Tourists heading to Universal Studios Japan are increasingly turning up outside a nearby waste incineration plant.
It is an easy mistake to make, as the Maishima Incineration Plant is not only located across the road from the theme park but thanks to its imaginative and playful design, it looks more like a place of entertainment than a giant garbage burner.
In fact, the unique building, located in Osaka, Japan, has seen the waste plant become a tourist attraction in itself, with some 12,000 visitors every year.
Looks can be deceiving: The Maishima Incineration Plant is not only located across the road from Universal Studios Japan, but it it looks more like a theme park than a giant garbage burner
The facades and mosiac-covered towers of the Maishima Incineration Plant would not look out of place in Barcelona’s famous Park Güell, but behind closed doors, it burns up to 900 tons of waste per day.
The plant was built in 2001, with a design inspiring to show a ‘fusion of technology, environment and art’, according to The Asahi Shimbun.
It boasts 500 windows, of which only 130 are real, but the great landmark of the plant is a 400ft tall chimney adorned with what resembles a bronze cartoon-spaceship.
Fun all day long! The waste plant boasts 500 windows, of which only 130 are real, and a 400ft tall chimney topped with a bronze globe
It was designed by Austrian artist and architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser, who died in 2000 shortly before the plant opened.
While Maishima attracts around one thousand visitors per month, the nearby Universal Studios Japan averages more than ten million per year.
It is one of four Universal Studios theme parks in the world, and contains selected attractions from Universal Orlando Resort, such as the The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.