Now Big in Japan: Industrial Tourism Holiday

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A factory in Tokyo (Mamoru Nagai/amanaimages/Corbis)

Never afraid to embrace a trend, Japan has a new craze to hit its travel industry: gazing at smokestacks.

Daisuke Wakabayashi of the Wall Street Journal reports this week on the phenomenon of kojo moe, or “factory love,” in which tourists young and old from Japan’s shinier cities venture to industrial quarters to ooh and aah at the iron drawbridges and oil refineries of yesteryear.

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