Taylor's Japan Adventures 2018

Day 10: Nagashima Spa Land, Hakugei, and Kirin City
Users viewing this topic: No registered users and 0 guests
Discuss theme parks, roller coasters, and mules!
2 + 2 = donkey!
 
Posts: 452
Joined: 26 Jan 2018
Location: Baltimore-Washington Area
Gender: Male
Age: 16

Re: Taylor's Japan Adventures 2018

Postby JG-77 » Sat Feb 09, 2019 1:21 pm

PKI Jizzman wrote: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.

This is also normal on the DC metro. Apparently people get pissed if you stand on the wrong side, but I haven't experienced that myself since I don't live close enough to the DC subway system.
1. El Toro :airtime: 2. El Toro :airtimer: 3. El Toro :airtime: 4. El Toro :airtimer: --- I'm not good at ranking...

Online
Why do I still have a donkey title???
User avatar
 
Posts: 5433
Joined: 21 Mar 2008
Location: Massachusetts
Gender: Male
Age: 26

Re: Taylor's Japan Adventures 2018

Postby Canobie Coaster » Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:35 am

Nice report! It's a shame the park's customer service was so poor because I thought this Universal had the best ride collection of them all.
Top 5 Wood- Lightning Rod, Phoenix, Boulder Dash, Wildfire, Outlaw Run
Top 5 Steel- Steel Vengeance, Expedition GeForce, Twisted Colossus, Iron Rattler, Skyrush
Image
Most Recent Trip Reports- IMG Worlds of Adventure & Legoland Dubai

Online
2 + 2 = donkey!
User avatar
 
Posts: 454
Joined: 16 Jan 2010
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Gender: Male
Age: 24

Re: Taylor's Japan Adventures 2018

Postby Taylor Finn » Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:57 am

JG-77 wrote:
PKI Jizzman wrote: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.

This is also normal on the DC metro. Apparently people get pissed if you stand on the wrong side, but I haven't experienced that myself since I don't live close enough to the DC subway system.


Oh! Well, I visited Chicago this year and did take a few subways. I didn't notice signage, but maybe the stations I went in weren't all that busy so it wasn't super important. Certainly in Japan, it is super helpful at busy stations for people who need to get somewhere.

I haven't really been on the DC metro too much. My friend takes it daily, though. So I'll have to check with her.

Canobie Coaster wrote:Nice report! It's a shame the park's customer service was so poor because I thought this Universal had the best ride collection of them all.


Fair, fair. I don't know what it is for me, but Universal just doesn't do it for me. Like I really enjoyed Flying Dino, Spiderman, Space Fantasy, and Jurassic Park... but I felt ready to head out before the night even ended. I'm sure if there were limited lines on everything, I would ride stuff again. But I felt content to get one re-ride on a couple of the big rides and be done with it. I'm just a Disney guy at heart, I guess.

I donut like this custom title :(
User avatar
 
Posts: 1606
Joined: 28 May 2013
Location: Not too far from Six Flags Great America
Gender: None specified
Age: 22

Re: Taylor's Japan Adventures 2018

Postby yay101 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:18 pm

I think it's really cool now that Universal Parks are implementing Hello Kitty into their parks such as obviously Japan, California, and Florida. It would be really cool if they, especially Japan, maybe built a Hello Kitty/Sanrio ride or two. I really want to go to Universal Studios Japan though, Hollywood Dream and Flying Dinosaur look really fun.
Favourite Coaster: Steel Vengeance
Other Favourites: SkyRush, Storm Chaser, Lightning Run, Magnum XL-200, Voyage, Apollo's Chariot, Phoenix, Outlaw Run, and Storm Runner

Obsessed with S&S Screamin Swings

If Magnum XL-200 dies we riot

Hello Kitty is not a cat. Hello Kitty is god. You exist only at Hello Kitty's pleasure. Crawl like drugged roaches before her splendor

BAYSIDE STATION!!!
User avatar
 
Posts: 23865
Joined: 17 Aug 2005
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Gender: Male
Age: 65

Re: Taylor's Japan Adventures 2018

Postby Nrthwnd » Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:26 pm

Taylor Finn wrote:Fair, fair. I don't know what it is for me, but Universal just doesn't do it for me. Like I really enjoyed Flying Dino, Spiderman, Space Fantasy, and Jurassic Park... but I felt ready to head out before the night even ended. I'm sure if there were limited lines on everything, I would ride stuff again. But I felt content to get one re-ride on a couple of the big rides and be done with it. I'm just a Disney guy at heart, I guess.
Top


That's how I have felt, every visit I have done to the place, with TPR Tours. Once each attraction is ridden, it's rare I wanted to re-ride anything. Except (then) Space Fantasy, and I would use the single rider queue, avoiding all the pre-show, lol.

