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Photo TR: Nrthwnd's "104+ Shots" TPR Japan'07 Tour


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First of all, a quick explain here.


I am still one of those peeps who hasn't taken to the all-delightful ownership of a digital camera...yet. My camera is a PENTAX ESPIO 115M model, taking rolls of film, one at a time, heh heh.


That said - I am very proud that (litrerally) every photo posted here is one that turned out just fine, and that I did indeed take just over 100 photos for the entire tour!


The only two I tore up, were two taken by other tourists who thought my camera was digital and assumed, nautrally, that more than one pic could be snapped again and again. Thankfully I stopped them after they took the second shots, lol.


So here's one Photo Set at a time, posted every 2 days, with my look at the TPR Japan'07 Tour! I hope you enjoy it, brief as some park photo visits are (meaning sometimes only one pic taken, lol).


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


Set A - The Tour Begins - at Yomiuriland


This was a nice park to begin the tour with, taking a gondola car up the mountain to get there - and gliding through one of their coasters, Bandit.


Ah yes, Bandit. SPLASH BANDIT actually. Every other set of cars that ran the track, turned into one of the WETTEST RIDES I have ever been on, even counting flumes and chutes! It was awesome, and I first thank Brian for accompanying me on this OMG ride; thanks to all of you who lined up there with super soakers in hand to make sure we didn't stay dry, heh heh; and a special OMFG to that woman sitting near the end of the ride, with an f-ing FIREHOSE, ready to blast us out of our seats, if she could!




(to be continued...)


Speed up to near end of visit - and AFTER Splash Bandit ride - I was wet, my shoes was wet, my eyes still watery. Awesome ride!!!


White Canyon wooden coaster. A very rough ride for most of us. Once was definitely enough on this one. And two drop towers I didn't get to ride, time not permitting, boo hoo.


We enter the park and head towards Bandit, naturally. And no that's not water in front there - just paint.


We head out to Yomiuriland, and our first Japan Transit ride together. Can you count 30 TPR-ers there in the crowd? Grin.


One last look back at Yomiuriland, on the gondola, thru Bandit(Splash). Thanks for the wet memories, LOL!


What IS this thingin the middle there? I don't remember asking, and it wasn't on the park map so...?


Heading back to our train station - thru Bandit again. Water park and "something else" in distance.

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I'll help you be pop-u-lar..."


(With low bowing admiration to the Broadway Musical, "Wicked")


Or - was it true TPR nastiness they grabbed all those soakerssssss......




You guys made it so spectacular a start on that thing. And then that &%^#@ water cannon, and THEN that Spray Tower after that.. and then... oooooooommmmmmmGGGGGGG - "her with the firehose.."


Started my tour off really great, LOL!

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Thanks, it probably is.


We chatted it a bit when we first saw it, and majority ruled on it being some sort of driving range setup.


But still - seeing it in the photo just makes me initally go WTF is that?


Then, I remember, heh heh.

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I'll help you be pop-u-lar..."


(With low bowing admiration to the Broadway Musical, "Wicked")


Or - was it true TPR nastiness they grabbed all those soakerssssss......




You guys made it so spectacular a start on that thing. And then that &%^#@ water cannon, and THEN that Spray Tower after that.. and then... oooooooommmmmmmGGGGGGG - "her with the firehose.."


Started my tour off really great, LOL!


And I photographed the whole sordid affair, Bill.

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It must have been fate that we were so fortunate to have a front row seat to Splash Bandit.



Or maybe somebody bribed the ride op.


I would tend to "lean" towards the latter, hah hah.



(^Thanks Dave. We figured that, too, lol. Baseball IS such a big thing over in Japan - a few of the guys actually went to a game while in Tokyo, near the end of the tour!)

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And so continuing on here...


And faster, too! You'll notice I don't have as many pix for some parks as others - a few only get one lonely little photo, sniff.


But that's okay. You'll have Robb's and Chuck's and everybody else's TRs to get looks at everything and anything that was part of this crazy Japan Tour!


~ ~ ~


Set B - From Space - to WTF Gokarts - and Helloooo Kitty!


Four parks I'm showing now:



Uminonakamichi (whew)


Wonder Rakutenchi


Spaceworld was great with the fake shuttle and all. A great log flume with a coaster-like curving slide - and very wet too; a huge double seat Enterprise to ride; my first Space Wheel to ride - and only 16 min. or so for a complete rev!; a Japanese Stealth, heh heh; a Hyper with the "WTF is That?" screwed up entanglement of track (NOT a 'figure 8' hmm?) near the end of it; and KFC for a meal!


