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Photo TR: Chuck Finally Returns to Japan with TPR


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The Sapporo Brewery and Bier Garten looks really cool! I love visiting different breweries and trying different beers. I've been to Firestone Walker Brewery in Paso Robles, CA (my local brewery), Pyramid Brewery in Berkeley, CA, Lost Coast Brewery in Eureka, CA, Marin Brewing in Larkspur, CA, Moritz Brewery in Barcelona, Spain, and a couple of smaller breweries. Thanks for sharing Chuck. I love seeing the food and beverage side of these TRs.

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Now that you have been to both Northern Japan and Southern Japan, which area do you like better. I liked Southern but Sapporo and the Rasutsu Resort were a lot of fun.

 

I prefer southern Japan, too, but I really enjoyed Sapporo and Rusutsu Resort, and Hokkaido Greenland was better than everyone was expecting. Sapporo seems pretty laid back for a Japanese city--plus, it was cooler up there.

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^I don't know--the second on on the lower left looks rather cheerful, and one next to it appears to be crying.

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John, I'm keeping the video I have of you from the way back to the hotel after all the beer in case you ever decide to run for public office.

 

I have no idea what you're talking about, it wasn't me, it was photoshopped and I've already gone to rehab for all of it so in short...vote for me in 2016!

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Chapter 7

Home of the MOST INSANE RIDE IN JAPAN: Rusutsu Resort

 

It's a nice, long scenic ride through the mountains from Sapporo to Rusutsu Resort, which is a an amusement park in the summer and a ski resort in the winter. Yes, Rusutsu is tucked away among some beautiful Japanese mountains and offers a view of "northern Japan's Mt. Fuji"--a very impressive volcano the real name of which escapes me at the moment. Yes, this was a very relaxing, peaceful setting (threat of volcanic annihilation aside), but appearances can be deceiving. Do you not hear the sounds of screams amid much clinking and clanking somewhere up on the mountainside? Yes Rusutsu Resort is also the home of . . .

 

THE MOST INSANE RIDE IN JAPAN!

 

I'm talking about the Ultra Twister with a dive loop here. This creation from the fevered minds at Togo looks like some sort of alien interdimensional transport, engineered to tear a hole in the fabric of time and space. The ride manages to achieve "ludicrous speed" as it plunges and twists and dives, often causing complete mental breakdowns in riders, eliciting fiendish, uncontrollable laughter and shocked, bulging eyeballs. But don't take my word for it. Check out Robb's video.

 

 

I'm reasonably sure that this is the portal Cthulhu used to enter our dimension. He is, no doubt, living in a nearby volcano while plotting the Apocalypse.

 

I loved Ultra Twister and rode it a number of times during our ERT/filming session and again just before we returned to Sapporo. How many times? I really can't say. It's all a bit of a blur . . .

 

There are other coasters at Rusutsu. The cleverly named shuttle loop, Loop the Loop, is pretty good--one of those intense Meisho Amusement Machines creations that pulls you to the top of a spike and sends you through the loop backward. Hurricane is one of, I think, only two Vekoma SLCs in Japan (the other is at Mitsui Greenland), and is pretty bad, but it does have a nice setting within a grove of trees. The Go Go Sneaker mouse coaster is OK, although the Mad Mouse with mine cars is a bit painful. Standing Coaster, another catchy name, is one of those Togo jobs with a loop, and I thought it was worse than Shockwave at Kings Dominion; however, I know a number of people on the trip who thought it was OK. You're probably wondering, "What about the Jet Coaster?" Yes, the park has one, along with an old Arrow Corkscrew.

 

Rusutsu also boasts a particularly creepy walk-though haunted house, where they do sick things to cute little animals; a number of flats; a nice, European-themed shopping-and-dining area in the hotel with a “sort of” animatronic band; Desperados (yes!); and a tram ride up the mountain that offers a nice view of the volcano and surrounding area. And let's not forget the very nice staff who wants everyone to BE HAPPY!

 

Everyone had a great time there, too. Let's go in, shall we?

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Before we head out to Rusutsu Resort, how about a nice, refreshing can of FIRE?

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Location and spelling of "Rusutsu" confirmed.

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Ugh! That can of FIRE is not sitting well. Perhaps a nice "potato drink" will soothe my acid stomach.

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Is there anywhere else where one can get a drink around here? Seriously, why are drink stands so hard to find?

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Oh my god! I'm flashing back to the singing, mutant tree we encountered during the Scandi Trip back in 2009. Or maybe this is just a potato-drink-fueled hallucination.

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We did, indeed, enjoy the wonders we beheld within.

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Here is one of those wonders.

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This car was also a wonder to behold.

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Uh oh! I have come across a tortured spirit that is being held in thrall by Cthulhu! (Or maybe I'm just playing with some toy I got from a capsule machine.)

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Yes, it all looks very "European" for Japan.

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Angry Mushroom says it's time to get to the park.

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Hmm--I think we're on the right track. Call it . . . a hunch.