And Jaws. Yeah, I would re-ride that just to hear a new "driver" of our tour boat. :lol:
Talk is Cheap :idea: Action is Pricele$$

Image

Online
2 + 2 = donkey!
User avatar
 
Posts: 454
Joined: 16 Jan 2010
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Gender: Male
Age: 24

Re: Taylor's Japan Adventures 2018

Postby Taylor Finn » Thu Feb 14, 2019 11:20 am

Day 8: Washuzan Highland, New Reoma World, and a Speakeasy

Well, today was another two park day. And honestly turned out to be another surprise great day, even with rain coming down most of the day (only one of a couple days the whole trip with rain).

IMG_1630.jpg
Off we go from the Universal Studios station.

IMG_1633.jpg
Between this trip and the longish one to Washuzan, I stopped at some shops. Picked up some sweets.

IMG_1676.jpg
Not from there, though. 7 Eleven, of course. As would be a recurring theme, when we took bullet trains, I opted for a different beer and a random snack or two. Etiquette in Japan is very important (as Kristen informed us early on), but it IS acceptable to eat and drink on the Shinkansen, but not on normal local Subways. Reason being, you have a lot more room to yourself and are usually on them for much longer. They actually have carts that come through as well as vending machines on the train. Always stock up beforehand, though. Better prices and variety.

IMG_1636.jpg
WE HAVE ARRIVED. I have seen pictures of this station on previous trip reports to this park. Kojima is the Holy Land of Jeans, as it is home to many textile mills and denim manufactures. They really embrace denim here. Without this information, this station would be bizarre. Even with that information now, I am really confused at the lengths they have gone.

IMG_1672.jpg
Stairs.

IMG_1693.png
And a group picture, of course.

IMG_1670.jpg
Even the vending machines were denim themed.


Washuzan Highland:

After a short cab ride (we often had to take cabs once we hopped off the subway), we arrived. Before talking about the park...some notes about cabs in Japan: Generally, at the stations we needed them at, they were already lined up waiting for us in a very orderly fashion. Also, cabs are quite expensive (gas and cars are way pricier here). Just something to keep in mind. I believe I took a picture at some point for this report of the pricing that was on the back of the seat. But most taxi trips we took were 3000-5000 yen ($30-50) each way from the Subway. Something to factor in if you plan to visit. We split up into taxi groups of 3-4, which really helps to trim the cost.

Now, as far as Washuzan Highland goes..probably one of the least impressive of the parks we went to, but still had two great attractions we all enjoyed and the overall WTF feeling I had walking through the park makes this visit more than memorable. It is themed to Brazil (though I can't say how effectively). The park (as with most others) is built on a NOT flat plot of land. Tons of stairs everywhere and literally not a single guest in the entire park except for us. I'm sure the rain contributed, but from what someone told me on the trip, Japan doesn't really 'do' part-time employment. So the park stays open most of the year, even during the dead season to support the employees. They have 3 coasters in the park, though I'm not sure if the Jet Coaster or Ultra Twister are still operational at this point (they were both closed on our visit). The third is a Togo looper that has two trains (one stand-up and one backwards-facing). On busier days, they will run both at different times during the day. They were only operating the backwards train on our visit). The other noteworthy attraction is the sky-cycle, which as you will see is a harrowing, wobbly, insane, only-in-Japan kind of experience. Really, my two laps on this made the visit to the park worth it as it resulted in my second favorite picture of myself on the trip.

IMG_1640.jpg
BUSY BUSY DAY.

IMG_1641.jpg
Oh! There is the SBNO Ultra Twister. I was really hype to ride it, but I would get my fix later on in the trip.

IMG_1642.jpg
Most of the parks we visited were on the coast and offered incredible views all around (hence the Ferris Wheels).

IMG_1643.jpg
Whatever this means! Happy rain, indeed.

