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Photo TR: Divv's Japanese Adventure


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Okay, I know that I should have done this about nine months ago, but I've been busy with some real life stuff. But let's just pretend that it's summer 2011 and a Divv TR from TPR's Japan trip is something you might actually be interested in reading!

 

As with all other ongoing TRs on TPR, lots of comments are encouraged and appreciated if for no other reason than it lets new updates appear on new a page which helps keeps things neater in my weird OCD world. Thanks!

 

I can only begin with saying I LOVE JAPAN! This was my first visit to the country and I had heard good things before hand. With that in mind I was worried that it might have been a bit of a letdown but that didn't happen for me. I totally loved it and can't wait to go back! Hopefully this TR will get across at least some of the reasons why I feel this way.

 

And on top of Japan I was mesmerised by the amazing planning and organisation from Robb and Elissa. A typical 50 person bus trip looks like an insane amount of work so I can't comprehend how much planning and work went into an adventure tour like this!

 

UPDATES:

Part 1 - CHINA (Below)

Part 2 - TOBU ZOO

Part 3 - KASHIIKAEN

Part 4 - SPACE WORLD

Part 5 - KIJIMA

Part 6 - WONDER RAKUTENCHI

Part 7 - MITSUI GREENLAND

Part 8 - UNIVERSAL STUDIOS OSAKA

Part 9 - PARQUE ESPANA

Part 10 - NAGASHIMA SPALAND

Part 11 - TOKYO DISNEYSEA

Part 12 - TOKYO DISNEYLAND

Part 13 - MORE TOKYO DISNEY!

Part 14 - EVEN MORE TOKYO DISNEY!

Part 15 - FUJI-Q HIGHLAND

 

---

 

We start with my journey to Japan. Never one to miss out on a bargain (#Scottish) I rolled the dice and took a chance on some flights with Air China. Now I didn't really know much about the airline but I do know that I'm capable of sleeping just about anywhere so I took the chance and booked on a flight to Tokyo from London with a two hour layover in Beijing.

 

Amazingly, I actually thought Air China was very good! I was able to sleep for the vast majority of the flight to China, only waking for some dinner and beer (and I don't often eat plane food). I got to Beijing and everything seemed to be going well. I managed to buy some really cheap Scottish whiskey in duty free and got onto my plane to Tokyo without any problems at all. Until I got on the plane that is...

 

Just as the plane was about to start moving the heavens opened. This was the craziest rain I've ever seen. I could hardly see a thing out the window because it was raining so hard. Then the lightning and thunder started... Needless to say the plane wasn't moving anywhere for now. But we were told not to panic because as soon as the rain stops we'll be on our way. Fast forward three hours and we're still sitting there doing, they'd even given us our dinner and given me a good few beers while we were waiting. Eventually word comes through that the flight's been cancelled due to weather and that we needed to get off the plane.

 

I figured at this point I'd need to spend a few extra hours in the airport while rain does its thing but it turns out that there won't be any more flights for the rest of the day! Everyone from the plane got herded through the airport towards security. Not having any kind of Chinese Visa I was convinced that I would be spending the night in the airport but amazingly the security guy sent me through with the rest of the passengers and I was standing outside the airport on Chinese soil! Next thing I know we're on a bus. At this point I figured we'd be taken to some nearby airport hotel, but yet again, I'd be wrong! We took an hour long bus ride right into Beijing and to this really swanky hotel!

 

At the hotel I ended up getting roomed with this old Japanese guy, named Nadata who spoke some really good English though didn't have many good things to say about the Chinese. He was a really cool guy though and was a great introduction to the Japanese people! There really is something to be said about the Scottish guy and the Japanese guy discussing world issues in a Chinese hotel room in the middle of the night.

 

Early the next morning (after an "interesting" Chinese breakfast) we were back on the bus and on the first flight to Tokyo. Luckily for me I had been planning on coming in early so I wasn't going to miss out in any TPR trip time it only meant that I had to use the Japanese baggage transfer service so that I could make my own way to the first stop of my Japanese adventure...

 

Yes, at long last I WAS IN JAPAN!!!

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So here’s how my Japanese adventure begins – at Heathrow Airport and getting ready for some Air China action. Yeah, Air China – I have a short three hour layover in Beijing on the way to Tokyo. I can’t foresee any problems here!

 

Except for the fact that my flight out of Beijing got cancelled due to horrendous weather and there wouldn’t be another flight until the next morning. Night in China without a Visa for me – Woohoo!

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This interesting structure sat outside the Beijing hotel the airline put me in. To be honest I think the sculptor made a tit of it.

