While in the resort area of Izu today, I noticed signs featuring a rather gormless and possibly lobotomized alligator.
They were advertisements for a place called “Banana Wani Park,” which is a small fun-park themed around bananas and alligators. A surreal concept for a place, I trust you’ll agree, and I have no idea quite why two such diverse subjects as bananas and alligators have been put together and celebrated.
(It could be “banana and crocodile park” actually, as there is only one word for both crocodiles and alligators in Japanese, “wani.” This fact inspired me to find out the difference between the two animals. Apparently, alligators have U-shaped heads, while crocodiles are V-shaped. Also crocs don’t mind salt water, but gators can’t tolerate it. In Japan, turtles and tortoises also share one name, (“kame”), as do mice and rats (“nezumi”), which means that, in Japan, Mickey Mouse may as well be called “Mickey Rat”. Not so cute now, eh! Anyway, I digress…)
I’m in favour of more theme-parks which unite random animals and fruit for seemingly no reason. How about “Strawberry Rhinoceros Park” or “Mango Zebra Park?” Or perhaps “Raspberry Sloth Park” or even “Guava Donkey Park”? These tourist attractions would make the world a better place.