Uminonakamichi is a seaside park, which is actually a "nature-oriendted amusement park"... okay. Still, it had one of our first Ice Houses to enjoy (although this first one was freakin' C-C-C-Cold!); the infamous Obstacle Course that TPR has shown before (eh); and a set of gokarts with two choices of pavement... smooth.... or OMF-ING GAWD WHAT IS THIS non-pavement course... It was AWESOME! And totally screwed up and I know there would never be a course like THIS is the US parks, lolol! This definitely made "the park," for alot of us, heh heh.


Oh, and Shane decided to make a record out of riding and riding Jet Coaster...how many times Shane? Ten? Twelve? I forgot.


Harmonyland was Hello Kitty and all of those wierd (but wonderful) animes or creatures (?) that we all know and can't get away from, lol! A lovely little park, with a "controversial" train/coaster taking us down, down down to this park's version of.... yes, "It's a Hello Kitty World"! Tolerable and actually fun, especially when the penguin got spanked .


Wonder Rakutenchi was another park where transport (this time a neat funicular railway, like Orient Express at MM) took us uuuuuup the mountain.... to a wierd double ferris wheel (did not ride); a coaster that still wasn't (I heard) "okayed" by the Japanese Gov't. yet after it had been shut down.. but now it's open! ; a sad, sad-looking zoo (poor raccoons and gorillas); a WTF walk-thru dark house that was pretty neat; and ... Duck Races! (I did not bet, lol). And a great view of whatever city we were looking down on, heh heh.


And me and Au$$ie Rich also had dual 'breakdowns" on this wierd driving road sort-of Autopia that took us down down down into the woods - and we then ended up having to hike back up after the cars "died" on us just before the uphill part.


~ ~ ~


Also - I have had some photos sent to me by SteveC, so a couple of (ahem) Add-Ons are making their debut in this photo set, with my thanks to Stephen. Enjoy....


(to be continued)


Me and Chuck/cfc (thanks for taking it, Barry) after crossing the suspension bridge at Wonder Raku... Hot day, great view, and a non-Gov't approved credit!


Add-on #2 - Here I am at the left, in The Funicular Train Group Photo that Robb took for his TR. I got left out of his photo. But not SteveC's - hah! (o:


Another happy boatful of (mostly) TPR peeps just come back from "It's a Hello Kitty World". Although that lady with/hat in the back, looks somewhat unmoved, lol.


Add-On #1 (thanks SteveC) Me giving 'directions' to Au$$ie Rich, who is "driving" our Sky Jet at Harmonyland. Yeah, sure he is....


Harmonyland - and a (&^#$# horned Pegasus! Not in my Books of Mythology, buddy. But I still rode it anyway, lol.


Jet Coaster at Uminon... and Shane rehearsing what will come in handy later, at another park. That being, riding and riding and riding... how many times on this, roomie? (o;


The obstacle course in question, at Uminonakamichi - not on my life, heh heh.


Leaving Spaceworld back to the train station - but seeing a great shot of the Wheel, thru Zaturn! (o:


"Memorial" Gift Shop? Memorial to what? We never quite figured that out. Also note - wrong footwear on - the blisters start to develop, bwa hah hah!


This is me in the Space Wheel (thanks fot taking it, Mark) being happy, that this thing only takes 16 minutes to do a full revolution!


My First Sapce Wheel! And a great view of Spaceworld, too.


A view thru all of the Zaturn track - and the lifthill.


And of course, one must include one's self in a shot of said shuttle.


You can't miss that shuttle when you get to Spaceworld, lol!

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Very nice TR


I beleive it's called Memorial because of engrish.


I knwo for example in hebrew souveniers are called Mazkarot, from the word Zikaron, which means memory. 'cus they remind you of wherever you got them.


So Memorial might've just been engrish for Souveniers.

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^^ Got it. But it still looked wierd, just having the mord "Memorial" there over the door...


~ ~ ~


^ And on second glance - Chris doesn't look so happy-as-Kitty either!


But Joey's smiling there! And Robb's hiding behind him....


So... maybe Kristen needed changing on the boat?


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I'm thrilled that this set of photos


turned out much better than the ones


I took on the UK Tour.


That said - I think I am getting back into the


"old school way" of taking single photos of stuff,


without wasting film, etc.


And in the near future, I hope I will improve enough


to tackle night lighting in the parks, fireworks etc.


TDS was awesome for that, yes! And the TDL Night Dreams Electric Parade, too!



(Is typing this while listing again to TDS' BraviSEAmo! CD )

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And on we go....


