Taylor's Japan Adventures 2018

Days 19 and 20: Goodbye Tokyo Disney and Japan!
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Re: Taylor's Japan Adventures 2018

Postby ObeyTheShihTzu! » Mon Feb 04, 2019 2:56 pm

Taylor, I am having such fun "traveling with you!' You've really captured so many of the wonderful oddities that make Japan a one-of-a-kind nation and so very different from the "American experience." I couldn't even begin to compare the amazing ways we differ. Viva Japan! :b & Viva U.S! :b

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Re: Taylor's Japan Adventures 2018

Postby Nrthwnd » Mon Feb 04, 2019 3:12 pm

Even though I myself, have been four times to Japan (four times? omg), it's always an adventure reading through the memories of someone else who has been there, too.

No two TRs are ever the same, truth! :wink: Especially when it comes to Japan.

And indeed, 7/11s in Japan are very awesome places to find food and drink! :b :br

Looking forward to your Universal visit!
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Re: Taylor's Japan Adventures 2018

Postby sszy12 » Mon Feb 04, 2019 4:49 pm

Taylor awesome start to your report, missing that trip as I read through it. I took a ton of pictures but you captured pictures of a lot of things I didn't so it's awesome to see. Hope all is well with you.
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Re: Taylor's Japan Adventures 2018

Postby SharkTums » Mon Feb 04, 2019 6:07 pm

We've now had Japan trips impacted by Typhoon's and Earthquakes...I shutter to think of what is next! Great TR, keep it coming!

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Re: Taylor's Japan Adventures 2018

Postby Nrthwnd » Mon Feb 04, 2019 6:13 pm

^ Since things happen in threes, it seems.......how about a Tsumani on the Japanese coastline?

=)




I kid I kid I kid. But I am so glad I missed out on the earthquake. The typhoon scare (back in 2007?)
was stressful enough for myself. But we persevered, with Elissa at the helm :kiss: and made it through
an amazingly tense evening!
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Re: Taylor's Japan Adventures 2018

Postby 805Andrew » Mon Feb 04, 2019 10:53 pm

Great Japan TR so far. I love seeing the journeys through other people's eyes, especially after being to Japan myself in 2015. Looking forward to more.
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Re: Taylor's Japan Adventures 2018

Postby Taylor Finn » Tue Feb 05, 2019 6:24 am

Canobie Coaster wrote:Nice report! Honestly the thing I was most upset about missing that day were the pandas.

Yeah, I was somewhat determined. I kind of hustled over to the Panda coaster because it was so low capacity, thinking it would give me a few odd minutes.
ObeyTheShihTzu! wrote:Taylor, I am having such fun "traveling with you!' You've really captured so many of the wonderful oddities that make Japan a one-of-a-kind nation and so very different from the "American experience." I couldn't even begin to compare the amazing ways we differ. Viva Japan! :b & Viva U.S! :b

Alice

I made it a bit of a goal of mine to jot down a lot of the events that 'defined' Japanese hospitality and random oddities. The cabbie not acting selfishly was certainly an example. I am so glad you're enjoying the report and thank you for the kind words!

sszy12 wrote:Taylor awesome start to your report, missing that trip as I read through it. I took a ton of pictures but you captured pictures of a lot of things I didn't so it's awesome to see. Hope all is well with you.

Thanks Steve! I figured this would be a good way to re-live some of it and kill the off season. I am doing swell, hoping the same to you.


THANK YOU to everyone for the kind words. We have a ways to go yet and I am having a great time sharing the trip with you all.

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Re: Taylor's Japan Adventures 2018

Postby Taylor Finn » Fri Feb 08, 2019 12:49 pm

Day 7: Universal Studios Day 1

The night after the Earthquake we were scheduled to have our first day at Universal Studios. We had our tickets, our express passes and we were all ready to go.

