Tag: Sydney Opera House

Harbor City Coathangered! Sydney Opera House Among World Heritage List’s ‘Three Great Disappointments’

Sydney Lights - AustraliaSydney Opera House is undoubtedly a symbol of Australia around the world, but is regarded by many Japanese as one of the “Three Great Disappointments” among World Heritage Listed sites, according to Japanese AllAbout.com.
It’s been common for centuries for the Japanese to rank lots of tourism-related sites — look at Katsushika Hokusai‘s famous Unfortunately for Australia’s Harbor City, the Sydney Opera House is generally regarded as one of the most disappointing World Heritage Sites, joining other disappointments such as the Eiffel Tower (Tokyo has a bigger replica of its own) and Mannekin Pis (which Tokyo also has its own version of).
Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji as an example — and there are literally hundreds of sites within and outside the country that the order-obsessed have graded, particularly in terms of Top Three lists.

It’s unlikely disappointment with the Opera House is connected with the drastic drop in Japanese tourist numbers to Australia, which have more than halved in the decade since 2003, and many critics acknowledge that the symbol of Australia’s biggest city located on Bennelong Point is delightful when viewed from a distance, especially when the view encompasses the Coathanger, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, another icon of the city.
Just in case anybody gets their nose out of joint at the “best seen from a distance” complaint about Sydney Opera House from among many Japanese, it’s worth noting that an identical sentiment is almost universal regarding Mount Fuji, a sacred and highly revered site, which should put the view into, er, perspective.


New Year's Eve fireworks over Sydney Harbor.

New Year’s Eve fireworks over Sydney Harbor.

One of the world’s most renowned New Year’s Eve parties takes place annually in Sydney, Australia’s oldest and largest city.
Just as Japan has a New Year’s Eve tradition of the Red-White Singing Contest, Sydney’s custom to mark the end of one year and herald the start of another involves setting off fireworks with its famous harbor bridge and opera house as a backdrop.
People come from all over the world to celebrate the midsummer fireworks spectacle, with this year’s celebrants including Hollywood superstars Leonardo di Caprio and Jamie Foxx, who plan to welcome the new year in Sydney, then hop onto a private jet and fly to Las Vegas to take advantage of the time difference and be ready to greet the start of 2013 all over again.
About 1 million people are expected to see Sydney’s New Year’s Eve fireworks live, while another estimated 1 billion worldwide will watch the event on television.
Kylie Minogue

Kylie Minogue

Sydney’s fireworks are a comparatively recent event, starting in the 1980s, but with the city’s iconic landmarks only taking center stage in annual events that began only in 1996. Australian superstar singer Kylie Minogue will be a producer of this year’s fireworks display.
Incidentally — and ironically considering the fame of Sydney’s fireworks — Aussies have a complicated relationship with fireworks. Although most Japanese regard fireworks as a symbol of summer and setting them off is a tradition with crackers and the like on sale in stores nationwide, it has been almost impossible since the 1970s for individual Australians to buy fireworks, which are banned for individual use, ostensibly due to the danger of fire in the tinderbox dry heat of the summer Down Under.

Sydney New Year’s Eve Official Site