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[PTR] My 2017 Japan Adventures


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So, both in 2016 and 2017, I went to Japan. While it was totally expected in 2016, it was not that expected in 2017. I just kind of took a chance to go to a summer school of a university my own university is connected to, and I planned some holiday time around it. I hit up some parks. Mostly new, although in Tokyo, I also hit up Tokyo Joypolis, Yomiuriland en Tokyo Dome City again. The first two because I mist a coaster last year, the last one because going on an Intamin Mega Coaster in the middle of Tokyo is just plain fun. For Dutch readers, yes, I already shared quite some of my trip reports on a Dutch forum. The ones I share here are altered from the ones on that forum, obviously because of the different language. I also changed the lay-out of my trip reports I post here, since I want to figure out what form works best for me. I hope you will have fun reading these reports. I surely like writing them!

 

2017: Tokyo Joypolis - page 1

2017: Kodomo no Kuni & Yomiuriland - page 1

2017: Seibuen Yuenchi, Arakawa Park & Tokyo Dome City - page 2

2017: Benyland- page 2

2017: Hokkaido Greenland - page 2

2017: Rusutsu Resort- page 3

2017: Misaki Park and Ikoma Skyland- page 3

 

 

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Tokyo Joypolis - 07/29

 

After I arrived in Tokyo and rested in the hostel in a bit, I decided to spend the rest of my day in Tokyo Joypolis. I visited this place last year, but the coaster was closed at that time because they converted the ride from Veil of Dark to Geki-on Live Coaster. This year I was more successful. With two visits, it was an expensive credit, even with both the foreigner and the evening discount, but this place is more than just the coaster and really awesome to visit, so I can't really say it bothered my for even a moment. I really like Tokyo Joypolis. It is by no means a full-day trip, but the many wacky rides and nice atmosphere this place has is something I appreciate. Of course, ending the day with a view over the Rainbow Bridge and an illuminated Tokyo is not that bad as well. The experience was not new for me, but again, I had an awesome day here.

 

Roller coaster

 

Geki-on Live Coaster - Just to get it out of the way, this ride is pure awesomeness! While the coaster section is decent, but nothing too spectacular, just pure fun, the rhythm game before the coaster section is awesome. During my visit, there were two programs. The first one featured Sonic the Hedgehog on the first and third screens, as well as in the last coaster section, while Lopit, the park's mascot, was featured on second and fourth screen, and the second one had the opposite order. The rhythm game was just pure fun and riding roller coasters with J-pop on the background to stir things up is even more awesome. I just love the total experience, and found the technique of the moving screens during the rhythm game very interesting. Not the best coaster ever, but for me, awesome as a total experience. Of course, my liking for on-ride music also helps with this one. Since there was no line during my visit, I did the coaster several times.

 

Other rides

 

Transformers simulator - Crazy simulator which moves in all directions, including upside down, while you play a fun shooter game. The capacity is way too low but it's an awesome simulator. Too bad one of the three was broken today, which lowered the capacity even more, but it was not that busy so the wait was short.

 

Halfpipe Tokyo - I did this one with another solo traveler I met in Tokyo Joypolis. Managed to spin quite a few times while riding this. Awesome interactive ride. I really had a lot of fun while riding this. I lost that stranger, by the way, after I rode this and the coaster with him since he wanted to do the Biohazard walkthrough while I am not really into scary things. Thought we would meet again after he did the walkthrough, but apparantly not. Oops?

 

Wild River - So I had some time to spare and this one had no line. I did it last year so it was not new for me, but it is a nice simulator. Really family friendly, and just fun. Really liked how the operator tried to stir up the mood with yelling WANDOOO or whatever she yelled in Japanese. In that sense, nothing had changed in comparison to last year though. I skipped the other two "wild" attractions, since I rode them last year.

 

Storm-G - Very cool racing game where you are in a bobsled which can go upside down. Just like the Transformers simulator quite an intense experience. Really liked this one as well.

 

Car simulator - So, somewhere in a corner was a car simulator with real cars, which I skipped last year because I did not see it. Really fun ride, although not as good as Storm-G and the Transformers simulator. Just more family friendly. Still an awesome attraction though, even if it is just for the real-size cars.

 

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I loved that place when I went to Japan in 2015. I only got to spend a few hours there but I could've spent more time there since there's so many different simulators and games to try. The games in the men's room were hilarious.

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^^ & ^ Thanks for the comments guys, glad to know that my report is read! An indeed, Joypolis and the spinner are definitely really interesting. I'm happy I got to visit to place.

 

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Kodomo no Kuni - 07-30-17

 

This day, I started with some credit whoring. Kodomo no Kuni is a park located in the outskirts of Tokyo. When I say park, I do not mean an amusement park, but it is more a nature park, with many paths to walk. Along those paths, here and there some playground equipment can be found. of which a small roller coaster, along with a few other mechanical attractions, is the biggest ride. The maintenance of that equipment, as well as the maintenance of the general look of the park, is probably also the reason why the park has a small entrance fee. Apart from the entrance fee, the bigger, mechanical rides also require a small fee. I intended to walk around a bit after I did the roller coaster, but since it began to drizzle a bit while it was not that warm, for which I was not dressed, I left soon after I got the credit. It was a shame, especially since this park was an ammo base for the Japanese army during World War II, which you can still see in some places, I read somewhere. Would be interesting! For families with small kids, this looks like a nice day out. For me, however, especially with the drizzle, it was just a credit whoring location.

