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Photo TR: Divv's Japanese Adventure


Divv3k
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This is good timing on posting these enjoyable TR's. I've now booked my flights for the TPR China trip, plus a bunch of extended add-ons, including parts of Japan both before AND after the China part of the trip. The Hakata/Fukuoka area is the one area in Japan that I'm going to that I didn't do on my other trip there a few years back. And, honestly, the main reason I originally planned to get down there was just to more or less check off a bunch of coasters, including the only woodie in Japan I've missed. But this TR, along with some others, are getting me more excited about hitting this area.

 

Unfortunately, I'm stuck with only two full days there, plus parts of the day before and after. And I want to try to get to Space World, Mitsui Greenland, and Kijima Kogen, which is going to be tough. Luckily, Kijima Kogen is open until 8 PM on Friday, so that will help somewhat, possibly allowing me to pair it up with one of the others. If one park will have to go, it will probably be Mitsui Greenland, though I'll probably try to squeeze them all in! But that part of the trip is bookended by work and meeting up with TPR on each end, so time is limited, and I'm also hitting South Korea then, which is more of a priority for me. Which is why I'm stuck with only two full days. I arrive in Fukuoka just after 5 PM, so I'll have a little time to explore and sightsee. And worst case scenario, I can push back the ferry to South Korea back a few hours to give me some extra time on my last day, if necessary, though that would cut into my time in Busan and Gyeongju. I've got lots of time to figure everything out, though, and can move things around a bit if necessary.

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I remember that I rode most coasters just once because of all the great random stuff going on in the parks that I needed to check out. Japan is definitely on my need to go back list. At least steve was mummified, Dave was oozing all over the place the next few days.

And you just have to love the Japanese Horror scene, that 4D movie was amazing. The other stuff just weird, I guess Japanese are scared by other stuff then we are, but it is still amazing.

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Was it a billion degrees when you guys were there? Our visit in 2007 was one of the hottest days I've ever experienced in my life.

It was very hot, but not "Six Flags St Louis Hot" thankfully!

 

I'm just sad I no one has photos of the moment where the idiots actually wiped out!

 

Thanks for all the comments everyone, you're really helping me keep this going at the current pace!

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Mitsui Greenland was my favorite "tradiional" amusement park in Japan in 2007--a great, quirky place. I was shocked that I liked Megaton (the Ultra Twister coaster), but my favorite attractions there were the Haunted Shrine (dark ride with headphones), the Haunted Hospital walkthrough, and the alpine slide.

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Up next for us was a very much anticipated park - Universal Studios Osaka!

 

I knew I'd like this park but I had no idea I'd like it so much! They've basically taken the best bits of Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure and added a couple of kick arse unique attractions to make one quality park.

 

It was really odd being here and seeing how eerily similar the layout of the park is to the Orlando park and then it got even odder to see rides like Spider-Man in the spot where you think Mummy should be! The facade of the building is even very similar!

 

There are two unique coasters here and they are both very good. Hollywood Dream impressed even with low expectations created from recent B&M hypers. Riding with the J-Pop soundtrack was awesome!

 

Space Fantasy really was brilliant, really a modern day Space Mountain in a lot of ways to me! Being a fan of the Mack spinner at Europa Park I knew I'd like it but I didn't expect it to be this good! The show has a weird but fun pre-show and the interior of the ride itself is just nuts, especially if you manage to push the flashing button on your restraint at just the right moment to get the fancy bright ending!

 

Though with all these cutting edge new rides the ride I got most excited about on this day was an old favourite of mine which I thought I might have never gotten the chance to ride again... That's right I used as many Express Passes as I could on Back to the Future! I may not be the most comfortable ride experience in the world but it holds loads of nostalgic value for me so I was super excited to get a few rides on it! I guess I'm just a glutton for punishment!

 

All in all USJ was an amazing place and I would love to go back again someday!

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Let’s give Scottish Steve a break this morning and laugh at Larry instead!

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Anyone got any ideas where we’re going today?

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That’s right! Universal Studios Osaka!!!

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Before you get into the park though you have to take a test.

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Continuing the tradition of the Japanese doing all they can to avoid getting wet take a look at the weird cover over Universal’s “Main Street”

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First stop of the morning is none other than Hollywood Dream – The Ride!

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Despite it’s relative small height I was surprised by how good this was!

