Jump to content
  TPR Home | Parks | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Instagram 

Photo TR: Aaron's World Tour of Japan!


Recommended Posts

  • Replies 99
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Posted Images

Mitsui Greenland was my favorite park in Japan after the Disney parks back in 2007. You're right about the surprisingly good Togo stand-up and Ultra Twister coasters. I loved the "Haunted Shrine" dark ride with the head phones, too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Awesome report, Aaron! I loved Mitsui! It's huge and the selection of attractions is so strange but in the best way.

 

As a side note, that spinning mouse was INSANE! I guess you just got a bad ride on it but Nolan and I almost flew off the friggin track!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

^ It's certainly not High Roller size. It's perched at one of the highest points in the park so it looks bigger than it actually is. I'd put it in the 250-300 foot range.

 

Edit - Apparently I was 44 feet off of my guess. It's been 4 months and there was a lot of Kirin and Sapporo on that trip. Forgive me.

Edited by KBrylczyk
Link to comment
Share on other sites

How tall is that Giant Wheel? It looks about as big or bigger than the High Roller in Las Vegas who claims they are the tallest.

 

That one is 105m (about 344 feet) tall. The Vegas wheel suffers from being surrounded by GIANT buildings which diminish its true size. Japan has several wheels all over 300 feet tall!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great TR of Mitsui, Aaron. That was definitely one of my fave parks during any TPR tour

I took to Japan that included it. The size of it all really shocked me, with so much room

to move around. And that McDs on property there, was always a welcome sight. And the

stand up/sit down coasters were really cool to ride, esp. with the airtime on the stand up!

 

I take it, you didn't do the "Ten Times, Your Name-On-A-Stick" Ultra Twister thing, there?

 

Or... did you?

C09_LoveLove_MitsuiGreenland.jpg.da27ec4ad9a0b98ca51a756eb90bd57e.jpg

Happy Halloween, everybody! Mitsui Greenland, on the TPR 2011 Japan Tour.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Kijima Kogen

After Mistui Greenland we had a break day in the trip. Some people used this to get in some culture, but a few of us decided to travel to the resort town of Beppu for some credit whoring. Beppu is a leisurely two hour train ride from Fukuoka, and was probably as far off the (Western) tourist trail as I ventured on this trip. The main draw here was Kijima Kogen, a small park with Jupiter - one of Japan's few wooden coasters - and the infamous enclosed shoot-the-chutes ride.

 

Kijima is set on the side of a mountain, and probably has some quite picturesque views most of the time. For our visit some very dense fog had set in, so riding Jupiter felt like a 1990s video game where everything in the distance was cloaked in haze. The ride itself was quite good, easily the best wooden coaster I rode in Japan (not that there were that many of them). The pre-lift bunny hops were great, and while it's not in the same league as Balder, there was enough airtime to justify some re-rides.

 

Apart from the main coaster, Kijima also had a fairly stock-standard selection of rides - roller skater, corkscrew, mine train, giant ferris wheel etc. A 360-degree cinema was an interesting find, as was "Moon Parade", the monorail ride. While Kijima probably isn't a destination park by any stretch of the imagination, I liked it and thought it was well worth a visit.

 

JP_KJ_01.jpg.05812a4600a9e4185fa86112ea4f556e.jpg

Before the trip to Beppu, we decided to see what Fukuoka had to offer by night.

JP_KJ_02.jpg.a91803e1d151cd9692bdd195f2f96a9c.jpg

This friendly robot will show you around a shopping mall. Or lure you into its lair, along with the other unsuspecting humans.

JP_KJ_03.jpg.c514bccd36e44e89b508e50bdcf0daba.jpg

This is a pachinko parlour. Pachinko is a Japanese for "very noisy game that is definitely not gambling because that is illegal."

JP_KJ_04.jpg.669d61a8d02ae302795f5bd6bfb07362.jpg

A few of the arcades around Japan had these machines where you could win little matchbox-type cars. I ended up collecting quite a few, not that I know what to do with them now...

JP_KJ_05.jpg.5b86661c48ccb580d04e65dec5a43759.jpg

One of the stranger capsule machines we saw was "creepy man on bench".

JP_KJ_06.jpg.d934c8384db9f01288879f47349ea089.jpg

I'm told that Fukuoka is famous for its noodles, and Ramen Stadium has plenty.

JP_KJ_07.jpg.ca7509cd592bf2720b5703afd213b077.jpg

Like of lot of Japanese restaurants, you order at a vending machine, and then take your meal ticket inside to give to the waiter. Mercifully these things had an English button and pictures of the food.