 

The coaster

 

Rolling Cycle - So, this is basically just a kiddie. It contains of a lift hill, a curve, a hill, some trick track and a curve back to the station. Nothing to extreme. What is interesting is that the train, however, has pedals in it. I don't know if they really work, but it took some force to actually go around, so it felt like they were working. Do I really think that? No. But it certainly is interesting.

 

Yomiuriland - 07-30-17

 

I could have gone to Sagamiko Resort Pleasure Resort to whore the kiddie and ride some quite interesting flat rides they have there, but instead, I chose to go to Yomiuriland. I had been there last year, so I knew what to expect, but last year, Spin Runway was randomly closed. I went back to the park and although it had only been one year, some things changed. It started before I entered the park. The entrance was not opposite of the ropeway, which connects the park with the train station, anymore, leading directly into the park's newest area.Instead, the entrance was behind the ropeway. What made it confusing is that the old entrance was still there and staffed, but the lady refused to let me proceed to the ticket desk to buy a ticket. When she walked with me to the new entrance, also staffed, I finally got what she tried to make clear of me, when talking in broken English and pointing towards the ropeway. Why staffing two entrances? I still don't get it.

 

In the park itself, the line-up had not changed that much. Everything was basically the same, with the exception that a few kiddie rides were added in the area around the ferris wheel. Good addition, since that area was quite dead last year and could some action. The other, bigger change was that a lot of the bigger attractions were themed to some movie called High & Low. I didn't know that it was a movie until I looked it up after my visit. At several attractions, the park played loud J-pop and posters and banners of Japanese boy bands dressed up as bikers. or apparently biking gangs or something like that from the movie, were found all around some attractions and throughout the park. Some staff members also had weird attires themed to the movie. Very strange, but I bet it brings in some money for the park. To top that, the construction area last year, was now partly filled with High & Low: The Land, which was some kind of museum or experience. It didn't have my interest, but from time to time a saw people going in. If it brings in money and more guests, I can't blame the park for pulling off a Six Flags. Didn't even bother me at all, since the rides were still good.

 

Overall, I still liked the park. The park needs some more atmosphere, but it improved in comparison the last year, so that was good to see. I multiple spins on Spin Runway and Bandit, and also did a lot of the other attractions. Just a cool place to visit! I definitely recommend this park to coaster fans. Bandit and Spin Runway are cool rides to visit, and the total set of attraction in this park is just good. I will definitely be back in the future, although it may take some years. Adding another new coaster would help me getting back.

 

The coasters

 

Spin Runway - I missed this coaster last year, when it was brand new. Quite a bummer, since Geki-On Live Coaster, at that time called Veil of Dark, was also closed. Now, for a second, it looked closed with a staff member guarding the entrance, but it wasn't. The staff member was just there to explain all the safety rules, or, in the case of foreigners, show a translated sign which you have to read for 1.5 seconds. The ride itself was very good. The queue was themed nicely, as well as the ride. On the lift hill, there was this weird interactive game were you had to chose an outfit and gather the pieces of that outfit in an interactive game, containing the mascot of the park and controlled through a button on the restraint. After that game on the spiraling lift hill, you hear a loud voice shouting "SPIIINNN RUNWAYYYYY" and off you go. The lay-out is just as expected of a spinning coaster. Nothing too extreme, but really enjoying. In combination with the theming, however, the park has quite a good ride. Just like Geki-On Live Coaster, the total experience of this ride is just superb. The park has an excellent family coaster with this quite new coaster. I hope they will continue to add such high quality rides to the park. I loved it!

 

Bandit - I did this one last year. Nothing had really changed, except for the High & Low theming around the ride and the High & Low outifts of the staff, which made them look like gangsters or something in that direction. Although the train doesn't provide that much leg room and the restraint gets fastened quite tight due to the forces of the ride, pressing on the shoulders, this ride is just so good. Is has airtime, nice G-forces and that little bit of Japanese wrongness which, in combination, makes it an excellent ride. Again, I loved it! Also the fact that this ride is, for some part, a terrain coaster, is really nice. It looks beautiful, spreading over the mountain Yomiuriland is located on.

