Today was yet another two-park day, and we were heading east to Hamanako Pal Pal, which is about halfway between Nagoya and Shizuoka. For that, we took a short trip on the Shinkansen….
Fun fact: The smallest escalator in the world is in a department store in Kawasaki, between Tokyo and Yokohama!
Photo by Colin, obviously. The cab ride to the park was a bit "intimate"
Hamanako Pal Pal is situated in a beautiful resort area surrounded by water
At the entrance of the park looms one of the great mysteries of the modern world: Mega Coaster
It has the trains and heartline roll of SFGAd's old Viper and the dive loop of Big Apple Coaster, so, by all stretches of the imagination, this ride should be completely awful. Nevertheless, it's actually perfectly fine! Sure, it's not butter smooth by any means, but it won't kill ya.
Photo by Chuck The ride's pretty damn forceful; the helix at the end was enough to make me gray out!
The ride op was very, very enthusiastic about his job. When I took a ride by myself, he asked me if I wanted the "fast version." Sure enough, the chain lift did speed up a bit! I don't know how much of a difference it made, but the whole experience was pretty amusing!
Right next to Mega Coaster is Mini Coaster. It's trying so hard to be a wild mouse, but it's not quite there.
So, Hamanako Pal Pal is actually split into two halves that are separated by an arcade building….
The northern side has a big hill from which you can get a nice overview of Mega Coaster
This is also where the park's Ferris wheel is located
As you can see, there are dozens of hotels that ring the shores of the eponymous Lake Hamana.
Here's most of the park. It's not huge, but it's great for a resort town.
♫Hamana boat! (Hamana boat!) Hamana boat! (Hamana boat!) Everybody look at me 'cause I'm sailing on a boat!♫
Hamanako Pal Pal seriously had one of the best settings of all the parks on the tour!
Oh yeah, there's another credit here!
You can take a gondola up this mountain
This looks like a really lovely place for Japanese families to spend their vacations
The last coaster here is one of those old-school wild mice without a restraint. Sure, they're a little janky, but that's part of the charm!
This park is one of only a few to have one of these weird Togo flat rides. Looking at it, I thought I would be retching afterward, but it actually ended up being super fun!
Right next to that is the park's log flume. Oddly enough, it has a splash guard….
The park has a very "summery" vibe to it
It was almost time for us to head out, so I headed back to the other side to ride Mega Coaster one more time.
Overall, I love the atmosphere of Hamanako Pal Pal, and I was surprised by the variety of attractions they have here!
Next up: Lagunasia!
—Nick Z. Like a nun with a gun, I'm wonderful fun.
After Hamanako, it was time to head back west to go to our next park, Lagunasia.
It was Shinkansen time again, and we got to see a few trains fly past the station!
You'd never guess you're traveling faster than TTD!
In the blink of an eye, we were at the front gates!
Photo via Robb In Japan, you're not truly a park unless you have at least four mascots. In fact, I think it's a law of nature that everything in Japan must have a mascot….
The park entrance seems like it's goin' for a DisneySea-esque vibe. The middle of the park is actually filled with a bunch of water attractions, but they didn't seem to be open that day.
Photo by Robb Some of us decided to get the family cred out of the way first. It's not completely embarrassing, but it's not my proudest credit either.
Nearby is Pirates' Blast, which is this really janky Senyo coaster. Most of it is indoors, so bracing yourself can be a bit of a challenge!
Photo by Robb Oh, and you get the choice to wear VR goggles and headphones! Not the most obvious choice for VR, but at least it's optional.
The last credit here is Aqua Wind, or "Wet Fart," as the cool kids call it.
It's a standard Gerstlauer Bobsled, which is in no way a bad thing! Just look how quickly it whizzes around its course!
The park's log flume is one of the best I've ever been on! Most of it's extremely well themed, although there is a point a little before the lift where they clearly ran out of money and just resorted to using Christmas lights for theming. I'm not sure whether or not I want them to finish it….
Anyway, that's Lagunasia! There were a couple other things there, but it was time to get back to Nagoya for one last night.
Robb had recommended we check out this place called "The Lock-Up," so we headed out for a night on the town.
This thing is usually a creepy mannequin, but here it's a creepy Chewie instead!
This building is positively ~radiant~
As you might have guessed, the Lock-Up is prison-themed, but this is more of a madhouse than an Alcatraz.
Before being seated at your table, someone from the group is chosen to be handcuffed while being led to the cell. Me being the naughty boy I am, I was the one picked for the walk of shame. Now, in most other institutions, this kind of treatment would normally lead to some real fun times, but this isn't Shinjuku, so I was stuck with a dinner instead.
I wanna say Matt took this picture, but I'm not sure. Once every hour or so, the lights would go out, and there would then be a quick but intense rave put on by the workers, who all don scary masks. It's all quite disorienting. As you might expect, the food and drinks (especially the drinks) at the Lock-Up are pretty gimmicky, with drinks being served in blood bags, flasks, etc. Truth be told, the food was nothing special, but the Lock-Up's more about the overall experience than it is the cuisine.
After eating, it was time to retire to the hotel for the big transfer tomorrow.
Up next: We travel back to Tokyo for the final leg of the trip! I'll be hitting Tokyo Dome City, the Skytree, the Imperial Palace, and Odaiba!
—Nick Z. Like a nun with a gun, I'm wonderful fun.
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