Photo TR: Aaron's World Tour of Japan!

2/14 Tokyo Disneysea!
Users viewing this topic: No registered users and 1 guest
Discuss theme parks, roller coasters, and mules!
I love donkeys more than me.
User avatar
Posts: 1797
Joined: 28 Aug 2012
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Gender: Male
Age: 33

Photo TR: Aaron's World Tour of Japan!

Postby azza29 » Thu Sep 24, 2015 7:01 am

I'd always wanted to visit Japan, so when the prospect of a trip came up last year I played it cool and waited a whole five minutes before letting Elissa know I was in. Fast forward to June this year and it was time to head to Tokyo. Over the course of three weeks we explored Tokyo, Nagoya and Fukuoka, riding the Shinkansen from across the country and back, with rollercoasters and Japanese culture mixed in together.

Before the planned trip days started, we had some free time to experience Tokyo at our leisure. A few of us chose to start at two smaller parks - Yomiuriland and Toshimaen. Yomiuriland is very much an amusement park, almost like visiting a carnival with a few permanent installations. Toshimaen is more of a "garden with rides". These parks made for a fun "first day in Japan", with some unique rides and experiences.

As the tunnel is not yet finished, I flew to Tokyo via Singapore...

...landing the next day at Haneda airport. I guess this is an industrial area. I'm not sure what that weird pyramid thing is though.

Base camp for the first few days was a hotel across from Shinagawa station. This is the busiest train station in Tokyo, but it was easy enough to find my way around. Speaking of Japanese efficiency, from getting off the plane to arriving at the hotel took less than an hour, including customs, bags, train trip in. Too easy!

Tokyo's subway system is extensive, but it's simple enough to know where to go once you figure out how it works. We made it out to Yomiuriland station without any trouble.

Rollercoaster Tycoon fans will be excited to note that entrance to the park is via a gondola ride. As is common in Japan, you buy your ticket at a vending machine. Jeff is making this look harder than it was.

The ride in is pretty cool, taking you across a valley and right up next to Bandit, the park's major coaster.

The Wish of The Emergency is the name of my alt-punk-metal band.

Here we are! At Yomiuriland!

Mandatory photo with the park mascot.

I hope Jeff isn't planning on counting that as a credit.

More vending machine goodness, plenty of variety. These things were cheap, too! I think a bottle of Coke was around $2, which is half of what I'd pay back home.

Hello Bandit. Awesome Japanese efficiency does not seem to extend to their ride operations, which were often slow. This coaster was a walk on, but it probably took ten minutes between each dispatch.

The trains are themed to logs. This is superb.

Bandit used the surrounding terrain quite well, and felt like it picked up quite a bit of speed throughout. The helix was reasonably forceful and there was the odd pop of airtime on some of the hills, but this 5100 foot ride is more about speed and pleasant views than anything else.

The ride footprint is seriously huge. I liked that it wandered off into the woods halfway through.

After your ride, no gift shop but there is a themed restaurant.

Yomiuriland midway. Definitely an eclectic mix of themes here.

Wan Wan Coaster Wandit (no, that's really the name) is a fairly standard family coaster, featuring a bubble machine on the lift hill.

The Elephant of Self-Actualisation welcomes you to the vintage car ride.

Having a blast.

A pedal car ride sits above the vintage cars. This was a lot of effort for very little gain, although as Jere would remind us, the tiny lift hill meant it could technically count as a credit. Umm...

As is common at Japanese amusement parks, birds were prohibited from most rides as the restraints could not safely accommodate them.

So I guess you could call this "Japanese theme park food" - it's a katsu curry and was OK, but we had better ones later in the trip. You know, at actual restaurants.

This ride is well-themed and terrifying.

Momonga Standing & Loop Coaster is an interesting one. It has two trains, one standing and one seated. The station has a transfer track in it, so you line up on a different side depending on which train you want to ride in. As this is a Togo ride, the standing train was more comfortable.

Sadly Twist Coaster Robin was out of action. I'd be interested to know what the story is behind this one, as the ride is definitely complete and operational (some test cars were being sent around), but still closed.

I've only been on one El Loco to date (Green Lantern) but quite liked it. Those S&S trains make for a pretty comfy ride too.