 

Momonga Standing and Loop Coaster - This one was not open when I arrived. There was a staff member standing at the entrance off the ride, constantly holding a big sign which said it was closed for maintenance. On a side note, quite a boring job if you ask me. Also, in many parks, they just would have put the sign before the entrance and that's that. That's Japan for you. Anyway, this maintenance was even quite visible, which is not always the case in parks. People were inspecting the brakes and the lift hill, clearly doing work. Unexpectedly, a few hours before the park closed, they opened the ride. I don't know if that was the planning, but I was still pleased. I had done both sides of this ride last year, so I was not bothered by it being closed, but it is a fun ride. So I took a cycle on it. They only opened the sit-down side, but that was better than nothing! Not a really special coaster, but just fun to ride! Apparently, some kind of broadcasting channel was filming in the park, I think they said they were from China. I could go for front seat since I was at the front of the line, but I let them go in front because I imagine that's nicer to film from. I had done the coaster last year anyway. The lady of the broadcasting channel clearly was more impressed by the coaster than I was.

 

Wan Wan Coaster Wandit - I rode this one last year, so I did not bother to ride it. It didn't look that much different from last year. An extra cycle on Bandit or Spin Runway looked more fun to me.

 

Other rides

 

Splash U.F.O. - This country! I can't imagine another country where amusement parks would add a ride themed to noodles. So, in this ride, which is one of those rapid river rides with a slide portion, YOU are the noodle. You have to do some interactive game which I did not get last year, and I also did not get this year, aimed at defeating the bad guy. Just the fact that these ride is themed to noodles, where you are also a noodle, is pure genious! I love it! This year, I did not intend to ride the thing since it was not that warm. I met some young boy who was half-American, half Japanese, living in the United States and in Japan for the summer. We went through the park together for a bit. He said he came here every year. He wanted to ride this ride, so how could I refuse? Nice excuse to ride the wet noodles ride! I did not get that wet luckily, and even the places were I got wet did not feel as I could as I expect they would.

 

Animal Invasion - The Rescue: Season 2 - I don't know how good season 1 was, but this ride was a lot of fun! So you had to protect the animals by shooting poachers, and if I recall it correctly, also other animals like spiders, although I'm not sure about that last one. Anyway, not the best shooter there is, but just a lot of fun!

 

Ferris Wheel - Didn't bother to ride the ferris wheel last year since it was crazy hot and the gondola's didn't have any air conditioning. I rode it this year since it was colder, and it was just like your regular, enormous Japanese ferris wheel. Nice views! The park really has a spectacular location, on a green hill with the skyline of Tokyo on the background. Beautiful!

 

Looping Starship - Another ride I didn't rode last year. A nice flat ride. I used to have one of a different manufacturer in a park nearby, but they removed it. It's a shame, because they are really fun!

 

Car ride - Don't know the exact name of this one, but this is just your regular Japanese "drive-your-own-car" ride which is just like a go-kart, but way slower. Didn't do this last year since they are not that exciting, but they are still nice to ride. I rode it with the young half-American, Half-Japanese boy. There were some kind of pictures of figures along the track which you had to count. I didn't even saw half of them apparently, so I missed out on the reward, a Japanese sweet. Luckily, I got the one from the boy. He didn't like it, but he knew the right answer since he rode this ride a lot over the years. A true regular!

 

Cycle ride - So there was this cycle monorail which didn't look to exciting, but it had a lift hill and a small drop. I also wanted to check it out last year but I didn't, so this year I made sure to ride it. I haven't seen anyone else riding it over the course of the day. The ride wasn't that spectacular, but it was interesting that moving didn't require that much effort, since the track was going slightly downwards. Way better than those cycle monorails were you have to pedal like your live depends on it, if you actually want to move forward. Anyway, now I am prepared for the day a crazy guy will add these rides to coaster-count. Not that I will count them though, this does not even come close to being a coaster.

 

S&S Towers - Last year, these exact towers were where I conquered my fear of shot towers and drop towers, after being terrified for them because of the scary experience that is the High Fall in Movie Park Germany. I wanted a breeze since it was so hot and just rode it, after which I rode every shot or drop tower I encountered. They weren't that scary last year, and this year, they were even less scary. Still, the breeze was nice, the view was beautiful and the experience good. Just a nice ride to grab a quick spin on. When I encounter them, I will always do them if they line is not long, because they are just fun to do. Still, I only did the shot tower today, if I remember correctly, since that was enough for me.

 

Other rides - This park has a lot of other rides like a car factory were you make your own car, and some crazy walkthroughs. I did the car factory last year and I was not mentally ready to do walkthroughs while not knowing Japanese. For some reason, to do things like that, I first have to be a first days in the country and get used to everything. Still, I want to mention their existence, along with a lot of flat rides I didn't cover, to show that Yomiuriland has an interesting and well rounded line-up of attractions!

 

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The photos of Spin Runway, or rather, the theming of it:

 

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Edited by Itachi
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^^The actual coaster experience itself is really bizarre too. It has a bunch of show sections where each passenger picks a character (out of the park's mascots), and then you play a video game with your characters on the spiral lift (imagine Euro Mir if it had a less frustrating Flappy Bird projected on the side), before the actual coaster part begins. It's really funky, but really fun.

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I already loved the spinning coaster themed to fashion from what I had seen...reading your description makes me love it even more!

 

Thank you! Can't wait for the possible future report / video of when you guys are riding it. I bet you will have lots of fun!

