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Day Four - Arriving in Japan & Galaxy Express 999

 

So the last two days have been really insane! Let's see where we left off......We were on our way to the Hong Kong airport heading to Japan!

 

Our flight took off from HKG at 12:40am and we got into South Korea for a 4 hour layout and a change of planes, and finally got into NRT around 11am.

 

We had forgotten how awesome Japan was and we managed to grab my bad (which was waiting for me by the time we got through the short Immigration line), got our rail passes processed, and made our Shinkansen reservations for the next couple of days....all within about 45 minutes!!! Why can't American airports be this efficient? *sigh*

 

Anyway, our goal for this day was to get to Fukuoka, and for those of you familiar with Japan, you know it's FAR....really far! To give you some idea, here's a map of Japan:

 

But first we made a stop at an indoor park called "Aqua Stadium" to catch a ride on "Galaxy Express 999" which is a fairly recent Intamin Rocket coaster.

 

I'm not sure if you can really call it an Intamin Rocket since it doesn't use the hydraulic cable launch, it's all tire driven. The ride itself is REALLY bizarre! It's all indoors, mostly in the dark, and you lauch out of the station, do an IMMEDIATE U-Turn into a verical loop! WTF?!?!

 

Then the rest of the ride you pretty much meander around do some turns and helixes, then end up in an un-loading area.

 

The ride is based on the Anime movie "Galaxy Express 999" and you have to sit through a very strange animatronic and movie pre-show before you board the ride. It takes about 20 minutes total for the entire "ride experience." Needless to say, while it wasn't bad, there wasn't any need to ride again!

 

We met up with RollerMonkey for a quite bite at McDonald's (of course!) and we continued our trek down to Fukuoka.

 

It was a REALLY long day being that we hadn't had a night of sleep in a real bed in 30 hours!

 

Today we visited Space World and Uminonakamichi Seaside Park, but first the photos from our travels and Galaxy Express 999!

 

Click HERE to return to the "TPR Returns To Asia" Front Page

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And here's our fancy toilet complete with bidet and ass warmer!!!!

Check back soon for Space World and Uminonakamichi Seaside Park photos and videos!

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We finally made it to our hotel in Fukuoka after nearly a day of traveling....here's our bed....

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During our last trip I was kind of scared of "Pocari Sweat" because...welll, the thought of drinking "Sweat" but this time I tried it....I didn't know sweat tastes like grapefruit!!!!

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I don't care if it's roasted squid, it smells freaking great, and I'm eating it!!!

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"Shhhhhh! We're in the silence car!"

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Yay! This time we could actually SEE Mt. Fuji!!!

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"I'm on the train playing Animal Crossing on the DS - do you think I can pass for a Japanese person now?"

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"Shinkansen" translates into REALLY FREAKING FAST TRAINS!!!!

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Ready to ride the choo-choo with us?

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"I haven't had McDonlads in nearly 40 hours...I'm starting to go through withdrawls!!!"

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Since the ride is mostly in the dark, all we have are these really cool station pics for you. Enjoy!

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It looks like an Intamin, it smells like an Intamin.....what shocked us was launching out of the station, into a U-Turn into a VERTICAL LOOP!!!!

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"Check me out with my sexy looking coaster ticket...." (Dammit the chest hair grew back!!!!)

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Tranlated into English it says "Credit....this way!"

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They had the coolest looking Carousel ever! I totally had the "Under The Sea" song playing through my head!

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"Galaxy Express 999" is part of an indoor amusement park called "Aqua Stadium" which is part of a hotel complex called "Shinagawa Prince Hotel". Confused yet?

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While they might look like your standard city buildings, one of them has an Intamin roller coaster inside!

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Yay!!!!

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Quaker is working on his Japanese impression.

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Back on the plane heading towards Tokyo. The wingspan on the 777 is impressive!

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Ok, in the women's restroom in South Korea, Elissa found the "Etiquette Bell" in the toilet stall. WTF does this do??? Is this for when you have gnarly kimchee farts it covers up the noise???

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Elissa catches up on email during our layover in South Korea.

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We start our long day of travel in Hong Kong airport. Look at how cool this place is!!!

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This report is way beyond AWESOMENESS…

 

I am already ordering the DVD in advance now. Promise me some great Disney stuff, this please looks great (even if not so many rides). It is something I would love to see…

I have now decided I will put myself up for adoption. Robb and Elissa will be my new parents and will take me along to all the trips…

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Day Five: Space World and Uminonakamichi Seaside Park!

Download the Titan POV Video:

http://www.themeparkreview.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=7

 

Space World was a park that I've known about for a LONG time. We didn't do it on our last Japan trip because it's really far away from Tokyo and we weren't ready to venture that down "south."

