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Hey all,

 

Welcome to my Throwback Reports on TPR! This thread is all about TPR trips and events that I had an opportunity to be a part of. They were full of a whole lot of awesome and basically are some of the best trips and events....in the world. I hope you enjoy!

 

Thanks for visiting,

Jason

 

Up now is blast from the recent past look at a favourite - Scandinavia 2009

 

TRIP REPORTS AND EVENTS

Japan 2013 - Below

Coastin' for Kids 2012 at Canada's Wonderland

TPR's Middle America 2010 Trip

A Virginian 4th of July 2010: Kerry and I revisit Kings Dominion and Busch Gardens

Canada's Wonderand: Victoria Day 2011

Darien Lake: Opening Day 2010

Southern Comfort: Kerry and I visit TPR's Deep South 2009

2009 with the East Coast Gang: New England, Niagara and Georgia

Scandinavia 2009

The First TPR Trip: East Coast Tour 2008

The first Photo Trip Report Evar - Coastermania 2008 with Waldameer and Kennywood

 

 

JAPAN 2013--CULTURE AND COASTERS

 

Day 0 - Arrival

Culture - Kiyomizudera

Day 1 - Tobu Zoo and Nagoya

Day 2 - Universal Studios

Day 3 - Hirakata Park and Osaka Umeda Sky Building

Day 4 - Yokohama Cosmoworld and Sea Paradise

Day 5 - Nagashima Spaland

Day 6 - Hokkaido Greenland and Sapporo Beer Garden

Day 7 - Rusutsu Resort

Day 8 - Joypolis and Tokyo Teleport

Day 9 - Fuji-Q Highland

Culture - Fushimi Inari and Arashiyama

Day 10 - Tokyo Disney

Days -1 and 11 - Around Tokyo - Aqua Stadium, Harajuku, Shibuya & Shinjuku

 

 

Japan has to be one of most interesting and coolest places to visit. History, food, craziness and experiencing what it is like to be in the company of the nicest people in the world. I can't recommend it enough for anyone who has never been to Asia. There couldn't be a better place to dip your toes into that part of the world and leave wanting to go back, again and again. Of course, heading there with TPR really added a whole new level of an experience.

 

This trip report starts off with a pre-trip that a few of us that have been on past TPR trips together decided to add on. Being into Japanese history since grade five or so, it was hard not to jump at the chance to check out arguably some of the most interesting and memorable historical sites in the world. Being able to only check out Kyoto and Tokyo sites during this first trip means that future trips will just have to be on the agenda.

 

ARRIVAL

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First time in Vancouver/ the West Coast. Only for an hour though.

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Marunouchi in Tokyo--the business district

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First of many crazy subway trips.

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First shinkansen/ bullet train from Tokyo to Kyoto. A rail pass is a must.

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Oh yah! Food card yum.

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First bullet train view

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Sure, it's just a hotel in Kyoto. Not just any hotel, a capsule style hotel!

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It comes with this multi bidet and auto lifting/ lowering heated toilet seat control panel

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This is literally at the foot of the bed.

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The bed?

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Just enough space for a great stay. The owners were so helpful and gave out local hand made chop sticks as a thank you gift for staying.

Edited by rollin_n_coastin
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Jason - so glad you are posting about the Japan Tour!

 

Enjoyed the start, and looking forward to more.

 

(EDIT to add: I love the Japanese "art" of gift-giving,

no matter what the reason! They just love to do it.)

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KIYOMIZUDERA TEMPLE

 

Located just outside of Kyoto, this temple was founded in 780 and means "Pure Water Temple", as it was found on the site of the Otowa Waterfall. It's best known for the main hall's wooden stage overlooking cherry and maple trees below. It is a spectacular view.

 

Another main part of the site is the Otowa Waterfall located at the base of the main hall. Each of the three streams is said to have its own benefit from drinking from it--longevity, a fortunate love life or success at school. Drinking from all three is considered very, very greedy.