 

Great report!

 

Bandit has always been a coaster that fascinated me because of how it supposedly inspired Magnum XL-200. From that alone, it's an influential coaster. And that spinning coaster's theming sounds so crazy that it's awesome.

 

Thanks! Bandit is indeed a fascinating ride. I didn't know it supposedly inspired Magnum XL-200, but I can see how. Interesting detail!

 

^^The actual coaster experience itself is really bizarre too. It has a bunch of show sections where each passenger picks a character (out of the park's mascots), and then you play a video game with your characters on the spiral lift (imagine Euro Mir if it had a less frustrating Flappy Bird projected on the side), before the actual coaster part begins. It's really funky, but really fun.

 

Nice comparison to Euro Mir, that explains it very well I think. So funky indeed, but just great! Maybe even better than Euro Mir's ultra loud, catchy lift hill soundtrack. Let's just say both are great.

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Seibuen Yuenchi - 07-31-17

 

I started today at Seibuen Yuenchi. I did not really have a plan for today, but just decided to hit up some new parks. On roller coasters not the most exciting parks, but I like that the little whoring I do leads me to places I would otherwise not visit. I originally would not hit up Tokyo before I arrived, but I added this and the previous day in Tokyo mainly to get rid of my jet lag, which really bothered me last year, but surprisingly, not this year. I thought about visiting Disney, but since the purpose of the first days mainly was to get used to the timezone and the country, and not to exhaust myself with long days in theme parks, I decided to skip it this time. Seibuen Yuenchi definitely was not one of the best places though. Once it was home to a Togo looper similar to the one in Himeji Central Park, which I thought was quite a decent looper above my expectations. It as been SBNO for years, and this year, it was removed. The park did not lack maintenance, but it lacked atmosphere, people, and therefore, if I can describe it in that way, spirit. Maybe if there were more people, I would have liked the place more. After the removal of their looper, this park also clearly lacks a bigger ride. This does not have to be a big thrill coaster, but a bigger family coaster or another bigger ride could fill the gap. It was definitely an interesting park to visit. It has a beautiful location with lots of greenery, but it should use more of the potential it has.

 

The coaster

 

Hello Kitty Angel Coaster - Just a Zamperla powered coaster with a single helix, but with a Hello Kitty theme. Unfortunately for me, because it drizzled a tiny bit at some moments during the day, the coaster was closed because the track was wet. according to the operator at another ride. Did I already mention that there seemed to be an overabundance of staff at this park? Almost every ride, even the kids rides, had two operators. Anyway, no ride for me! I could have waited for it to open, but I was not planning on spending my whole day in this park.

 

Other ride

 

Panorama Tower - I wanted to see the park from above. I don't know anymore why I chose the panorama tower over the ferris wheel, but after waiting 15 minutes for potential other guests, who did not come, I got a ride with nice views over the area. It was clearly visible where the demolished looper once stood, with the footers and the station still in place. The area where, I assume, the fire was, looked fine to me, but, I only saw it from the air so I cannot really judge. It also could have been another area, since two areas of the park were closed. The area surrounding the park looked nice. Just a typical neighborhood with also a big lake nearby. It did not not look like a bad place to live.

 

Arakawa Park - 07/31/17

 

The ride to this park was sort of special. To get to the park, the last part of the journey is done by street car. Not too fast, but it is nice to ride through a Japanese neighborhood. Something totally else from other areas in Tokyo, mainly in the inner city, which have lots of craziness and wacky stuff. The park itself was not too special. It had a small park, a train museum, a small children's farm, a small lake and some attractions. Just a nice little park for families. I always appreciate cute, smaller park like this and I enjoyed walking around through the park, even if it was not too big.

 

The coaster

 

Family Coaster - So, you will not believe this, but this coaster was also closed. Not because of the rain, but because of the yearly maintenance period. There was not a chance these big apple was going to operate, because the train was missing and a piece of track just after the station was removed, probably to take off the train more easily. I could have seen this coming, since the ladies at the entrance already warned me that a few attractions were closed. And to be honest, I already expected it after they warned me, but since I already was at the entrance and the entrance fee was just 500 yen, I decided to check out the rest of the park.

 

Other ride

 

Ferris Wheel - I do not know how old this ferris wheel is, but it looked quite old. I was not that high, but it was a nice ride, giving a good view over the neighborhood and over a part of Tokyo.

 

Tokyo Dome City - 07/31/17

 

I originally was planning on hitting a third small park, but after two closed coasters, I just could not care less anymore. I decided to skip the third smaller park and go to Tokyo Dome City. I already had been here last year, but I really like the place. It is just a nice center with the dome and the attraction areas around the dorm. Really well done. I just went there to ride Thunder Dolphin, but I also walked around a bit through the area. This is one of those areas where walking around feels like an attraction on its own, since there is so much to see.

