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The Ray's "For All you Japan Trip Losers :("Japan Report!!

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Originally this was supposed to be my 'Get Excited for the Japan Trip' report! However, I had to back out of the Japan trip, so hopefully this will be a "Get Excited for Japan' report for all the LOSERS who ARE going. This trip took place in June of 2009, yeah that's a little dated but deal with it. I think June is one of the best times to go because all those japanese kids actually study for their finals and care about their grades and are no where to be seen at the parks! At the time, my mom was working in Japan, so we stayed at her place for most of the time. While my parents were both there, Amy and I took our nephews with us and did a coaster tour of Tokyo and Southern Japan. Jonathan was 16 at the time, and Tyler was 14.


Travel, Arrival, and Day One: RNO to SFO to NRT, food, sodas, Tobu Zoo, and KAWASEMI!

Day Two: Nagashima Spaland, Steel Dragon, the Best Sandwiches in the world, Soda Heaven, Ultra Twister, Schwarzkopfs, and more!!!

Day Three: Parque Espana! Pyrenees rubber bands, killer ants, lots of soda, two colon cleanses, and more!

Cultural Day! Feeding monkeys, the real Epcot Torii Gate, the Hiroshima atomic bomb museum!

Combined Days: La Qua, Sega Joypolis, Japanese Baseball, and Muscle Park (RIP)!!!

Sea Paradise Day: Alien Fish, tons of food, and a Saito encore!



Arrival and Day One! After a long and tiring trip, we arrive, eat, then sleep. The next day we head to Tobu Zoo and have the greatest surprise of the trip - Kawasemi!!!! I had no idea it was even there (before my nerd TPR days), and thought it looked fun but too small. Then I rode it and was so amazed! It is an absolutely incredible ride! There was also no wait so it was like TPR ERT!!!! The rest of the park was a ton of fun, except the Firefly exhibit (DO NOT DO IT!!!!) which was about 30 minutes of pitch black and talking in Japanese in a tiny room followed by three minutes of seeing 5 firefly's and a bunch of mirrors. Then it was off to more food and more sleep!


Getting ready to go to San Francisco from Reno at 4 am!


We arrive at SFO at about 6:30am, and have to wait about 8 hours until our flight! We could have taken a later flight, but just in case things were delayed, we would have had time to just drive to SFO.


Good thing they have their DS'!


Jonathan tried to play for a little bit....


...but crashed a few minutes later along with a bunch of other people in the airport (I'm sure half of them were homeless).


Amy also tried to stay awake....


...but also failed.


We finally got checked in and headed to the business lounge for Japan Airlines and had some delicious snacks! (Japan Airlines and ANA are the best airline companies I have ever traveled with)


They had a ton of plugs so we could charge all of our crap. (Little did we know that the seats had normal power outlets!)


There's our plane!


These were the Premium Economy seats. They were incredible, and included access to the business class lounge. Also, by booking way in advance, they were cheaper than the standard economy seats!


The motherland!


Amy was a little tired waiting for our driver.


And then there's the traffic. Not nearly as nice in a car as sitting on a TPR bus.


They have the best GPS systems that show you accurately the traffic in the area and the best way to avoid it.


They have a ton of cool buildings in Tokyo.


Yay, we have officially arrived!


First up is food! Our restaurant was upstairs, but I wouldn't have minded checking out Piu Sexy!


One of the best parts about Japan is the incredible food! These were a few of our starters.


Still a little jet lag.


Ok, more than a little.


I could just cry.


No they are not worms, and I know it looks disgusting, but it was delicious!


The single greatest thing about Japan is their sodas!!!! They have vending machines everywhere and have a ton of incredible flavors! There will be quite a few soda and soda machine pictures ;)


The next morning we headed to Tobu Zoo! Amy was feeling frisky and decided to skip the women only safe train and hoped to be 'touched' by some of the perverted men.


Someone offered to take our picture. Who said the Japanese are good at taking photos?


First stop, another vending machine! We literally stopped at every single vending machine we saw, and tried everything.


Any soda that has Mitsuya Cider or Calpis is guaranteed to be good. One of my absolute favorites is the MiRuKu CoCoA (Milk Chocolate) on the bottom right.


