Photo TR: Ccron10 Heads to Japan

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Re: Photo TR: Ccron10 Heads to Japan

Postby Philrad71 » Sat Oct 21, 2017 12:24 pm

Great start to the report - love reading and viewing Japan Photo TR's!

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Re: Photo TR: Ccron10 Heads to Japan

Postby Halian » Tue Oct 24, 2017 7:16 pm

Definitely loving the TR so far. Oh, how I wish I could go to Japan too… :(

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Re: Photo TR: Ccron10 Heads to Japan

Postby PKI Jizzman » Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:55 am

GoKarts in Kigus? That's hilarious! I'm loving this TR. Keep it up!
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Re: Photo TR: Ccron10 Heads to Japan

Postby Ccron10 » Thu Oct 26, 2017 12:38 pm

Day #1 Part 2: LaQua/Tokyo Dome CityLaQua,

Tokyo Dome City or whatever it’s called, is a park I’ve looked very forward to visiting mostly because of it’s concept. It is very rare to see a large coaster sitting in the middle of a huge metropolis let alone a park. As with any park I visit, I left my expectations open.

To get to Tokyo Dome City from Asakusa we took a two or three lines to Korakuen station, which brought us right across the street from the LaQua building. To get to it from Tokyo station would just be a matter of riding the Tokyo Metro Maorunouchi line to Korakuen station.

The history of Tokyo Dome City dates back to at least the 1960’s when Korakuen Amusement Park called the land home on both sides of a busy intersection. A classic coaster similar to what Hanayashiki had, a parachute tower similar to what Great Adventure was there, and a few other classic rides existed. The early 2000’s brought an extensive renovation to the park which introduced the massive LaQua Spa Resort building, a shopping mall, Thunder Dolphin mega coaster, The Big O Hubless Ferris Wheel, Lunar Gale: a prototype inverted impulse coaster, and Maurer spinning coaster (the latter two were taken out a short time later).

Admission to the park is free, but to partake in the attractions they do sell tickets, which range from ¥420 ($3.76 approx.) for the kiddie rides up to ¥1020 ($9.12 approx.) to ride Thunder Dolphin. They also have a plan for a flat rate of ¥2600 ($23.25 approx.) you can ride 5 attractions as well as a 1 Day Pass for unlimited rides for ¥3900 ($34.88 approx.). Thunder Dolphin has an express pass to allow you to bypass the line once for an additional
¥520 ($4.65 approx.) per person.

To enhance the experience, I would recommend doing Tokyo Dome City in the late afternoon to early evening as the park really seems to have a great atmosphere with beautiful lighting. It doesn’t have the amount of coasters it used to have, but I do recommend doing some of the non-coaster rides and exploring the park in between laps on Thunder Dolphin. The Parachute Tower and Big O offer memorable views of the Tokyo skyline and Tokyo Panic Cruise is a funny spin on your favorite DarKastle ride.

The first ride we did when we got to the park was The Dive, which was a shooting ride where you board an enclosed vehicle and shoot at different objects and score points. The layout is a basic oval so it is very short. Loading is a little long as each group of guests before boarding have to go over a paper full of instructions before riding.

Our group settled on meeting back in front of the musical fountain (think EPCOT’s Fountain of Nations but on a much smaller scale) by around 6pm. We went right up to Thunder Dolphin at this point as we couldn’t contain ourselves at this point.

Opening in 2003, Thunder Dolphin is 260 feet tall with speeds of up to 81 mph. The wait time was pretty minimal, but the loading process was kind of lengthy. After waiting in line for about 5 minutes, you get to a grouper who goes over the loose article policy (nothing allowed at all on the ride and no glasses with straps) and that once you board, place your items in the fluffy, fluffy bunny filled with medicine and goo on the loading platform and put the key locking the items around your wrist and board the train. Had no trouble at all with the restraints on this ride.

Upon dispatching, you immediately have one ride photo taken and you start the long journey up the lift hill. Going down the first drop, you get a good sense of speed in the front row and a little bit of airtime closer towards the back, but really much of the ride isn’t really about that as it is that you are LITERALLY flying past, over, and through tall buildings and a ferris wheel in the middle of a city on a roller coaster! While I love intense roller coasters, I also love ones that could just camp out and re-ride as many times as I can and Thunder Dolphin definitely takes #1 in that category.

We next took to the sky and rode the park’s hub-less ferris wheel for some excellent views of Tokyo, then took a lunch break at Bubba Gump and head to the other side of the bridge. We were going to try the flume, but getting the seatbelt situated became quite a hassle, so we bailed.