 

The coaster

 

Thunder Dolphin - Let me first get out of the way that Thunder Dolphin is one of the weaker, maybe the weakest of its type, since it lacks the airtime and power the typical Intamin Mega Coaster has. Still, it is an incredible ride. I mean, en enormous and fast Intamin Mega Coaster in the middle of Tokyo, surrounded by skyscrapers and one of the biggest cities of the world? Yes please! I also was lucky, because I got assigned to the front row. In this row, the ride is really amazing. Feeling the wind through your air, going through the building and the ferris wheel with the best view, and still having some airtime. Maybe Thunder Dolphin is not the best coaster in the world, but it is extremely enjoyable, and that it what the hobby is all about. Enjoying what you do and ride.

 

First some park shots of Seibuen Yuenchi:

 

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Next up, some shots form Arakawa Park.

 

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Edited by Itachi
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^ Wow this is, I must confess, one of The Most Odd Japanese Parks Ever! We visited it in one of the TPR Tours,

and between an odd coaster with "exercising prep" before riding and an almost deserted park to be in...

It - was - wierd. And with that gi-normous amount of steps up to an altar type thing....really? In the park itself?

 

Truly a unique Japanese park, for sure. Great to see newer photos, than when I was last there, lol.

 

Great report on it, thanks!

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TPR 2011 Japan Tour. My view from the Skywheel.

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...And the coaster (R.I.P.) was over there.

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Wow, I didn't realize that Seibu had gone so downhill!! Are there any other coasters left in the world now where you queue sitting down? It was a very odd park and I'm not surprised. It seems most of the Japanese 'mid-range' parks are closing or changing to kiddie parks only.

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  • 1 month later...
^ Wow this is, I must confess, one of The Most Odd Japanese Parks Ever! We visited it in one of the TPR Tours,

and between an odd coaster with "exercising prep" before riding and an almost deserted park to be in...

It - was - wierd. And with that gi-normous amount of steps up to an altar type thing....really? In the park itself?

 

Truly a unique Japanese park, for sure. Great to see newer photos, than when I was last there, lol.

 

Great report on it, thanks!

 

Thanks! I did not see the alter, but maybe that is because that area of the park was closed off. I think you should be glad that you went a few years ago, since that appeared to be a better time for that park. The exercising prep seems so Japanese. I can totally imagine stuff like that happening in Japan.

 

Wow, I didn't realize that Seibu had gone so downhill!! Are there any other coasters left in the world now where you queue sitting down? It was a very odd park and I'm not surprised. It seems most of the Japanese 'mid-range' parks are closing or changing to kiddie parks only.

 

Maybe because it was rainy, the park looked worse than it really was, but indeed, I saw the TPR TR from years ago and park seemed to be in a better state then. The mid-range parks in Japan are in danger, I totally agree with that. I hope it is just a time period which will end in a few years, but after visiting quite some parks in Japan, it would not surprise me if only the bigger parks survive while the mid-range parks will become smaller. In that case, I should be glad I had the chance to visit them now I guess.

 

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Benyland - 07/16/17

 

During a summer school at Sendai's local university, I had the weekends off. On the second and also last weekend, while everyone was tired from the crazy schedule we had en stuff we did, I made my way to Benyland, Sendai's local amusement park, which was accessible via the city's subway system. If I have to attach the word 'normal' to a park, Benyland would definitely one of the first parks I would think of. The park has no groundbreaking rides, has an average size and is just not that special. That does not mean I didn't enjoy my visit. I had a really good time in the park. It had a nice atmosphere, a decent-sized line-up of rides and, with Yagiyama Cyclone, quite the surprising coaster. Visiting the bigger parks with world-class rides is fun, but smaller, more 'normal' parks like this is also something I really enjoy. It was a good visit.

 

A nice moment in the park was that an old lady approached my while I was taking shelter for the rain. Most Japanese do not seem to be very open, especially, I think, because they are scared to use their English. This lady, however, just talked with me and she spoke English quite well. She invited me to the park show, but when we arrived at the small venue in the park, the show did not seem that promising and, since I had plans with my summer school plans from the end of the afternoon onward, I almost had to leave the park, so I excused myself. Still, a very nice lady!

 

Roller coasters

 

Yagiyama Cyclone - At the first glance, this ride looks like your regular Arrow Mine Train. Still, the back seat provides some crazy airtime on the first drop. During my first ride in the back seat, I was seriously scared I would fall out of the ride. After the first drop, some jerky twist'n turns follow, and with jerky, I mean that typical Arrow jerkiness. All in all, this ride was really surprising. It was definitely not the best ride in the world, but it was way better than expected. I like it! By the way, did I already mention that the ride was very photogenic with its bright white and blue colors

 

Corkscrew - Knowing the name, it may not come as a surprise that this ride is an Arrow Corkscrew. This ride was just a fun ride. The corkscrews were quite smooth, which is worth mentioning since some Arrow corkscrews try, in combination with OTSR's, to kill your ears. All in all just an average ride. What was interesting was that half of the ride was repainted, and half of it wasn't. The same colors, but still noticeable. It was nice to see, since it is a perfect "big coaster" for a park like this, while also preserving a classic ride, although the lay-out is just average.