Tobu Zoo was absolutely empty!!! (Yeah, I can't take pictures either)


I loved these rides as a kid. Instead of the stupid horses that 'gallop' in one place, you can drive these all over!


Our group photo in front of the holy hippo.


Tobu Zoo has a great location.


No nasty catfish here, just some Koi!


The world famous "Itarian Restaurant." See, it's totally ok to make fun of how the Japanese talk because it's really how they talk! ;)


Tyler and Jonathan with the Oswald mascot.


Amy and I (with a stupid pose) with the mascot.


I love these bike things and wish they had them here but Americans are too fat, lazy, and dumb to really allow them.


Japan loves Ferris Wheels, they have massive ones in every park.


Time for some better flavors Dippin Dots!


Soda was our favorite flavor.


Time to make some Sky Love!


See you later, don't mind us ;X


It's a pretty big park with a lot of paths to get lost in.


And they have a ton of room to expand.


This looked like a human prairie dog play area.


Outside the park is nothing but farm lands. I'll give you one guess what they are growing.


Yes, it is also a zoo. They had some nice White Tigers. (Don't worry Bryan, they were only kept here shortly until they were slaughtered for food.)


Speaking of Prairie Dogs!


I totally thought this monkey was going to jump us


It's like a giant rat dog beaver.


Fun little kiddie rides.


Next was the Mogadishu Autopia!


You drive pretty far around the lake.


They have Gorillas.


And creepy alien looking natives who throw feces on you.


And random other creatures.


Oh look, there's finally other people in the park!


This was a random ghetto mad house!


Time for the looping mouse!


Painful and awesome!


Amy found some more animals to ride.


She liked the cute panda. Their legs also move back and forth like they are walking.


Japan also has the coolest, and oddest, video games like this weird 'walk the dog' game!


The absolute best surprise, and my new number one coaster, Kawasemi! It really is amazing how such a small compact coaster can be so incredible!


The airtime was amazing!


From the best, to one of the worst at the park, Regina. Complete opposite of Kawasemi. Huge, incredible looking, and terrible.


Running from the Regina monster! (Looks extra convincing with the paper bag!)


From the Sky Wheel you can see the slowest part of the ride, but CGA Grizzly still has it beat as being worse.


Another view from the Sky Wheel.


Too bad it was a let down, it really does look like it should be great.


What a great ride!


About 6 people, the most we saw all day!


Man I hated these toilets! At least this one has a handle (as disgusting as that is in itself), most of them don't!


Next up is G-max!


Just a standard drop tower. Still very good!


See Bryan, they are well prepared. Anyone know what Ecrairs are? I know what Eclairs are, but never heard of Ecrairs ;)


See you later Tobu Zoo! Thanks for an incredible day!


This was a local playground. In America this would be called a lawsuit waiting to happen.


Here's another one. These power lines were literally at the window and you could easily grab them, but unlike some idiots in the US, the Japanese know you shouldn't touch them or let your kids roam unattended near them (like a three year old near a skybox window).


Ahhh....time for Dinner!


Their veggies and pickles are so good.


Real Miso Soup!


My Aunt and Uncle, Mom and Dad, Nephews, and Us! Tomorrow is Nagashima Spaland!

Edited by jray21
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Great TR! It brings back a ton of awesome memories. (I went in July 09)


I had no idea the looping mouse closed, when did that happen? It was still open when I went. We thought it would be painful, but it really wasn't bad. While I don't think it would make anyone's "top coaster" list, it was unique and added some quirkiness to Tobu Zoo.


Oh, and the ghetto mad house was hilarious and terrifying! We had no idea what to expect when we got in there, and when it first started up we all freaked out cuz we had no idea what was going on.


Unfortunately the go-karts were closed the day we went since it was rainy most of the day. They look really bizarre and fun though. I'm just happy the rain cleared enough for us to get some rides on Kawasemi. And a manager was really nice and let us ride Regina in the rain. It was a unique experience in the rain, and is beautiful with raindrops falling in the lake in the center.