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Amazingly it was a lot better than many other much bigger B&M coasters of similar ilk that I’ve rode!

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Universal Japan manage to put every Cedar Fair kiddie coaster to shame with nothing more than their ride sign.

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MBF.

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It’s gonna take a lot more than 5 cents to help this dude!

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SCIENCE!!!

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Hmm.. Wonder what could be in store for us here?

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Look at the DELIGHT on Steve’s face!

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Japan’s the only place you can do this now! The Japanese skippers had some amazing enthusiasm too!

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Speaking of enthusiasm – check out Steve’s right now!

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Eat this, Florida!

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The one sad note in Universal Japan – Jurassic Park was down for maintenance. This makes Steve sad.

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Luckily there’s still plenty of Dino Action to be had in USJ!

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Now this was really cool! Huge Brachiosaurs walking around the JP section of the park!

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The other Universal parks seriously need to look into getting some of these – the crowds loved them!

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So whilst we couldn’t ride the JP ride we could still get ourselves some dinosaur for lunch.

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Look at that – Steakosaurus!

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Having never been to Universal in Hollywood I was very excited to check out BackDraftO! I liked it!

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Uhm, shouldn’t this be Mummy???

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Spider-Man in any language is awesome!

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Speaking of awesome rides – this one is unique to Japan and it’s freakin’ cool!

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No photos of the indoor spinning coaster I’m afraid here’s the ride’s popular mascot!

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He’s a happy little soul.

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Still not in Florida.

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This was my first time experiencing a Water World show. Universal normally seems to do good shows and Water World was that.

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The Pyro-maniac in me was quite satisfied.

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USJ make real efficient use of their 4D theatre and manage to show both Shrek and Sesame Street!

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Yeah, we’re cool.

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Steve got quite the fright when Elmo fell off his bike and so beer was needed immediately following the 4D show.

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Now this is the reason I was so excited about Universal Japan!!!

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This is totally worth using our front of the line passes for!

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No Simpsons here!!!

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Yes, some of us actually rode Back to the Future multiple times! Had to be done. Who knows if we’ll ever get the chance again?!

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Universal Japan was really good! And it’s only 10 years old – I get the feeling it’s gonna get even better!

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There’s no better way to finish a day at a park than with copious amounts of beer!

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Continuing the theme of weird restaurants – here’s our dinner being cooked on our tables!

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Hidden Dinner Mickey!

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Yum!

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TPDave, be nice to your dinner!!!

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Time for some supplies for another journey!

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TPDave and Scottish Steve were kind enough to host this evening’s room party.

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I think Larry might have had enough.

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OMG, what has Steve been taking???

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Uh oh… Poor little guy…

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Well, while Steve recovers I celebrate another awesome day with more Japanese Doritos!

 

Parque Espana is up next!

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I'm looking forward to really having some time at USJ after TPR China. In fact, it's the only park of the entire Asia trip that I'm scheduling two different days at (with the possible exception of Tokyo DIsneyland.) I want to minimize the chances of getting rained out there. I'll actually only be there for a few hours on Saturday night, mainly to see the Halloween Horror Nights stuff. Then I'm spending all day on Sunday there. That's quite the switch from my last Japan trip, where a handful of us left the group at Expoland in the afternoon to try to squeeze in BOTH Kobe Portopialand (which was closing a few months later) and USJ. Thanks to a train line in Kobe that was down and running shuttle busses both ways, we managed to get to USJ a little more than an hour before they closed, which was enough time for the kiddie coaster (the only one at the park at the time), Jurassic Park (and even in Japan, I didn't get to go to Hadrosaur Cove!) and to run over to Spider-Man to discover they'd closed the queue early. So, this time, weather permitting, I'll have time to do a lot more. Although since I'll be there on a weekend during Halloween Horror Nights, I'll probably be making use of Universal Express!

 

And I'll take the pictures of the injured pair from Mitsui Greenland as a warning to actually make use of the brakes when/if I ride the Alpine Slide there, before China. So, thanks for the heads up!

 

Also, I've already chatted with Elissa about the hotels on your trip, and will probably be staying at several of the same ones. Luckily, they're looking cheaper than I was expecting when I'll be there -- for Japan at least!

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What can I say about Parque Espana?? What a really nice park! Out of all the parks on the trip that weren't Disney or Universal this was definitely the nicest park. Plus it had a pretty good selection of rides.

