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Theme Park Review in JAPAN! 2011


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I liked Nagashima Spaland back in 2007, and it looks like they've been sprucing up the place a bit since then. There was a fun haunted walkthough with a crazy cat demon that may have been Angus McNasty's mother, too.

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Amazing update yet again! This park did seem to have a Cedar Point feel to it. All Cedar Point needs is the Bobkarts, wild mouse, and Demon Drop.

 

And thank you for those water park pictures, there does not seem to be any better pictures of them anywhere else.

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That mug had me laughing so hard I had tears forming. Wow that's just the most awesomely messed up souvenir ever. I hope you bought it!

Not only did I buy one, I'm pretty sure TPR bought them out of mugs that day!

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I love it!

 

I may not be able to afford to go on one of these trips with you guys as of now, but Robb, you do a hell of a job of making me feel like I'm there with you all, with all the videos and photos you take. I've put together photo TR's before, and I know about all the hard work that goes into them, so I really appreciate you being able to do all this for us day after day.

 

Nagashima Spaland looks absolutely awesome in this, and I'm looking forward to the rest of this wonderful expedition.

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This my first time posting on here, but I've spent plenty of hours on here reading your TRs. This looks like an amazing trip. I hope to go a TPR trip in the not too distant future (maybe next year) - a domestic trip first then eventually a international trip (UK or Japan are at the top of my list). I want to make several comments on your Japan trip so far. Its pretty long so bear with me.

 

First: The Vending Machines - I would go to Japan for the vending machines alone (and the food). I wish we had vending machines like that here with that many choices. I hate vending machines that only have 5 or 6 choices. Did anyone try the hot can coffee? How about the Fanta Honey Lemon? Any other interesting/weird Fanta flavors? I love trying the different Fanta flavors when I go to other countries, they are always better than the ones here in the US - even the Orange tastes different. Also I am a huge Mountain Dew fan and I'm wondering if anyone tried the MD Grape - is it more like regular grape soda or like the MD Pitch Black they used to have here around Halloween time?

 

Second: The Food - I love Japanese food including teppanyaki, sushi, sashima, soups, hot plates, and all their weird seafood (most of it). I like how you turn your TPR trips into culinary trips too with pictures of all the food (makes me hungry). The Yakitori looks amazing (except for the cheese one - I don't do cheese). Even McDonalds there looks interesting. I try to sample the local and regional cuisine when I go abroad but if I go to a McD's (or another American fast food place) one rule I have is to order something I can't get at the US McD's. That Shaka Shaka Chicken looks interesting - I wonder what the different seasoning choices are.

 

Third : The Bullet Trains - I've been on some pretty cool train rides in Spain but I've never been on a bullet train. I would love to see a POV of a bullet train ride if you have one, even if it is just 30 seconds long. Does the train ride smooth, do you feel the takeoff, can you see the scenery at 190MPH? I wish we had good trains here in the US (or even more trains) but I doubt we will get any bullet trains here in the near future. I have relatives in Spain and everytime I go visit I am reminded of how fun and great trains are.

 

Fourth: Universal Studios Japan - So is this really the best Universal park or best "Studios" park? Better than Islands of Adventure? I haven't been to IOA yet but that place looks amazing. Don't get me wrong, this place looks great. Is Space Fantasy a coaster or track dark ride? Was JP: The Ride closed ? It looks like a mirror image clone of the JP: The Ride in Hollywood (which I've been to and love). I'm guessing by the lack of POVs here you weren't allowed to film the rides. Looks like you choose a great day to go here by the lack of crowds and reading that sign with the waits being 15 min or less Each time I've gone to USH was in December and it wasn't crowded at all.

 

Fifth: Parque Espana - If I ever get to this area of Japan I have to go here. What an interesting theme for a park in Japan. Although certain things look out of place like the Nutcracker ride they did a decent job of theming it. Pyrenees looks like an awesome inverted coaster (all B&M inverted ones are awesome IMO) - I have been to the real Pyrenees (in the North of Spain) and Andorra. The Gran Montserrat Coaster looks awesome too -again I've been to the real Montserrat (about an hour train ride west of Barcelona). Montserrat is like the Spanish version of Pinnacles National Monument in CA, but waaay more developed with a monastery, restaurants, a hotel, and two different funiculars to hiking trails on the top and both an aerial tram and a rack-railway train from the base to the top of the mountain. The rack-railway trail ride alone is worth the day trip here to anyone visiting the Barcelona area - it curves around the mountain and goes through tunnels and bridges and steep inclines in about 20 minutes. Anyway back to Parque Espana - how was the theming on the Matador Bullfight Coaster? I'm guessing it was too dark to film for a POV. That Adventure Lagoon looked like a ride that could rival Disney/Universal theming wise. Was there Spanish food being served at the park? Did anyone try it? I doubt they had Horchata de Chufi but no Spanish theme park is complete without Horchata de Chufi.

