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Lose Yourself in the Charm of Japan's Faux-European Hamlet

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Just look at it there, all cute and hamlet-y. Could there be a place more suffused with idealized old-Europe charm, even in idealized old Europe? A few planned communities in China have attempted to hit this level of confounding facsimile and landed somewhere in the uncanny valley—there's faux-Paris, a cloned Austrian mountain town, the collaged English city that became a popular destination for wedding shots—perhaps because they attempt to replicate real communities, rather than platonic versions of their architectural styles. According to Kotaku, the most common line in Japan, where this ersatz hamlet is located, is that it looks like something out of a Studio Ghibli film, like Spirited Away or My Neighbor Totoro, which it most certainly does. Sadly, Nukumori no Mori (which translates to "Forest of Warmth") is but a shopping center for tourists, but at least it looks bustling, unlike a few planned communities we could name. Have a closer look below:

· Visiting This Village Is Like Entering a Studio Ghibli Movie [Kotaku]
· The Bridges of Hiroshima Prefecture [Meridian]