 

Overall, the site was beautiful and was worth the visit. The fog mysteriously floating over the pagoda and mountains really added to the aura of the temple.

 

Enjoy the pics!

 

Up next - A break from culture with the official add-on start at Tobu Zoo

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Shopping area

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Entrance to the temple

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A fantastic view of Kyoto

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A bit of cleansing before heading to the Main Hall.

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Koyasu Pagoda, viewed from the Main Hall

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A peak inside the Main Hall

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The infamous Love Stone! Reach the other 20ft away with your eyes closed successfully and find true love!

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A view of the Main Hall from further down the path.

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The Otowa Waterfall

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Jenn and Travis go for longevity?

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Under the Main Hall's deck

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Back to the shopping area! Green Tea ice cream with seafood on a stick.

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Coffee?

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There are some good teas. There are some really, really bad teas.

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Good bye Kiyomizodera!

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Heading to dinner while walking through Gion, Kyoto's Geisha District

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Kyoto at night.

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We found food. First run in with awesome Engrish.

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Can you find the best friends?

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This place was all about the okonomiyaki though.

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It didn't disappoint!

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Oh, this was the first two hour all you can drink (nomihodai) restaurant with server call button. That, also didn't disappoint.

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The grill comes with a garbage hole.

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Kirin party! An awesome first day in Japan, without a doubt.

Edited by rollin_n_coastin
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JAPAN 2013--CULTURE AND COASTERS

 

Day 0 - Arrival

Culture - Kiyomizudera

Day 1 - Tobu Zoo and Nagoya

Day 2 - Universal Studios

Day 3 - Hirakata Park and Osaka Umeda Sky Building

Day 4 - Yokohama Cosmoworld and Sea Paradise

Day 5 - Nagashima Spaland

Day 6 - Hokkaido Greenland and Sapporo Beer Garden

Day 7 - Rusutsu Resort

Day 8 - Joypolis and Tokyo Teleport

Day 9 - Fuji-Q Highland

Culture - Fushimi Inari and Arashiyama

Day 10 - Tokyo Disney

Days -1 and 11 - Around Tokyo - Aqua Stadium, Harajuku, Shibuya & Shinjuku

 

 

OFFICIAL ADD ON START AT TOBU ZOO AND NAGOYA

 

Let's take a break from culture for the first official start day of the trip for most of us. The add-on started with Tobu Zoo, home to an Intamin mega-lite, Kawasemi. It's also home to an interesting Intamin woodie, Regina.

 

Enjoy the pics of Tobu Zoo and another night of all you can drink!

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Tobu Zoo!

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Kawasemi was what we came for.

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It warmed up fast and was as furious as I remember these mega-lites to be.

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Regina the Woodie

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Nick and I giving it a go. It's Japan, why not?

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Not a bad coaster.

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Ben, Nick and CJ checking out the waffle bears.

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Regina in the background.

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Time for themed food!

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Pasta alla carbonara in Japan and in a Theme Park? It was surprisingly good!

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The cat says it all.

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After the zoo, it was off to Nagoya.

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Who's up for a banana split?

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We found another restaurant with a nomihodai menu option--all you can drink.

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The food was fresh

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Very, very fresh shrimp.

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I ordered chicken yakitori. I didn't realize what part of the chicken that I ordered.

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Yes, there was some drinking.

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Thanks to our awesome servers.

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Another great day and night.

Edited by rollin_n_coastin
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^Thanks Oli!

 

JAPAN 2013--CULTURE AND COASTERS

 

Day 0 - Arrival

Culture - Kiyomizudera

Day 1 - Tobu Zoo and Nagoya

Day 2 - Universal Studios

Day 3 - Hirakata Park and Osaka Umeda Sky Building

Day 4 - Yokohama Cosmoworld and Sea Paradise

Day 5 - Nagashima Spaland

Day 6 - Hokkaido Greenland and Sapporo Beer Garden

Day 7 - Rusutsu Resort

Day 8 - Joypolis and Tokyo Teleport

Day 9 - Fuji-Q Highland

Culture - Fushimi Inari and Arashiyama

Day 10 - Tokyo Disney

Days -1 and 11 - Around Tokyo - Aqua Stadium, Harajuku, Shibuya & Shinjuku

 

 

DAY 2 - UNIVERSAL STUDIOS JAPAN

 

Moving on to Day 2 and Universal Studios! This park treated us exceptionally well. Management prepared a case study presentation and a backstage tour of Spider Man before it was set to re-open following the 4K conversion reno. Seeing the passion that our hosts have for their park, rides and the industry truly made this a day like no other, despite the rain.

