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TR- bert has a Spooktacular time with TPR in Japan!

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^I know! The New Yorker in me hates this with every fiber of my being and it took me years to feel comfortable with it. Now I'm like "Sure send your laptop and passport and prescription meds by some random guy in a truck to be left unguarded in a hotel lobby!"

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so Monday morning we got up pretty dang early - we had to: we were going to be spending the day at Nagashima Spaland, and checking out their brand new RMC, Hakugei !


The park opened at 9:30 am, but we were to meet in the lobby at 6:45 to catch a 7am train to Kuwana Station (and then a taxi ride to get to the park ~1 hour prior to open.


This was advertised in the lobby of our Hotel, and I never inquired to find out if it was actually IN our Hotel, or close by . . . . because we weren't going to be back in time today (and were leaving tomorrow).


so tho I thought it might be a fun thing to do? I was happy with just a pic of the offerings to send to my Hello Kitty collecting friend.


since we were leaving so early, I don't believe that I even attempted the buffet at the hotel (it opened at 6:30), and instead just went out and up the block to the 7-11 to grab a snack for the train.


here are some pics of the buildings near our Hotel in Nagoya that I found interesting.


Directly across the street from the Hotel entrance


looking towards the Nagoya Station (those are all restaurants and shops in the "mall" levels stacked on top of the station)


the grates in the street are so beautiful, and seemed unique based on what city we were in (or even what area of the city we were in).


wish I had taken more pics like this, but only got a handful during our trip


Walking up the street to the 7-11.


more interesting buildings/scenery


a Nagoya specific sewer cover


Snacks in hand, back to our hotel to meet up with the group.


and what did I get?




"Whity Latte"





(I remember thinking this wouldn't fly in the USA. . tho nowadays? who knows)


also these Tiramisu snacks. . which tasted like powdered air.


the Whity Latte was good tho, and gave me some energy.


and within ~30 minutes, we pulled into the Kuwana Station, and headed down to flag some taxis to get us to the park.


here's a pic from the station looking down an alley in Kuwana



if you're wondering why Nagashima Spaland is not located in Nagashima? the answer is - it IS.


Nagashima and it's sister city, Tado, were combined into the larger city of Kuwana back in 2004.


in the taxi on the way to the park. . what's that I see thru the bridge struts?

the drop on Steel Dragon 2000



we're entering the park thru an entrance that is not the standard entrance (since we're going in before park open for a special treat to ride (and let Robb film) Hakugei).


So sharing some pics thru the taxi window as we approach, since they might be unique angles.


Ltr: Ferris Wheel, Steel Dragon 2000, the drop tower (thru SD2K's lift hill), Acrobat's drop (between SD2K's 1st & 2nd hill)



Steel Dragon 2000 really is *massive*. . it just towers over the surrounding area


Getting closer, and seeing more and more of the rides in this fantastic park.


in this pic, can see Arashi (S&S 4D freespin), the top of the Star Flyer, drop tower, SD2K lift hill, and Ultra Twister


coming around to the hotel/resort area, here's Aurora (the giant Ferris Wheel), and the Chute the Shoots ride


Wowza. . Hakugei is *beautiful*


it's getting a little overcast, and the day is supposed to have some off and on showers . . .so this might end up being a challenging day (since many things shut down if raining), but we're prepared for it.


just look at those beautiful curves


the Taxis dropped us all off near the "Garden Hotel Olive" and we met up with the park reps.. who started walking us back towards the park.


Here's the gate that hotel guests would go thru. . tho we're going to go around this, and enter thru a maintenance gate closer to Hakugei.


the 1st drop, thru the trees, as we're walking around to the gate.


Holy crap, this is breathtaking.


looking across the park, as we walk


LtR: Viking (Nagashima Spaland has THREE swinging ships called "Viking" - two giant ones on a raised platform, and a standard size one on the ground nearby), Space Shot (drop tower), Steel Dragon 2000, the top of the Star Flyer, and the top of the Giant Frisbee (you can make out "giant" in the lettering)


Employee parking (exciting!!. . LOL), with the Aurora Giant Ferris wheel peeking out behind.


and here we go, into the park.


this really is a beautiful park. . I could tell from the moment we set foot inside.


tho it is very strangely layed out, without any "logical" paths - they seem to just plop rides down wherever they can fit them, and then route paths around (or under) them.


It could make it a challenge to find specific attractions, but if you're like me - who just enjoys wandering and riding things as you come across them? I love this.


Entering right by the main entrance to Hakugei (that white "tower" structure). . this particular angle gives a great view of Aurora, Hakugei's track, Steel Dragon 2000, and straight ahead: Freefall - a 1st Generation Intamin Drop Tower.


this was supposed to be closed for Maintenance (Freefall & Shuttle Loop coaster). .but during our day here today, it was spotted testing, and they actually opened it up while we were there and we got a chance to ride it!


the only things that were closed during our visit: Shuttle Loop, Flying Carpet (which was a shame, as it's a suspended version, where yo hang under the chassis), and BobKarts. the last two were because of the rain, which came off and on thruout the day, so i fully suspect that's why they never opened.


gives me reason to want to come back (not that Arashi, Hakugei, and SD2K weren't enough reason to want to go back). but really, the park was pretty amazing in getting things back up after they would go down for sudden downpours.


and the truth is? the weather kept a LOT of folks away today. . we were expecting a packed day due to a holiday weekend, but the recent Typhoon, and the weather really seemed to impact crowds today.


the park ops were fantastic tho, and I really appreciated that they worked so hard to get everything up and running if it went down for weather (took us 2 tries for Free Fall, and three tries for Looping Star (which twice shut down the line as we were getting into it, due to drizzle). .but we eventually got on most everything).


anyways, we're in the park, and standing in front of this beauty.




this is the only pic I have of me on Hakugei, since the cubbies to store your belongings are the level below the station. So all our phones and cameras, were properly stored away prior to our time riding/Robb filming.


here's Luke and I in the front seat :)


I believe this pic is courtesy of Elissa.


the ride is amazing, and I love it. . I've gone on and on about how much I loved it before, so won't bore you here. . but I will say again, it's fantastic.


and the ride Robb filmed, where it started to POUR the moment the train pulled out of the station, and didn't stop until we got back into the station? one of my favorite experiences EVER on a roller coaster.


wholly crap did that rain hurt, but thank goodness on that particular ride, I had moved out of the front seat and was sitting more towards the back of the train - so I had lots of people blocking the stinging rain.

But we were all laughing, and screaming, and loving every moment of this ride (I'll link the video Robb filmed after this post so y'all can see just how wet it got).


after we got back into the station, we all got handed towels, and helped dry off the train, so we could get another lap or two before Robb's filming time was up.


overall, I think I got 5-6 rides on Hakugei before the park opened to the public, and it's way, WAY up there near the top of my favorite coasters list. My favorite element is the outwards wave turn, after the double-up following the 1st drop. But the extended stall about 1/2 way thru the ride is another favorite stand out moment.


our ride time done ,we all headed over (with Park reps) to "Cafeteria Picnic" restaurant area, to get a brief presentation of the park, get park maps handed out, as well as give us some "skip the line" tickets - remember, this was expected to be a really busy day due to the holiday weekend.


we were asked that if we did *not* use the fast pass tickets, to please not toss them, but rather to return them at the end of day so the park could track how many got used.


we were also handed out lunch vouchers, and then we sat and visited with the park reps for about 15 minutes until the park officially opened to the public - at which time we would be welcome to make our way out into the park and we'd be on our own for the day.