 

Sixth: The escalators! - Yes the escalators get their own section. I love those escalators with a light show (would it give some people seisures though?). I've always been fascinated with escalators ever since my first visit to Barcelona in 1992 when I was 10. The best escalators I've been on are outdoor ones connecting the bottom of Monjuic to the Palace that has a Catalan art museum. These escalators were built for the 92 Olympics and the city has benefited from them ever since. I've heard the world's highest escalator is in Osaka --> http://travel.uk.msn.com/inspiration/adventure-activities/photos.aspx?cp-documentid=156395561&page=1

 

Seventh: Nagashima Spa Land - This place looks like a lot of fun but looks more like the Japanese Blackpool Pleasure Beach than the Japanese Cedar Point to me based on what I've seen on the internet (though I haven't been to any of them). Is the water park a separate paid attraction or part of the park admission? Is it a run of the mill water park or something worth noting? Looks like it was closed anyway. And finally the mug! That is the most ridiculous mug ever, of course you guys had to buy them. Reminds me of these t-shirts a lot of people in Spain wear with random sayings in English that make no sense. Its like "oooh shirt in English, lets buy it" and they don't know what it means, and I have to refrain from laughing at them when they walk buy me wearing them I wonder what those Japanese writing shirts some people in the US wear say.

 

Have fun at Disneyland Tokyo Disney Sea (the top of my "want to visit" list), Fuji Q Highland, and wherever else you guys are still going to. I'm sooo jealous but at the same time so glad I get to read these in-depth reports that almost make me feel like I'm there. And I promise my future comment posts won't be this long.

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I saw the Krispy Kreme line! Here in Thailand they opened up the first Krispy Kreme store last year, I kid you not...it had 1-2 hour lines for over 6 months! It was insane. About 2 months ago I happen to walk buy it and there was only about a 5 minute line so I bought 2 donuts....yum!

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Great photos! I wasn't too impressed with Space Fantasy when I first read about it, but now it looks Red Dawn Awesome! It's pretty neat to get an Express pass if you eat at the restaurant. I'd eat liver and onions for an Express pass!

 

So will there be a TPR trip to Universal Studios Singapore in the near future?

 

I went to Universal Singapore back in Early January, it was a VERY good park IMHO. The problem with it is that there aren't that many attractions, and two major ones weren't yet open when we visited. One, of course, was Battlestar Galacitca and the other was the Madagascar ride. Otherwise, we loved it. They have Revenge of the Mummy, it was very well themed, haas it's own uniquely themed egyptian building as well as an entire section of the park, which also includes an anitque car ride. It is similar to the Florida version (the best one), the ride is the same but they took out the part with the cast member and just changed the story slightly, more generic but still a very good ride! The also have a nice Jurssaic Park Area with the water ride but in Singapore it is a rapids ride, and a GOOD rapids ride with an excellent drop at the end! I would love to get back and ride the two BSG coasters, but not sure if we will get back there. The park remeinded me more of IOA then Universal Florida, which for me, was a good thing.

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Other Cedar Point/Nagashima Spaland Similarities:

• Both Parks Have a Wave Swinger (but what park doesn't these days—don't answer that)

• Steel Dragon and Magnum both race past the water park

• Both Parks have a Giant Wheel

• Both parks have hotels next door (Though Cedar's is a resort)

• Both parks are clean

 

That's all i can tell from the pictures. Did you get a garbage can count?

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Great photos! So did it ever rain during this leg of the trip? I don't recall seeing too many rainy day photos. It looks like that you went during rainy season and it didn't really rain!

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Rob,

 

I have always heard that Japan is one of the toughest places to communicate for an English-speaking person. Do you find that to be so (even though this is not your first time there)? Almost all announcements have been in Japanese and most food places you have shown us are also either pictograms and/or only in Japanese, so I would think it would be very difficult.

 

Regardless of that, I want to thank you for this and all of the reports you do. I get to expereince a mini-world tour without leaving my house.

 

Thanks again!!

 

J

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Great photos! So did it ever rain during this leg of the trip? I don't recall seeing too many rainy day photos. It looks like that you went during rainy season and it didn't really rain!

We got really lucky and we saw little to no rain so far. In fact, the only credit so far missed due to weather was a powered dragon wagon!

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Awesome PTR! Nagashima Spaland is very high on my list of parks I have to visit before I die, this TRdid a great job showing the park. I always wondered why they have two frisbees... Also, what is the ride by Steel Dragon 2000? It's some type of antique car looking ride, on the park map it's by SD200's station and the parking lot. Anyways, great as always! And also Japan has some fucked up things!

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Rob,

 

I have always heard that Japan is one of the toughest places to communicate for an English-speaking person. Do you find that to be so (even though this is not your first time there)? Almost all announcements have been in Japanese and most food places you have shown us are also either pictograms and/or only in Japanese, so I would think it would be very difficult.

 

Regardless of that, I want to thank you for this and all of the reports you do. I get to expereince a mini-world tour without leaving my house.

 

Thanks again!!

 

J

 

I've done a lot of international traveling and have learned that, as long as you are humble and not outright obnoxious, you can always find someone to help you if you have a problem or don't understand something. I will never forget being behind a group of young American tourists at a train station and hearing them say, "Hi, like, do you like, speak, ummmm American, and stuff, cuz we need to get to..." Embarrassing. It's only difficult if you go expecting everyone to speak English and get freaked out by the occaisional necessity to ask/explain something using sign language and arrows. Most people under a certain age in Japan, (like 60), do understand basic English, and most people between 16 and 40 speak good English. I was in Japan for 10 days traveling around basically on my own, and I only had one "problem" the whole time. On my way to Tobu Zoo, the station where I had to transfer was really confusing. I tried to ask several people which train/ticket I needed, but it was morning rush hour and no one had the time to stop and really help me. However, I finally found a young mom who, after showing her the name of the stop I wanted to get to and where I was going, took me over to the ticket machine to help me get the right ticket and pointed me to the right platform. That was really the only time it was somewhat uncomfortable.

As for the park announcement, they are basically the same all over the world. "Please stay seated with your hands and arms inside the car at all times", etc.

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