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Great TR! It brings back a ton of awesome memories. (I went in July 09)


I had no idea the looping mouse closed, when did that happen? It was still open when I went. We thought it would be painful, but it really wasn't bad. While I don't think it would make anyone's "top coaster" list, it was unique and added some quirkiness to Tobu Zoo.


Oh, and the ghetto mad house was hilarious and terrifying! We had no idea what to expect when we got in there, and when it first started up we all freaked out cuz we had no idea what was going on.


Unfortunately the go-karts were closed the day we went since it was rainy most of the day. They look really bizarre and fun though. I'm just happy the rain cleared enough for us to get some rides on Kawasemi. And a manager was really nice and let us ride Regina in the rain. It was a unique experience in the rain, and is beautiful with raindrops falling in the lake in the center.


The rain is the one downside of Spring. That's cool that they let you ride Regina though! That madhouse definitely was scary because it was in such a small area and you could easily touch the wall.

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Day Two: Nagashima Spaland and the world's tallest 'traditional' track coaster, which is also the worlds longest coaster! The bullet train ride down was awesome like always, and a great way to get some speed in early in the day. Plus, the sandwiches they sell on the train are the absolute best sandwiches in the world! Anyway, the main reason we headed down here was for the 318 foot tall Steel Dragon 2000! Steel Dragon 2000 cost about $52 million to build, and cost overruns put Morgan Manufacturing out of business. With stats like this, it better be one incredible coaster! The park was pretty big, and had a lot of great rides. Steel Dragon was the biggest thing we were looking forward to, but with two frisbees, an ultra twister, two Schwarzkopf's, and a 1st generation Intamin Free fall there was more than enough to keep us happy! The waterpark wasn't open due to the rain, and we were really worried that Steel Dragon 2000 wouldn't open but we lucked out. It stopped raining soon after we arrived and held out almost to closing!


On our subway ride to the station we saw the Meiji factory. This is the Japanese Equivalent to the Wonka Factory!


One of the 'original' bullet trains.


Luckily we got the incredibly amazing sleek looking new models!


Tyler is so happy that the open seating trains were absolutely empty!


Here they are, the BEST SANDWICHES IN THE WORLD! Ham and egg, and tuna salad with NO CRUSTS!!!!


And these ones are the Tonkatsu (Fried Pork Cutlet) ones. Seeing these again made me cry :'(


No picture can show how incredibly fast you go. It is also incredibly smooth.


There it is! It looked so huge!


We're really excited for the park.


Wild Mouse's, Free fall, and Steel Dragon. This is going to be a fun day.


We almost got lost trying to find the station because it runs the length of the park!


These have got to be one of the worlds largest Croquet fields! They were much more crowded than the park was.


Holy Crap that is tall!


First train of the day! At least the employees had decent looking uniforms. Much better than other places.


Longest wait of the day, 1/2 a train!


"Look at the lines we don't have to wait in"


More to the left...


...and even more around the corner! It had one of the longest queues I've ever seen!


So how was it? We were totally bummed! Our faces show what we thought of it. The drop was a huge disappointment, and the rest of the ride was just not impressive. Oh well, at least it was open!


The airtime hills didn't give you nearly enough airtime.


Oh Steel Dragon 2000, why couldn't you have been better.


Oh well, time for Free Fall!


The mullet seems to be alive and well in Japan.


The ride does look incredible though. The second drop is about as tall as Goliath's at SFMM!


Since it's a chain lift, you have plenty of time to look around!


No, not a frankfurter, a frankforter!


Amy and Jonathan decide to try the Rock N' Roll.


Pretty much what a hubcap feels like.


Next we hit the Space Shot, Looping Star, and shuttle loop!


Then the Huss Frisbees!


Jonathan and Amy love spinning rides, I'm just hoping my motion sickness patch still holds up.


White Cyclone was also a let down. Tons of extremely slow turns.


We didn't feel like getting wet so we watched the other two people in park ride the extremely Dan unfriendly ride.


Holy Crap! That huge splash was with a virtually empty boat!


Ok, I guess we could do another ride on Free Fall ;)


Oh look, the Zelda bathrooms are over here!


Next up was the standard Space Shot Tower.