Super Exciting Shot was exactly that. The shot and drop towers sat on top of the hill, so they gave great views of Tokyo.

The park also had a lengthy go kart ride. Japanese go karts are a little different from those you might find at, say, Fun Spot, in that you just drive around the track without any racing involved. Doug is clearly having the time of his life.

Would the gentleman care for a glass of the house red?

Our last stop at Yomiuriland was the haunted house. Getting in was a bit tricky, as the attendant had lost the English instructions so much pantomime and polite nodding occurred. We were supplied with a cork and sent into the maze. What happens next is up to your imagination.

Go in peace, gaijin!

One more gondola ride back to the train station. This is suburban Tokyo, I have no idea where the city ends.

A couple more train rides and we arrived at Toshimaen.

Toshimaen has a few more trees than Yomiuriland, and is sort of a city park with some rides thrown in.

It reminded me a little of Tivoli Gardens, with a pleasant ambiance.

The first "credit" was this powered mine train. Fans of banked turns will really enjoy this one.

Mini Cyclone gave us the longest wait of the day. It was very popular, probably because it was the best coaster in the park.

Like Bandit the trains are once again themed to logs. The park also had an actual log ride, themed to logs of course.

Cyclone looks like an elevated railway but is less thrilling. This was our first of the Japanese "jet coasters" and it had a few strange elements, like this flattened out hill.

It was, however, impressive to look at. Please note that giant pirate ship ride in the background, a staple of many Japanese parks.

The keen-eyed will have noticed another set of log-like trains. These had velour seating, no less.

Another Japanese haunted house. These were more creepy than outright scary, and typically had a "homemade" aesthetic.

Japan's answer to the Catawampus.

Tucked away in a back corner is Mystery Zone, a large dark ride.

I think this was themed to aliens. Or possibly dinosaurs. In any case, let's just say that Disney probably aren't losing any sleep over this one, although it was good enough for a small park.

The loading area. Everybody loves rockwork. So ends the first part of this report - next up will be Tobu Zoo and some random Tokyo sightseeing. Thanks for reading!
Last edited by azza29 on Sun Feb 14, 2016 1:53 am.

Site Admin
User avatar
Posts: 34151
Joined: 01 Feb 2005
Location: Swimming in the Ocean
Gender: Female
Age: 39

Re: Photo TR: Aaron's World Tour of Japan!

Postby SharkTums » Thu Sep 24, 2015 8:22 am

I think this was themed to aliens. Or possibly dinosaurs.


I prefer to mate with donkeys over humans!
User avatar
Posts: 2250
Joined: 10 Dec 2010
Location: Houston, Texas
Gender: Male
Age: 33

Re: Photo TR: Aaron's World Tour of Japan!

Postby Mrlittle » Thu Sep 24, 2015 8:46 am

Great start to your TR. Looking forward to reading future updates.

I had sex with N-Tag before you did.
User avatar
Posts: 3921
Joined: 23 Nov 2005
Location: Dallas, TX
Gender: Male
Age: 28

Re: Photo TR: Aaron's World Tour of Japan!

Postby Jakizle » Thu Sep 24, 2015 9:49 am

Great TR! I was going to do a Photo TR but I feel like if I just copy and paste yours it was exactly the same :)

Were they doing Splash Bandit? I was surprised when I picked the wrong queue and got soaked at 9am my first ride!

I love donkeys more than me.
User avatar
Posts: 1797
Joined: 28 Aug 2012
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Gender: Male
Age: 33

Re: Photo TR: Aaron's World Tour of Japan!

Postby azza29 » Thu Sep 24, 2015 5:18 pm

^I was impressed by how much you packed into your short trip! It was like the highlights of everything we took three weeks to see.

Bandit was a dry ride when we were there. I didn't notice any water cannons (although wasn't really looking for them) - where did they splash you?

I love donkeys more than me.
User avatar
Posts: 1797
Joined: 28 Aug 2012
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Gender: Male
Age: 33

Re: Photo TR: Aaron's World Tour of Japan!