A few of us inquired about restroom break, and as this particular restaurant didn't have attached restrooms, we had to go out across the walkway to the separate facilities.


it was during this break that i noticed Steel Dragon 2000 had started testing, so stopped on my way back to snap a few pics.


in this pic LtR: Looping Stars track (orange/white supports), Star Flyer tower , Freefall (which at this point we thought was down0, Arashi (4D spinner), and the Wild Mouse (which I did NOT ride, even tho it was operating, at least 1 side of it).





here's a pic of the park map.


numbers are attractions, letters are restaurants / shops.


so you can see what I mean about how much they crammed into the park.


back inside the Cafeteria Picnic restaurant, with a few minutes still until the park opened, they started testing the Shoot-the-Chute.


which surprised me, since it was looking like it was going to be a pretty wet day off and on.


The amount of water this sucker kicked up would drench any rider - but I guess if you're coming to a park that's 1/3rd water park (or spa-land)? you'd expect to get wet.









Park was just about to open, and we were going to be released from our holding area. . but of course I had to take a pic of the Carousel horse that was inside the restaurant :)


and then, we were welcomed to the park, and told to enjoy our day.


tho it wasn't an "official" ERT, I think pretty much everyone in the group headed directly to:


yup. . if it was possible that weather was going to force this to close, many of us wanted to make sure we got at least 1 ride on it :)


we still got to the entrance just a few moments before it was officially open, so Robb took the opportunity to get a "TPR at SD2K" photo.


I can't believe I'm here at this coaster, that I've seen online for well over a decade.


(and Alex can't believe I'm taking yet another picture). . LOL


from the queue, looking up at the lift hill of SD2K


the front gates are now open, so a few other folks are headed this way to join us in line.


this would be that wave turn (on the left) that is my favorite part of Hakugei.


pic from the Steel Dragon 2000 line.


the gates opened, we headed thru the queue, and got on the coaster!


(tho not before a selfie taken).


Elissa wasn't riding, but was able to take these great shots of a mostly TPR train as it pulled out of the station.


(the front row went to some folks with skip the line passes, and the rest of the train filled in with the customers who had come in when park opened).




since we were right next to it, and it was operating, some of us then headed over to Ultra Twister.


I haven't ridden one of these in almost 15 years - not since Astroworld closed (and some on the trip had never ridden one), so I was looking forwards to it.


the seat was a little more snug than I recalled it being (heh), and tho i absolutely recalled the "Ker-CHUNK" at the back portion of the ride - and was prepared for it?


I wasn't prepared for how rough the rest of the ride was gonna be. It was really shaky. . .shaky to the point of being pretty uncomfortable.


for something I had been looking forwards to, I really didn't care for it. Glad I rode it, but 1 and done for me.


it DOES photograph well tho, doesn't it?



after Ultra Twister, we went over to Arashi - since we were still in the area.


I'm not a huge fan of the S&S freespins, tho I like them well enough. Arashi is kind of infamous for how MUCH it spins.


and man, those warnings were accurate.. i lost count after the 8th spin. This was an absolutely FANTASTIC ride.


i loved this so much? I bought an Arashi T-shirt (which barely fits me). . but I really, really liked it. The magnet I got from Nagashima Spaland? also Arashi.


tho I liked Hakugei better? this is my solid #2 in the park.


(with my #3 - Steel Dragon 2000 - going up the lift hill behind Arashi in this pic)


SD2K thru Arashi's track.


Arashi has a unique loading station in that there are separate queues on either side, for loading of the trains.


but oddly, the station facing towards Steel Dragon 2000 was closed. and I don't mean it was closed, so they were loading both sides from only one station. . I mean it was closed.


They were only loading 1 side of the trains.


now this could really hurt capacity - especially on a busy day, tho this didn't really impact us since it was a quiet day.


but how can this be good for the trains? wouldn't it mess up the balance on the ride and add up to maintenance issues?


it was weird to only see them loading one side of the trains.


tho I do really like the different colors on the trains, and think they make the ride look a bit more unique.


the "warning" sign at Arashi.


i don't read Japanese. . but I assume this says: "This ride will spin the s#!t outta you, you *better* have empty pockets"


yup. . I LOVED this.


and tho Steel Dragon 2000 was only running one train, they were pumping them out, so I could see even if it had been a super busy day, this line would have been moving pretty steady. Tho it's a fairly long coaster.


the park still was pretty empty, so I believe we headed back across the park to take another lap on Hakugei - and to grab these pics as the train flies by.



it was starting to drizzle again, and Robb had mentioned to us that the park had recently gotten a new shooting ride (that was an upcharge).


looking at the park brochure, the park had gotten a new "digital experience" area, that also included fishing, shooting gallery, and this new ride - that had just opened in April.


it's called "FARM de BANG BANG!". . . and it's a variation on Toy Story Mania type shooting ride.


it was ~$5 upcharge, but man was it worth it. it was SO crazy/nuts and so much fun.


because it was raining and because it was a slow day, we were really the only ones in line.


the "guns" are carrots!


how awesome is this?


our 3D glasses are on. . and we have our carrots armed and ready. . . let's go blow some stuff up!


me, David, and Jon (the ringer. . LOL)


William took a pic of our carrot car too :)


this is what amounted to "Halloween Decoration' on this side of the park. . tho closer to the spa section - which was closed today - is where all the zombie stuff would be happening later today, so I was fine with just a pumpkin here.


shocking. . look who's score broke 6 figures. . .LOL


by the time we were done with our ride, the rain had pretty much stopped, and we saw Looping Star cycling.


so we headed over that way to try and get a ride on this Schwarzkopf


unfortunately, as we got to the entrance gate, the staff had just hung the chain across, saying more rain was coming

(which was a bit frustrating, as you can see in this pic, Steel Dragon 2K is going up the lift hill), but oh well, we had the whole day there still, so plenty of time to try and get a ride on this coaster.


so we headed next door to it for Nagashima Spaland's Haunted House


they aren't kidding around here. . . I mean, yes, the figures are a bit "traveling Carnival" and the animatronic portions are a bit "iffy".. but damn if they aren't effective.


and most of the scares involved heads - decapitated heads, floating decapitated heads, stretching decapitated heads.


I absolutely adored this attraction. .and it was a pretty long walk thru too.





possibly my favorite gag in the whole thing. . . the crucified person's head detached and flew across the room to a cross on the other side of the room.


it was so great!



this house was so good, that after we finished our walk thru, I went back thru again (and this time we convinced Allison & Alex to go thru with us), to take pictures.


many came out too dark to share, but these that I have shared came out pretty good I thought.


the drizzle had stopped, tho things were all still a bit moist.. so we decided that we should probably go eat something, as it was getting close to 11:30am.


as we passed FreeFall, we noticed there was some activity on the platform, tho it looked like they were just clearing water and wiping down the cars. Stopped and took a picture of it tho, and we talked about how we wished it would open and maybe they would finish the maintenance early and it would open for us anyways, even tho it was supposed to be down.


and we continued on our way over towards the restaurant we'd decided to go eat at: "Park Restaurant"


(such a clever name).


on our way to the place for lunch we walked right underneath the Giant Frisbee. . which although I didn't ride, still thought it was worthy to take a pic of.


reminds me of Joker at SFFT, tho this one was actually a frisbee and spun quite a bit as it swung back and forth.


ah there ya go. . my memory is pretty good . . the clock on the Aurora ferris wheel appears to be showing 11:27am.


to be continued in Part II


it is a really great ride, tho without a lot of "air time" on the front half. . but once you hit the bunny hops on the way back after the giant helixes, you do get some . . the speed on it is incredible tho, and I really liked it.


enough that a handful of us went right back to get in line and ride it again (on the chance that bad weather might shut it down).


ride rules sign.




the 2nd ride was more towards the back, and I found it rode a lot better in the back - with the train hauling butt, it really pulls the back seats thru those hills. Good stuff.