 

Jet Coaster - Time for the low bait. This coaster had some short lines from time to time, so the general public liked it. Still, it was not that interesting. The lay-out was a stretched, misshapen oval with the length of a larger kiddie coaster, like a Vekoma Roller Skater. The first drop was quite steep, but I don't remember if it had any airtime. A decent family coaster, but for me, not that interesting.

 

Aero 5 - Did I say Jet Coaster was low bait? Then I should not even mention this roller coaster. This coaster was just one of those Zamperla inverted switchback plane kiddie coasters. I rode it, I got the credit, and that is all I have to say about it. Well, since this one was quite new, it was still nice to see the park investing in new rides. Especially since new rides, or at least new roller coaster, seem to be quite special in Japanese parks, except the bigger ones of course.

 

Other rides

 

Paratrooper - Or, according to the subtitle on the ride sign, the New Exciting Machine. As an older family ride, it was not new, nor was it that exciting, but these rides are always enjoyable. When parks contain classics like these, I make sure to give'em a go.

 

Pirat - It seemed like this ship was almost going vertical, way higher than other swinging ships. When riding it, it didn't feel that way, so it looked more exciting than it really was. Still a decent ride. I don't think I ever rode a bad swinging ship.

 

Weird Monorail Ride - I forgot the real name of this ride, but this monorail, circling around the first half of the park, was weird because it contained individual cars suitable for four people, with one person controlling the speed. On top of that, the cars appeared to use gasoline to move forward. Wacky!

 

Ferris Wheel - A Japanese park is not a Japanese park without having a ferris wheel. This one, like almost all of the ferris wheels, also provided me with nice views. Also a ride a never skip.

 

Top Spin 2 - A Huss Top Spin. Not the best one I have ridden, but also not the worst. Just average, and also enjoyable.

 

Megadance. - Another Huss ride. This ride had quite a lame ride program. It just rotated and the benches swung a tiny bit. I compared it with a video from a version which traveled on the German fair, and that one was a bit more exciting, but also not a very extreme ride. I guess I'm spoiled when it comes to extreme rides, since I live close to Germany with its crazy fair circuit containing rides like Devil Rock and High Impress.

 

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  • 1 month later...
Nice to see Benyland still doing well.

 

Definitely one of the more decent mid-sized parks in Japan. That screwed up Arrow ride is reason enough to go.

 

Totally agree! Especially that Arrow ride is just amazing in its own kind. So screwed up indeed.

 

 

 

A bit of delay for the next report, but here it is. Some text parts are placed between the photos. A chance to the previous reports, just to try something new.

 

---

 

Hokkaido Greenland

 

Next, it was time for Hokkaido Greenland. Going to the park, I had trouble to spot the right bus platform. Confident enough in my poor Japanese, I asked an employee at the bus platform what bus I had to take to Hokkaido Greenland. Speaking a little bit of Japanese is one step, but understanding a little bit of Japanese is another. After quite a long answer from which I could deduct that the bus to Hokkaido Greenland only runs on the weekends, I asked if she could repeat her answer in English. In the end, the bus did not run to Hokkaido Greenland, but the bus took a route along a bus stop near the park. Good enough, I don't hate walking.

 

Walking towards the entrance, I hesitated if the park was open. There were just a few cars in the parking lot and staff members were doing maintenance on the entrance. It turned out that the park was just dead, but the friendly old lady at the ticket booth sold me a ticket and guided me to the souvenir shop, where I could pick up my wristband.

 

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The first coaster encountered was the kiddie coaster, Wani Wani Coaster. Nothing special, just a figure eight kiddie. Next was Dragon King, the park's Japanese looper which tries to kill you. Well, at least I was the only one on the train, so I was the only one suffering. Besides that, not that special a ride. Just one looping and two corkscrews, although the drop is quite strange since it is not steep at all.

 

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The best coaster of the park was GO-ON, the jet coaster. Not one of the better rides in the world, but it had some really nice airtime on some of the hills, especially in the back. Besides that, it was a typical jet coaster. A slow lift hill, shoulder restraints where they are not needed, a stretched-out layout and statistics which promise much but don't deliver it. I love these kind of coasters, and this was definitely one of the better ones of its kind. Not that intense but just nice family rides, with in this case nice airtime. Great ride!

 

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After catching a ride on the ferris wheel, I took a ride on the last coaster of the park, Torokko Coaster. Just a crappy kiddie ride with two hills and three turns. The special factor here is the lift hill, which is basically a conveyor belt. Totally whack!

 

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Apart from the coasters, I did some flatrides and some track rides, and also took some re-rides on the coasters. This park basically feels like an outdated park. There are a lot of rides, but nothing is themed and the rides are all very basic compared to more modern rides. Nothing wrong with that and I had a really nice time, but, especially since there were only ten cars on the parking lot when I left, and that in the middle of the summer, I have doubts about how well the park is doing. Let's just hope they will survive, because it's a really decent park. Just too bad the Roto Shake was closed. All in all, a really nice day!