Postby azza29 » Sun Sep 27, 2015 5:45 am

Tobu Zoo
After riding Piraten in Denmark last year, I was excited to find out that Japan also has an Intamin Megalite - Kawasemi! Robb had arranged some filming time so we had the coaster to ourselves for an hour before the park opened (way to go Robb!). If you haven't been on one, Megalites are airtime machines. Once they warm up the ride basically does its best to eject you from your seat every two seconds.

Apart from Kawasemi, Tobu Zoo is, as you'd expect, mostly a zoo with a medium-sized ride area. Apart from Regina, the Intamin woodie, most of the rides are aimed at younger children. There are also two giant ferris wheels for good measure, along with a steampunk-fish gondola ride. The zoo had a large variety of animals but some of them looked to be in rough shape - especially a few sad-looking rhinos and a lonely ostrich. I think the worst was a brown bear kept inside the kind of cage zoos used to have a hundred years ago - all concrete and iron bars. That said, a lot of the enclosures were more modern and animal-friendly, so hopefully the zoo is gradually updating.

Once we were done with the zoo a few of us took the train to Tokyo DIsneyland for our own little "preview" event. This was mainly because Space Mountain would be closed for renovation when we were scheduled to visit the park, and we didn't want to miss it. This ended up working out quite well - the park was busy enough but we managed to fit in about ten attractions before heading back to the hotel.

Early on an overcast, humid Sunday morning, we arrived at Tobu Zoo!

Tattoos are associated with gangs in Japan, so they're typically not allowed to be visible in parks. Prior to the trip we were all given instructions to cover up our tramp stamps with bandaids.

The amusement park consists of two large coasters, and some stuff for kids. On a sunny day it would be probably be quite picturesque.

Some hippos welcomed us into the park.

It is mandatory for all Japanese parks to have a giant ferris wheel. Tobu Zoo has two.

I need 10 pieces to ride Kawasemi? Pieces of what? Huh? Good thing Robb had sorted it out ahead of time...

Hey, it's a yellow megalite!

Getting ready to ride. I'm pretty sure the rides ops had never had to push anyone's restraint to make it lock before. Our group gave them lots of practice.


These things are a fantastic amount of fun. If an Aussie park ever gets one I'll definitely be visiting it on the weekends.

Even the brake run deserves applause.

It was threatening to rain, so the next stop was Regina, an Intamin woodie. Japan only has four wooden coasters, three of which we rode on this trip.

This wasn't in the same vein as Balder or El Toro, but still gave a decent ride. It's kind of old-school, out-and-back with a giant helix at one end. Wasn't too rough and kept a decent speed.

Please note the approved riding method. Adopting the airline brace position on a wooden coaster... ouch!

Apparently animals are OK to ride too, though that lion does not look appropriately restrained. In case you're wondering why there is a cyclops holding balloons, I am too.

At this point the rain stopped threatening and just started, so we took refuge under Regina's ample structure to stay dry.

Jeff looks pretty happy for a guy who's about to get eaten.

Sadly the ladybird coaster was out of action, as evidenced by the lack of an actual train. A more determined enthusiast might try to walk the empty track and claim a credit, but not us.

These capsule machines are everywhere in Japan. You stick 100 yen in, turn the knob and out comes a little capsule with a random toy. Some were fairly benign, but a few were quite strange.

Fortunately the rain subsided and Tobu Zoo's newest (ahem) credit was opened up. Our ride consisted of three laps of shame.

Lunch was at the park restaurant. These pancakes were both elaborate and delicious.

In what was probably the first "culture" credit of the trip, we went to the zoo side of the park. This was quite big, with a large variety of animals. Here is a Bolivian Squirrel Monkey.

Flamingo. But you probably already guessed that.

One day I'll visit a zoo and see a hippopotamus out of the water, but not today.

Grumpy-looking Rhesus Macaque.

"The age of the goat has come. Bow before your new overlord, and you shall be treated with benevolence."

This little display was in the Australia section. Innocent and racist at the same time.

Kangaroo fact: Kangaroo is tasty and high and protein, but tricky to cook.

For some yen you could buy food to feed to the swarming masses of fish in this lake pond. It's both relaxing and violent at the same time.

More megalite pictures! Some serious hairtime in the front row there.

