At first glance it’s as if a special party has been thrown and all your favourite people were invited. The lighting is impeccable, the music is on point, and the atmosphere is transcendent. The stage is set, the cameras are rolling, and you’re the star. Except, something doesn’t quite feel, well, real. It’s certainly like you’ve stepped onto the set of a blockbuster, but you start to doubt whether you really are the main attraction, and whether everyone is legitimately waiting just for you. The smiles suddenly seem forced, or held for just a tad too long; the cliques seem closed off from each other; the players aren’t interacting as one would expect, and everything is feeling a little staged. Time stands still for no man, yet this party feels somehow lifeless. Then it hits you: you have managed to stumble into Madame Tussauds Wax Museum in Odaiba, Tokyo.
This sudden realisation puts you in a much more cheerful mood, as you recall the perplexity and sadness you felt at being snubbed by Bruce Willis in the elevator. So, sure in the knowledge that you and Bruce are still the best of pals – and slowly coming to terms with the fact that, while remarkably realistic, the steely glint in the eye of Tom Cruise and the lusty look on the face of Marilyn Monroe have indeed been painted on – you do what every other self-respecting tourist does upon entering the marvel that is the Wax Museum: you leave your shame at the door and get snap-happy with a bunch of motionless beautiful people.
Madame Tussauds steals you away from the real and the mundane, drawing you in to a world that is filled with fame, fortune, and freakishly photogenic figures. It’s not often one gets the chance to mingle with the likes of Julia Roberts, fight Brad for Angelina, or take to the skies on an extra-terrestrial powered bicycle, and you figure that the ¥2000 admission cost and the trip to Odaiba were well and truly worth it.