JP_KJ_08.jpg.4fb111cdb1af5194b139f3b7c3203089.jpg

I forget what this is, but clearly something with bacon and seaweed. I remember it being delicious. There's more to Japanese food than sushi!

JP_KJ_09.thumb.jpg.74a42855ff18d36a4d7865cf5dd97cdf.jpg

Wandering the streets of Fukuoka...

JP_KJ_10.thumb.jpg.c97be8cd17d5e02720576cba399ec285.jpg

...we "found" red light island. Yes, they have a whole island for hookers and porn!

JP_KJ_11.jpg.25720adcdfdde81e9bfa4b94599ab146.jpg

Let's pretend we blew all of our yen in this place, which sounds a lot cooler than just heading back to the hotel because it started to rain.

JP_KJ_12.thumb.jpg.9966889ab487d45e8812c87dd51d870f.jpg

Fast forward to the next morning and after a scenic journey through the Japanese countryside, we arrived in Beppu. These delightful geishas greeted us.

JP_KJ_13.jpg.ce94a4a01914bf82c28e92e2efa4c4ea.jpg

Jeff is ready in case of tsunami.

JP_KJ_14.jpg.f3464a1d5b11d113b839d9dca4d02214.jpg

Here is a photo of Marcel taking a photo of the entrance to Kijima.

JP_KJ_15.jpg.1c042bfbf7359ac8e4856821fc5246cc.jpg

Park map. Kijima is definitely targeted more at families than thrillseekers.

JP_KJ_16.jpg.4f698f8b0c99e68076cc7f0e7f9937f9.jpg

Mandatory giant ferris wheel. On a clear day this would provide a great view, I imagine.

JP_KJ_17.jpg.fb40b32313e29114eb397adba79d9074.jpg

It was very foggy, but Jupiter beckoned.

JP_KJ_18.jpg.7510587fecd1ea6dbd8e6277157300b2.jpg

Robb and Elissa were off at the Hello Kitty park, but had organised some ERT for us under the guise of "filming time". Thanks guys!

JP_KJ_19.jpg.ad9b64229c3a76e4f611be12e2d0f341.jpg

There are only a handful of wooden coasters in Japan, Jupiter is definitely the most thrilling of the three I rode on this trip, with a good amount of speed and airtime.

JP_KJ_21.jpg.9875f71c9b3fa7793d0c8a10b84698aa.jpg

Some happy riders.

JP_KJ_22.jpg.cf045a183f04adb2db877300eeffc1ac.jpg

Sadly the stork observation tower was out of action, although this is certainly a delightful bit of theming.

JP_KJ_23.jpg.fc8c6ac59165a2ed828bb51dd0a75f0b.jpg

Yep, this is a great spot for a photo.

JP_KJ_24.jpg.597a23f59b2bb228d3aa9574f01d87ae.jpg

Continuing a pattern we'd seen at a few parks, the corkscrew was closed.

JP_KJ_25.jpg.10dbba9ba3e36e7d59eb0d059cf465c8.jpg

But the mine train was open! Gold Rush was memorable for having the smallest seats known to man, clearly designed for double amputees. That piece of track in the foreground is a four-foot long piece of theming, so I guess they had some leftover bits?

JP_KJ_26.jpg.2b2c1b220213203d6c6dde6fe091bb1d.jpg

Roller Skater is a Vekoma roller skater, themed to roller skates!

JP_KJ_27.jpg.98e49d731dbda551c0de37005551e407.jpg

Hooray for credits!

JP_KJ_28.jpg.1f7ecd8bd06b5106c64458fa607f317f.jpg

This is probably a great ride for anyone with a shoe fetish.

JP_KJ_29.jpg.58729b7d1d542db5cdf93caf1baac611.jpg

Last up was Dragon, a powered kiddie coaster. There were several laps to this "credit", although one would have been enough for me.

JP_KJ_30.jpg.72d85a826bf3cf2214e8b3bb14e56424.jpg

Shooting Pirates was a fun but brief dark ride, which predictably involved both pirates and shooting.

JP_KJ_31.jpg.88bc13b8f6e8b6740e3e22b44d56a259.jpg

Poseidon is a somewhat unique flume ride, all the thrills of a regular flume, without the wetness.

JP_KJ_32.jpg.077430a622a8b1923c1382147a32ab39.jpg

It's all thanks to these covered boats.

JP_KJ_33.jpg.513f27ec88297e877229029f636dce41.jpg

They even have tinted windows, which gave the whole thing a somewhat "VIP tour" feel.

JP_KJ_34.jpg.6c94e8c467a76e30faea3a2bfbdfd3de.jpg

Priscilla is clearly very impressed by the whole arrangement.