Edited by bert425
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and here's the video Robb filmed (I'm way in the back row on the right in my red shirt)


BWAAA-HAAAA-HAAAA. .this makes me smile so big every time!



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Great report! Congratulations for now ruining every single free spin in the United States.


I remember Ultra Twister having a brutal brake at the far end, but found it smooth otherwise.


the first one in the US (Batman at SFFT) still spins quite a bit - more than any other one in the USA I've been on . . but no where near as intensely as Arashi.

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Nagashima Spaland continued. .


not really "scary" at all. . . more disturbingly cute - pumpkin people!


. . but I like how they are getting ready to have a ritual (with the spell books in the center of each table)


so we headed over to Park Restaurant to eat lunch, and found this charming little Halloween display out on the side patio


there were a lot of options at this restaurant, including a special promotion celebrating the newest attraction:


Hakugei (the White Whale)


William actually ordered this, and it surprisingly looked somewhat like the image they used to advertise it.


that's not something you often get in the USA.


it's adorable how they made the rice into a white whale.


the eyball is a pea, and the "spout" is a broccoli floret. LOL


William was excited to eat it, and said it was good.


I had the eel plate, and that also was really good.

Some of the best quality eel I've had, although I don't have a decent pic of the actual dish.


after we finished lunch, it had stopped raining completely. . . so we were gonna head over to Acrobat.


Common sense won out tho, so we decided to ride something a little more "mild" to let the food settle.


So a bunch of us hopped on the Star Flyer. Not everyone wanted to ride, so I believe I have Alex to thank for this set of pics of us on the ride :)


the look Allison is shooting him. . .BWAAAAA-HAAAAA-HAAAAA






and since we'd already don't something with heights, we went ahead and went to the Space Shot next.


while not the tallest tower ride I've been on, this one was fun - even if the length of the ride, compared to the wait time for the ride was not really a good calculation (it took them a while to ensure all seats were secure, and we had thumbs up to go. . .. I think in the middle of loading us, one of the crew took a smoke break too, so we sat there waiting while GIGANTIC drops of water fell from the top of the ride structure onto our heads from the morning's rain).


it was a fun ride tho, once we got going.


Alex and I were on the 2 seat side of the one tower they were operating today. Don't we look terrified? :p


and I think this pic is during the operator's break, which would explain why we are buckled in, but the ladies on our left are still not yet.


thru the trees while we were on Space Shot, we could see the tracks for Jet Coaster - a Togo "mine train" family coaster.


So we headed over to ride it. Brad and Erik were coming up to the ride, and snapped a pic of us on it (thanks Brad).


it was a nice, if uneventful ride. . most unique about it is how it's built in the center of a wooded section of the park.. so it really does feel as if you're moving around in the forest for portions of the ride.


there's a section of the ride (mainly the 1st and return 'drops') that are along side a bridge over the lake area (with the Water ace boats). . so we headed out to that bridge to watch Brad & Erik ride, and noticed some very large fish in the lake.


here's Brad & Erik in the 4th car, on their ride.


Turned out you could feed the fish, by purchasing pellets to throw into the water.


This picture does not do it justice, but the surface of the water turned into a piranha feeding frenzy the moment you dropped some pellets into the water.


seriously. . the fishies went NUTS going after these pellets. it was both awesome and frightening to watch!



a couple more pics of Jet Coaster thru the trees.



although I did ride the ferris wheel and took a ton of pics myself, I have these in my phone, so I must have asked Brad (these look like pics he would have taken) if I could get them air-dropped to me.


so here are some pics of Hakugei from the Aurora Ferris Wheel


look how incredible this is.. could look at pics of this coaster all day!


all the old footers from White Cyclones large helixes that were removed when the ride was RMCed into Hakugei


looking out towards Steel Dragon 2000, you also get most of Acrobat's track here, as well as a peek of Looping Star (lower center of pic) and Corkscrew (lower right)


Lunch had settled, and since we were on this side of the park, we headed back to. . . Hakugei


I believe we used one of the 5 "any ride' skip the line passes we had here, to bypass the crowd, as it as after 1pm and the rain had seemingly stopped.


So Hakugei did have a little bit of a line by this point. Why wait in the line if we had the skip passes, right?


a pic that I believe came from Joey? (or maybe Brad) as the Hakugei train zoomed by.


remember I noted that the park has 3 swinging ships called "Viking" ?


from the bridge where we were watching the fish, you can see all 3 of them: the two giant ones on the raised platform, and the smaller (but still big) version on the water.


none of these seemed to be operating most of the day, but as it got later, and the lights all came on? one of the giant ships did start operating, for at least the last 30 minutes the park was open.


a better view of the smaller "Viking" swinging ship. . but really, I took this pic because I spotted the Carousel in the kids area across the way there.


we'd put it off long enough, and had heard reports it had started cycling. . so we made our way across the park, and headed to Acrobat.


to get to Acrobat (a Manta clone), you pass underneath Steel Dragon 2000. . . and you can get a great view of the smiling faces as the train hits the bunny hops headed back to the station.


Ride Sign for Larry, if he doesn't have it already.


and a test seat.


as noted, Acrobat is a clone of Manta at Seaworld Orlando (tho maybe not an exact copy, as this one pulls 4.1 G).


there was a bit of a line on this one too (maybe 20 minutes or so) - likely because it hadn't been operating in the morning drizzle. I didn't mind waiting in the line, but Zach (correctly) made the argument that if more rain came in, it was going to shut down, so we should NOT waste any time standing in a line, regardless of how short it may have looked.


and we *had* been given the skip the line passes if we wanted to use them. . . so we used them here and got onto the very next train.


as noted above, this one pulls 4.1G and I did not care for it. in the dive onto your back? I seriously almost blacked out. This hadn't happened at SWO when I rode Manta, and I guess it could have been due to where in the train I was riding. . but I did not enjoy this coaster at all. (which again, is odd, since I loved Manta).


I just couldnt' wait for the remainder of the ride to finish, and I got off it with wobbly legs.


could be age, could be where I was on the train, could be that I hadn't been drinking enough fluid? but I didn't want to ride it again.


can't recall if others did, but I did not.


i'm guessing from the fact that I have a lot of pics of the train zooming by, that I hung out by the ride while others went back to re-ride it. . could be wrong tho.


Acrobat looks amazing, but was just a bit too intense for me.


at least today.


but wow does it look amazing.






the money shot on this coaster. . .







know how I said that Zach was correct in his suggestion to use the skip the line pass on Acrobat? yeah, because as we were walking back from this section (and hoping that *maybe* it would dry out enough for Bobkarts to open - sadly it never did). . . it started to drizzle again.


and for the 2nd time we just barely missed getting a ride on Looping Star (again, the queue blocked off just as we walked up to it).


but surprise surprise, Free Fall had started operations! and it was running in the rain so we got in line for it, surprised and pleased that we were going to get to ride something that we had expected to be closed.


but it was up and operating - at least until we got up to the station.


