Sydney 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.