JP_KJ_35.jpg.c8a90ebdec4f1eecc28e32645c117a36.jpg

This tent housed a 360-degree, 3D cinema. The story was a little hard to follow but it was something do with pirates and mermaids, and very Japanese. I'm counting this as a culture credit.

JP_KJ_36.jpg.5989dd7f63bb6da2008765e79b069b56.jpg

The suggestively named Moon Parade provides a scenic tour of the park.

JP_KJ_37.jpg.318e99662c6b73ba9b7d3f6e3721c7ad.jpg

The vehicles were perhaps a little over the top, even for Japan.

JP_KJ_38.jpg.586ef44d7186881cf0f60e40ecd8a058.jpg

We were surprised to see a 2-way radio next to the drivers seat.

JP_KJ_39.jpg.39ac1b4f380f7a9c70316e513a7e6f84.jpg

It turns out Moon Parade is a little unreliable, and if you get stuck you're supposed to call back to be rescued.

JP_KJ_40.jpg.da5e609bda08e3158777ffbd71e98835.jpg

Fortunately we made a complete circuit without any dramas. That is all from Kijima, next we head to Nagoya Zoo and Nagashima Spa Land. Thanks for reading!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

^Jupiter wasn't too bad at all, a couple of bumpy moments but mostly quite rideable. Perhaps it runs better in heavy fog?

 

Or they may have done some work on it since then. It is a very impressive looking coaster.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Higashiyama Zoo, Nagoya

I'd like to get this report finished before Christmas so let's keep things moving. After a Shinkansen ride from Fukuoka to Nagoya, we had some free time to explore the city. Intrigued by their side-friction bobsled "coaster" I decided to visit Higashiyama Zoo. The amusement park here wasn't big, but the zoo part would have been worth the visit by itself. Plenty of animals to look at and they all seemed pretty content, in contrast to the depressing state of the collection at Tobu Zoo. The park also features the Higashiyama Sky Tower, an observation tower which gave a great view of the Nagoya metropolis.

 

JP_NSL_01.thumb.jpg.d414b2211697843ce7aedb50ac50497e.jpg

Our destination. I like how the artist has given the gorilla a few curls of chest hair on top of his fur, no doubt to portray masculinity.

JP_NSL_02.jpg.955460f0b8aada9d014e6d513af8b6af.jpg

And here we are. Higashiyama is definitely one of the more pleasant zoos I've visited.

JP_NSL_03.jpg.d522554ed7da13e6f0d776cdb497136d.jpg

Nolan, you look like you've lost some... height?

JP_NSL_04.jpg.cb8acdbc34b64c3a87ac856b4b14b323.jpg

Donkey. Because TPR.

JP_NSL_05.jpg.d4bea32ff55cb3b8615b505254eef12a.jpg

A friendly rhino.

JP_NSL_06.jpg.d56f7e7130c9771387ce136156bbfd72.jpg

Even showed some tongue.

JP_NSL_07.jpg.0bcf22f363e6a41ab25cf83dc12e1f8e.jpg

Lion doing some vocal exercises.

JP_NSL_08.jpg.fb15bfea6ec8ef63afbacd683f304326.jpg

There are rides here somewhere...

JP_NSL_09.jpg.385fb453a73199a6a2cc67a0c107f958.jpg

Some facts about Australia accompanied the huge koala exhibit. We send Japan dirt and food, and they give us cars and TVs.

JP_NSL_10.jpg.53cca54b33812b267eeb17b57e88c143.jpg

Jeff, that's not a real bear!

JP_NSL_11.jpg.47b27734b6a534a3cba51247fb9bca16.jpg

Because koalas are slow... get it?

JP_NSL_12.jpg.923f69ef060913db0f5210278bcd7600.jpg

Actual koala. I think I've seen more of these at foreign zoos than at home.

JP_NSL_13.jpg.cf57f0fc266c9caedaae65bcc686f76a.jpg

They really like koalas here.

JP_NSL_14.jpg.91fed2f1a4b932ed9931a1e06175f1ef.jpg

The zoo had a lake with vehicles to drive. Swan is pretty standard, but I've never seen a digger one of these before?

JP_NSL_15.jpg.814464efd2af15215c591f9e8f3f94b3.jpg

Anteater getting some lunch. Higashiyama did quite a good job of the "natural habitat" style enclosures.

JP_NSL_16.jpg.9410bad232dd9a464f8cbd113f669f6b.jpg

Time to head to the observation deck of Higashiyama Tower.

