extra, for the occasional surprise.