They had closed the queue off at the entrance, but they seemed to be allowing the queue to clear out before shutting it down due to weather. but when we got to the station, maybe 3-4 cars away from loading, they shut it down due to the rain. While a little disappointing, I completely understood. And they told us we could wait out the rain, so since we were in the covered part of the station, we decided to hang out for a little bit.


then a manager (i think) told the operators to clear the queue, so we had to go back out into the drizzle. . but all was good, as the operators gave those of us that had been hanging out a skip the line for Freefall to come back later.


So we thanked him profusely, and headed towards the Aurora Ferris Wheel, as that one was operating regardless of weather.


Not everyone wanted to ride the ferris wheel, so some folks took off in search of shopping, while some of us hopped on the giant wheel for a humid, but scenic (if moist) 15 minute ride.


there are 5 coasters, and 4 flats in this picture. . two flats (Giant Frisbee & Waver Swinger are operating in the drizzle). . you can see how empty the park got, as this latest drizzle really drove people indoors to the shopping areas.


going a little bit higher, as we enjoy the overview of the park.


what's out the other side of the wheel?


oh yeah. . this beauty.



which was operating in the light rain :)




going into that amazing mid-course stall that I really loved.



looking back out the side towards the park:


the kiddie rides section (with a few adult rides mixed in) is on the left there.


Straight back is the waterpark/ spa-land section (that wasn't open today)


also in the pic, the "wooded area" where Jet Coaster is set (you can kinda see the brown tracks there if you squint), surrounded by the yellow tracks for the Peter Rabbit Skyliner


Just to the right of Space Shot towers, is the loop from Shuttle Loop (the Schwarzkopf that we knew was going to be down for maintenance during our visit)


coming back down the "return" side of the Ferris Wheel. . can one really have too many pictures of Hakugei?









it was still drizzly and a bit "moist". . so we headed into one of the arcade areas, to check out some of the claw machines.


the poop emoji stuff is still just as popular as it's been for a while (and I still don't get it). but this machine made me laugh, since they had set up a cardboard toilet to make it CLEAR what these little plushies are that you are trying to grab with the claw.


this particular arcade was attached to the digital experience area. . where at one end was FARM de BANG BANG. . .so I stuck my head in to take a peek at the "Nagashima Tsuri Spirits" - which bills itself as the Worlds Biggest Digital Fishing Arcade.


it was very interesting, and if you're curious, there is some live video posted on youtube of it in action (just search for nagashima tsuri spirits).


but here's a still picture of it. it was quite interesting.


some of the artwork on the outside of the building.


Absolutely LOVE how they incorporated the lantern into the image of the Lantern Fish.


brilliant idea here.


a photo op in the Aurora Ferris Wheel (with Arashi in the background)?


why yes, please!


why yes, I AM here at Nagashima Spaland. . and I'm having a wonderful time!


another fun photo op area, this time headed into the Kiddieland section.


this one specifically themed to Halloween time. And I totally would have squatted inside for a pic, if it hadn't been all "moist"


I think this was an upcharge activity, that you could decorate a gourd.


not a whole lot of folks doing it (I think I saw two only), but on a light day when it's drizzly? yeah the outdoor stuff seemed to be suffering from lack of popularity today. The indoor stuff was drawing crowds tho, as you'll see.


a viking, showing off nipples, at the base of the giant swinging boats (with the normal sized boat - again, ALSO called "Viking" - in the background)


but why had we come into kiddie land area?


you have to ask?




I wasn't sure if we'd be allowed to ride, as there was no one else on the ride, and several of the other rides in this area had no-adults notices posted. . . . but we got the thumbs up from the operator, and so hopped on!


(and a couple of other folks did come on after we got on, so at least we weren't the only ones on. . a la my ride a Yomiuriland)


the horses were an interesting design, and appeared to be made of pressed plastic.


so by no means a "classic carousel"..but hey, it's a Carousel, so I was happy to get to ride it.


look. . David and William are happy to ride too.


it turned out this was a store that Elissa had notified the group about earlier, that had some adult size T-shirts in it (of course, the one store with the most adult size shirts available is in the kiddie land area. . LOL).


she had also mentioned that the park had offered some ERT for us after park close on Steel Dragon 2000 ! so that was a wonderful surprise. . but of course, it would depend on what the weather did.


but for now, we got out of the drizzle and browsed the store in kiddieland.


where in addition to rows and rows of capsule machines, they sold giant size novelties.




Jon didn't ride, but he took a pic of me on it as we went by.


the drizzle had started up again, so we headed into the store behind me in this pic after our ride.


it was getting close to Zombie time, so we headed back over to the entrance to the Nagashima Spa Dome, and were greeted by these two. . who worked very hard to stay in character. .and were great and willing to pose for pictures without "lunging" at you.


tho it was still wet, the rain actually had stopped. . and it was almost time for the Zombies to come out/ Zombie Dance Party


this was supposed to be an outdoor thing, I believe, but due to the weather, it was being held inside the Nagashima Spa Dome indoor area, near the main gate entrance.


we were still a little bit too early for the zombies to come out, so we headed past it, to the front gate gift shop, and browsed there (tho didn't find anything to buy, as I had already purchased my shirt & magnet at the store in the kiddy area).


But I did get this nice pic of the closed for maintenance Shuttle Loop, with Steel Dragon 2000 behind it on the lift hill. . so the coasters had started back up after the rain, which was good news for our possible post-closing ERT on SD2K.


love the carved pumpkin near the entrance gates too. . it says "Happy Halloween"


inside the Nagashima Spa Dome - which had been converted into "Zombie Island" complete with stage for the dance party.


this was a zombie zone, and with the alarms blaring? the zombies started pouring out into the arena


some people shrieked and ran, while most of the crowd politely sat and waited for the presentation on the stage to start. . .. gawd I love Japan. . LOL




while i was snapping pics, this lovely lady came over and tapped me on the shoulder and asked if I was visiting with TPR (I guess Jon and i stood out :p ).


we told her yes, and she introduced herself at Yasuyo, and asked us to please say hello to Robb for her.


Yasuyo is related to (and works with) park management, and we had a lovely conversation while waiting for the dance party to start. She told us some wonderful stories about how the park decides on what rides to bring in, and how to make the guest experience great.


I noted how nice it was that the zombies would pose for pictures as I'd had a hard time getting clear pictures at HHN at USJ. Yasuyo thanked me for noticiing, and said that is a specific request that they make of them.. because they know how at some other places, the zombies like to "attack" and it makes it hard to get a clear picture (oh. . Japanese shade. . how I love it. . hehe)


I really liked a lot of the makeups on display. . and how into it the actors got.


as the dance party was about to get going, and we were thanking Yasuyo for the conversation - and the hospitality, we spotted a few more of our TPR travelers had come in to watch the event, and so I introduced them all to Yasuyo, and we all posed for a picture with her.


(Alex is in this picture too, he just becomes a shadow when a flash is used :p )


and then the lights went down, the music came up, the fog creeped out (and some iphones lit up to record - tho their owners stayed seated, and kept the phones at their level so as not to block anyone behind them.. gotta love Japan). . and the Zombie Dance party started.


