The "Official" TPR Returns To Asia Ongoing TR!

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Postby robbalvey » Tue Dec 27, 2005 8:13 am

Day Six: Kijima, Wonder Rakutenchi, and Harmonyland.

Today could have been better, but it could have also been worse. Weather was not on our side today as when we got to Kijima we were worried that some of the coasters would not be open, and we were right. The frustrating part of it was not because it was "winter weather" but because of the high winds the park experiences being in the mountains.

Even with snow on the ground they are able to run all the rides and we did get on the Flying Island, the Roller Skater, and the Intamin Giant Drop, but the high winds kept most other coasters closed.

Oh, well....just gives us something to come back to during out trip next year! :lol:

The park was actually nice, and the setting was beautiful! We still couldn't believe these parks are actually OPEN and running rides in snow conditions! IMO if these parks can be open there is no reason why parks like SFA, PKD, or BGW couldn't be open year round too!

On a better note, because our day at Kijima was cut short, it allowed us to get to some parks today that we had scheduled for another day, which will in turn allow us to add another park to this trip that was not planned! See, there's always an 'upside' to everything!

We headed out of Kijima and went down the mountain to a little park called "Wonder Rakutenchi"

We knew almost nothing about this park other than an incline railway was needed to get to the top. And let me tell you this one was STEEP and LONG!

The park itself was really small, but a decent amount of fun! The coaster was nothing really much to write home about, basically just an old style mine train coaster, but it was fun.

I will say the most "odd" thing about this park was that you could bet on the "duck races." Yes, it's EXACTLY how it sounds! Picture a bunch of ducks racing around a track...and you bet on them!!!!

They also had a really strange "auto-drive" golf-kart Autopia attraction. (see pics for more) and a "shotgun" shooting dark ride, but it was just for kids.....yes, they hand kids a shotgun and tell them to go have a good time! :shock:

Next up was "Harmonyland" which is a park based on the Sanrio Hello Kitty characters. Now, I have to be honest, I would have never in a million years had expected that the "Hello Kitty Theme Park" would have ended up being the highlight of the day!

We all expected this park to be more like a Family Entertainment Center, but themed to Hello Kitty. We were totally wrong! This was a full sized park, in fact bigger than many other full sized parks, with two levels, a big roller coaster, and a fanatsic view!

The roller coaster, while big, was an extended Roller Skater, but it HAS to be the biggest in it's class. There was even airtime on it!

The park was really well themed, buildings looked great, and you can tell a lot of care was put into this park.

Our favorite ride was the "Sanrio Characters Boat Ride" where you got to see all you favorite characters (in Elissa's case it was Badtz Maru) come to life, and Badtz was even getting spanked! :oops:

Elissa also rode the Badtz car on the ferris wheel, the Badtz car on the "display your kid along this wall" ride, and Quaker and I rode the Badtz tea cup!

This park was just way too cool! After a very tiring day we headed back to our train station in Fukuoka where Quaker and I proceeded to go on some adventures visiting the local Yakatori bar and sushi place! It was a night of GREAT food and a few Japanese people laughing at us! :lol:

Anyway, onto today's pictures!