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Here's one of the ski lifts. There are cottages you can rent next to the ski runs, too.

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Here's the lay of the land.

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The staff will remind you to do this all day.

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This ride will really put the park's "be happy" motto to the test.

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I'm not sure I want a "soft cream hot dog"--is it some sort of soup?

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It was quite a trudge to our first objective.

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Behold THE MOST INSANE RIDE IN JAPAN!

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Here is a particularly insane portion--the dive loop.

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Let us take a moment to consider the quiet majesty of nature . . .

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AGGH! SAVE US JEEBUS!

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Yes, the space-time rift is opening . . .

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. . . and soon Cthulhu will be here!

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"Aw, how insane could it be, really?"

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"Run you fools! Cthulhu is coming through the rift!

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"What the hell just happened?" More to come.

Edited by cfc
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We all survived our session on Ultra Twister--and there was still a lot more to do.

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Rusutsu celebrates American Power!

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Catchy name, no?

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At first, KT was reluctant to ride Loop the Loop and attempted the old "slouching under the height sign" trick. But she was tall enough to ride, and ended up loving it. I think she rode five or six times, at least.

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The Japanese seem to like pink coasters.

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This is one intense shuttle loop.

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And you ride pretty high up that spike.

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Hmm--the group isn't looking too sure about Hurricane.

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Yeah, it's your typical SLC.

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It shakes and shimmies . . .

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. . . and tries to kill you.

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But it is set among some nice trees.

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I never realized how close together these sections of SLC track were; then again, you can get really close to the ride at Rusutsu.

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This is pretty blurry photo, but it does sum up the SLC experience.

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"Why did we do that? Why?"

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I'm not sure a "chocolate pennant" is such a good idea. It wouldn't flap in the breeze, and then it would melt all over you during a hot day.

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In a moment, you will see that this ride is perfectly named.

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You see? I told you. It is, indeed, a "sneaker" that can "go go."

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Another aptly named attraction.

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It is, indeed, a Jet Coaster in the mountains.

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Hmm--maybe I can get out of riding Standing Coaster by using KT's trick.

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Nope--I failed, too.

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Still, it isn't the worst ride ever.

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Hmm--either this guy is skiing or assuming a "crash position."

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Curry fried chicken, anyone? Or, in Nagashima speak, "curry frid chiken."

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The Japanese genius for naming attractions never ceases to amaze me.

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Yep--riders are "corkscrewed" on this ride.

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I forget this name of this attraction, but I bet it's something like "Wacky House Where You Walk into Walls and Break Your Nose." Still more to come.

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If it weren't for the lack of wooden coasters, Rusutsu could be the Japanese Knoebels--one very quirky place. But I think some other demons of darkness may have been pulled through the vortex of Ultra Twister. Here is my proof.

 

[coastertube]http://www.themeparkreview.com/coastertube/play.php?vid=TPR_Japan_2013_pt_2_088_u1d9[/coastertube]

 

The horror . . . the horror . . .

 

But it's still a fun place.

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Here is proof that Rusutsu is preparing for the coming of Cthulhu.

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Remember--you have been warned.

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Not even an adorable ducky will be spared the wrath of the Lovecraftian Elder Gods.

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Eww! I don't even want to know what's going on here.

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"The sow is mine!"

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Mad Mouse. This dude is totally into it.

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Meanwhile, back at the arcade, you can win this adorable figurine. I think the game is called "Trailer Park Tumble," or something.

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Be careful! This game could be a trick in which you are forced to play ritual drumbeats to call Cthulhu!

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"Me pink like coaster!"

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You know, I think I'll settle down for a nice, relaxing meal in . . .

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. . . the MURDER LODGE!

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Jen doesn't look too sure about Travis. Trust no one in the MURDER LODGE!

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The park staff thought we needed exercise, so this conveyor belt wasn't operating earlier. They were probably right, too.

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Oh. How adorable.

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Yes, it's getting even more adorable.

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If you ever find yourself in Rusutsu's maze, just use this photo for reference.

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Poor, dumb bastards.

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Shall we take the tram to the top?

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Behold! "Northern Japan's Mt. Fuji!"

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Of course, it would be a lot easier for you to see it if I weren't standing in the way.

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The locals use this bell to scare Cthulhu.

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The park and hotel from the top--a very nice place.

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Proof that Ultra Twister has opened a portal to Hell: Daniel and the Dixie Diggers.

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The South will rise again--in northern Japan.

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You'll find it easier to get a sound out of that horn is you actually raise it to your mouth. Just a tip.

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"G'day, mate."

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Nope. Nothing creepy here at all.

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"Stand and deliver!" (Yay for Desperados!)

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A few more Ultra Twister rides before we leave. Sure--what the hell.

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In Japan, pink bunnies = danger.

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And we're safely back in Sapporo, despite the presence of the pink bunnies. Heading back to Tokyo next. That's all for now.

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^I'm pretty sure Hardee's gave those away in kiddie meals before Carl's Jr. bought them out--but I bet you can still get them at White Castle.

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