Continuing on as if I never stopped....
Day X94 - Nagashima Spaland!
Well, this day ended up being pretty much a total bust, not because of anything trip or park-related, but because I got sick. After ERT and the bobkarts, my whole memory of the day involves being in pain and trying not to pass out. I had a thumping headache, and then we got off a coaster (don't remember which at this point) and I just pretty much blacked out. I saw my vision going and sat down on a wall as quick as I could, but after that... I was fairly useless.
Aaaaanyway. Whilst Robb was taking this photo on the train in the morning....
... What I *didn't* realise was that *this* was above my head:
I hate to admit that I'm this girly, but yeah, I freaked out and moved seats before Robb could put it on my head or something. Some things I'm fine with, like I hate spiders if they're moving, but I could cope with one if it remained still up there, though I'd have to keep checking it hadn't moved, but praying mantises are really creepy looking. I was gone.
After our ERT on White Cyclone, which was actually pretty damn fun, we had a quick spin on the ferris wheel... Hi Hector!
...before heading over to Steel Dragon... Going up the lift-hill and waving at the large crowd already queuing up right as the gates opened was quite amusing. Steel Dragon... I really liked it, a lot actually. But perhaps not as much as I'd expected to. I didn't really feel like I had particularly high expectations beforehand, but for whatever reason I came off it feeling just a little disappointed. HOWEVER, the airtime... I giggled uncontrollably through I think my second ride, simply because my feet were barely touching the floor. If you're on the light side, it's actually amusing how little your arse touches the seat with even just a little space in the restraints. Much fun.
One random interesting note about this park... The smoking areas. It's actually funny. There is *literally* one about every twelve to fifteen feet. On every path. I'm totally supportive of park smoking areas, but if you're going to have them *that* close together, you seriously may as well just let people smoke walking around! It was ridiculous! But anyway.
After Steel Dragon, we headed over to the BobKarts... They were fun, I think maybe a little faster than others I had ridden.
Richard seemed to enjoy them too.
Sadly, those are all my pictures from Nagashima! Tragic or what! And I took absolutely none the following day... I was planning to cobble something together from other peoples' generously donated pictures, but in actual fact I think I'll just skip ahead and post some random thoughts.
As I say, Nagashima is pretty much a blur... I do remember riding the Giant Frisbee which almost killed me, and which made Richard extremely nauseous. There was also some strange operating policy on that, though I'm struggling to remember what it was. I think you stowed your stuff, rode, then every single rider had to have collected their stuff and be out of the station before they would even let the next cycle of riders in through the gate. It also took them a REALLY long time to check restraints, and we were stupidly facing the sun, so that almost killed us.
It took us ages to decide what to eat, but I remember the food as being pretty good although the water tasted of... soap. Don't ask.
Other coasters... They had an Ultra Twister which wasn't as much fun as Mitsui Greenland's, a Corkscrew which I think worsened my headache, some coaster which was apparently COMPLETELY forgettable except for the fact that the brakes made the most horrifically loud squeal that sounded like a herd of pigs being slaughtered... I know there was a kiddie coaster that I skipped and a couple of others, but honestly, this whole day is a blur. I did enjoy the Mouse though, which Bob was happy to see was running the other side from when he was there a couple of years back!
When the early group left to head to Nagoya Zoo, I left with them, popped some painkillers somebody gave me, and headed back to the hotel to sleep. After three hours dead to the world, I felt much better and was ready for a night out in Nagoya. I'm sure you're all simply dying to see pictures from that, so I shall be annoying and talk about the next day first.
Lagunasia: What a lovely park! I had no expectations from this place and knew absolutely nothing about it, but was so pleasantly surprised! The Pirate-themed coaster was all kinds of fun, and Aqua Wind had a surprising amount of airtime and was far speedier than it looked! A really good pair of coasters, and the indoor theming on Pirates Blast was fantastic. Oh, also, this was my only onride photo of the trip, and I *LOVE* it :
On the downside, Stellar Coaster was crap (not bad, just mediocre and dull), and their Imitation Indy ride had been removed, but they did have a simulator which has the distinction of being the worst memory of me ever wearing 3D glasses and which had its seating so close to the screen that I was cross-eyed for 40 minutes afterwards! This park also had the *incredibly* Magic Power ride, which was almost as much of a trip as Parque España's "Owls Getting High In The Woods" attraction. The ingredients for Magic Powder include "displeasure of a stewardess". This should tell you something about the awesomeness. The merchandise stores were also fun, and I was excited to win Meatcow, and then introduce him to Sushifish. If only we could have won CannibalisedMan, I would have been ecstatic!