 

Oh, and Back to the Future and Jaws? Pure bliss.

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Love how easy it is get around

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A simple train ride and we're at Universal!

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Sure, it's raining, but that didn't stop an awesome day.

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The picture that everyone has?

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Universal case study presentation

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I never liked this 'a lot', even when it was new in Orlando

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But it did bring back some cool memories

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Still a HUGE fan of the movies

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Harry Potter? Oh and they kept Jaws, too? Hmmm.

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Jaws!

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Lunch this day was, ah, interesting?

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Yes, that is a real soft-shell crab in the crab sandwich.

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Let's take a closer look.

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Best oven mitt ever.

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Kid's area

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It was close for the 4K projection reno but that didn't stop us from enjoying Spider Man the ride in a whole new way.

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The backstage tour was fantastic.

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Hollywood Dream and Backdrop opened!

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Backdrop was really good and definitely more enjoyable than going forward.

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Thanks to Universal Studios Japan for a great day.

Edited by rollin_n_coastin
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Great photo tr! I love seeing Japan photos, food, and the theme parks they have. Eventually I'll get on a TPR trip when college is done with. It's really cool Universal Japan gave you a little case study to show you the business side that's nice of them to take time apart to tell you how they're functioning.

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^^Chuck, that was the first time I'd ever seen a soft crab sandwich in person and it still amazes me that it was at a theme park. Come to think of it, the food at all the parks was surprisingly good. I still can't get over how 'decent' the pasta alla corbonara was a Tobu Zoo.

 

^Thanks Zach, appreciate it. Yah, the case study was definitely really interesting. I was actually surprised at the level of detail that they went in to, but it was really interesting for the uber geek in all of us without a doubt. Definitely start saving for Japan, it is very much worth it.

 

More pics coming as soon as I can. Sometimes life events can put things on hold for a bit. Regardless, it's hard to stay away from Japan memories for too long, after all.

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  • 2 months later...

It's been too long but time to kick this back into full gear!

 

After a few tech challenges with a bad hard drive, I finally saved enough for a new computer and also saved my pictures and files that I thought were lost forever. I'm all reorganized, have proper back ups and am ready to go. Back to Japan!

 

JAPAN 2013--CULTURE AND COASTERS

 

Day 0 - Arrival

Culture - Kiyomizudera

Day 1 - Tobu Zoo and Nagoya

Day 2 - Universal Studios

Day 3 - Hirakata Park and Osaka Umeda Sky Building

Day 4 - Yokohama Cosmoworld and Sea Paradise

Day 5 - Nagashima Spaland

Day 6 - Hokkaido Greenland and Sapporo Beer Garden

Day 7 - Rusutsu Resort

Day 8 - Joypolis and Tokyo Teleport

Day 9 - Fuji-Q Highland

Culture - Fushimi Inari and Arashiyama

Day 10 - Tokyo Disney

Days -1 and 11 - Around Tokyo - Aqua Stadium, Harajuku, Shibuya & Shinjuku

 

 

DAY 3 - HIRAKATA PARK AND OSAKA UMEDA SKY BUILDING

 

Our second Japanese park was a really nice little family park, Hirakata. This was also the first park where I made a point of buying something local at the gift shop and really taking note of the "it takes two employees to properly package and tape down a purchase before leaving a store" phenomenon. It was like watching perfection at work. Hirakata was also home to more Intamin stuff, starting with wooden coaster, Elf, and a stubby drop tower. Both a ton of fun in different ways. The drop tower made sounds that you'd never normally want to hear come from a ride. Goes to show that even small rides can be scary. Overall, a great park in a really cool hillside location.