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Check out the swanky room Air China put me up in! (Not pictured: Old Japanese Dude called Nadata who spoke good English and didn’t have a nice word to say about the Chinese. I liked that guy)

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It’s not quite the “Capsule hotel” I had imagined I’d be staying in for the first night of my trip but it’s not too shabby either.

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Plus it had a phone right next to the toilet seat! Thumbs up from me!

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Let’s try getting to Tokyo again!

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This is a good sign!

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YES!!! I can’t tell you how excited I was to see this!

 

So, you’re in Japan for the first time ever. Where’s the first place you go??

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Tokyo Disneyland of course!!!

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The reason I went straight here is because Space Mountain was gonna be closed during our visit with TPR later in the trip.

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It’s good enough that I’m in Japan, that I’m at Disney and I’m getting to ride Space Mountain but it’s presented by Coke too! Nice!

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These people are “Japanese size” TPDave is not quite that.

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But that’s all the Disney you get for now! Space Mountain was great plus I got a whole evening of Disney fun in Japan.

 

But you’ll have to wait a little longer if you’re looking for more Disney photos! Up next – Intamin hotness vs Rain. Who will win?

Edited by Divv3k
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Is it time to go back to Japan yet?

 

Thanks for posting this Divv, even if it is a little late, I always like to see trip participants' take on a trip!

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At the hotel I ended up getting roomed with this old Japanese guy, named Nadata who spoke some really good English

 

At least one of you spoke English. The poor guy probably had no idea what you were saying and gave you a lot of polite Japanese nods.

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At least one of you spoke English. The poor guy probably had no idea what you were saying and gave you a lot of polite Japanese nods.

 

After living in England for almost five years I can tell those nods a mile away now! I think you're gonna enjoy this TR, Larry!

 

Thanks for the responses everyone!

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Double yay for unexpected foreign airlines!

 

Air China is actually pretty decent. Heck, China Southern and China Eastern aren't all bad either, really. Amazing what declining service standards in the US & Europe will do for perceptions!

 

More Photo TR!

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^We flew a few different Chinese carriers for internal flights while in China and I was pleasantly surprised each time. I mean, when it comes down to it, I don't see how they could be much worse than the US Carriers at this point!!

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The first full day was early arrival day so the majority of the participants went to a local zoo but for a few of us "Southern Japan Only" participants this day was a great opportunity to check out a park that we wouldn't otherwise get to visit from the TPR Tokyo Trip itinerary.

 

So Mike, Andrew and I made plans (with some help from Elissa) to head out to Tobu Zoo and get our Intamin Mega-Lite on! Only problem was that it was absolutely pishing it down with rain on this day. Now going into the trip we were all well aware that this was going to be a rainy season and that in Japanese parks rides don't tend to operate in the rain.

 

But despite the rain the three of us navigated the Japanese train system and made it to a very wet Tobu Zoo where not one ride was in operation. Have a look at how our day went...

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The trip hasn’t officially started yet but a few of us who weren’t doing the Tokyo portion of the trip decided to try our luck at Tobu Zoo. As you can see it was a bit rainy.

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Chances of Intamin hotness for us are low.

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Oh dear, that’s Japanese for “Sorry guys, coaster’s closed, rain in the sky should have told you.”

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But where there’s no Mega lite to ride at least there’s the Itarian Restaurant!

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Regina looks like she’s shut up shop as well.

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At this point I started to relaise how deserted some of these Japanese parks were gonna be.

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Who’s Andrew kidding – no one’s winning right now!

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The rain started to get really hard again so we took shelter in the lion enclosure.

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This is the female lion trying to burrow in and attack Mike. Andrew’s attempts to aid her effort were unsuccessful.

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Still no rides open but at least the rain held up enough for us to check out the rest of the Zoo part of Tobu Zoo.

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Andrew loves the really young chicks.

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Japanese penguins look strikingly like British penguins.

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ZEDBRA STAMPEDE!!!

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Oh look –an open ride! That’s a Mad House on the right hand side, or should I say the world’s most scary, ghetto mad house! Very interesting!

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Being new to Japan we were all loving the crazy selections in all the vending machines!

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Andrew neglected to tell me that he was scared of these things until we were actually strapped into the seats. It was a very amusing drop tower experience!

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This ride is more Andrew’s style!

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Look, people! It’s just staff picking out the weeds from between the bricks but it’s people!

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The rain let up a bit so we were able to get our coveted car ride credit.

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This was closed. This makes me very sad.

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Thomas Land! Pretty much on a par with any effort from Six Flags!

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Still no sign of Regina operating.