 

Space World is probably best known for "Titan" which is that mythical fourth Arrow Hyper Coaster built around the same time as Desperado and Pepsi Max. Hardly anyone has been on this ride, hell, even RCDB only has a handfull of photos. I had heard rumors that it's a "Magnum clone" but what we found out today is that's it's anything but! This ride is SO different from Magnum in every way other than the first drop drops and the trains. In fact, it reminds me more of Excalibur at Valleyfair than Magnum! :shock: Download the video and find our for yourself!

 

The other coaster this park is known for is "Venus." You've probably heard or seen pictures of the coaster with "a space shuttle in the middle of it." That's this one. Again, myths surround this ride as it's a "Mauer Shone, but designed by Schwarzkopf." Honestly, I have no idea if it's true or not. It certainly "feels" like it could be.

 

Overall this park was really nice. They had three other coasters, two of which were pretty much kiddies and one really messed up indoor "Gundam" ride! (Derek would kill for this!)

 

There was no one at the park, and in fact during the last hour we were there we didn't see Titan run once! You'll see in the photos what I mean by a "dead park!"

 

Oh, yeah, there was also one of those Vekoma "Wakiki Wave Super Flip" things which was REALLY psycho! I don't think one ever got built in the states, so this was kind of cool to ride!

 

Next up we visited a bizarre place, "Uminonakamichi Seaside Park"

 

This was a "bonus park" for us, and since it was only about 45 minutes away from Space World, and we were done with Space World by 1pm, we knew we could hit this place.

 

We didn't have much information other than it seemed like they had a pretty decent sized coaster and we knew the train station was RIGHT at the entrance to the park.

 

When we got there, it seemed like the place should have been closed. Both due to no one visiting, and it seemed like some rides have been removed recently. There were flat rides like an Enterprise that were on the map, but certainly not in the park!

 

It was creepy like Nara Dreamland in the sense that no one was around and there were these large plots of land in between sections of the park where nothing existed. The park itself seemed better maintained than Nara.

 

It's also part of a much larger "aquatic" complex where it looks like there are marine animal shows and a water park during the summer. The rides park looked kind of sad, though. We felt bad for it!

 

RCDB says the name of the coaster is called "Jet Coaster" but in front of it there was a big Dolphin sign....hmm...not sure what it was called!

 

The ride itself was actually quite big, but also kind of pointless. There were a couple of decent sized drops, no airtime or forces to speak up, some helixes, turns, and meandering around.

 

From the coaster we spotted something even more interesting....an obstacle course! This one was almost completely over water! Similar to the monkey bars that Joey was too much of a wuss to do at Farup Sommerland, water was under almost all of the obstacles. Not as deep at Farup's, but still water, and considering it was freezing outside, quite threatening!

 

Needless to say no one fell in!

 

Anyway, onto today's photos.....

 

Click HERE to return to the "TPR Returns To Asia" Front Page

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Overall, we had a really great time at Space World! Good coasters, fun rides, good food, pretty much makes you not want to go to US parks anymore! ;)

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Ahh yes, we find the bizarre-o randomly placed robotic animals that you can ride. Weird, totally weird!

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There was also an S&S Tower at the park, but it seemed really closed and wasn't even listed on the map!

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OMG, that is a BIG ferris wheel!!!

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WOah! Elissa eats normal food two days in a row? What is the world coming to?!??!

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"Look, ma. A food culture credit! Real Japanese curry!"

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Japan parks are so awesome. Here they wheel you over your loose articles to the exit for when you get off the ride!

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For those of you who are wearing sexy shoes, there are some pretty wacky instructions on how to strap them up before riding!

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It was fun, but it's also a Vekoma ride, so it comes with a little pain!

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Finally got to ride one of these "Super Flip" psycho things.

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The Japanese seems to love their helixes!

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This gets the "Fatman's seal of approval!"

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The turns were very "Schwarzkopfy"

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It was pretty kick-ass, but I don't think it *quite* lived up to all the hype.....

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The ride was a lot longer than I thought it would be....

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Quaker's all "I love a good tight harness!"

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Oddly enough, the first two drops were almost identical to Manhattan Express!!!

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I have to say this was pretty bad-ass.

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Venus! Another mythical coaster AND one of very few "female" rides!

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"Hey baby...I heard you sat in the Gundam chair. Wanna get a hotel room and I'll slap your junk around?"

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The kiddie coaster was like the Astronaut training coaster. Who knew being an astronaut would be so easy?

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This was kind of like a slightly larger roller skater....except it went to space.....I think.

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SPAAAAAACE COAAAAAASTER! And it goes backwards too!

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!!!!!!!!!! WTF !!!!!!!!

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Let's see - Japanese indoor coaster checklist:

1. Flashing lights - Check!

2. Warp Speed Tunnel - Check!

3. Bright mirror room - Check!

4. Random side bashing into restraint - Check!

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"Just what we always wanted....the Gundam coaster!"

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Your typical messed up Japanese indoor coaster made by someone we couldn't identify!

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Ahh, there it is! "Blackhole Scramble" sounds like a Sega Genesis game!

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GAH!!!!! Gundam everywhere!!!! Where's the damn credit???