 

Here are the pics.

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Our preferred mode of transportation

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Made it!

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Cute lucky bunnies are in there...maybe

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The children are surprisingly not frightened.

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It's Elf!

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The first of the interactive scream loudest to earn points log flumes!

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The Maple Leafs are one of the most valuable sports franchises on the planet. You'd never know it if you saw them play. I think it's awesome I'd run into something Leafs in Japan. Thanks Sean!

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Japanese Flume POV!

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Random flume shots

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The flume score board.

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Well, you'd probably feel the same way if you came off of a roller coaster called Peekaboo Town.

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The ubiquitis drum game. These are everywhere and not as easy as expected on the first try

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The experts have arrived

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Yes, there really is 24 hour poo.

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The Disk-O was too exciting for some.

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After Hirakata, we had the afternoon to explore nearby cities. A few of us chose to head to Osaka to check out the Umeda Sky Building, known for its roof top floating garden. Great city views and a cool building. Check out the pics below.

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The Sky Building's entry plaza area

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First level observation floor. AKA the free area.

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For a very small charge, you get access to the floating garden outdoor rooftop.

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They love their ferris wheels in Japan! They are seriously everywhere.

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Our night ends with a group dinner at a great Yakitori restaurant. Yakitori--like chicken wings but way better!

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The restaurant area in the Sky Building was modelled after 1950s Japan.

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Edited by rollin_n_coastin
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JAPAN 2013--CULTURE AND COASTERS

 

Day 0 - Arrival

Culture - Kiyomizudera

Day 1 - Tobu Zoo and Nagoya

Day 2 - Universal Studios

Day 3 - Hirakata Park and Osaka Umeda Sky Building

Day 4 - Yokohama Cosmoworld and Sea Paradise

Day 5 - Nagashima Spaland

Day 6 - Hokkaido Greenland and Sapporo Beer Garden

Day 7 - Rusutsu Resort

Day 8 - Joypolis and Tokyo Teleport

Day 9 - Fuji-Q Highland

Culture - Fushimi Inari and Arashiyama

Day 10 - Tokyo Disney

Days -1 and 11 - Around Tokyo - Aqua Stadium, Harajuku, Shibuya & Shinjuku

 

 

DAY 4 - YOKOHAMA COSMOWORLD AND SEA PARADISE

 

This day was a day of mixed feelings. It was exciting since we were going to meet up with Mr. Kitagawa of Senyo Rides to visit his showcase park and the photo op happy Diving Coaster: Vanish at Yokohama Cosmoworld. He had joined us for our awesome Yakitori dinner the night before and was truly looking forward to showing us Comsoworld, especially as a regular long time reader of TPR. You couldn't help but get excited. On the other hand, it was also the day that we'd be heading to a quaint family seaside park that had some great attractions for kids and families. What's to be worried about? Well, stuck in the middle, there's just this little family ride called Blue Fall that may or may not seem out of place for Sea Paradise park. It's just a 351 ft Intamin Drop Tower.

 

Even though I'm terrified of these things, every overseas trip has introduced the tallest drop tower yet, such as Fritt Fall, Hurakan Condor and now Blue Fall. Blue Fall was the most terrifying yet. But wow, what a view! It wasn't all about Blue Fall, though. Sea Pardise is also home to one of my favorite coasters on the trip, Surf Coaster.

 

This was a fantastic day. Both parks were at great waterside locations and had their own share of wacky Japanese stuff. I also made my second money mistake by thinking a gaming token machine at Cosmoworld was a change machine. The change was to help with the capsule machine addiction but instead I was rewarded with a bucketful of game tokens, which some really nice locals helped me use up.