IMG_1644.jpg

IMG_1646.jpg
We were greeted with a map and this coupon book. I was very intrigued by Brazilian Bingo. The lady at the front office put x's on the rides that WOULD be open (a bit confusing but alas). They only had about 6 or so rides open for us, though the park did appear to have maybe a half dozen or so more, including two others coasters. No matter!

IMG_1647.jpg
Did not get to play, however.

IMG_1649.jpg
They were kind enough to hand us ponchos for free due to the rain (we returned them, but still a nice gesture).

IMG_1650.jpg
Highly themed steps of doom. Seriously, there were A LOT of steps. Way too many steps, really. Fortunately, I only went up and down them once.

IMG_1651.jpg
Quick shot of the star of the show. Star Jet, that is.

IMG_1652.jpg
Observation tower and drop tower, both closed.

IMG_1654.jpg
This guy is authentic.

IMG_1655.jpg
What a horrifying contraption. What could it be.

IMG_1665.jpg
Is it a coaster?

IMG_1673.png
Nope, but it WAS absolutely insane. The supports noticeably shook when we turned this corner (later on, there were 6 or so of these lined up one after another turning this corner). I truly don't think this ride had experienced that big of a rush of people in years (though it seems based on reviews I read that these parks do get crowded other times during the year, which would be interesting to see).

IMG_E1656.jpg
Just a really neat picture and a super awesome experience. To be able to stop around that turn with that view was just breathtaking (and a bit spooky because we were very far off the ground).

IMG_1657.jpg
The cafe/bar up top had a very interesting design for the canvas. I never ate in these smaller parks that were empty, because we usually were in and out in a couple hours and how fresh could this food be?

IMG_1659.jpg
Time to ride the Wheel. Like I said, a gorgeous view from the top.

IMG_1660.jpg

IMG_1661.jpg
Now, to ride this death trap. I am not really a fan of coasters that go backwards (I get a weird sensation in my stomach on Expedition Everest where it feels like we go upside down). But I was here, so I would at least give it a shot.

IMG_1663.jpg
Ride operator (there was 1 guy) had to make an announcement, leave his post, check our restraints, return to his post, make some more announcements and then dispatch. It's weird. Slow operations in the US can be frustrating, but here you get this weird sensation that they are slow because they are taking precaution. And so it is totally just excusable. More often than not, operations were a okay, still.

IMG_1664.jpg
There is our stand up car. I actually found this ride quite fun. I only did it once, but it was pretty smooth, considering the rust. I am just very confused how the Togos I have ridden in the US have turned out so, so poorly while the ones I rode in Japan were all quite fun.

IMG_1666.jpg
We got animals here, too! Well taken care of.


Story time. When I got off Star Jet, I heard some music coming from the bottom of the steps. I walked down to find a Samba group performing. There was a few instrumentalists and two dancers (from Brazil, I believe). They likely started performing before anyone from TPR (or anyone at all) was down there to watch/listen. The whole thing was bizarre to think about. If we hadn't been there, I truly got the impression that they would have still performed to no one. After the show (which was honestly really fun), the two instrumentalists hustled off stage and brought out an easel of sorts and started flipping through a history lesson on Brazil (presented in Japanese, naturally). They tried to get us to participate and had people attempt to pronounce certain words, and the whole thing was just amazing and bizarre. I truly felt horrible leaving before the show was over (but the entertainment was continuous throughout the day, it seemed). They didn't mind, though and were so grateful we were there. It warms my heart.

IMG_1667.jpg
Here they are!

IMG_4704.JPG
They were really enthusiastic and just lovely.

IMG_1702.jpg
And we're off. I do remember this train trip being one of my favorites of the trip. One of the best parts about these three weeks was honestly just relaxing in the bullet trains taking in the country. I know that you can't REALLY take it in at these speeds, but knowing how much of the country side we did traverse is just awesome to me. Definitely would not be possible without the JR pass. Also, different beer and different snack. These I remember liking a lot.


IMG_1675.jpg
Some views from the train ride. Like I said, all these parks seemed to be built on the coast (where civilization tends to reside, I guess).

IMG_1674.jpg

IMG_1678.jpg
They had these long escalators down to the parking lot below. We got dropped off out front. I remember (it was either this day or a different one) that someone forgot their phone in the cab and a minute or two later, the driver came running out with it to give to the person. Another example of Japanese people NOT taking advantage of tourists and just being sensible and kind.