Set C - Five Out of Six Parks Ain't Too Bad


Here's what's what:



Mitsui Greenland

Central Park

(Tegarayama Yuen)

Kurashiki Tivoli

Universal Osaka


Kijimi had this huge wooden coaster called Jupiter. It was rough, it whacked us around. Once was enough on that one. I also hit #200 here, riding the Gold Rush coaster; also rough and a bit WTF in track layout but better than Jupiter. And then there was ZORB which Robb has already described in his TR. I got to share mine with Peter/bobpuppet who laughed and laughed and laughed, as we went round and round and... I thought he had 'smoked' more than I ever did, LOLOL! It was great.


Mitsui Greenland became the park with my First Ever Rollback! Granted it was on the Ladybird Coaster - but hey, a roll back IS a rollback, yes? No? The Fujin Raijin racing coasters were great, once they got them up and running; and most of us felt the standup was much better than the sitdown. We rode seatbelt-less single chair skyrides; an 'okay' Alpine Sled ride; more cheesy horror houses and shoot'n score dark rides; got another drenching, this time on the chutes ride named (what else?) Splash...


This is also where Shane my roomie, and a few other hardy souls decided their souls could be bought by a cheap piece of wood with their names on it - by riding an Ultratwister... ten times! And... they did. 8) So Shane's prepping for this (riding that pastel Jet Coaster at Uminon... yes?) paid off, I guess. Crazy idiot.


And I did a "Chuck No-No" and ~HIT A RED BUTTON~ inside the "Danger In A Maze" walk-thru! The ops guy even panicked as he wasn't sure what I'd done, LOL. He was racing around inside in the back working area, trying to stop the BEEEP BEEEP BEEEEP. He stopped it eventually. But heck - if you've got a walk-thru that has you pushing buttons of every kind/type/size/color... Well, I just made a mistake, mm'k?


Central Park was one of those combo ride and waterparks in the middle of Where-Are-We-Now? Japan. It had a nice invert (Diavlo); so-so other coasters; a nice Space Wheel; an insane Rescue Mission RUN-thru house, complete with guns shooting lasers at everything (even the hostages, hee hee!); and Green Tea Soft Serve, NOT "Green Pea" as I mis-heard it from the service person, heh heh.


Also, another Ice House which, like bottled beverage vending machines, became very welcome at parks that had them. (o: And the first (of a few we found along the way) Rastafarian Gift Shop in a Japanese park! No sh**, mon.


(Tegarayama Yuen) gets a mention here, only because of what didn't happen. Light mist (okay, Heavy Drizzle) was with us when we got to this park. Robb & Elissa paid our admissions, we all went inside... and then we all find out every ride (well the ones we wanted to ride) was "shut down due to rain." And R&E tried and tried and tried to communicate how the weather really wasn't that terrible (compared to what was ahead of us)... But management wouldn't budge.


So that was a couple of hours in travel time and non-riding we could have used at....


Kurashiki Tivoli, a really lovely small park copied after the famous Tivoli in Copenhagen. A pretty main gardens area; some great flat rides (Yay Dessert Ride! and an insane Himalaya that went on and on...); a so-so flume with a WTF spiral lifthill and total (read: pitch BLACK) darkness inside the mountain; and a good quick sandwich with BEER I managed to gulp down before having to rejoin everybody back at the entrance, to leave.


And Kristen's First Coaster Credit! I was there - I saw - I was thrilled for her!


~ ~ ~


Could've used more time at Tivoli, but that's how the day went. And this is (later in) The Day when we got The Weather thrown at us, with cancelled trains everywhere in the transit system. Apparently over 200,000 locals (and probably a few tourists, hmm?) got stranded overnight in some stations. But not us - we stuck with it and got to our Nagoya hotel, just under an hour later than orginally scheduled!


Way to go, Elissa & Robb - you guys rocked with figuring things out. Actually we ALL did well, considering we gave up our reserved seats and found space where we could (sometimes standing in aisles), on what trains became available. Tired, a bit disgruntled, but we got there.


And a super-great hotel awaited us too. More on that, later . But the next day....


Universal Osaka was great. Just great. It had all of the attractions I remember and enjoyed from the two US parks (ET, Jurassic Park, Jaws, BTTF, BackDraft) and SPIDERMAN which for my first time was totally amazing! I loved the effects, the 3-D, the way it all worked together. A very impressive attraction.


And Terminator II 3-D was great, not just because of the show itself, which was pretty good, but because of an insanely funny pre-show person who, while I could not understand one word she said, obviously had the audience howling and through her mannerisms and over-the-top "presentation" had even me applauding her when she had to leave and get us into the theater. She was great. Our Jaws boat op was very funny too. But liked the Terminator Lady a bit better, lol.