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Even worse, Kawasemi hasn’t moved at all either.

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But wait! Surely this is a good sign?!

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Yes!!! It opened! Unfortunately for all you readers whenever people were on the ride I was a part of that group of people which means I have no photos of the ride in motion! But needless to say the ride was awesome, every bit as good as it’s counterpart in Denmark!

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So Regina never opened but we weren’t too upset because Kawasemi was amazing and we got plenty of rides. We also got the kiddie credit too, so all in all the day was rescued from a very grim place!

 

 

 

Onto Tokyo now…

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“Hi, I’m Shibuya Crossing, you might remember me from such movies as Lost in Translation and Godzilla vs Mecha-Umbrella”

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TPR arranged an amazing opening night meal for the tour participants – Yakitori. It was amazing! Don’t believe me?

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Just ask Erik!!!

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Oh yeah, we had lots of beer too! That’s the way TPR rolls!

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That’s a lot of yakitori we've consumed!

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My first Green Tea related dessert – it was good!

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Back to the crossing and it just looks incredible. I’ve never seen so many people crossing the road at once!

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Glad to see all tastes are catered for in Japan – I’ll be checking out this establishment later in the trip!

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First night and first Doritos score – Gourmet Sausage Flavour. Japan pulls off another incredible win!

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I got back to the hotel this evening expecting my bag to be there since I used the baggage transport service at the airport the previous day. Sadly my bag had not arrived.

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Yeah, the Desk Clerk at the hotel informed me that my bag had been lost. It wasn’t looking good.

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But leave it to the Japanese, 45 minutes after telling me the bag was lost they had not only found it but they got it to the hotel! Any other country and I probably would never had seen my bag again!

 

The official trip is about to begin…

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Other than Fuji-Q, the only bummer about Japan is the rain policy at the majority of the Japanese parks. It's like a Cedar Fair rain policy! I don't understand in a country that's so amazing and so efficient, and will run coasters in the snow, they don't run them in the rain!

 

The one explanation we were able to get at one point is that it's not even a safety issue, but a comfort issue. They don't want guests being pelted by rain and getting all wet. The Japanese people seem not to like to get wet judging from the amount of umbrellas used, and aren't as stupid as we are to NEED to get coaster credits in the rain!

 

That all being said, I can't wait to see the next installment which shows me using my broken Japanese to get us on a credit in the rain!

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^His arm was nasty and I had to see it after that trip! I can't imagine when it was free and lovely.

 

I miss amazing Japanese Vending machines which are awesome. This is two days in a row I've been reminded of Japan!

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I'm loving this report. I don't think in the 3 times I have been to Japan with TPR that we have missed a credit due to rain. We have come close a few times but great trip planning and a little flexibility has paid off!

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The one explanation we were able to get at one point is that it's not even a safety issue, but a comfort issue. They don't want guests being pelted by rain and getting all wet. The Japanese people seem not to like to get wet judging from the amount of umbrellas used, and aren't as stupid as we are to NEED to get coaster credits in the rain!

 

One wonders why they even bother building water rides in Japan. The covered splash boat rides were really bizarre.

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Nice memories of a fun day, Mike-hungry lions notwithstanding. Kawasemi was awesome, and the rest of the park - if a bit wet - wasn't half bad either.

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Other than Fuji-Q, the only bummer about Japan is the rain policy at the majority of the Japanese parks. It's like a Cedar Fair rain policy! I don't understand in a country that's so amazing and so efficient, and will run coasters in the snow, they don't run them in the rain!

 

The one explanation we were able to get at one point is that it's not even a safety issue, but a comfort issue. They don't want guests being pelted by rain and getting all wet. The Japanese people seem not to like to get wet judging from the amount of umbrellas used, and aren't as stupid as we are to NEED to get coaster credits in the rain!

 

That all being said, I can't wait to see the next installment which shows me using my broken Japanese to get us on a credit in the rain!

 

Honestly no one was more impressed than i was with Elissa's Japanese...she was able to get us on the two credits at Kashiikaen (after a good rain storm) when we all thought we were S.O.L. on the credits....

 

so atta gurl!!!

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The one explanation we were able to get at one point is that it's not even a safety issue, but a comfort issue. They don't want guests being pelted by rain and getting all wet. The Japanese people seem not to like to get wet judging from the amount of umbrellas used, and aren't as stupid as we are to NEED to get coaster credits in the rain!

 

That reminds me of the crazy rain ride on Sky Rocket in Kennywood during the RTCP. That one really hurt!

 

Great TR Divv! Still need to go on my first Mega-lite

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