 

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Edited by Itachi
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^^ Did you go into any of the mazes or funhouses you took photos of, at HG?

And there was the haunted swing/madhouse one hardly knew was there...

Did you find that?

 

Great ongoing TR. Brings back some memories of past TPR tours. And that

Roto Shake has probably been SBNO since way before we were last there in .... 2013?

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I don't know how this park still survives, maybe just because so many other parks in Hokkaido have closed?

 

The ops were so friendly when we were there though and begging us to go ride random crap we really had no desire to ride!

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  • 2 months later...
Great report - thanks for sharing.

 

Love some of the ride names like "Go On" and "New Exciting Machine"...and people make fun of Cedar Fair ride names.

 

Thanks! I guess Nighthawk, Firehawk, Thunderhawk and Kiddy Hawk don't sound so bad anymore right?

 

^^ Did you go into any of the mazes or funhouses you took photos of, at HG?

And there was the haunted swing/madhouse one hardly knew was there...

Did you find that?

 

Great ongoing TR. Brings back some memories of past TPR tours. And that

Roto Shake has probably been SBNO since way before we were last there in .... 2013?

 

Thank you! I did go in one of the madhouses and both of the mirror houses. I read in some report that one of the mirror houses' lay-out could be changed with some kind of switch, but that didn't appear to work anymore, if it was true.

 

I didn't encounter a haunted swing / madhouse, maybe I missed it or it was removed? I guess the first, since this park don't seem to renew or remove attractions. The rotoshake for example is still there, although it isn't featured on the park map and the queue line is removed.

 

I don't know how this park still survives, maybe just because so many other parks in Hokkaido have closed?

 

The ops were so friendly when we were there though and begging us to go ride random crap we really had no desire to ride!

 

It must be because of that indeed, and if this is a normal summer for them, this park will probably be next to disappear since I can't see how they can stay open with this amount of guests. Maybe August is busier, especially during Obon? They have to make a profit somehow.

 

I also felt bad for the ops. Most of them were older persons who were so nice, but they had nothing to do at all. They were standing at the entrance of their attractions begging for riders indeed.

 

 

---

 

Rusutsu Resort

 

Rusutsu Resort and its weird Ultra Twister was one of the reasons why I made the long trip to Hokkaido .Although the journey to Hokkaido took a long time, it's actually quite doable with the comfortable Japanese trains, and the area is really nice to look at from the train. The transport to Rusutsu Resort is arranged perfectly. In the summer, multiple buses a day go to and from the park. You can reserve them online, and it's totally free! If that's not good customer service, I don't know what is. A little bit after opening I arrived at the park. It was not as calm as most Japanese parks were, but also not too busy. Just a nice light crowd.

 

 

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I wanted to hit up Ultra Twister first, but since I saw in some reports that Loop the Loop, a Meisho Shuttle Loop, was closed, I decided to ride it first as I saw it open while walking past by it. This ride wasn't as great as a Schwarzkopf Shuttle Loop, but it was still really good! The lift takes an eternity, and what follows is a short but forceful ride. I enjoyed it. What is interesting though, is that this ride has both a shoulder and a lap restraint. Not really necessary, but at least I don’t have to worry about falling out of the train.

 

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Next I walked to Ultra Twister, as already mentioned on of the reasons for me as a coaster fan to come all the way to Hokkaido. Full of anticipation I used the conveyor belt to go up the hill, where the coaster is located. The silence was already suspicious and when I was close to the ride what I suspected turned out to be reality. A closed Ultra Twister. There was no life at all around the station. so I considered the chance that it would still open today as close to zero. Sucks! But nothing to do about it. Especially in Asia, closed coasters are part of a fan's daily life, even in the summer. That doesn't mean I wasn't very disappointed of course, because Ultra Twister is the star of the park.

 

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To lighten my disappointment, the high-quality jet coaster of the park, Mountain Coaster, was next. I have nothing special to mention about this ride. It a regular jet coaster without airtime and forces, and also jerky banking. Still, I enjoy these types of rides quite a lot. Just decent family rides with a high fun factor. At the end of the ride however, my restraint turned out to be stuck. There was no staff at the exit station, but luckily, a Japanese understood what was wrong after I tried to speak to him, and so the employee at the boarding station opened my restraint by sticking a screwdriver into the restraint mechanism and shaking it a bit. If it works I’m not gonna question it.

 

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The Standing Coaster, a Togo Stand-Up, was familiar to me. This thing has the same lay-out as Momonga in Yomiuriland, although it lacks the sit-down train. I like Togo Stand-Up coasters, so this coaster was a lot of fun to me. Nothing surprising though, as I knew the lay-out.

 

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With the Mad Mouse, I ended up in the low-quality coasters of this park. This kiddie ride is kind of an alternative Wild Mouse, but aimed at kids instead of families. A short ride with sharp turns, short ascents and abrupt brakes. Nothing special.