JP_NSL_17.jpg.5733f399e6917d0db8e8b42072f21da9.jpg

Nagoya. Smaller than Tokyo, not that you'd be able to tell from this view.

JP_NSL_18.jpg.e63a9ac449d7bc505f41eb5e62cadd9f.jpg

Tiny elephant.

JP_NSL_19.jpg.03c905b1e1fe1086873abb9626febe57.jpg

Amusement park found! Here's the main attraction, Slope Shooter.

JP_NSL_20.jpg.21a02393f5b563e3384349f29f5421bb.jpg

For some reason a lot of Japanese places have these bear photo ops. I amused myself by making Jeff pose with them.

JP_NSL_21.jpg.96d9537bf97180e7171f94e5e93ecbc2.jpg

In addition to Slope Shooter, the park has two more rollercoasters. Both a hidden in the trees and difficult to photograph. Jet Coaster, the bigger one, wasn't too bad, if a little slow.

JP_NSL_22.jpg.3754fa7de4ce8d96ad8bff093f1fab2c.jpg

And Bear Coaster, a powered ride.

JP_NSL_23.jpg.f3c206c37808e3e1ce8966ee299b4cec.jpg

So Slope Shooter is pretty simple. You get into the vehicle and the ride op pushes you to the lift hill.

JP_NSL_24.jpg.1bb87acea67ac4ded11ead38775dcc49.jpg

Then gravity does the rest. Definitely a unique ride.

JP_NSL_25.jpg.df5c2238b5935f76b9dbdc3124bafccc.jpg

Lift hill POV!

JP_NSL_26.jpg.dd7ba01a3db5bba9a5b98b3888ac4023.jpg

You could even speed up the ride a little by leaning into the corners. We noticed that heavier riders would tend to stall on the final straight and need an extra "push" to get back to the station. Awkward.

 

Nagashima Spa Land

Japan's answer to Cedar Point, Nagashima Spa Land is home to two of the most impressive rollercoaster structures ever built - Steel Dragon 2000 and White Cyclone. The sheer volume of steel and wood in these rides is awe-inspring, towering over everything else in the park (except the giant ferris wheel, of course). Although the park has twelve coasters, most of them are clones and offer essentially the same experience found elsewhere. That said, the shuttle loop and ultra twister (unambiguously named Shuttle Loop and Ultra Twister) were great, and the collection of flat rides was solid. The park also had an excellent powered bobsled which offered most of the thrills of a regular bobsled without the danger of flying off a corner.

 

JP_NSL_27.jpg.d6e6ebed5f14ec755cdbcdfd69f3ec74.jpg

Good morning Nagashima!

JP_NSL_28.jpg.6c743d9307780e6afb8646a9b99d6dbe.jpg

The park was celebrating it's 50th anniversary, although fortunately none of the coasters were that old.

JP_NSL_29.jpg.1d9c4bad51e99f90013d9b0be2b95123.jpg

Shuttle Loop is essentially Montezooma's Revenge with yellow paint. I am a big fan of these rides, simple yet plenty of fun.

JP_NSL_30.jpg.71c67166ebdf5c9ed7c6a6e4643e1bb8.jpg

The coasters at Nagashima Spa Land had a pretty simple naming pattern, the shuttle loop was called Shuttle Loop, the looping star was called Looping Star, the wild mouse... yep.

JP_NSL_31.jpg.e5092efe3b260deee9904706bbb9f59b.jpg

White Cyclone is definitely one of the most iconic woodies.

JP_NSL_32.jpg.48d38823b13d100f9f89d3a1b2d4a9c3.jpg

It's quite big.

JP_NSL_33.jpg.32742e21ee27800565b080313e5b5dc8.jpg

As for the ride itself, there are a lot of helixes. So if you like those you're in for a treat.

JP_NSL_34.jpg.26e54fbf1a7cac6587a733c728f30dbd.jpg

I think I see a coaster train through all of that wood.

JP_NSL_35.jpg.f33f636e9b5984b3d6d4c9e45e6ca7de.jpg

Two and a half minutes of helix. Essentially you're turning left for a mile.

JP_NSL_36.jpg.acacc26834216754f65fa764d3f6e1a2.jpg

Steel Dragon has been the longest coaster for 15 years running.

JP_NSL_37.jpg.b3aa95c754c0426d11309978120ee16f.jpg

The ride just goes on and on and on.

JP_NSL_38.jpg.fd29d2d7bf577cb801185fc834488112.jpg

The ultra twister is called... you guessed it. Ultra Twister!

JP_NSL_39.jpg.17a42a5316bff7bde3f5989336ed20f9.jpg

Shiny trains!