Cork Screw was pretty brutal, but it was a credit!


Ultra Twister was amazing! I hadn't ridden one since I was a kid at La Qua (Tokyo Dome City), and it was as incredible as I remembered.


Time for some delicious fried chicken and fries.


We just entered heaven! One of the best features of the park!


It started to rain and everything was closing except for the Giant Wheel.


In the heat of summer these have got to be ovens.


Someone needs a shave.




Looping star was pretty fun.


Amy's favorite ride was the Giant Frisbee.


Ultra Twister we miss you, Cork Screw, not at all.


Lots of slow SFFT Rattler style turns.


Looks like everything is closing up. Good thing we got everything done!


Time to win some racist toys!


They do have some stationary rides in Japan, but they have video games built in so they are pretty cool!


You can see how much Amy is concentrating on the game!


Time for my favorite drink!


Amy tries Pocket Juice Stand. It was really good!


After a long day we wait for the train to take us to our hotel.


We had an awesome view of the city!


It was an amazingly nice hotel, and the incredible part was that it was extremely inexpensive. Like Holiday Inn Valencia cheap! Tomorrow it's off to Parque Espana!

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Totally loving this!


FYI to all my Japan participants...this is what June looks like in Japan, remember as I've warned you many times, everything CLOSES in the rain! This is why we normally didn't do the trip in June, but everyone BEGGED for us to do it this time of year! Let's hope for good luck like Joey & Amy had. As of today, it's been raining for two days in Tokyo and forecasted to rain the next six days as well!

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Great ongoing report, Joey.


And do you remember if the Children Coaster

in Nagashima Spaland still "sounded"

like a dog was being run over???


Amazingly LOUD screeching sound it made,

every time the train of cars did their cycle and

then into the station. Awful, awful screech.

And of course, this coaster did at least three cycles

to make your ears even more ultra-sensitive to any sound.

Good times.


The Shoot The Chute boat ride there was also

where I picked up my woooonderful, long-wearing

rain poncho for the ride and the rest of the tour

back in 2007.


And it's held up for the past several tours, since then.


Looking foward to more, thanks for sharing!

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Totally loving this!


FYI to all my Japan participants...this is what June looks like in Japan, remember as I've warned you many times, everything CLOSES in the rain! This is why we normally didn't do the trip in June, but everyone BEGGED for us to do it this time of year! Let's hope for good luck like Joey & Amy had. As of today, it's been raining for two days in Tokyo and forecasted to rain the next six days as well!


Well, it keeps the radiation out of the Atmosphere..

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Thanks for all the comments, I really wish I could join you all on the trip. I will be posting updates every couple of days, probably every other day, so that I finish a few days before. As Elissa said, it is the rainy season and it's like playing the lottery. Luckily, we really hit the jackpot on that trip and besides this day we never had any problems with stuff closing. However, it was overcast the entire time so we never knew until we were actually on the ride wether we would get the credit. But again, the lack of people was really awesome. We were literally the only ones on all of the rides that day. Another good thing about the weather is that it tends to stay a little cooler because of the rain. Steel Dragon was a weird ride. It's incredibly tall, but incredibly tame, so it's pretty good for the Japanese. A lot of rides in japan have very gradual drops and turns, like those from the closed Expoland. They do have some very extreme and insane rides, but rides in general seem to be somewhat tame. I still wouldn't turn down an opportunity to ride Steel Dragon 2000 again though!


^^I don't remember if the kiddie coaster sounded like a dog being put to death, but I do remember that quite a few rides in japan sounded like animals being put to death. There are definitely a lot of older rides in Japan. And speaking of ponchos and stuff, I love how incredibly cheap umbrellas are in Japan, and how many varieties they have! I also still have my rain jacket/poncho from japan and a couple of umbrellas. They do hold up very well!


Being in Japan (even with some rain) is still better than working 2 jobs and being stuck at home!!!! Let the fun begin!!!!!!


Absolutely! Even if everything was closed we would have had a ton of fun.

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This park was fun, even though the one I looked foward to the most (Steel Dragon) was just ok. I forgot that it rained a little, but we had already done everything so it wasn't a big deal.

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