 

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After watching some street entertainment in the park, I hit up one of the biggest rides in the park, which is the Vekoma SLC. Normally not the best rides, but this unit was actually quite good! I really enjoyed the ride since it was smooth for a Vekoma SLC. It also looked really good, as it was painted recently. In the afternoon the coaster closed for half an hour, after which the staff inspected the ride. This happened at all the major rides in the park. Quite strange, and I also don't see how a few regular employees inspecting the ride helps for safety for the rides, but well, that’s Japan for you. The technical staff was busy anyway, since, apart from a closed Ultra Twister, the log flume and S&S tower were broken for practically the whole day, while a few other rides broke down over the course of the day.

 

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The last new coasters for today were the Corkscrew and the Go Go Sneaker. One was an Arrow Corkscrew which was not very popular, and the other one was a Japanese variation on a Wild Mouse, this time more family-oriented. Both were very solid rides, but nothing too special. Just fun rides to grab a ride on.

 

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Over the course of the day I also tried some flatrides. This park has one of the few Intamin First Generation Free Falls left and it was working, so I was happy to grab a few rides on it. Some people also tried a water cup challenge on the ride, but got quite soaked because of it, so I skipped it. I didn’t skip some re-rides on it however, since I never know if I ever have the chance to ride such as classic again. I also tried the paratrooper that turns upside down, the ferris wheel, the flying carpet and some crappy Italian topspin with a decent ride.

 

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A special ride in the park is the cable car. This one goes to the top of the mountain Rusutsu Resort is built partly upon. The view on top is marvelous, and it is a tranquil and calm place because it is completely separated from the amusement park. I spent some time looking at a few paragliders using the mountain top as their starting place and sat down in the grass just to enjoy the view.

 

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After I had done everything I wanted to, including some re-rides on most coasters, I went back to Sapporo with the 5 o’clock bus. I originally booked the 9 o’clock bus to be sure to have enough time in the park, but I really didn’t need those few extra hours, especially not since the Ultra Twister was out, so the friendly ladies at the reception of the park didn’t mind changing my bus reservation. The only bad thing is that I missed some kind of evening show which I saw being prepared, but lying in bed earlier than 1 AM also didn’t sound too bad. Because of that, I was also able to have an evening walk in Odori Park, which turned out to be one of my favorite places in Sapporo.

 

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Although it was a shame that Ultra Twister was out, I had a great day at Rusutsu Resort. They have an extensive line-up of attractions, typical Japanese friendliness and above all, a stunning location. I surely hope to come back here one day. Not only to go back to Rusutsu Resort, but also to check out more of Hokkaido, since five full days were by far not enough for this nice area in Japan.

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I loved Rusutsu Park. We went there during the TPR 2013 Japan Tour, and we really enjoyed how it was laid out, with plenty of space to just walk around, AND with lawn chairs and loungechairs available to sit on, in shaded areas....perfect! Top of the hill was great too. Did you get any shots of "Not-Fuji" while you were up there? Or were clouds covering it up? Too bad the Ultratwister wasn't open. Definitely unique amongst what few there are of them, still.

 

Also, the Haunted Swing in Hokkaido Greenland is really well hidden, under the platform for the small monorail ride. I didn't really notice it myself, until I saw some kids actually lining up for it. Then I noticed the doors they usually have for this smaller kind of swing in Japan (there are others around), and I immediately knew that's what it was!

 

Thoroughly enjoying reading through your Japan Adventures! Thanks for sharing all of them.

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My shot of it, with kids queuing up for it. TPR 2013 Japan Tour. At first, I thought it was

one of those ICE HOUSES they have/had in several Japanese parks? Then I looked closer. (o;

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You actually got a shot of the Haunted Swing, without knowing it! (o:

It's in the large building at the bottom/middle of your shot, at the right.

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Is there any difference between the Rusutsu Ultra Twister and the ones at Nagashima Spaland and Mitsui Greenland for those that have ridden all of those? Besides the mountain top location the Rusutsu Ultra Twister looks similar to the others but for some reason it is ranked a lot higher than the others in the coaster poll. (Note I wasn't sure whether to ask this here or in the Coaster Poll thread but decided to ask here since the Ultra Twister was just mentioned).

 

By the way great job on the Japan TR. I enjoyed reading about it and seeing about the lesser known/visited parks in Japan and can't wait to eventually go back to Japan to discover more of what it has to offer.

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^Yes. The one big difference between the others and this one in Rusutsu, is it does

an element that El Loco also does, as well as the Big Apple Coaster in Vegas.

 

Which is, inverting at the end of the top track, and then diving down to the bottom track, still facing forward now, back to the station.

Add to that, the station has a turntable to turn the car around after dispatch, then tilts it up for the lift. So it never goes backwards.

 

The others have that "dead end" of the top track, and then it tilts down, and the car goes backwards on the bottom track.

525780937_UltraTwister1.jpg.736f27ad984d24af72f423b201370277.jpg

Here's a photo from TPR/Thank you! (and the 2013 Japan Tour) showing the "end" of this UT.

And showing the inversion on top, then the dive to the bottom track.

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