 

The big draw is the huge B&M invert, Pyrenees I had heard it was very good beforehand and it absolutely delivered. This is certainly one of the more forceful early B&Ms in the vein of Montu and Katun. The park was pretty empty too so we were able to get plenty of rides in, even after our "unique" early riding session!

 

The park itself was very empty which was quite weird for such a big park but that allowed us to do everything in the park with no waiting at all.

 

All in all, Parque Espana was a fantastic park!

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And we’re back on a bus – old school!

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Hmm, the bus is getting awfully close to the rollercoaster…

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Yeah, we just got dropped off in the park at the entrance to the coaster!

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Old school B&M time!

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Pyrenees was amazing!

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It’s right up there with Nemesis, Katun and Montu in my view!

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The ride photographs quite well too!

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Parque Espana also offer a mine train - Gran Montserrat. An interesting contraption from Mack.

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Welcome to Spain!!!

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The park itself was VERY quiet today!

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We may well have been the only group of tourists in the park!

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OMG, this thing was hell. One of the most uncomfortable indoor coaster experiences you’re ever likely to encounter!

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Parque Espana also has a decent range of dark rides to keep the kids (and TPR) happy.

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C’mon giant rodents!!!

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I tell a lie - there WERE other people in the park today!

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From some angles you’d be forgiven for thinking you weren’t in a theme park at all!

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TPJackson can’t let the sunlight touch his skin.

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WOOHOO!!! ESCALATOR RIDE!!!

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Do the dance, TPDave! DO IT!!!

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Colin or Colon? Let’s go with Colon!

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Oh what a feeling, when you’re dancing on the ceiling.

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This looks like my kind of ride!

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Take Drayton Manor’s Excalibur ride and add a touch of Pirates and you come close to getting this thing.

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A friend of Dave Fudge haunts the entrance to the castle.

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Yet another dark ride. We call this one “If Peter Pan were a Spaniard”.

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Kind of like in Efteling there’s a “Life Size Storybook Diorama” section. But this one has something Efteling doesn’t…

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CRABS!

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As it is approximately 2 billion degrees today we will quite happily pay the upcharge for the ice house!

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Oh yeah, I managed to score another weird Japanese Doritos flavour!

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This isn’t any 3D attraction, this is 3D 360!

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This was actually surprisingly good, the 360 degree 3D worked really well! Although, I hear the dark ride that was in this place before was even better.

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Today’s lunch – random stuff I pointed at in the restaurant!

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This one’s for Larry.

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This one’s for everyone but Larry.

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I’m pretty sure there were more people involved in the parade than were guests in the park, seriously!

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The entrance to yet another engrossing indoor attraction plucked right out of Spain’s violent past.

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TPDave and Larry are privy to the retelling of one of the most brutal chapters in Spanish history…

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The skeleton zombie invasion of 1544!

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It was hot arse (at least for the Brits!) so the log flume seemed like a good idea.

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Not so good if you’re right in the front though!

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What’s this? The opportunity to put right what once went wrong?

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Thanks to the miracles of photography Larry can be kept in this moment forever!

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Emma wonders which present her beloved Josh would prefer. I’m thinking it’s Hot Love he’s looking for!

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Parque Espana is well and truly Divv-approved!!!

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And not just for the Doritos! If you can find a park in the middle of nowhere Japan selling Celtic shirts you know it’s a good place

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Pyrenees and Parque Espana both get the thumbs up from me! Probably the best non-Disney or Universal park on the trip for me!

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In the evening we set out to have another cultural experience with the YUMMY Korean B-B-Q!

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TPDave is ready for some of Korea’s finest grub.

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You know it was actually pretty good!

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On the way back to the hotel Larry got so excited to find his favourite Japanese chips that he had to break out his extra two arms in order to carry them all!

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Emma likes her balls nude.

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This looks like the kind of establishment that we should be checking out!

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Yes! We travelled all the way to Japan to visit the British pub!

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Having some non-Japanese people in the pub seemed to be quite the novelty for the locals!

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Not wanting to confine ourselves to just one, we then went on and tracked down a SECOND British pub, you know because we don’t get enough of these back home.

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Cheers!

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Hey! Look who we ran into here! We’re not the only drunken delinquents on this trip after all!

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Okay, I’m drunk and I’m tired plus there’s a park to go to in the morning. Time for bed!

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