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Photo TR: Chuck Returns to Japan with TPR--Again

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great pics, Chuck.


loving some of that Godzilla merch, but now very intrigued by the Wasabi Kit Kats. The local HMart carries the Macha Green Tea version. . I might have to go ask them if they will special order the Wasabi for me so I can try it.


if not, then off to Amazon!

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I liked the wasabi KitKats a lot. The chocolate mint is good, too--I think it would be a bit hit in the U.S.


Do they have wasabi DARK chocolate KitKats? I bet they do! Such perfection! Looks like there is NOTHING you can't find in Japan!



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The Curious Case of the Good Day at Fuji Q


After making my rounds to visit my patients, I, Dr. John Watson, returned to my flat at 221B Baker Street. I found my friend and colleague, Sherlock Holmes, sitting in his accustomed chair. He was examining a photograph, which sat on his lap. As usual, he was lost in thought.


We stayed silent for a few moments.


“Watson,” the great detective said, “what do you make of this?” He handed the photograph to me, then walked over to the mantle and grabbed his Meerschaum pipe.




I shrugged. “It’s Mt. Fuji in Japan, shrouded by clouds,” I replied.


“Very good," said Holmes. “But I was referring to the place at the foot of the famous volcano.”


I shuddered. “Fuji Q? Holmes, what can that cursed place have to do with us?”


Holmes moved to the window. He gazed for a few moments at the other inhabitants of Baker Street as they went about their business unaware that the Place that Shall Not be Named had, in fact, been named.


“So, this place is known it you?”




“You know of its singular reputation?”


“The long waits, odd weather and loose-item policies, bad food, and low-capacity attractions?”


“The same.”


I walked over to him. “You still haven’t answered my question, Holmes.”


“What would you say if I told you that someone who dislikes Fuji Q had spent a pleasant day there recently, say, within the last few months?”


I pondered this for a moment. “That, perhaps, you were misinformed?”


“Ah,” said Holmes. “And if I were to tell you that scarcely a week later, others of trustworthy reputation had reported having the customary ‘bad’ day at the same place?”


Again, I pondered my old friend’s words. “I would scarce know what to say, except that the latter report seems more likely to me.”


Holmes turned away from the window and strolled to the hearth. He stuffed his pipe full of fresh tobacco, which he kept in an old Persian slipper on the mantle.


“Yes, I think this could prove to be a three-pipe problem,” said Holmes. “Let’s look into this matter a bit more closely.”


He sat in his chair. “Be a good fellow and go online to themeparkreview.com and see what you find.”


He puffed furiously on his pipe as I went to get my laptop.


Welcome to Fuji Q. Fujiyama, the King of Coasters, is taking a break for maintenance, but says, “Hello.”


Elissa was, no doubt, making an important point here. I wish I could remember what it was. This is no reflection on the importance of her point, but on my faulty memory.


Their entrance looks like it’s erupting!


Aw, even Japanese volcanoes are adorable.


We had to walk from the park’s gift shop through this new “France-themed” area to get to the group sales office. It had something to do with a cartoon about two dogs named Gaspard and Lisa. I think.


“Kids, always follow the advice of Hot Sausage Ninja and don't abuse your hot dog. Treat it right.”


I met Pink Japanese Deadpool.


Let’s take a look at Takabisha, a ride that I like quite a bit (even though it’s a bit of a Jeckyll and Hyde).


Up the lift. Stop. Hang. Reconsider your life choices.


“We regret nothing!”


This is one of the better Eurofighters.


It even duels a bit.


Er, should we be concerned about this?


This is good advice, . . .


. . . particularly when riding Do-Dodonpa. That launch is still completely insane (0 to 112 mph in about two seconds)! This is the best ride at Fuji Q.


You can hear this thing all over the park, and it was running very well that day.


The new 160-foot loop has grown on me . . .


. . . but I guess Pink Deadpool misses the insane, painful air time of the old high hat. (Well, Deadpool is a bit “off.”)


There is a bit of a “bump” when you enter the loop . . .


. . . but it is smoother and less painful than the high hat.


So, I’m going to call the loop a good “upgrade.” More to come.

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I could scarcely believe what I’d read. A third of the way into this man’s report, and nary a negative thing had been said about Fuji Q.


Holmes was on his second pipe.


Time for lunch at the much improved Food Stadium.


Oh, good lord.


Unfortunately, due to a mix up while ordering, Megan and KT were cooked and eaten. We were all very sad.


