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Ocean Dome
Status: Real place (fake beach)
A couple of people have sent me these pictures of an artificial dome-covered beach.... located a few yards away from a real beach! Yes, it's a real place. This is Ocean Dome, located outside of Myazaki in Japan. Its motto is "Paradise within a paradise." David Boyle, author of Authenticity: Brands, Fakes, Spin and the Lust for Real Life (which is a pretty good book, by the way), has an article about it on his website. He speculates that it's possibly the most artificial place on earth. Here's a short clipping:
Ocean Dome is bigger than many ocean liners - over 1,000 feet long - and has space for 13,500 tons of salt water and 10,000 people, without the mild inconvenience of real salt water, real crabs, real seaweed or fish... It was pleasantly warm, but it felt faintly like a gymnasium - and they always remind me of exams. Also, the palm trees were too perfect to be real. The fruit behind the counter turned out to be plastic, and the backdrop was painted with small clouds and a deep blue sky as the Pacific view outside probably should have been... I wondered if it ever occurred to James Michener or Oscar Hammerstein, writing Tales of the South Pacific just after VJ Day, that their imaginary island would one day make it into a Japanese theme park.

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Posted by The Curator on Mon Jul 31, 2006
Gotta love those Japanese.

In one of the aerial pictures it shows the place, then about 1/4 mile beyond it, past the golf course, is... a beach, with breakers and an ocean.

If it isn't tentacle sex or used panties in a vending machine then it is a fake ocean right next to the real one... those crazy bastards!
Posted by Jim  in  Columbus, Ohio  on  Mon Jul 31, 2006  at  12:03 PM
I couldn't imagine paying to visit an artificial beach when the real thing, slightly less crowded, is not far beyond. But, I guess i'm biased, cuz I live 5 miles from the beach.
Posted by Dae Dae  in  Charleston, SC  on  Mon Jul 31, 2006  at  12:40 PM
I suppose it would make sense if you just had to go to the beach during the winter.
Posted by The Curator  in  San Diego  on  Mon Jul 31, 2006  at  12:44 PM
It's not so different from the beach-front hotels that have pools. Just upgraded... Also, spring is rainy season is Japan so it'd probably be a nice place to go if you want to see some fake sunshine versus rain all the time.
Posted by gabuhaha  in  the land where gabu's roam free and happily  on  Mon Jul 31, 2006  at  02:29 PM
I saw something about this on TV once--it's got a humongous wave machine. I gathered that its purpose is to have consistent surfable waves all the time.
Posted by JoeDaJuggler  in  St. Louis, MO  on  Mon Jul 31, 2006  at  02:47 PM
I don't know. I think I rather like this idea. It's the beach without the riptides and the stingrays and all the other yucky stuff that's in the ocean.

My only problem is that if they are making an artificial beach that's like a beach but better, why put in salt water? I mean, clorinated, non-salty water would make a much happier beach.
Posted by Razela  in  Chicago, IL  on  Mon Jul 31, 2006  at  03:24 PM
I could see how an artificial beach would appeal to people in someplace like Saskatchewan or Timbuktu, but putting a fake beach AT the beach???

So much for the Japanese and their supposed reverence for nature.
Posted by Big Gary  in  Port Arthur, Texas  on  Mon Jul 31, 2006  at  03:31 PM
It does make sense to me. This way you can go to the "beach" any day of the year, regardless of cold or rain. No, it's not quite the same as the real thing. But it could still be fun.
Posted by Accipiter  on  Tue Aug 01, 2006  at  04:07 PM
Of course, all of this chatter dodges the really important question:
Do people go "fake topless" at this fake beach?
Posted by Big Gary  in  Sandy Lake, Texas  on  Wed Aug 02, 2006  at  07:07 PM
Makes you realize the artificiality of our existence today. Full of interesting anecdotes, and pithy quotes of great philosophers, theologians, economists. How this book can be so ignored while such a trifle like *The Tipping Point* can be so successful is shocking. It's probably because of its dreadful generic cover and funky title. Too bad; this book will get your mind racing!
Posted by Marine Engineers Beneficial  on  Tue Aug 14, 2007  at  11:42 AM
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