These were like America's Best Dance Crew groups. . highly choreographed, and super entertaining.


there did seem to be some sort of "story" going on, but I wasn't able to follow it.


besides, we were all giddy over this jaw dropping moment: the music was playing loudly on speakers not only within the Spa-Dome, but also on speakers outside (which makes sense if the event was supposed to be in the "streets" with the zombies roaming.


the songs they were dancing to were high energy "rap" / "dance" songs. . in English.


the crowd watching was mostly younger... so I was kinda shocked when they broke out Lil Jon's "Put Your F@@@ing Hands Up!". . . .. but uncensored, and booming thru the arena.


we were besides ourselves in shock and giggles, and it actually led to a conversation among us if "that word" translates to Japanese as a "curse word" or if it's just an American word. . . it made for an interesting cultural experience, as most of the crowd didn't even bat an eye and we gasped at each other with open mouths.



we didn't stay for the whole dance party, as we had gotten a message that FreeFall was running, and we headed over that way - first stopping at Looping Star, and finally getting on the ride without the queue being chained off :)


we went directly from there to FreeFall, and using our skip the line passes they had given us earlier, were on the next car that was sent.


woot woot!


it was getting late (maybe ~5:15, and we knew we had to be at Steel Dragon 2000 at close, for the evening rides. . .but that was more than enough time to head back to:


yay! We had intended to use Skip the line passes, to get at least one more ride in, but were surprised to see not much of a line this late in the day (and only about 40 minutes prior to close), so I think we didn't need them at all.


we put our stuff in the cubbies, and less than 10 minutes later were on Hakugei for another lap!


last pic I got before putting the phone away in the cubby under the station.


the ride was so good, and it was starting to get dark so quickly, that we didn't even take out stuff out of the cubbies after our ride! Checking that there was still really no line? Instead, we just kept the cubby keys on our wrists, and walked back around to get in line and grabbed one more ride on this fantastic coaster - basically a "night" ride, even tho it wasn't full dark - but it was getting dark, so it counts!


if you ever get a chance to go to Nagashima Spaland? well worth the trip just for this coaster - with added benefits of SD2K, Arashi, Acrobat (which I didn't like, but others did), TWO Schwarzkopf's and some awesome flats scattered thru the park.


after a fantastic final ride on Hakukei, we were cutting it a little close - we had about 15 minutes to get across the park to get to Steel Dragon 2000's entrance.


But the park was starting to light up. . . and it was kinda spooky how empty and "moist" it was at night.


THIS would have been perfect setting for zombies to be roaming about (tho they were really over on the other side of the park only, near the entrance in the Spa Dome area).


I did snap this pic specifically since one of the giant ships - that had not been operating all day - started swinging. Yep, 15 minutes before park closed, and they got it up and operating, which I thought was fantastic!


Walking across the park to get to SD2K. .


there are SIX coasters in this picture (not counting Freefall as a coaster), can you spot them all?




another pic of the Viking giant ship mid swing, and the Giant Frisbee loading up a couple of guests for a final ride



Steel Dragon 2000, going up the lift hill for one of it's last laps while park is open


(including one of the very few pics I got of Corkscrew's track (white, w/ Blue supports). since it lays so close to the ground between Looping Star and Steel Dragon 2K.


possibly my favorite picture from Nagashima Spaland. . . I love the lights reflecting off the clouds, the wet ground also reflecting the lights, and the lack of people in the image, just making the park look so deserted.


i mean, it was less than 10 minutes to close, so it wasn't busy. . but it looks completely deserted here in this pic.


up and over the 1st drop


here's Steel Dragon 2000's 2nd drop. . which is still over 200ft - taller than most other coasters anyways.


and Arashi's yellow car zoomed by as we were passing, so snapped a pic.


that blur in the middle track? that's the car spinning :)


continued in the final installment below.

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Nagashima Spaland closing out the day. . .


the park had closed, and night set in, but park reps met us at the Steel Dragon 2000 entrance.


We handed them back the skip the line passes we had not used (I returned 3, having only used 2 of them during the day for Acrobat and Hakugei once each - since the skip the line we used for Freefall had been given to us at Freefall).


then they walked us along with some TPR fans Robb had met thruout the day (some from Australia who, funnily enough, we had talked to earlier in the day while in line for Space Shot) who had been invited by Robb to join our group for the ERT) up to the coaster for 30 minutes ERT at the end of the evening.


the weather had cooperated perfectly, and it had stayed dry after a late afternoon storm. . . so we were ready to do this!


we thanked the park reps for the special gift, and got ready to do a 4-5 run marathon -- as much riding as we could get in during the ~30 minutes ERT they had gifted us.


here's a shot of the train after we had stored our stuff in the cubbies, but before the group spread out on it.


Alex and I went for the back row for our 1st ride.


and wow, was this thing incredible in the back. The night time ride really added to the ride too (tho the coaster is really well lit at night, so there are a ton of lights shining up at you. . . and it was super neat to go by the outlet mall in the helixes, and see the people watching from the stores and waving at us on the coaster as we zoomed by).


I'm not sure if it was running faster, due to it being the end of the day and it had warmed up a bit. Or maybe it was running a bit faster due to the tracks being slick from the off/on rain all day.


or maybe it just *felt* faster, since we were in the very back seats. But this thing was hauling, and I absolutely loved it.


This 1st night time ride in the back was the best ride I had all day on Steel Dragon 2000.


since we had the ride to ourselves, we were encouraged to move around where we wanted to during this bonus ERT, so I swapped to with those that had been in the front seat (encouraging folks to give the very back a try), and took a couple of rides mid-train. Ending the night with a final ride in the back row again.


i do believe I got five rides on SD2K at the end of the night, making for a total of 7 rides on it during this day

(and I believe 9 rides total on Hakugei).


this was a fantastic day at Nagashima Spaland. . . and we again thanked the representatives (and Robb & Elissa) profusely for the fantastic day we had all had in the park.


as they walked us towards the main gate, I was able to look back and take some wonderful pics of Steel Dragon 2000 all lit up in the evening darkness.


So beautiful.


it was only ~6:45, but it had been a long day and felt much later.


but look how alert I look here.. and how happy. it really had been a fantastic day.


While waiting for the Taxis to arrive to pick us up and bring us back to the train station. . we basically were standing right underneath Acrobat.


the park was closed, so no trains cycling, but man does this coaster also look great at night.


also while waiting, we got this pic (courtesy of Robb) of TPR and the new friends, and Nagashima Park Rep, that had closed out the day with us.


if we all look like we had a great time? it's because we did.


I loved this park, and will happily return if I ever get the chance again.


I realize that could be a different experience on a more crowded day, but despite the rainy weather? this day had been a really great one.


the taxis arrived, and we went off in small groups to meet back at the train station.


our taxi did something funky, and dropped David, Trent and myself off in an alley, close to an elevator that the cabbie told us to take up to the station. So we did, didn't see anyone, and after checking group message, headed to the platform. . . where shortly after the rest of the group arrived (they had been waiting for us at the main entrance, which we had missed since we got dropped off in an alley on the side. . whoops!!). It all worked out tho, and before long we were on the train headed back to Nagoya.


we arrived in Nagoya a little after 7:30pm, and tho it was still pretty early - it was a Monday night, and the big electronics store was closed already


(darn . . I had an opportunity to go there tomorrow, but I had already made plans with Jon to do some Godzilla sightseeing/purchasing, and hanging about in Nagoya for a store to open just wasn't really on the schedule). . anyways, so the stores were mostly closed, but the restaurants were still very open.


a few of us decided that we wanted to try a dumpling place that was recommended and in the mall above the Nagoya station.