Hiding downstairs in one of the theater buildings is Tokyo Panic Cruise; a motion simulator dark ride similar to the Justice League rides at Six Flags. The basic premise I got out of the ride is that you set out to take a guided tour of Tokyo, but you get pulled into a battle between a parasol-wielding tour guide superhero and an evil wolf-like creature. Some parts of the ride seemed to felt a little like Spiderman, but it was a really good attraction! Best non-Disney dark ride of the trip!

We still had a few minutes left so we went over to the Parachute Tower at the far end of the park. This was almost like Great Adventure’s but you actually stand in a basket instead of sit. This adds a pretty good thrill when you drop from the top and add in the fact that you go twice and it really ended up being a great ride.

Our group met back up again and talked about scrubbing Joyopolis tonight and saving it for another night if it rains in exchange for some rest. We decided to spend one more hour and get 1 or 2 more rides on Thunder Dolphin and re-ride Tokyo Panic Cruise. We headed back to the hotel for the night where I dined on some corndog from 7-Eleven and ice cream and had a great time watching Japanese tv. I kind of miss it as it had some great anime shows that were brand-new over there.

Next up: Sea Paradise and the start of the typhoon!
If I had any pocket change at this point, I definitely would've got this for my mom's cat.
Giggity... moving on. :P
Reading the signage was extremely easy. Really the whole trip there might've been once or maybe only two times where it was tough to get around because the sign or directions were only in Japanese.
Still three years away and 2020 Olympic ads are already up. I also saw a store already selling merchandise for it.
I think we're here.
Hello Thunder Dolphin!
The LaQua section is kind of like an ultra modern outdoor mall that has a coaster going around it. I think I even saw a supermarket too.
The support structure is like nothing I've seen on a coaster before.
Looks like they have a flume.
Here are the three main attractions on the LaQua side of the park in one photo.
Thunder Dolphin provides a little bit of airtime on the first drop in the back seat.
To accommodate the cable lift system, they seem to have built it quite a distance up above the midway.
At this park, they had an escape room set up themed to the anime Jojo's Bizarre Adventure. Pretty sure I would still be in there trying to find my way out if it was all in Japanese.
The Dive was decent for the space they had. Kind of an odd ride.
Like Hanayashiki, LaQua is a modern equivalent on how to maximize space in a tight location. For example, the Carousel is elevated to allow the flume to travel under it.
Holy crap, it's Pocari Sweat: The Ride!
On the way up to Thunder Dolphin, we got a preview on what to expect.
The large building is the Spa/hot spring building.
I didn't expect the musical fountain in the plaza. It was kind of cool and reminded me of Fountain of Nations at EPCOT a little.
A nice walkway just about directly below the lift hill and first drop.
Thunder Dolphin's entrance is on 3F (the third floor). You can purchase tickets and skip passes at the machine on the left.
The Ride layout in the queue. This is about the point where they give you a card with the safety info on it to read.
Entrance sign
This turn was kind of fun as you kind of got yanked to the right a little with a little bit of airtime.
If this coaster didn't have to go over top of the spa building, they could've easily made this ride do a third trip around the park. But as it is, it's still a very enjoyable ride.
Up on 5F (the 5th floor) is the Big O, which is the first hub-less ferris wheel (and also featured on the Planet Coaster game).
For a small upcharge you could have a car with a karaoke system in it. That's kind of a cool concept!
Time to go up on my first Japan ferris wheel (I swear I saw a good 8 to 10 ferris wheels the whole trip!)
Here's the old section of the park on the other side of the road.
There's a pretty big swinging ship.
It's next to Tokyo Dome as well.
This whole place looks like an excellent park to spend an evening with the family, special someone, or co-workers gaming, shopping or riding. It really has the ability to appeal to just about everyone.
Well this looks familiar. Just replace the standing baskets with sitting ones, paint it red and yellow and you have Great Adventure's. This one's better.
The ferris wheel gondolas run on a track around the structure powered by a fleet of drive tires.
Hello again SkyTree.
I'm pretty sure the park gets packed whenever there's a concert or baseball game.
This is the only view I got of the Tokyo Tower.
You don't see many sights like this.
Thanks to my friend Gary for getting this awesome shot!
The flume does a little meandering up above the mall.
Its kind of awesome how simple yet unique how each building is in Japan.
The city just seems to stretch on continuously.
The center of downtown seems to be over there.
The top of the lift of Thunder Dolphin.
At this point I was kind of surprised the flume had a turntable and wanted to ride this. Unfortunately the seatbelt was a tad too small. Oh well. This really ended up doing the walk of shame on the entire trip.
The sun was starting to set, which meant that it was getting closer to the time to see the park at nighttime!
Nailed it!
They had this odd robot set up which I thought gave out information. Turns out it only snaps photos of you. lol
And just like that it can give you a mustache beard.
Lets go to the other side of the park.
In the basement of the main building of the older section, they have a really cool motion simulator dark ride called Tokyo Panic Cruise!
Didn't have to wait as the queue was completely empty!
We need more stairwells like this!
We took a quick last lap around the older section and rode the Parachute Tower before meeting back up with the group again.
Again, nailed it!
On the way to the Parachute Tower, we passed through an awesomely lit up shopping area and there was an artist exhibit for the work of the Fullmetal Alchemist manga. I wish I could've stopped to see it, but the line was incredibly long and out the door!
I love these vending machines and the drinks are very cheap! You can easily get a drink under ¥160, which is about $1.50! These machines are also everywhere and each have different drinks!
The parks seemed to have many more of these photo op locations than the ones in the US.
We decided to postpone Joyopolis to a rainy day in order to relax and catch up on sleep, so we spent another hour exploring the park. We came back and rode Tokyo Panic Cruise at lease one or two more times to figure out the storyline.
Cute logo for the tour company.
Tour guide by day; crime-fighting superhero cat lady by night!
See the many sights of Tokyo!
If you're a fan of Lupin: The Third, they have a puzzle game attraction right next door to Tokyo Panic Cruise.
Just as I expected, the park looks excellent at night!
There was a Shonen Jump store inside the park that I managed to go in and take a look around before they closed for the day.
Let's talk about the hotel we stayed in for the first 7 nights. While the room was incredibly small as I could barely fit three pieces of luggage inside, it had all the comforts of home, it was extremey clean, had awesome staff (they also spoke English) and conveniently located near the train station! I later found out that the rooms sometime cost as low as $60 per night! The pillows were made thin, but after stacking them, they were very comfortable as well as the bed!
The bathroom is one piece and the sink faucet doubles as the shower/tub faucet. The toilets were awesome as well!
The A/C does shut off everytime you leave the room to save power so it did kind of get warm in there.