I couldn't pick between this and Piraten, they both ran with the same amount of awesome.

In the afternoon we traveled to Tokyo Disneyland to get in Space Mountain. This park is fantastic, the one next door is even better, I'll cover them in a future update.

Tokyo Space Mountain was my 300th coaster. It was good, basically the same as the ones in Anaheim and Hong Kong, but without onboard sound. The lack of audio was noticeable but didn't really detract from the ride - something most people probably wouldn't even pick up on if they hadn't been to other Disney parks.

Dinner was a traditional Japanese Mickey-shaped cheeseburger. Because shaping food like Mickey makes it 30% more delicious! That's all for this update, next one will be Nasu Highland!

User avatar
Posts: 25863
Joined: 17 Aug 2005
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Gender: Male
Age: 67

Re: Photo TR: Aaron's World Tour of Japan!

Postby Nrthwnd » Sun Sep 27, 2015 9:51 am

...I hope Jeff isn't planning on counting that as a credit....

Don't worry about Jeff. I rode it and counted it back in 2007, LOL. :wink:

Cable cars or gondolas to a park are always cool to ride. They always up the anticipation.
Sorry that the El Loco-type coaster wasn't open for you guys to try out. Maybe another trip?

Great TR so far, Aaron! <sighs> I do so want to go back to Japan in a couple of years or so.
Talk is Cheap :idea: Action is Pricele$$


Beware of the Magic Donkey at Lotte World!
Posts: 182
Joined: 24 Feb 2015
Gender: None specified

Re: Photo TR: Aaron's World Tour of Japan!

Postby Jetstar2 » Sun Sep 27, 2015 3:04 pm

Thanks for the pics and info! I'm somewhat interested in Yomiuriland because it was used as a filming location for an older Japanese language learning program that I watch. Check out the 7:20 mark in this video if you're interested. It was filmed in the mid 90's I believe.

Girls don't like me because I can play RCT better than you
User avatar
Posts: 1820
Joined: 19 Sep 2015
Gender: Male

Re: Photo TR: Aaron's World Tour of Japan!

Postby TheCoasterKid211 » Mon Sep 28, 2015 12:27 pm

Jetstar2 wrote:Thanks for the pics and info! I'm somewhat interested in Yomiuriland because it was used as a filming location for an older Japanese language learning program that I watch. Check out the 7:20 mark in this video if you're interested. It was filmed in the mid 90's I believe.]
Call my bluff if I'm wrong, but that looks like a ride at Tobu Zoo, not Toshimaen. Either way, that dude didn't look scared, he looked like he was in pain! :vekoma:
| |Alpengeist| |Cheetah Hunt| |Kumba| |Mako| |Intimidator 305| |
"Yeah, I like coasters. Yes, I'm a kid. Don't know what the 211 means, but whatever." Check out my TR thread!

I've gone pantless!
User avatar
Posts: 34640
Joined: 21 Sep 2005
Location: In the lair of the Huge Hummel Boy (which is conveniently located near Williamsburg, Va.)
Gender: Male
Age: 60

Re: Photo TR: Aaron's World Tour of Japan!

Postby cfc » Mon Sep 28, 2015 12:42 pm

Kangaroo fact: Kangaroo is tasty and high and protein, but tricky to cook.

It's also a rather "gamey" tasting pizza topping. Reminded me of venison.


Return to Theme Parks, Roller Coasters, & Donkeys!

Who is online

Users viewing this topic: No registered users and 1 guest

These pages are in no way affiliated with nor endorsed by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Cedar Fair, Legoland, Merlin Entertainment,
Blackstone, Tussaud's Group, Six Flags, Universal Theme Parks, the Walt Disney Company or any other theme park company.

All onride photos and videos on this website were taken with the permission of the park by a professional ride photographer.
For yours  and others safety, please do not attempt to take photos or videos at parks without proper permission.

Disclaimer!  You need a sense of humor to view our site, 
if you don't have a sense of humor, or are easily offended, please turn back now!
Most of the content on this forum is suitable for all ages. HOWEVER!
There may be some content that would be considered rated "PG-13."
Theme Park Review is NOT recommended for ages under 13 years of age.