And their new coaster, Hollywood Dream. Not spectacular, but it had your "optional music choices" to have played into your ears as you rode; a great set of lighting on the trains that looked like comets and racing stars when it got darker; a couple of nice air pops; and a lousy Single Riders Line I should NOT have gotten into. Too much time in it (a prelude of what to come at Fuji-Q, hmm?). But the ride was fun.


(To be continued...)


My 200th Coaster! And no that is not photo shop. Just good old-fashioned pen ink on the photograph, heh heh.


This how I felt, after a few seconds on Jupiter. Wanting to get - off - now. Unfortunately, the coaster kept going... and going... and...


Universal Osaka - great park - lots of retro (to me) attractions. And SPIDERMAN. Wheeeeeeeeeee!


My last-minute sandwich meal at Tivoli- with BEER! And lovely cold, cold water, too.


No rides to show. But a really nice central garden at Tivoli. And that's a Hans Christian Andersen statue behind me there. Do I get a statue credit for that? Grin.


Noticed this, coming down the other side of the wheel. A man-made crater. With Big Fire in it. COOL!


Diavlo, from the Space Wheel. Is that a twisted little layout there or what?


And green TEA (NOT pea, sorry) soft serve! I enjoyed it immensely. And a suspended monorail-type ride behind, with creepy animated animals on top of each cab.


Ah yes Diavlo. A B&M invert out in the middle of.... well we still couldn't figure out WHY they built it here. But here it was. Not bad, too.


At Central Park - I just liked the look of my fave mythical creature, Pegasus, up there on top of the carousel. And that's a piece of Hurricane track in front, there.


...Including a Haunted Hospital walk-thru that was okay. But what IS with this having to hold flashlights (or candles or wands, etc) to activate stuff? Can't they afford to do it themself? (o; (Add-on #4)


Me at the hilltop, overlooking Mitsui Greenland. Lotta coasters and rides/walk-thrus there...


Add-on #3 - ZORB - one big hamster ball, indeed. It was great fun, esp. with Peter laughing and laughing and...


Me attempting another reading of a park map. But Universal's was pretty easy to figure out, not to mention the layout of the whole park. A snap! (Add-on pic #6)


Welllll, Charlies Angels we ain't. But it was fun to try. Miles, Shane and moi. With Hollywood Dream - The Ride in back. (SteveC Add-on #5, thanks)


Ozland - built for a VERY truncated version of the Broadway show, "Wicked." Only 40+ minues, but the 2 lead females sang great and it was all happy, happy (burp)happy, even the ending! Well, it IS a happy theme park, right? (Advice: see the real show if and when you can.)


Me and the Snoop share a moment together, in Snoopy Studios.

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Continuing on now...


Set D - Ole! and then Okay? followed by No Way!


And the parks in this set are:


Parque Espana

Nagashima Spaland

Nagoya Zoo (add-on)


~ ~ ~


Parque Espana definitely put me in the "you are there" kind of mood. The humidity and stark daylight helped too, but ambling down the little "street scene" beside the lagoon just made me feel... there, y'know?


The coasters were good although Pyrenees (B&M invert) had a so-so ending to it; Gran Montserrat mine train kicked you around here and there; and BullFight Roller Coaster was another one of those WTF kind of things - indoors, props a-plenty (in this case, lotsa capes flying around) and generally a "not-another-ride" kind of feeling, once you got off it, lol.


There was a good number of other rides/attractions to enjoy here, including: Flying Island, which gave a nice overview of the park and countryside; DonQuixote's Magical Flight, a Peter Pan-type thing but very well done IMhO; Adventure Lagoon, again a Pirates/Caribbean kind of ride, but pretty good to me with a nifty final fall back into the open lagoon; another Ice House called "Ice Castle" with allowed re-entries... and we did, as many times as we went by it, lol. By the way, have you finally gotten that sticker off of your hand yet, Mark?


And three attractions I feel deserve special mention here:


Splash Montserrat - the flume was okay, but what set this ride apart for me was there was a LIVE PERSON sitting there to the side of a flume curve, to take your on-ride photo! The photo was also reasonably priced and in postcard form! Cool!


