If you follow me on social media…
Wait… First, if you don’t follow me on social media, you really should. I left Twitter, possibly for good – and you should too, its owner who shall not be named is going full-Nazi-sympathizer. Are you sure that your follower count is worth supporting and associating yourself with him? However, I’m on too many platforms at the moment, so you should find one of your liking:
- Mastodon & Firefish. My new social media home. It is awesome in so many ways (I’ll write about it again one day), it’s not owned by anyone and there are many more reasons to make your home there. Oh, if you don’t know Firefish, it’s a bit like Mastodon and both communicate seamlessly with each other. You can follow a Firefish account from a Mastodon account, and vice-versa. I tend to post more serious things on Mastodon and lighter things on Firefish. I “tend to.” It’s not a hard rule.
- I’m also on BlueSky and Threads, to see where these two things are going, but I don’t trust them. (and it’s a shame that all Francophones seem to be flocking to BlueSky at the moment)
Now that you follow me on social media, you know that I regularly post views of the Seto Inland Sea from my neighborhood. They’re usually stunningly beautiful like this one:
I hope you like them and that they make you want to be here. The Seto Inland Sea truly is dreamy and is one of the most beautiful places in Japan (I wouldn’t live anywhere else in the country, I mean it…)
However, just like any Instagrammer, I only show you part of the truth.
For example, if I rotate to the right from the previous picture, you see this: Takamatsu Port!
Takamatsu Port is not a horrible place, far from it. It’s even one of my favorite parts of town.
However, as you can see, once again, there is a freaking evil cruise ship moored in the port.
A few years ago, the mayor decided to welcome more and more of those in town. Not caring for the pollution and environmental destruction they generate. If you don’t know about cruise ships’ destructiveness, you can read this for example, or this. There are many more sources.
The worst part? The economic benefit is really not that big.
I also could mention the construction site that you can see on the right of the ship.
Yes, it’ll be beautiful when it’s finished. Yes, it was designed by SANAA, but every time I see it, I can’t help but think that it’s being built on one of the last green spaces in town.
A huge patch of grass where everyone could play however they wanted. Such a place didn’t generate any revenue. It had to be replaced by concrete quickly. That’s how pretty much any Japanese elected official thinks. The worst part? They decided to build this instead of renovating its predecessor – located in another neighborhood – which is an architectural wonder.
And let’s not get into the parking and traffic problems it will generate when big events are held there.
The other thing about my “Setouchi pictures” is that I rarely show you Honshu, Japan’s main island, on the other side of the sea.
Well, visibility was pretty good today, so let me show it to you:
Factories, lots of factories. And this part of Honshu (in Okayama prefecture) is considered rural and underdeveloped. Indeed there are some patches of nature between the factories. You can see them if you zoom in more.
So, yes, my “Setouchi Pictures” show you the truth, but they don’t show the whole truth.
Sometimes, I get frustrated that Shikoku is often ignored when people talk about Japan.
But sometimes, I’m also relieved when I think about how the rest of Japan looks and is.
That is why I’m not sure what to think when some big outlets (even the NY Times did it, luckily they did it when the borders were closed) describe it as “the last part of real Japan that you really should visit” and such.
I really really hope mass tourism never comes here.
But I’m more and more worried, especially because there are also more and more talks about bringing the Shinkansen here.
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