JP_NSL_40.jpg.601a73da1bd0356192803a2daa4371a3.jpg

I don't know if this was better than the one at Mitsui Greenland, they're both much the same and quite fun rides.

JP_NSL_41.jpg.f354933c5f5dc0c6e3fc8f69613fa46c.jpg

This the powered bobkart ride.

JP_NSL_42.jpg.a120c947f2570b42ff5e7dab899e9dd3.jpg

It looks kind of tame but was great, and the track surprisingly lengthy.

JP_NSL_43.jpg.02a04c79e2dfbf9772ad3b6eb8c51ffa.jpg

JC is having the time of his life.

JP_NSL_44.jpg.021b5cbc05b7ad723ef50ae45d9e3a59.jpg

There were a few interesting flat rides at the park, including Rock'n'Roll. With the right technique it was possible to get some nausea-inducing 360-degree flips on this one.

JP_NSL_45.jpg.50e3f11c85313a7fb32b00d7c0ed15c6.jpg

I'm sure nobody has taken this photo of Corkscrew ever.

JP_NSL_46.jpg.77086557eb078e60a71b74f5a044c59a.jpg

To help with capacity the park built two wild mouse coasters next to each other. Only one side was open so I guess there's a credit waiting for me on the next visit.

JP_NSL_47.jpg.9fb6df821883b34da711f6d5856d6d6a.jpg

Nerd shot of train and wheel assembly.

JP_NSL_48.jpg.4a0988f68c5e3726b11711cc4b49153e.jpg

The various Japanese haunt attractions were starting to blend together at this point but this one had some good moments. As always the most fun is found in taking people with you who scare easily.

JP_NSL_49.jpg.3fa0360e557c014a26addcc27a2d0a3c.jpg

Another one of these. We had plenty of time and the cabins were airconditioned so decided to finally ride a giant Japanese ferris wheel.

JP_NSL_50.jpg.c07f75f3a0ef197ac10b7f9c1c92d149.jpg

A view of the park. Note the enormous pirate ships.

JP_NSL_51.jpg.e42aa03f9e8d0ee5925f305195cad74a.jpg

Looking towards Steel Dragon's 300-foot lift hill. I was glad to get another first-gen Intamin freefall ride in too, not many of those left anymore.

JP_NSL_52.jpg.d1546ec7361b21dacab92dd4fa531c89.jpg

I'd not been on a looping star before, this one was a pleasant surprise and reinforced my general admiration of Schwarzkopf coasters.

JP_NSL_53.jpg.1a10e14c5c154b7d1e21f0d1cc5f2616.jpg

This pirate ship can hold approximately 300 Japanese people, or thirty Westerners.

JP_NSL_54.jpg.ff7c05daa174c142bb0a239d8f45bb35.jpg

Sadly Acrobat wouldn't open until a fortnight after our visit. Another ride to look forward to on the next trip, although I'm disappointed they didn't call it "Flying Coaster".

JP_NSL_55.jpg.7b4666b6a727fd5212ba073bd72e2c83.jpg

Promo art from Manta, with superimposed faces. Creepy.

JP_NSL_56.jpg.cbb0ea22a8b7afbef63dd1872ccf2f24.jpg

Nagashima has a decent-sized kids area as well, themed to the Peter Rabbit books.

JP_NSL_57.jpg.5b1d211acd9a21b51e2c44374c7777c1.jpg

With a drop of perhaps six feet, this was definitely a "kids" flume ride.

JP_NSL_58.jpg.21dd490a192c64d6f1a2d1e2372f7a28.jpg

All hail the flume gods!

JP_NSL_59.jpg.1bab1f43f9b9e44b31a57b42afc2b544.jpg

Kyle nervously embraces the splash, like a boss. That's it from Nagashima Spa Land. Coming up next will be Universal Studios Japan!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ah yes, I remember that "trough coaster" well. A few of us went from Nagashima Spaland,

to this zoo, on the TPR 2007 Japan Tour, only for the credits there. But I discovered one

of the few (what I call) Mini-Haunt Swings in Japan and other overseas spots. Loved it

so much I wanted one in my back yard!

 

Thanks for all the photos Aaron. It looks like you guys had a really great trip. And I will still

never get over those MASSIVE PIRATE SHIPS at NS. Sadly, they never moved together, on

any visit there with TPR.

D_11RobTroughCoaster_NagoyaZoo.jpg.804c3753012cf85cf3ffb1b66bbec185.jpg

Robb doing his video thing. TPR 2007 Japan Tour.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use https://themeparkreview.com/forum/topic/116-terms-of-service-please-read/