The Japanese tourist, unlike the overseas visitor, may be only mildly astonished to find himself transported to the upper part of a castle donjon by means of a newly installed elevator. Convenience, the Western visitor notes with some bemusement, does not seem to detract from the enjoyment, let alone the "authenticity," of the experience.

Building on this ability to suspend disbelief, to uncritically embrace the replica, Japanese towns boast among other things a Spain Town, a Dutch trading port and a Shakespeare Village -- the last located in Chiba Prefecture, of all places. Even little Hiraizumi in the north country has its very own New Zealand Village.

Commenting on why Disneyland has so been so easily transplanted to Japan, writer Donald Richie observes in his "Japan Journals" that "it was invented here -- in the 18th century, (it was) the Japanese landscape garden."