New Reoma World

An Italian Theme Park. This place had loads of charm, a really kind of surprisingly good haunted walk-through, one of my favorite dark rides of the trip, some fun coasters (including a forceful mine train coaster, and a Space Mountain Knockoff), and really friendly staff (as would be a theme). I really enjoyed it here and was easily able to fill the time we had in the park with stuff. It is definitely out of the way, but it is a fun little park.

IMG_1697.png
Much better!

IMG_1681.jpg
We have arrived. As with many other parks, they had a covered 'main street' with shops and places to eat. It rains a lot in Japan, so this makes a lot of sense.

IMG_1680.jpg
They look kind of lonely.

IMG_1682.jpg
This park seemed a bit more successful than the last. They had a hotel on property and seemed well maintained.

IMG_1683.jpg
Here is our first stop, Vivace. A really fun little ride. Smooth and forceful.

IMG_1684.jpg
They had the obligatory shooter. Most every park had one of these and they were varying levels of good. I remember this one falling in the middle of the pack. Will never pass one up, though.

IMG_1685.jpg
OH BOY. This ride was just a trip. An incredibly long, incredibly detailed, incredibly confusing (until I rode a second time and began to follow) dark ride. If I remember, it was about two competing groups. The first group of animals/people liked to turn other animals into mechanical things (be it a plane, car, etc.) for their own personal use. The other group was attempting to remove all the color from the world. Neither were especially noble or good. But in the end, they all got along. This doesn't really do the ride justice. Find Robb's POV. Probably my favorite or second favorite dark ride not at Disney or Universal.

IMG_1686.jpg
Space Mountain: elevator edition. We walked over from the dark ride and found a large group of TPR folk waiting to be let in. I dunno if the ride runs at intervals. I think it was because they had to go over the safety info to everyone or something. Then you went through a pretty thorough line before taking an elevator up. Following the line a bit more, you arrived at the coaster which kind of meandered around inside the building but was still pretty fun! You got off and then the car went up the lift hill (a la Pirates in Florida).

IMG_1687.jpg
Excellent.

IMG_1688.jpg
Nothing to see here. For what it's worth, adults seemed to pretty much always ride kiddie coasters here (dunno if I've mentioned that already). So I never felt AS bad. Also, I had company.

IMG_1690.jpg
Might be hard to see, but the ferris wheel had two carriages that were different from the rest and had your feet dangling. No thanks.

IMG_1691.jpg
They had some sort of train exhibit set up in the park. Wanted to escape the rain for a moment.

IMG_1692.jpg
They had a dino maze I believe. I dunno if it wasn't open or if I just didn't get around to it. I feel like it wasn't open.

IMG_1694.png
They had this goofy little lady bug coaster. It was actually quite fun. Like a more spread out wild mouse with a great setting. No shame here.

IMG_1695.png
Vivace. They had lights strung all over the car and the park, but unfortunately park close was a bit early to witness. Most parks closed around 5 PM that we went to, including bigger ones (not Universal and Disney).

IMG_1718.jpg
Okay, so that does it for New Reoma World. We traveled back and I had some plans for the night. We probably just traveled back to Osaka Station via the bullet train and then I split off with a few others. We decided to explore the station a bit first.

IMG_1719.jpg
Just walking around.

ezgif.com-optimize (3).gif
So as far as these major stations go, they often had mini shopping malls built into them and this one I believe had a few big department stores attached. But our mission had been to find a cool fountain. I didn't know anything about it, but yeah. Here it is. Very neat!

IMG_1703.png
From there, we went to a different Okonomiyaki place. This one we didn't cook it ourselves, but it was equally yummy. Had a bit of sake as well. I had found a bar that seemed neat and I convinced a few people to join me. It happened to be pretty close to Dotonbori (where our dinner was at), so we went on our way, not really knowing what to expect.

IMG_1725.jpg
We went the area that Google Maps directed us to, knowing the place was not going to be clearly marked. We found a sign that indicated what was on all the floors for a building nearby. One of the signs looked a bit suspicious.

IMG_1726.jpg
5th Floor, 7 Nights a week, Wouldn't you like to know... hmm. I wonder what that could be. So...

IMG_1724.jpg
We took the fire escape up to the 5th floor.

IMG_1723.jpg
And were greeted by this nondescript door. I honestly felt like I was about to enter someone's apartment. But that little logo is here.