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Quakers all "Yeah, baby...check me out in my Gundam chair. This will sure get me some 300lb anime fans now!"

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It was like an explosion in the Gundam factory landed in Space World!

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Good thing Derek wasn't with us because he would have died in here!

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I love Japan!!!

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We had a total "OMG-WTF-HOLY CRAP" moment when we were on the ride and we saw this mess of Arrow track coming right for us!

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Even Elissa seems to be having fun on the Arrow monstrosity.

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The first drop was "ok" but overall this ride didn't hurt...which is a good thing!

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But this Arrow bent hanger crazieness looks NOTHING like Magnum!

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The trains are like a turquoise Magnum!

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"Hello, I am Robb the mythical beast of the underworld, and here is Titan, the mythical Arrow beast of Japan!"

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Yes it's true...the furries LOVE Elissa!

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Yay! It's Space World!!!!

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Here is the view from the train station. Nice, huh?

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We like it when the park's have their own JR Rail station!

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Uminonakamichi Seaside Park Photos....

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Hey Dan, this is the new hottness "Rabbit Burger!"

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"Ok, look, I ate the Chinese food at Space World, now can we PLEASE go get some REAL food????"

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Time to head out of this weird place!

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It's now become a goal to find a giant, randomly places, robotic walk around steerable animal in every park!

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Not quite Heide Park's roller slides, but these were still cool.

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Everything you need in life, you can get in a vending machine!

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"Ahh, yes, the person with a giant fish for a head...totally normal!"

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Ahh, good to see that Japanese walk-thru dark rides seem to make total sense!

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"Does this count as me getting some hot action from a Japanese whore?"

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Now the day we hung out with the "hot snake-neck chick" will be remembered forever!

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"GRRRRR!!! I'm crazy Japanese scary cat in the window....GIMME SOME CANDY!!!!"

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This zip line's got two giant balls!

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"Hey Joey! What do you think of this? Huh? Huh???" =)

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"I don't get it!!!!"

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"Um....go through the tires....ok, we can do this."

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Ok, so the water was pretty shallow, but it was only like 3 degrees outside!

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OMG! The coasters running again! Quick get photos!!!!!

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Hey Joey! Even I got into the obstacle course action!

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OMG!!!!!

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"Unlike wussy Joey, I'll actually go across!"

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OMG what is that???

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We only saw it run two other times while we were at the park!

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There's Elissa riding solo so we could get photos of it going!

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This ride was actually pretty darn big!

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"Looks like we're going to take turns riding so we can get photos of it!"

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"Jet Coaster" or "Mega Dolphin Fantasy" you decide!

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Oh, hey! We're in luck!!!

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Score! We find a credit. But is this place even open????

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Wait! What's that off in the distance???

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"Sucker Americans! No coaster for you today!!!!"

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We're in the middle of nowhere, I really hope there's a roller coaster around here someplace!

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Here is the entrance to the park...err...at least we think!

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We passed a station called "Togo"....OUCH!!!!!

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Quaker is really fitting into Japan!

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Wow, I am getting jet lag just THINKING about all your traveling! And I remember Pocari Sweat, too! It was actually pretty tasty.

 

I also liked the hot cocoa in the vending machine. It came in a can, so it warmed your hands as well! How they got it to a temperature that didn't burn your hands I will never know!

 

Enjoy the parks! That last one had a Dolphin mascot on the coaster. I think they had the same dolphin at Portopialand in Kobe. I went there in 2001.

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Awww, I'm kind of sad you all didn't "experience" Mega Dolphin Fantasy. I have one of those at least 3 times a day and wanted to see if their version was better. Meh, nothing can be better than my Mega Dolphin Fantasy...nothing!

 

I think I am just jealous because I've always wanted to ride an animatronic panda around an amusement park.

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Great updates! I'm looking through some of the Japan updates and I'm thinking, hey, I ate there or I was in that train station. It's great to see some of those places again along with the parks I didn't get to visit.

 

I was surprised to the see Titan's mess of track when I arrived at Space World in the summer. Now everyone can see what this ride does. It reminds me of the butterfly element on Anaconda at PKD and that's not really a good thing.

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All I have to say is you guys suck for riding the Gundam ride without me. On the other hand, thanks so much for getting pictures of the Gundam ride for me! Keep having fun, and try to get some sleep this week at some point.

 

Plese nuderstand if Gundam ride is no on trip Japan 2007, I go not on trip.

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Wow on that titan sure looks like Ron Toomer had a field day with a coat hanger designing that twisted mess part!!

 

Wow Venus looks so smooth!! Did those helixes pull some good positive g's?

 

Looks like another fun filled day at one of the many super happy mega fun joy Japan parks!! You know your day is complete when you get to visit the fish headed people and the super twisty neck girl!

Was the entrance to Uminonakamichi Seaside Park like a mile away from the actual park itself? To me it looked like you had to follow the yellow brick road to it!

Great TR update Robb!!

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