"Din Tai Fung" was the name of it (thanks William, for your good memory)


Luke, who had eaten there the night before said it was very good, but that he had to wait a good while the prior night to be seated.


we figured it would be a little easier tonight, since it was a "work night" so maybe wouldn't be too crowded, and so headed up a few floors in the mall to find the restaurant.


it was a little "fancier" than we had eaten thus far, but our gamble paid off, as we were seated so quickly, we didn't even have time to look at the menu (which you're supposed to look at and choose your options to hand to the hostess as they bring you to the table). So we took the menus to the table and then had to walk the order back to the hostess . . at least we were able to claim "tourist" so we didn't look too bad.


Really, we were trying to look at the menu and fill out the order sheet - they just sat us too quickly.


the only real issue was that because we were late on a Monday evening, they were actually out of a few things that sounded very good / were house specials. So it did take a couple of tries to order things they still had available.


but eventually we got orders placed, and fantastic food came out.


these here were a spicy pork dumpling. and were my main course, but I also had a warm soup with it that was good too.


we ordered several varieties of steamed buns, that we shared among the table too..and I can't recall which these were - tho I think the larger one was pickled plum & bean paste? The smaller might have been some sort of pork or beef?


they were good tho, and came in a stack of bamboo steamers that were presented at the table with a lot of fanfare.


we stayed in the restaurant until about 9pm, (we had a great view out the floor to ceiling windows overlooking Nagoya, even tho we weren't at a table right next to the windows) .. . then after some brief window shopping in the mall, we headed back to our hotel across the street from the station.


a call home, a long shower, and then I crashed hard. I was out cold without even turning on the Television to check any news (hey, I was on vacation, I didn't need to know what was going on anyways).


a very fun, full, and satisfying day.


and there was still much more to come on this trip! Tomorrow night? we'd end our day at Disney Complex. .and I could not wait for that.


but that excitement didn't keep me up. . I was out very quickly, and dreamed of riding Hakugei.

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My four new favorite words came from Nagashima...FARM DE BANG BANG!!!


I honestly try to throw that in a conversation at least once a week.



HAHAHA. . I actually do that too, but not quite as often (since none of my friend here have a clue what I'm talking about)

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^That makes it even more amusing!


Also, I want to point out another big difference between the US and Japanese parks was quite evident this day and Bert pointed it out. With a forecast and weather like this most US parks would have closed early, or at least sent many of their part time staff home which means no chance of opening rides later in the day if the weather improves. In Japan with full time employment at most of their parks they were all there working, trying to get rides open, even 15min before the park closed with less than 100 people still in the park!

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^^ yeah. . I do get a laugh from the confused faces when I just blast out "FARM de BANG BANG!!!". . . usually with finger guns, when out in public.


^ thanks. Yeah, I had probably 75 pics of it from the ferris wheel, tho cut way back for the photo TR

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Another great chapter to the report! So many awesome photos from the ferris wheel, around the park, and of some things I forgot about! That ERT that Robb and Elissa secured for us was so helpful and made for such a memorable day. The park looked nice at night and the rain wasn't much of a bother since the weather was very mild.


Nagashima has a very good collection of coasters and happy to see they're giving at strong supporting cast with the edition of Farm de Bang Bang! That was seriously fun but I would have liked to have been able to ride it more, maybe they will take it off the upcharge list in the future.

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Nagashima has a very good collection of coasters and happy to see they're giving at strong supporting cast with the edition of Farm de Bang Bang! That was seriously fun but I would have liked to have been able to ride it more, maybe they will take it off the upcharge list in the future.


I'm really hoping to see it included in the next year or two.

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it really was worth the upcharge tho, right? I thought it was pretty amazing.


the fishing didn't do all the much for me and I can't imagine paying just to pretend to catch digital fish - seriously, I think I got more enjoyment just WATCHING the tank, and that part was free.


but get why the upcharge. . . this couldn't have been inexpensive to install that whole digital area.

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After a fantastic day at Nagashima Spaland, I woke up nice and early and finished packing up everything.


we were headed to Tokyo today, for a cooking class (that, spoiler, was amazing. . we learned how to make Gyoza & Yakisoba).


it was a free day, as long as we were at the cooking class in Tokyo by 6pm, and after the class? we were going to be headed to Tokyo Disney Resort Complex to check into our final hotel for the trip, and the Disney Days.


but on this day? Jon and I were gonna go on a Godzilla hunt!


Sunrise over Nagoya from my room. (and again, a pic out the window, but not a picture of the room. . d'oh!)


once again, I was up a bit early (I think by 6:15, as a few of us met up in the hallway to head down to the breakfast buffet that was on the 7th floor, and we got there just before it opens).


from just outside the Breakfast Buffet on the 7th floor, able to get a nice view of the Nagoya Station (and the lovely sculpture out front on this side).


I don't seem to have taken any pics of the buffet here, but it was more Japanese options than any of the other hotel breakfast buffets - which makes sense, as this hotel mainly caters to Japanese Buisinessmen on travel, rather than tourists. It was laid out like a reception buffet in a room with tables, rather than a permanent buffet set up with dedicated "islands" of food. Everything I had this morning was really good tho, and to my surprise, one of the options in the coffee machine was "American style". . so that was a pleasant surprise.


we didn't linger long over breakfast tho, as we had to go back to rooms to grab bags, and bring them down to the lobby by 8am for the luggage transfer to Hilton Tokyo Bay.


after handing our luggage off to Elissa in the lobby (she coordinated the luggage transfer - thanks again for that awesome arranging, Elissa!), we headed out to Nagoya Station.


here's a curbside view of that sculpture from the prior picture. (and the front of that awesome Bic Camera store that was closed this early, and I didn't get a chance to check out during our stop).


the trip on a Shinkansen from Nagoya to Tokyo would take about 1:40 minutes, but we weren't headed there directly.


Jon and I were headed to Shinjuku 1st - home of not just the Robot Cafe (tourist trap alert!), and the, ahem, "Adult" area/red-light section, but also the home of Hotel Gracery: the hotel that's famous now for the gigantic Godzilla that's coming up over the side of the building.


William wasn't going to be joining us in Shinjuku, but he was headed that way for his daily activity (think he was going to watch Sumo wrestling?).


I found it very interesting that even tho Japan seemed to be very crime free? they did have Wanted posters plastered in the displays at the Train Station.


interesting enough that I took a pic of them. . they all look so. . "nice" - a couple of them even smiling in their MugShots.


speaking of Mugshots . . . .bye bye Nagoya! It's been fun.


I still had some $$ on my Suica card, and today was the last day that I might need to use it, since we'd be at Disney Complex later today. And I said "might" as my railpass was also good for booking not just on Shinkansen, but also on standard JR line (that we were going to be on once in Tokyo).


But Jon noted that we could use the Suica card to purchase from the snack kiosks (or machines), so I burned off the rest of my cash on the card getting snacks for the Shinkansen.


these were basically "off brand Pringles" and they tasted a bit stale. But really, I bought them for the packages, which I thought were pretty, and only munched a bit on the chips (was still full from breakfast)


Even tho we had gone to a non-reserved car (not getting specific seats for our train), it was pretty empty when we first got on, and had no issue sitting together in one row for the 1 1/2 hour or so trip towards Tokyuo, where we'd change to a regular train to get to ShinJuku station.


because we were going the other Direction, I got to see things I hadn't seen during our trip down to Osaka (as I had been sitting on the same side of the train going that way). . so it was super interesting to see the landscape (and the ocean!) as we zoomed back towards Tokyo.



once we pulled into the station in Tokyo, we said our goodbyes to William (until later), and Jon and I hopped on a train on the Green Line to head to Shinjuku in search of. . . Godzilla crap to buy!