But life goes on, so I consoled myself with these rice “volcanoes.” One was plain, but the other two had different fillings (one was pretty spicy). They were good, but I couldn’t clean my plate.


Thomas Town is a really nice kid’s area. Much nicer than the one Six Flags built, then abruptly changed.


“By the way, it’s our 20th anniversary. Did we mention that already? Where is our gift?”


I admit to having this credit.


Now he must admit it.


“Damn you, Thomas Town! I’ll see you in hell!”


Don’t do it, dude! You have so much to live for!


“I’m comin’ for ya, buddy! Hang on!”


Party? Oh boy! Is there beer?


No beer, but lots of hallucinogens.


“You! The stoned guys in the car! Watch out!”


“Oh, I’m totally stoned, too.”


“Yeah, we’re all high as hell . . .


. . . but this guy had a bum trip.”


Proof that Japan has the backside of water.


OK, we need a nice, pleasant stroll through the woods to mellow out after Thomas’s party . . . OH MY GOD! What the hell is this place?


It’s “finished” for good, as the old Haunted Hospital is being removed.


The old walk-through haunt wasn’t all that scary, but it was heavy on atmosphere.


My new zombie girlfriend helped me get over Pal Pal’s Blue Fairy dumping me. One more set of photos to go.

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Is it redundant to say "R.I.P. Haunted Hospital"...?


Everything looks great there, back at F-Q, Chuck.


Volcano food! That would be different than the usual bowls they used to serve, there.


Looking forward (but never back) to more, Chuck!

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Holmes lit his third pipe. “So, Watson . . . what have you ascertained?


“I’m not sure, Holmes--other than Fuji Q can surprise you from time to time.”


“Elementary, indeed, my dear Watson.”


Hi there, two coasters I never have to bother riding again.


I’ve never been a fan of Eejanaika.


The Mad Mouse is pretty rough, too--but at least it's supposed to be "mad." Hi, Jere.


The King of Coasters was, at least, available for photos.


Dan is so naughty.


Professional sign made by a professional sign maker. Perhaps this is a curry-themed haunt.


Fuji Airways was a good Soarin’ clone that takes you on a tour of Mt. Fuji.


“Open a hailing frequency! We must tell the giant space bird that the Enterprise does not wish to mate!”


Hmm--I don’t recall seeing any hot stewardesses on our flight.


This isn’t the strangest thing that you’ll see in Japan.


Sheesh! I thought the TSA line at Dulles was bad.


Joe Don Baker is Rex Fujihead: Japanese Private Eye.


Time to head for the bus.


Gotta give Fuji Q credit.


This shopping-and-dining area is really nice.


Yes, Fuji Q can surprise you from time to time . . .


. . . with how nice it can be.


This was the most pleasant day I’ve spent at this park.


But now it’s time to head back to Tokyo. That's all for now.

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Great reports! Been keeping up with them to remind me of what a great time the trip was. Honestly, a swell day at this park. Far exceeded my expectations. Lines were manageable with the fast passes, found Auntie Anne's, had a great lunch at Meat Meet, and enjoyed the Soarin' knockoff quite a bit (especially the pre-show). Looking forward to your Disney Pictures!

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Luckily the park staff was amazing and escorted Robb back before opening to purchase every one we needed for the whole day.


And in one single line you've sold every future TPR Japan trip.

Comparing the stories and expectations of years past to what we've seen in the last year or so, it definitely seems like things have gotten way better from the "Dodonpa is literally the only reason to visit" years. Hearing Fuji-Q going the extra step for customer service while having Universal turn it into a logistical nightmare would have sounded like something out of the Twilight Zone before all this.

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...Luckily the park staff was amazing and escorted Robb back before opening to purchase every one we needed for the whole day.



This is shocking to read. Happily surprising, actually. For Fuji-Q.


And in one single line you've sold every future TPR Japan trip.


Or jinxed it, LOL.


This would be great for future TPR visits,and especially Robb and Elissa, if the staff and owners have finally gotten it,

that TPR has been bringing groups to their park for....how many years, now?


Here's to several more years of the same service, upon return visits.

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Great TR! Definitely the most literary TR I've read on here, and I loved every minute of it! It's also nice to see someone have a good time at this park. I've been wanting to go here for some time but I've really only heard negative things about it. Hopefully things will continue to improve by the time I actually make it out to Japan.

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Luckily the park staff was amazing and escorted Robb back before opening to purchase every one we needed for the whole day.


