Tokyo Bay – A surprise encounter with Lady Liberty
As I headed round the bend I had to do a double take.
Suddenly I wondered if I had turned a corner into New York. From nowhere, standing in front of me, was the Statue of Liberty.
As I moved closer reality set in. She was smaller and the city spreading away behind her was Tokyo and not the Big Apple.
This was Tokyo Bay, and incredibly what I was looking at was a copy of a replica of the Manhattan monument.
Two replica statues live in Paris: one, claiming to be a model used as part of the preparatory work for the New York statue, is based in Jardin du Luxembourg, and a second can be found near to the Grenelle Bridge on the Île aux Cygnes, a man-made island in the River Seine.
One of these statues was sent to Tokyo in 1998 for ‘French Year in Japan’.
It was so popular that a replica was erected in 2000, after the original was sent back to Paris.
In the area alongside its famous impersonator, Tokyo Bay is a place for families to enjoy, where people can be found chilling out, mums and dads play with their children, and talking and relaxing are the number one pastimes.
From being in Tokyo City across the bridge, where everything is compact, Tokyo Bay felt like a breath of fresh air.
It was so open, you could breath, the water was clear, the sand was yellow.
But this oasis of peace disguises the fact that Tokyo Bay is both the most populous and largest industrialised area in Japan.
It is home to some of the country’s most important ports: The Ports of Yokohama, Chiba, Tokyo, Kawasaki, Yokosuka and Kisarazu rank not only as the busiest in Japan, but in the Asia-Pacific Region.
And the area has been heavily industrialised since 1868. It is now the largest industrialized area in Japan, causing significant air and water pollution.
But, relaxing with Lady Liberty, it didn’t seem to matter whether or not this whole image of tranquility, like her ladyship, was a fake.