Hamanako Pal Pal... I thought Megacoaster was going to be the biggest piece of crap ever built, but it was actually surprisingly fun! My first Batflyer was pretty cool, though I actually found it odd being up there alone! The mouse was fairly painful but still fun, and the Togo flatride of awesomeness and death.. Well, the name speaks for itself! Riding with different weight distributions definitely makes a difference with that thing, but even if you didn't flip completely over it was still all kinds of fun, and watching and hearing others flipping over was hysterical. I didn't ride the logflume, though it got good reviews, and the park had some great other rides; the Pinocchio Lobster ride, a tiny frog-hopper that they let adults ride, and those jumping fountains that everybody loves.... I was dared to play in the fountains, and did, and ended up more drenched than I think I ever have been in my entire life. I had a dry hoodie on the bus, but I still ended up absolutely shivering, and I left wet footsteps and patches wherever I sat for the next five hours!! Ridiculous.
Half a dozen of us decided to stay at the station for a few hours (somebody give me a reminder of the name??) on the way back to Tokyo, getting a later train back up, in order to watch the Shinkansen fly through... Man those things go fast!! You're obviously aware of it when you see them from a distance, and to a lesser extent when you're on one, but until you feel the force of one flying past you, you really can't conceptualise it. We were all fascinated by them. During our time at the station we also had a buffet meal, in a restaurant inside an old train car, which was kinda cool! Fatal mistake: some varieties of tea look like Coke. Don't make this mistake.
Okay, this post had waaaay too much writing, thanks for sticking with me! Returning to the previous night, after Nagashima Spaland, five of us headed out into Nagoya, staying in the region of the hotel and just wandering to see what was out there. We spent yet more time in a Yodobashi store, wandered the red light district, and just generally dossed about on the streets, before eventually finding a little out-of-the-way upstairs restaurant to eat.
As we're leaving the electronics store, Chris asks if he can borrow my camera, as his friend wanted him to take pictures of Japanese fashion, and he doesn't have his camera with him. Okay fine. Ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce to you, a series of pictures denoting Japanese "fashion"...
Chris, if you want to use my camera to take pictures of a hot chick without her knowledge, that's fine. Just tell me the truth, K?
In the restaurant, we had a nice little comfy booth with a bell to attract the waiter's attention... I kinda liked the power of that but it was a little bit against my sensibility! We had no real need for it though, despite the fact that this picture would lead you to believe we had been waiting so long that Jeff had died.
We're far more awake on the other side of the table.
We ended up just ordering one dish each and then various extras which mostly got shared around if people wanted them. The food was really great at this place (except for me discovering that although I love to eat the skin off of chicken, chicken skin cooked on its own and put on a skewer is vile), and from what I remember it was really reasonably priced!
This is Bob eating his sushi "seductively". Oh, and Chris's head got in the way.
I was planning to ask the waiter to take our picture, but Richard spotted a ledge that was about the right height... And so becomes one of my favourite pictures of the year, which is one of my framing pics.
Chris's noodle-omelette was amazing!! Rice and noodles wrapped up in eggs are one of the best things the Japanese have created.
After pooling our money for our meals, we realised we didn't quite have exact money, but were "close enough". By which I mean we were probably about 300 yen over (about what, a little under $3??). Rather than waiting for our change, we decided to make a run for it... We left our money, arigato'd our way to the stairs, and then RAN down them. We get out to the street and all burst out laughing, before somebody goes "Where's Jeff?"... We had lost him. We were devastated. Knowing that we had escaped and he had been caught and dragged back... *sigh* Eventually he emerged, 300 yen in hand. Bless the Japanese and their unwillingness to be tipped.
On the way back to the hotel, we stopped off at Nagoya Station, which is partly made up of an enormous skyscraper, complete with top-storey bar and magnificent view. On the way up, I counted the dots. The numbers LIE to you.
I pushed the button. It made me happy.
View from the bar. I wish my camera and photography skills could do it justice. It was kinda cool up there, as there are really only these few very tall buildings clustered together, then a pretty flat surrounding area.
We each had a parfait for dessert.... YUM!! And LOL at Chris holding up a cushion as backdrop!!
Told you all I loved reflection shots.
This is a TERRIBLE photo (I actually thought I took another but I guess not!), but on our way out, we walked through the little gardens they have atop the roof of the main building... It's actually quite peaceful, and nice to walk through and look at the greenery before hitting the hustle and bustle of the station.
So, after those two days of few pictures, next we're off to Disney... And believe me, there is no short of pictures from that particular four-day stretch.
Thank you all for your patience, and if anybody read this entire post, thank YOU, as this one had a lot of rambling text!! Won't leave it quite so long until my TDR pictures... I promise.