Although I had been in the Shinjuku station earlier in the trip (when we went to Fuji-Q, our express bus left from there), it is a VERY large station.


and this time we exited in the opposite direction of the Express Bus terminal, so we stepped out into another lovely Japanese hub, with tons of stimuli and activity.


looking back over towards the station for all the construction and electrical that supports all the trains.


just like New York. . well, sorta.


hey, there's Pigeons.


this was blocked off, but it appeared to be a little shrine for hand-washing.


thought it was cute so snapped a pic.


a lot of super interesting architecture in this area. . is this a capsule hotel?


regardless, thought it was cool, so snapped a pic, as we took off towards the Giant Godzilla we knew was lurking a few blocks over.


This puzzle building was super interesting too.


Seriously, I could just walk around all day looking at the buildings. But we had other things on our mind - both of us loved the Godzilla stuff, and were hoping to get some G-crap. But Jon also really likes claw machines/games, and there were a lot of parlors in this area, so we stopped a couple of times to play (and for me to spend way too much $$ trying to win some chalky candy, since it looked like it would be easy to get, but nope. . and once I started trying to win, I REALLY wanted some. . LOL).



in one of the parlors, you could win a Jack Skellington statue.


i didn't play this one - I mean, if I won it, it would take up SO much room in my luggage, so didnt' even try.


but I did try a few other machines here, including one offering Godzilla 2K diorama that was beautiful - and the workers really kept trying to help us win. They kept opening up the machine, and repositioning for us to make it "easy". . sometimes even removing the "claw" and showing us where on the box we needed to connect to knock it into the win.


after a few too many tries (but still cheaper than buying it import from Japan), I finally won one!

and shortly after, Jon got one too


so after spending probably 45 minutes in this particular arcade, we both walked out with Godzilla dioramas.


but just at the next intersection?


we saw the real thing. . . it's hard to get across in a picture just HOW HUGE this thing is.


it's incredible to see, and every once in a while, the eyes light up and he breathes smoke. I'll bet it looks incredible at night, but during the day it was great too.


Godzilla Geek in front of Godzilla.


i'm amazed I'm not making a more stupid face, as cool as this was.


we weren't just gonna look at it from far away - hell no. . .. Godzilla is attacking the Hotel, and coming over the side of a gigantic movie theater. So we figured if we wanted to get some Godzilla swag? this building was certain to have a Godzilla gift shop, right?


So we headed across the intersection and up the street towards him.


(notice the Rugby Cup 2019 flags. . yep, we were there during the Rugby cup too)


Getting closer!


and turning around. . .hmmm. . . weird, this is literally right across the street from the red-light district!


well. . before we go in search of Godzilla stuff, let's take a wander and see what we can see in this area. It's the day-time, so it will be quiet, but we're here, let's walk around a couple of blocks.


the idea of a Gyoza place in this area certainly piqued my interest (but I figured it would be a tourist trap, and we were going to be making our own later). . but I was still pretty full from breakfast & chips on the train, so we kept going.


hey now!


and on the right there? that's one of the infamous "used panties" vending machines.


no, I didn't buy one, tho I was morbidly curious! At only ~$5 it seemed like quite the deal (and there were a few empty containers on top, so the machine was doing business. .but really, what was *I* gonna do with this prize)?


so I just settled for a picture in front of the shop.


Thumbs up for Mannequin Bondage !!!


a few more blocks over and it morphs from red-light to flat out touristy again.


here's a billboard (building-board?) advertising the Robot Restaurant.


actually, I think maybe the Tourist area is just a big circle, with the red-light district in the center. as when we kept around the outer sections of this area, it was arcades, and claw machine parlors (with some gambling parlors mixed in). The sex shops, and "massage parlors" were all in the center several blocks/alleys.


well. . the Robot Restaurant certainly is. . . . subtle, right?


but of course I'll stop for a pic near it, even if we dont' go inside for the meal/show.


what's this? a photo op, where you can climb up and ride a giant Robot?


yes please.


a typical street in this area. . with one of the large claw machine arcades on the left there.


headed back towards Godzilla, we came across this small shrine (temple?) in the middle of the area.


there was no one around, and the only offerings I spotted on the grounds were empty beer bottles, and crushed out cigarettes.


maybe it's a private residence?


i really, really liked it tho. . it was so different than it's surroundings, and had some really lovely design on it.





and just around the corner from that lovely place above?


I dunno. . . a traditional Thai Massage in Japan? if you're traveler, why not just go to Thailand?


yep, we cut back thru the red-light streets/alleys to get back to Godzilla




don't trust the touts!


(googling it on the spot told me that's slang for someone who "solicits". . . gee. . WHAT could they be soliciting or trying to sell here???) :p


this isn't the infamous "piss alley" that some on the trip took a visit to (that's famous for the tiny bars lining it).


but this was an alley, and it did LOOK like it probably smelled of piss.


so I took a picture of it.


look! a fully licensed (I'm sure) Playboy club in Tokyo.


It wasn't open so early in the day, otherwise I really would have gone in to have a cocktail and check out the bunny outfits.


a hairy pig with man-nipples.


no recollection what they were selling here - maybe it was a restaurant? - but no desire to check it out. . LOL


it really is such an interesting area. . lots of arcades and touristy stuff down one street.




It turns out in this pic, I caught the "Kabukicho gate" - the entrance area to this section of Shinjuku.


from Wiki:

Kabukichō (歌舞伎町) is an entertainment and red-light district in Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan. Kabukichō is the location of many host and hostess clubs, love hotels, shops, restaurants, and nightclubs, and is often called the "Sleepless Town" (眠らない街).


Kabukicho is a famous entertainment district best known for adult-oriented nightlife. Small clubs, smoky pubs, and late-night snack bars are crammed into lantern-lit alleys in Golden Gai. Robot Restaurant hosts kitschy sci-fi dinner shows, while rock bands play at Marz and Ashibe Hall. Daytime visitors can dress up in warrior armor at the Samurai Museum and learn sneaky feudal combat tactics at the Ninja Trick House.


and the next street lined with massage parlors, and sex shops, and adult anime movie places.


we made our way back around to the Hotel with Godzilla on it, but before we were able to figure out how to get UP there (or into the hotel for that matter), we noticed a plaza with a few arcades, and a whole claw shop that was SEGA branded.


this sculpture was in the courtyard between a pachinko parlor & gambling arcade & the SEGA claw storefront.


there were some bums hanging out here too. . which was really the first homeless I had noticed in Japan.


that courtyard is across the street from the hotel building with Godzilla, and also the Toho Cinemas IMAX, that had this incredible digital display of Godzilla roaring.


going back into the claw place to look for Jon. . there were lots of goodies to try for.


such as this Chip N Dale pillow giant claw (not SEGA themed, but in the SEGA store. . . I think the entire 2nd floor were all SEGA properties tho).


and what's this?


on the right is the same Godzilla diorama that Jon and I had both won earlier, but on the left, is a Super-Deformed version.