Shining Luminous Castle "Sparkling Carnival Ride" You rode in a wine cask that turned like Doom Buggies do at HM, and tunnels of lights, walls of lights, lights with lights INSIDE of lights! Freakishly awesome, and made me wonder what the monthly electricity bill was here, LOL!


and Musical Circus already described in other TRs here. My 2 cents is - I "thought" it was... go and sit in theater, watch animals sing and chat in Japanese, 3-d movie screen appears, watch movie.. and that was it. It was when the seats started descending that I suddenly thought - this is not Kansas, Dorothy! And then it moved wierdly, lightfields, other scenes, the movie was actually so-so but the rest of it all was really unique and definitely worth a re-visit.


~ ~ ~


Nagashima Spaland had what (mostly) everybody was salivating over before we even entered the park - Steel Dragon 2000, off the boards for a few years due to a fly-away axel (?) but back in business and we got ERT on it! But, before they were totally ready for us to ride it, they had us pile into their GI-NORMOUS Giant Wheel (named -wtf- "Aurora"?) for a spin.


Hesitant at first, we gladly piled into the cabs, once we found out each one had an air conditioner attached on top! And this was one of those wheels that had giant digital clocks on either side of it's center, which probably looked cool at night.


The coasters were many and varied: Dragon was fine and had it's intense moments, including a rather warm-ish (sauna?) first tunnel on the return bunny hops; a so-so mine train; a vertical looper that was nice; another ultra twister that made most of us like Mitsui Greenland's a bit better;a kids coaster that was nice to ride; only the left side of a wild mouse set operating, but that was okay; the shuttle loop which I enjoyed as much as Montezooma's Revenge at KBF... and White Canyon which like Jupiter at Kijima, is long and one of those huge woodies, but jarring and rough where you really don't want it to be, lol. Another of those once-was-enough, thanks.


The other rides/attractions were good, too. There was a pair of GIANT side-by-side pirate ships that looked cool, but really.. the small "normal-sized" one we saw running, and thought swung higher for it's size and weight. The giant ship we rode just didn't ooomph it enough, higher. But it was cool to ride, having not ridden one before. And I got yet again DRENCHED, this time on Spaland's Shoot The Chutes - and got this neato red poncho with the park's logo on it, later to become very needed during the Disney Resort visits, lol.


~ ~ ~



Nagoya Zoo had a little ride area that me and few others with Robb in tow, went to after the Spaland visit. One of the Add-On parks that several of us fit into the schedule, if we could. Three coasters there which was great. Although one in particular will become "The Controversial One" I'm sure... the trough coaster doesn't ride on rails, yet it "coasts" hmm, yes? Whatever, we rode it and the other two and a neat WTF Paratrooper-like ride as well. And a Mad House (swing) for myself. I like those things, heh heh.


(To be continued...)


There's Pyrenees - vertical loop and all at Parque Espana.


Mark, Adam and myself in the Ice Castle at Parque Espana. A bit 'warmer' than other ice houses, but nice all the same.


My Flying Island Group! Hi (back to front) Shane, Mike, Tom, Peter, Miles, Adam, Barry... and Mark! (o:


Me on the Flying Island, ready to rise up.


The Escalator Ride... and us Three Caballeros! A bit dark here, but the lights lit up, the music played - and we rode it!


And just as I was ready to leave the park - RED-HOT Flamenco Dancers strolling by! Instant Me & Them shot, lol!


The view from the Nagashima Spaland "Aurora" Giant Wheel. I see... two Giant Pirate Ships... and a 'baby ship' in behind there, lol.


THIS is what we're all here for, right? Yes? No? It's all about Steel Dragon 2000!


...and we posed outside with these people! And wasn't there cigarette girls in red PVC outfits w/matching boots at this place? Hmmm... (Add-on #8)


....we had these... (Add-on Pic #7, thanks SteveC)


Passing this restaurant, heading back to our hotel, I remembered... wasn't this the place...


Nagoya Zoo - The Trough Coaster - and Guess Who, riding and recording it all..... sigh.


I really didn't know what I was eating here for a mid-day meal! But I had BEER! And that was enough. (o:


The "baby Pirate Ship" here. And Note the HUGE support frame for the side-by-side ships, hmm? Also, a "loud" trumpeting Viking statue, heh heh.

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They were huge, and it would've been really cool to see them both operating, swinging back and forth beside each other.


But it was off-season, the crowds weren't huge, so they were only running one ship, and for my group that went on it - meh. We think it was because of it's size and weight that it just couldn't swing as high as we thought it could... or should, lol.


In relation to how high "normal-sized" Pirate Ships... swing?


But it was still a trip to imagine that 80-100 people could be fit into just one of these things!


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It would've been really cool to see them both operating, swinging back and forth beside each other, but they were only running one side, and for my group that went on it - meh.


I didn't ask you about Skyhawk, I asked you about those pirate ships.

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