OF ALL the things there are to see and do in a foreign city, it's fair to say a visit to the local garbage incinerator is not usually one of them.
But a garbage facility in the Japanese city of Osaka has become a major tourist attraction - for all the wrong reasons.
Some 12,000 tourists visit Osaka's Maishima incineration plant every year, many of them mistaking it for a Universal Studios theme park, Japan's Asahi Shimbun reports. About 30 per cent of those are international tourists.
In fairness to the hapless sightseers, Universal Studios Japan is located near the Maishima incineration plant, in Osaka's Konohana Ward, so they're not far off.
And the plant's carnivalesque chimney, featuring a colourful column and golden dome 120m is in the air, does seem more befitting of a theme park than a garbage facility.
According to Asahi Shimbun, the incinerator plant processes up to 900 tonnes of garbage every day. It was built in 2001 and designed by the late Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser, to fit in with the Osaka city government's request it represent the "fusion of technology, environment and art".
And it's not the only tourist attraction has that became so by accident.
Last month it emerged a glitch in Google Maps had sent tourists looking for NSW's Blue Mountains to the middle of nowhere.
Crowds of tourists were turning up at a tiny cul-de-sac some 30 kilometres south of the famous mountain ranges, west of Sydney, prompting frustrated locals to put signs on their front yards reading "Blue Mountains is not here".
And in May, a tiny village in Norway became suddenly swarmed by tourists, also because of a Google Maps error.
Confused travellers, who thought they were about to experience the wonder of the famous Preikestolen cliff, had been turning up in Fossmork instead - a tiny village about 30 kilometres away from the path that leads to the iconic summit.
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