The Little World Museum of Man

Today I met up with Kumiko again, and this time it had nothing to do with Bon Jovi. We were going to pay Little World a visit. It is one of Inuyama’s three small theme parks, the other two are Monkey Park and Meiji Mura and I’ve already been to those, so this was the last one I had to see before moving away from this town.

Little World is an open-air exhibition where you can enjoy a trip to very different parts of the world without an airplane. A 2.5 km road through the park leads you to many imported and reconstructed houses from all over the world, from Germany to Burkina Faso and from Indonesia to the States. There are little souvenir shops everywhere, and you can try on traditional costumes from several countries. I’m not one for dressing up, especially not when you have to pay for it, but I do enjoy donning weird headwear usually for the sake of a picture.

Taiwanese hat complete with black braid

There are also different kinds of animals dispersed through the park, we found some saliva spitting lamas, sleepy camels and Koi fish that would fight each other to slurp up some food:

Unfortunately, The Little World Museum of Man (the park’s official name) hadn’t imported a house or windmill from The Netherlands, but I found some Dutch things in the park nonetheless. A traditional Toba-Batak House from Indonesia (used to be a Dutch colony) was colorfully decorated among others with images of Dutch soldiers and their battle against the Japanese soldiers.

Sumatran Toba-Batak House

The Dutch on the floor battling the Japanese in the air.

Also when we were browsing a souvenir store in ‘Germany’ I actually found Dutch stroopwafels (syrup waffles) on the shelves, with actual Dutch writing on them. I bought some because I wanted Kumiko to try this famous Dutch treat and she liked it so much that when she was shopping for omiyage at the end of the day, she actually picked up a package of stroopwafels for herself. They also sold Gouda cheese, but it was actually manufactured in Japan and I know from experience that Japanese Gouda tastes like plastic.

Kanjers stroopwafels

Besides the Dutch stroopwafels, Kumiko tried some other foreign snacks, like a smoked sausage from Germany, a taco from Peru and krupuk (deep-fried shrimp crackers) from Indonesia. Being half-Indonesian, I’ve encountered a lot of krupuk in my life and even though they are shrimp crackers like many crackers here in Japan are, they taste very different from each other. Kind of like the Japanese nikkuman and Indonesian bapao, they’re both white steamed buns with a meat filling both originating in China, and they taste very differently. I prefer the Indonesian ones.

Indonesian krupuk

German sausage

I tried something new too. In the park’s African regional center, they sold special skewers, one kind with ostrich meat and one with alligator meat. Ostrich is nothing new to me, when I was a student I often cooked ostrich for dinner because it was healthy, tasty and cheap. But I’ve never tried alligator though. When I visited New Orleans a couple of years ago they sold a lot of alligator meat (gator-on-a-stick), but I was too chicken to try it out. I’ve always regretted that and now I had another chance. So I ate some alligator meat and even got a certificate with it! It’s very tasty, kind of like chicken and it’s texture is a mix between chicken and fish, it reminded me of frog meat.

Eating gator-on-a-stick

There were a lot of interesting things to enjoy in Little World, the park kind of was like an international Meiji Mura. But Meiji Mura bored me somehow, it kind of feels like a huge ghost town, with nothing going on. And Little World seemed much more happening, even though it rained badly most of the day. The rain made it hard to take decent pictures, and when my camera gave up halfway through the park I had to use my cell phone instead, which made the photographic part of our visit even tougher.

Real-size stone money from Micronesia, imagine the size of Micornesian wallets

Murals on a South-African house, my Dutch University was also decorated with these South-African murals.

I enjoyed the maze-like Kassena Compound in Burkina Faso the most.

It was a nice day, despite the rain trying to ruin our day and I learned new things about the world. Like it’s the duty of South-African wifes to be excellent artists and decorate the outside of the house, rain depresses camels, Tanzanian and Burkina Fasoan males like to have two wives and keep them in their own separate houses, Koi fish can fight even without having limbs, the Dutch and the Japanese used to fight each other in Indonesia, Micronesian probably have wallets larger than their cars, alligator is tasty, lamas pace like crazy when they have no one to spit on, and modern-day Japanese love to play dress-up. I just hope they import and reconstruct that windmill soon.


4 thoughts on “The Little World Museum of Man

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