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Re: Photo TR: Ccron10 Heads to Japan

Postby Halian » Sun Oct 29, 2017 2:07 am

Very nice. :D

NB: ルパン三世 translates as Lupin III, as 〇世 is used for ordinals after names (e.g. ルイ14世 Rui 14-sei for Louis XIV).

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Re: Photo TR: Ccron10 Heads to Japan

Postby Jakizle » Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:04 am

Chris, this is such a kick@$$ trip report! Great coverage of everything. When were y'all there? Must have just missed you! Can't wait to follow along more :b

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Re: Photo TR: Ccron10 Heads to Japan

Postby xVicesAndVirtues » Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:45 am

Love your report! Great photos and a huge amount of detail. When you mentioned Linear Gale, at first I was like "where are the photos of that coaster", then I looked on rcdb and I never knew it's been gone for 7 years :lmao:

Thunder Dolphin looks so graceful. I know everyone says it's not up to the level of the other Intamin hypers, but that is totally fine by me. I have a weak spot for that type of coaster and this one is definitely on my list of ones to ride, one of these days.

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Re: Photo TR: Ccron10 Heads to Japan

Postby Mellz Bellz » Sun Oct 29, 2017 11:05 am

Your TR is really making me want to book a trip to Japan someday. Thunder Dolphin looks awesome especially how it goes through buildings. Looking forward to reading more!

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Re: Photo TR: Ccron10 Heads to Japan

Postby Nrthwnd » Sun Oct 29, 2017 6:39 pm

La Qua had some really cool rides, as well as a few great coasters, for where it was,
and how it was put together. I remember back then. And you can't beat Japan's Beverage Machines
for literally anything to drink, cold OR hot, lol! Thanks for the updated TR on what's there now, etc.
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Re: Photo TR: Ccron10 Heads to Japan

Postby TBpony414 » Mon Oct 30, 2017 12:15 pm

I really enjoyed reading about your first 2 days in Japan! I've never been over there and doubt I'll ever get the chance to so it's great to be able to read TRs like yours to get a small bit of the experience. That hotel room is crazy tiny but I'm sure you were barely even in there enough to do more than sleep and shower!


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