And in one single line you've sold every future TPR Japan trip.





(tho the selling point really is that they put on such a great and well organized trip!).



loving this continued report Chuck. thanks for all the wonderful pics.

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A Tale of Two Jet Cor(a)sters: Benyland and Lina World


Our good day at Fuji Q was followed by another good day at Benyland and Lina World. First, we started with a ride on the fastest of the Shinkansens. (At least I think it was this day--might be a bit mixed up.)



This baby rolls at nearly 200 miles per hour!


This brings up a very important question. How does a Wasabi KitKt taste at “ludicrous speed?”



Answer: Pretty dang good.


Our first stop was Benyland in Sendai. This was a nice little park; that is, the landscaping was pretty. The coasters were, well, interesting. The obligatory Jet Coaster was reasonably fun (the best of the lot). The old Corkscrew was every bit a rough and nasty as you’d expect. The weirdest of the bunch was the Cyclone, a strange mass of twisted steel without a lot of sex appeal.


My favorite attraction there was a surprisingly good walk-through haunted house. There were plenty of working gags and even a maze within the house itself. Definitely worth the 300 yen up charge.


So, I guess this is Beny, and he’s glad to see us?


Adorable, minion, adorable, adorable, adorable.


For those who are too short to reach the ticket window.


Benyland was a pretty little park.


Er, I really don't want to know what's going on here. That's between you two.


“Yep, this is a ride-restricted area, but these bushes aren’t going to take care of themselves.”


Oh boy! It’s another awesome Jet Coaster!


Whee! We’re still alive!


Hmm--might be a different story with the Corkscrew.


Or with the Cyclone, . . .


. . . a coaster that even scares ghosts!


If you like Valleyfair’s Excalibur, you might like this clunky, twisted mess of steel.


Crap! I think Cyclone snapped the necks of those two women in the middle car!


Nathan seems to be enjoying it, though.


It’ll all be over soon, gents.


Hmm--how horrible is it?


It’s 300 yen worth of “horrible.”


“Ugh! Every time I get a head cold, it goes right to my chest.”


Look like someone’s bean soup exploded.


It was more elaborate than I expected--there was even a “mini-maze” inside.


It’s Mothra! Run!


Such a cute couple. I guess she's into really skinny guys.


I imagine these could be used to plug a number of orifices.


Bye bye, Beny. Nice little park you have here.

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What is it with the Japanese and building parks on the side of mountains? Our second park, Lina World, had a number of stairs and hills to climb.


Again, this was another nice-looking park with some not-so-nice coasters. Super Coaster was the best of the bunch, and it wasn’t exactly a pleasant experience. Then there’s the infamous Jet Corster (or Coaster) Discovery. It’s like the Jet Coaster and Cyclone at Benyland had a baby--tiny, uncomfortable trains clunking a rumbling around a very bizarre layout full of painful transitional elements.


Let’s go in.


Is this Lina World? I’m looking for Lina World.


Oh, dear lord.


“Welcome--unless you’re a dog, a cooler, or a fast-food meal.”


Are we sure this is Lina World?


Another nice-looking park . . .


. . . that just got a lot more interesting.


Modesty water curtain.


They also had a haunt, but I don’t think it was open.


Here are the park’s two big coasters.


“We’re so happy to be on Super Coaster!”


“Er, we’re still happy to be on Super Coaster?”


Do you prefer this coaster’s new name . . .


. . . or old name?


Whatever the name, these birds are an ominous portent of what’s to come.


This coaster is clunky and painful.


But it did fulfill one of Robb’s life goals.


To capture on video a bunch of screaming Japanese teenage girls on a Jet Coaster.


Yes, achievement unlocked.


Speaking of fantasies.


If your thing is Hello Kitty and Christmas lights, Lina World has you covered.


This is the most adorable barbed wire ever.


Why do the Sugarbunnies look so sad?


Find the naughty one.




All fantasies must come to an end.


The Hello Kitty Not a Credit Angel Coaster wasn’t running.




We took a side path and found this nice little spot. Next stop, Tokyo Disney Resort!

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Chuck, I'm very disappointed that you didn't include the most extreme coaster at Beny Land, Aero 5:


(I'm waiting to see what will be done with the amazing on-ride footage Elissa got on that one! )


Other than that, great report! Both parks looked nice, and had some interesting attractions, but not the best in terms of coasters. And I'm glad that my fake enthusiasm for cyclone came through since Robb was filming then.

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