I loved it and HAD to have one.


so. . about $40 later, and with - again - help from the staff who kept opening up the box to re-position it when I would knock it into a "hard" spot to get? I eventually won one of these too!


and huge thanks to Jon who let me take the win, when he could have grabbed it for himself (tho he knew how much I had spent trying to get it first. .LOL).


*almost* tempted to try for one of these for my Hello Kitty friend. .but I already had a few things for him, so was saving space in my suitcase for Godzilla and Disney stuff now.


we went across to the gambling arcade across the courtyard, and tho I didn't notice any signs saying no pictures, no one asked me to put the camera away (the change person even gave me a big smile and said hello).


this game is a bartender game, where you're supposed to slide the glass along the counter to land in the specific spots for points.


(I was NOT good at it).


they also had traditional slot machines, as well as pachinko in here. *way* less smoke than in the pachinko parlors we had passed thus far on this trip.


some of the Pachinko machines were really cool, tho I didn't play any of them.


wasn't gonna get sucked into gambling and lose the rest of the day!


they had some "regular" games in this casino too. . such as this "dance dance revolution" type game, with a very intricate LED dancing floor.


we then made our way across the street, and followed the signs up to the Movie Theater Lobby (not realizing it's not connected to the Hotel). . but since it was in the same building, once up there, we figured the theater MUST have a store?


we were correct, tho the prices were super Touristy high, I thought.


they sold a little bit of everything from many different genres of films - including superheroes, Disney, etc. . and they did have a small Godzilla section.


nothing here really floated my boat tho - I mean, these are cute, but I can get them in the USA thru my comic shop (and for cheaper).


this guy was adorable, and I almost bought him, even tho he was (I think) $20.


but the lady at the counter told me that if I wanted Godzilla things, that the lobby of the hotel had a Godzilla only store.


So rather than spend $$ here, we left the theater lobby, and went searching for how to get to the Hotel lobby.


a picture thru the windows by the theater lobby.


I like the "I heart Kabuki-cho" advertising on the side of the building, so it was nice to notice that from this angle.


awww. .the cute little chibi-Godzilla is a size chart for the kiddos to see if they can "ride" the MX4D theater seats.


at least I think that's what this is outside the lobby, before we took the escalators back down to the entrance level, and then down a walkway to find the elevators that take you up to the 8th floor lobby of the hotel (and right next to Godzilla's head).


uh oh.. this sign was in the elevator up to the lobby.


I knew I was in big trouble when I saw they take Mastercard at this hotel - and knowing that the cashier at the theater shop had told me there was a Godzilla store in the hotel lobby!




yep, and as you exit the elevator and head to the lobby? they have lit up displays of every Godzilla movie that has been made. at least the Japanese releases. .no Matthew Broderick and a Kaiju running around Madison Square Garden movie poster in sight.


didn't see King of Monsters or the 2016 version either, which was a little odd, since those were officially TOHO liscensed.


still really cool to see.




ooo. .there's more than 1 animated film? have to hunt down the one from 2017


they have a really nice cafe here, with a few fantastic Godzilla statues set up near it




out on the patio behind it, is the Giant Godzilla head and claw.


you are able to access the area via the cafe, or if you're staying in the hotel, but as we still weren't really hungry - and knowing we were about to drop a crapton of $$ at the lobby Godzilla store?


We went out on the patio and greeted the security guard standing there. He nodded good morning to us (we were the only two on the patio) and went about his business leaving us standing there under the giant head.



surrounding the giant sculpture are a few reliefs depicting famous scenes from some of the big G's movies.






looking up.


HUGE. . and incredible.




he's gonna git me!!!


this really is so freaking cool.. it ranks up there among my favorite things I did/saw on this trip.


of course, I'm a gigantic Godzilla nerd.


see? even took pics of his claws coming over the side of the building.


even Japanese Jason Bateman is impressed.


there's a pretty spectacular view of the area from this deck too.


looking out from right under the Big G


looking down at some of the streets we had been walking on. Still loving the unique architecture



as noted. . so. freaking. cool.


and it lights up and blows smoke at night.


he's eating my head.


after a few more minutes outside, we made our way over to the lobby store, where - as noted- I spent WAY too much $$ (buying magnets, postcards, two T-shirts. .that fit, sorta. . and assorted other goodies), and then we made our way back down to the street to head back to the Shinjuku train station.


Never did figure out why - there was nothing close that he could have been advertising for - but on the side of one building as we were walking by, I looked up and saw Spider-Man.


gee.. wonder what they are selling?


cut the picture too close to make the juvenile joke. .but I'm enjoying my man-boobs outside of ManBoo


not really sure what they sell in there, but it looked like a video game or DVD place


as did this, with a sorta: Cyber/bug/Devil-Man grabbing his crotch giant sculpture on the outside of the building.


it had been a pretty packed morning, and we had decided that we still had a few hours until we needed to be at the cooking class, so we were gonna go back to Shibuya.


there was a souvenir shop that I wanted to visit (and try to buy a Shibuya crossing T-shirt I had seen in the window the night we had gone by in the rain, but the store was closed).


but before we went back to the train station to hop on a train to Shibuya? I wanted a little pick me up - so we went to Starbucks! Yay for white chocolate mocha.


yum.. . .and how cute, they were celebrating Halloween on the cups


they didn't ask name, as it was basically a small store with one window where you order and wait for them to make it and hand it to you.


but I got a bat along with my Happy Halloween and heart


I believe Jon got the mystery coffee drink we had seen advertised at Fuji-Q, and it turned out to be some sort of raspberry chocolate drink.


while sipping our warm drinks, we wandered around the small "mall" where the Starbucks was.


hmmm. .wonder what this store is selling: "Hotel Lovers" could be anything.. tho the images in the "O"s make me wonder if makeup really IS all they are selling here?


there was an escalator going down to "Big Mama" and I'm not really sure what that is. but the figures on the sign, tho cute, made me a little wary to even wanna go check :)



and with that, we finished our drinks, and headed to the train station to catch a ride to Shibuya.


some of the Godzilla stuff I got today: the Two shirts are at the bottom center


both have Kaiju on the back coming out of the "blue Wave". .so I got Godzilla, and a King Ghidorah shirt.


some of the Godzilla Magnets


one of the Claw Machine Godzilla's I got.


the other Claw Machine Godzilla


another Godzilla Magnet.



part II coming up in the next couple of days.. Shibuya and the DC comics pop up store we stumbled across

Edited by bert425
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Great report! Love all the Godzilla stuff so much.


yeah, this turned out to be a great day (even tho we never got to meet up with Kristen due to the Typhoon messing with flights in).


but as huge a Godzilla / Kaiju fan i am, I'm a bigger DC comics fan. . so the day would only get better when we stumbled across the DC Pop Up store in Shibuya. . and then climaxing with that fantastic Cooking class! (before ending the full day at TokyoDisney complex).


Even without a single rollercoaster or theme park on this day, it ends up ranking pretty high on the list of days spent in Japan. Although, really, EVERY day on this trip was really spectacular - even the Typhoon Day in Osaka.



So you went to the red light district and got a latte from Starbucks....




oh my! Where in the world is that located? Amsterdam?



Nice report! You're every bit the Godzilla and kaiju fan in general I am. I need to spend some more time exploring Kabukicho when I go back. So much to see there.




yep, big fan. . and I was thinking the same thing about you when you were posting your report with images from the films showing the landmarks.


I'd love to do a landmark tour like you were able to put together

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