Ah, the joys of international travel. You shell out the majority of your paycheck for a ticket and spend sleepless nights counting down the days to your adventure of a lifetime. Then the day of departure finally comes and you board the plane, arriving hours later at your destination and trembling with anticipation. Camera in hand, you journey to the first famous place on your list that you’ve been dreaming about for weeks on end. Finally there, you take a quick look around, eyes widening in surprise, and blurt out, “…that’s it?!” 

Everyone has probably experienced that underwhelming sense of disappointment at some point while traveling. Whether it’s a world-famous monument, a natural wonder, or the coolest little restaurant your coworker swears by, when you actually go and check it out for yourself, you fail to see what all the hype is about.

The folks behind Japanese website My Navi Woman were curious to find out what top North American destinations chronically failed to live up to their readers’ expectations, so they created a web survey geared towards working women aged 22 through 34, and received a total of 276 responses. We now present the results of that survey to you, appropriately titled “The world’s most disappointing tourist locations according to Japanese women, North American edition.”

“The beaches just aren’t up to snuff.”

The survey revealed that many of the most disappointing sightseeing places were related to beaches. Here are two sample voices:

  • Waikiki Beach, Hawaii, USA: “There were so many Japanese people there that it didn’t even feel like I went overseas.” (28-year-old)


  • Miami Beach, Florida, USA: “The reality didn’t quite match with the stylish, clean image I had been imagining.” (27-year-old)


“It looked cooler in the photographs…”

In addition, several man-made structures renowned around the world made the list. Have you visited either of the following?

  • Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, USA: “I thought it would be more impressive, but it was just an ordinary red bridge.” (29-year-old)


  • Space Needle, Seattle, USA: “In the pictures, it looked colorful and like it was from outer space. But it wasn’t like that at all.” (33-year-old)


“Natural beauty, huh?” 

The great outdoors just doesn’t cut it for you? Then you probably shouldn’t go to either of these famous sightseeing locations:

  • Niagara Falls, Canada/USA: “We wasted a whole day going to see nothing but waterfalls.” (28-year-old)


  • Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA: “There was nothing there.” (29-year-old)


“And the winner is…”

  • The Statue of Liberty (or “Goddess of Freedom,” as she’s known in Japanese)

“It was smaller than I expected.” (27-year-old)

“When I got close to it, I was surprised at how small it was.” (29-year-old)

“I was still impressed, but it was small and didn’t quite live up to my expectations.” (25-year-old)

(Author’s note: The Statute of Liberty is 305 feet, 1 inch (93 meters) high from the ground to the tip of the torch.)

Why go all the way overseas when you can just see my twin in Odaiba anyway…


So there you have it – the top letdown places in North America that underwhelm Japanese women tourists. Were you surprised by any of their choices? We were a bit caught off guard by some, such as the Grand Canyon (apparently ancient geological formations with breathtaking panoramas just don’t cut it for everybody). Perhaps we can blame Japanese travel guides, which are typically chock-full of gorgeous photographs that make the actual places in real life pale in comparison. In any case, you might want to rethink taking your Japanese friend to see the Statue of Liberty the next time you’re in New York… 

Source: Niconico News
Images: Wikipedia (1, 2, 3, 45, 6, 7)