 

 

YOKOHAMA COSMOWORLD

 

The rides at Cosmoworld may not be the most unique but how they were designed into the buildings and land made them a great and fun experience all their own. The flume is as crazy as you've heard! Oh and the ice maze walk through attractions? They are cold. Very, very cold. Even though we were locked in one, it was the funniest thing ever since it totally came out of left field. A huge thanks to Mr. Kitagawa for being a great host.

 

Enjoy the pics!

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You know you're in Yokohama when you see the tallest building in Japan, the Yokohama Landmark Tower

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Yokohama Cosmoworld!

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A city seaside location sounds cool to me!

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The infamous airtime log flume.

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We started off on Dive Coaster: Vanish.

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A view from the top of the insane flume drop.

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What made this mouse a bit more frightening than usual is that it was built on the roof of the games building, which is pretty tall to begin with.

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Mr. Kitagawa was a fantastic host, notwithstanding locking is in a walk-in freezer ;)

Edited by rollin_n_coastin
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^I know, it's hilarious! I didn't get to see the famous enclosed shoot the shoots boat at Nagashima. Thank goodness for towel hoodies.

 

^^^Thanks very much, I'll definitely keep it going. Appreciate the comments!

 

I'll close off Yokohmama Cosmoworld with the flume to rule all flume rides and views from the massive wheel.

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A look at the drop off from this air time beast.

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Liesurely credit run on the Senyo family coaster.

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The next few pics are a view from the top of the observation wheel--the largest of the trip I think.

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Vanish's funky disco tunnel.

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On our way to the train station

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A great day at Yokohama Cosmoworld!

Edited by rollin_n_coastin
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SEA PARADISE

 

In addition to Blue Ball, Sea Paradise had one of my favourite coasters of the trip and yes, it was a Togo! Surf Coaster was actually a lot of fun and it being built over the water was really cool. Sea Paradise also has the crazy launch boat ride, which was closed on the day we were there but hey, Japan will just need another visit.

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Our local line out. My hands were clammy just thinking about Blue Fall at this point.

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Oh yah, she's a tall one!

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Fake out drop!

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Who needs the helicopter?

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On our way to perhaps the greatest Togo ever built.

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Surf Coaster in all its glory.

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Oh, the on ride photo system here was fantastic. A guy with a Nikon and you always knew that the camera was in the station.

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Did I mention that I loved this ride?

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The crazy boat launch ride!

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It wouldn't be Sea Paradise without Sea Life!

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The creepiest fish of them all-the Ocean Sunfish

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I honestly thought it was half a fish.

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It wouldn't be Japan without the best Engrish out there.

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I won't go there

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Shopping for snacks for the ride back to Nagoya

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Who says food can't show emotion?

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The bullet train rides really were great. Train travel can be fast and enjoyable.

Edited by rollin_n_coastin
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Can someone please elaborate on Blue Fall? It seems like a normal drop tower that just happens to be huge. Every time I see people talk about it, though, they mention a fakeout drop. No videos show this and I feel like I'm really missing something. Or I'm just a moron. It happens.

 

Great updates, by the way!

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Can someone please elaborate on Blue Fall? It seems like a normal drop tower that just happens to be huge. Every time I see people talk about it, though, they mention a fakeout drop. No videos show this and I feel like I'm really missing something. Great updates, by the way!

 

Thanks Kyle. I wish I had a video of it but found this on Youtube. One ride is the full continuous drop that feels like you're falling forever. The other ride is a short drop and trim/ stop at the top before it continues all the way down, which you can see clearly on the left car in first of two rides in the video.

 

Edited by rollin_n_coastin
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Can someone please elaborate on Blue Fall? It seems like a normal drop tower that just happens to be huge. Every time I see people talk about it, though, they mention a fakeout drop. No videos show this and I feel like I'm really missing something. Or I'm just a moron. It happens.

 

Great updates, by the way!

 

This is one of the better videos I could find of it. You go all the way up than you fall about 10 feet where you hit a set of brakes before continuing your fall. It's a really weird but awesome feeling.

 

 

 

Looks we are all hanging our head in shame.

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