We didn't see any of the coasters testing as we waited at the gate before park open, but we were optimistic that would change. Our luck didn't turn out for us, BUUUUT thanks to hard work by Robb and Elissa, we did eventually get on the coasters. Read on to find out a bit more.
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Here we are! Handsome bunch, I must say.
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Yeah, more Snoopy. Get used to it.
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I really didn't take too many pictures of the park that day, but our first stop was back that way toward Flying Dinosaur. Certainly a coaster I was really excited about. I do enjoy the B&M flying coasters a good bit. And was optimistic this would become my favorite.
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However it wasn't open. So we pressed on toward Space Odyssey (this time using standby and next time with our Express Pass).
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They were running a Final Fantasy VR overlay. This was my first VR experience and I feel this is the kind of coaster that thrives on VR; I did find it enjoyable though I was a bit nauseous when it was all said and done. They were only loading the front half of each car though which was really inefficient. They WERE, however, incredibly quick about securing the headsets on everyone. The headsets were clipped onto the cars, so the second time I rode it, I removed it and to my surprise, a large portion of the practical effects and lighting were actually on. I am a bit sad I couldn't experience the ride in its normal state. But this was fun too!
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A friend back home is really, really, really, really into Snoopy, so I have a couple more pictures here that I showed her. But yeah, Snoopy had a whole indoor land plus a restaurant and tons of merchandise.
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Off to Hogwarts. Our express pass included admission into the land (in the event there was a line), as well as a skip the line for Hippogriff and The Forbidden Journey. I have been to the Hogwarts land in Florida and this is practically identical with a few differences.
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I do enjoy the land and the immersion is really just insane. It doesn't take well to large crowds though and that can be a bit of a problem.
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Hippogriffs line looked to be longer than The Forbidden Journey, so the express passes were clutch. I enjoy the castle ride and the line itself is really awesome. Except for the long spider portion (I cover my eyes like a coward), I don't get too nauseous.
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The Black Lake is one feature that is unique to Japan. It does make for some nice photos.
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The park itself has a lot of stuff that feels a bit dated, but is still enjoyable. Backdraft and Terminator come to mind immediately. Terminator has a...LONG...pre-show. Backdraft is kind of one long pre-show plus a minute of action at the end. But, the king of all pre-shows goes to Despicable Me. Using the former Back to the Future ride system (I do wish I could've experienced that, I enjoy those movies more) works pretty well. But, there are like three separate pre-shows. Made a bit worse by the fact that they were in Japanese.
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Jurassic Park: The Ride is still really fun. Nothing beats a boat ride for me.
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One boat ride that was unfortunately down for refurbishment was Jaws.
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Snoopy. I don't have any pictures to prove it but we did go to the Waterworks stunt show, which was definitely the most enjoyable show I saw in Japan (excluding Disney). It was really well done and quite popular.
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Hello Kitty world...
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Yeah, so here are just a few photos I didn't take that I stole from our Facebook thread. Coasters. Closed. Still. Well, actually... it says Backdraft is open. So I am assuming this was taken on our second visit (just pretend its closed). They would't open that day. So Robb went and talked to the customer service folks (if you want to call them that). They were hesitant, but eventually agreed to refund the portion of our express passes that was the coasters. These passes are quite expensive (I believe our tickets and express passes totaled around $300). We each got 9000 yen back, which was good for another day's admission. The next day, we basically had the option to go into the park in the morning to get our credits in.
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Yeah, here is one of the Express Passes for your reference. Some of us left the park before close. I really had done everything I needed to do and didn't care about the parade (ended up being cancelled that night anyway), so we headed back to Dotonbori.
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If you have been following along, on my free day in Tokyo, I had attempted to get Ramen at a place called Ichiran in Shinjuku. However, the line was outrageous so I passed. The day before this, I walked past a place that looked quite popular and didn't think anything of it. During our day at Universal, I had decided I WOULD have Ichiran Ramen (found out they had a location in Dotonbori). Turns out the place that was popular from the night before was in fact this place. We waited outside in the drizzling rain for a bit (staff actually provided us with free umbrellas to borrow). Went inside and were greeted by these vending machines that looked a lot like lottery ticket machines in the US. You inserted your money and selected everything you wanted and then pressed a submit button. A little ticket printed out as well as your change and then a host took you to your seat.
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They had a little map of what seats were available.
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Basically, you had your own little cubby to eat in, complete with a faucet for water and an optional divider on each side. If you knew the folks to your left and right, you could drop the divider and enjoy their company. If not, solo dining was perfectly functional.
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You bring your ticket with you and are handed a little sheet to complete about your ramen preferences.
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They actually opened up an American outpost of Ichiran in Brooklyn (prices are 2.5x higher). This toilet paper thing struck me as odd, but I saw pictures of the Brookyln one and they had the same setup.
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Here is the final product. I dunno if you can see it in the corner of the picture, but there is a little block they give you that had an orange and a green side. There was also a little marked area on the table where you were instructed to place the block if you wanted more food (orange side up), or were ready for your dessert (if you ordered any, green side up). Let me just say that this was the best ramen I've had. It is without a doubt the food item I miss the most. Just so, so complex and tasty. I also had a Matcha Pudding for dessert that was solid.
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Some delicious Matcha pudding with lovely lovely sauce.
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Decided to check out Shinsekai that night. Had heard it was an odd hybrid of Paris (northern half) and Coney Island (southern half).
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Strolling through the Namba district. Tons of shops as I mentioned last time.
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Tsutenkaku Tower looms in the distance. I will say, this was a misfire. Not much was open and not much to really see or do, unfortunately. Oh well!
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Did see one of those places where you fish your own dinner.
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And Spa World. Not the Spa we were interested in on this trip (foreshadowing).
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I'll leave you with this. It was a very high tech racing simulator. It was quite pricey, I think. But it struck me in the moment that in cities like Osaka and Tokyo, there is a market for anything. Down this random side street there was apparently a market for a little business with two or three of these simulators. Next time, we visit two parks. One of which was absolutely the most sketchy of the trip.
Last edited by Taylor Finn on Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:31 pm.

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Re: Taylor's Japan Adventures 2018

Postby PKI Jizzman » Fri Feb 08, 2019 3:47 pm

Reading, but quick note;
Also, it was interesting that in Tokyo, it was customary to stand on the left side of the escalator if you were not in a hurry. In Osaka, it was the opposite. Either way, this was a really nice cultural tick. Impossible for something like that to be implemented in America, I would assume.


I'm proud to say this is standard in Chicago and there are actually signs to promote the practice.
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Leave it to Chicago to stand out in the midwest and tell people escalators are not for being lazy.
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Re: Taylor's Japan Adventures 2018

Postby ytterbiumanalyst » Sat Feb 09, 2019 8:29 am

Sucks that so many things were closed. Not a complete bust though, you got Final Fantasy XR and tasty ramen!
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