Upon approaching this smaller door, we were greeted by this sign. We walked in and the bar itself was really small. There were maybe 8 seats at the bar and a few tables, with a narrow walkway in the middle. If there were no seats, the bartender told new guests they would have to wait outside or move along. We took a seat and were told he did not have a cocktail menu (he apologized). He informed us that we would tell him what kind of flavors we liked and that he would make us a drink accordingly. I told him for my first drink that I wanted something sweet and also bitter. I think he asked me for my spirit of choice and gave me a few general flavor options. What came out was a glorious, glorious cocktail that I'll remember to this day. We hung around for a while and then ordered a second round. This time, I wanted something that had a 'tea-like' flavor to it (they had no tea). He worked some magic and out came another very different, very tasty drink. I tried everyone else's drink in my group and loved them, as well. The place was incredibly fascinating. The bartender spoke great English, aimed to please and even took a small swig of each drink in the shaker glass before serving (for science)! One time, he did that and actually did modify the drink. It seems like every cocktail is an adventure for him, making something a bit different to suit the taste of the guest. Cocktails ran 1400 yen (no tip), which I felt very fair for Osaka, given the experience we had. I can honestly put this experience in the top 5 for the trip, easily.

IMG_1722.jpg
We first turned left and opened another door. Turned out to be the bathroom. This door seemed normal enough so we thought we had turned the right way, because the door to our right was... rather small. I dunno if this picture does it justice.
IMG_1721.jpg
Please read this. It will bring you joy. And with that, I'll leave you for now!
Last edited by Taylor Finn on Tue Feb 26, 2019 6:18 pm.

Online
Why do I still have a donkey title???
User avatar
 
Posts: 5433
Joined: 21 Mar 2008
Location: Massachusetts
Gender: Male
Age: 26

Re: Taylor's Japan Adventures 2018

Postby Canobie Coaster » Thu Feb 14, 2019 11:41 am

Excellent report! I agree Washuzan was one of the weaker parks on the trip but the Brazilian show was quite interesting...especially since I was solicited into performing.
Top 5 Wood- Lightning Rod, Phoenix, Boulder Dash, Wildfire, Outlaw Run
Top 5 Steel- Steel Vengeance, Expedition GeForce, Twisted Colossus, Iron Rattler, Skyrush
Image
Most Recent Trip Reports- IMG Worlds of Adventure & Legoland Dubai

Site Admin
User avatar
 
Posts: 33153
Joined: 01 Feb 2005
Location: Swimming in the Ocean
Gender: Female
Age: 38

Re: Taylor's Japan Adventures 2018

Postby SharkTums » Thu Feb 14, 2019 12:45 pm

Once again, great TR! Really love reliving the trip through your eyes...wait did that sound creepy?!?! ;)

Beware of the Magic Donkey at Lotte World!
 
Posts: 178
Joined: 19 Jan 2019
Location: Aurora, IL
Gender: Male
Age: 15

Re: Taylor's Japan Adventures 2018

Postby jlp94 » Thu Feb 14, 2019 4:55 pm

Ah, so THAT'S the park with the pedal-powered tracked ride that's always in clickbait videos and articles ;) great trip report though, fun read as always.
Image
Top 10 Steel: 1. Expedition GeForce 2. Steel Vengeance 3. Storm Chaser 4. X2 5. Twisted Colossus 6. Nemesis 7. Millennium Force 8. Maverick 9. Mr. Freeze Reverse Blast 10. Raptor
Top 10 Wood: 1. Lightning Rod 2. Voyage 3. Goliath 4. Boss 5. Cornball Express 6. Screamin' Eagle 7. Legend 8. Thunderhead 9. American Thunder 10. American Eagle

BAYSIDE STATION!!!
User avatar
 
Posts: 23865
Joined: 17 Aug 2005
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Gender: Male
Age: 65

Re: Taylor's Japan Adventures 2018

Postby Nrthwnd » Thu Feb 14, 2019 6:24 pm

I love love LOVEd your cocktail experience! (edit, ADVENTURE!) What an awesome place to find!

<sigh> I miss Japan so much. :cry:
Talk is Cheap :idea: Action is Pricele$$

Image

PreviousNext

Return to Theme Parks, Roller Coasters, & Donkeys!

Who is online

Users viewing this topic: No registered users and 0 guests

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.

cron