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The morning started out early with a train ride and then on the bus to Kijima.
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Yes that IS snow on the ground and yes the park IS open!!!
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As if the Quaker has never seen snow before!
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"Welcome to Kijima" says the GIANT DOG on the sign!
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The park entrance area looks nice, although not covered like we're used to seeing in Japan. (no you're not seeing things, that IS a person floating in the air!)
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The Flying Island was one of the few rides not closed due to the high winds.
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Yes, most of the water is frozen over but the splashdown boat was actually OPEN today!
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Jupiter was closed. We were slightly bummed, but given this rides reputation, we really didn't care that much.
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Oooh! Pretty view! Well, maybe not of the closed coaster, but all that random mountain stuff in the background!
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At least we got in one Intamin credit today (and yes, thank you...I know I look stupid in that silly hat!)
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Yay! At least we get to ride one coaster in the snow!
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"Anyone else find it ironic that the one coaster running is the Vekoma one?"
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Well, Goodbye Kijima, we'll see you next time...we really didn't like the name of the park anyway. Too many letters with "dots" in a row! Please fix that before next visit.
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Wonder Rakutenchi - We had one of those "is the park closed.....like as in FOR GOOD????" moments approaching this park!
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Woah, no privacy here if you gotta take a "wicked yes!"
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"Hey everyone! It's just like the Orient Express....except open...andsteeper...and NOT a Magic Mountain!"
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This looks very familiar!
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The park has a bizarre collection of "Stuff." Here you can see the "OMFG GET ME THE HELL OFF THIS THING" suspension bridge, the "I think I can....I think I can" roller coaster, and the "Don't even need to touch the steering wheel" go kart things!
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"Duck Races." Yes....I'll say it again..."Duck Races!" One more time? Sure..... "Duck Races!!!"
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"You know we're not in America when NOTHING is stopping me from falling back down the hill!"
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Yay! A credit. A strange nearly falling apart old one, but a credit still!
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Check out that awesome view from the top of the lit!
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Oddly enough this coaster wasn't that bad. It was certainly bigger than I thought it would be! *that's what she said!*
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The suspension bridge.....
Elissa: "There is no way in hell you're getting me on that!"
Robb: "What if I tell you I'll leave you alone the rest of the day."
Elissa: "Gimmie the 100 yen right now!"
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It's the attack of the 4 minute lift hill!
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"Hey kids! Grab your shotgun and blow the CRAP out of all those animals!"
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Here's a man in the silly hat going "Look.....no hands!'
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They just drive on their own thanks to that thin line in the middle of the road.
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Mark: "What is this samurai summit looking thing?"
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"I'm not sure, but why don't you ask that severed torso over there?"
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The severed head told us there's a plate of money over there!
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Back down the hill we go and it's off to Hello Kitty land!

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Postby robbalvey » Tue Dec 27, 2005 8:45 am

More pics....
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Time for the train to Harmonyland. This time it's the "Sonic Train!" (Is there a hedgehog nearby?)
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The sonic train was the "futuristic" train. This tells me in the future all seats will have RGB values imbedded in them!
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The "Hello Kitty" park was the best park of the day! Who would have guessed that???
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"My guy is here and that's all I care about!"
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We really thought this park would be kind of a joke, but it was seriously nicely themed!
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OMG, I think the only credits we are going to get today will be Vekoma!
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The train you take to the bottom of the hill is actually on coaster track! Jeff, does this one count? ;)
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"Yay! I get to ride the Badtz Maru coaster!"
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"I don't care if you get wet and it's freezing outside, my guy is in there!"
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Elissa: "Awww...why are they being so mean."
Robb: "Wow, spaking furry fetish porn in Japan parks!"
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"OMG, what are these hamster guys and why don't we have that character in the US????"
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Badtz is all over this ride!
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All of the Sanrio family is respresented!
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"I've always wanted to ride in a giant pissed off penguin!"
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What exactly makes him so bad, anyway?
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This gives you an idea of how well themed the park is.
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The Japanes really love their GIANT Ferris Wheels!
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This part of the park has tons of flat rides based on all those Sanrio characters.
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Elissa is "on display" during the "Wall of characters" ride.
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Look at the picture of "Intoxication." Look at it....look at it now! Now LAUGH!!!!!
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And on our way out, Quaker decided to try some "Squid balls." Hell, I didn't even know squid had balls!
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Quaker thinks it's funny that there is no steering wheel (Quakers are easily amused!)'
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While this might look like the entrance to your local Benihana's, it's just the train station.
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Anyone else thinks that looks JUST like the citrus chair from Animal Crossing?!?!?
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Time for the boys to have a night on the town!
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So many cell phones...too many choices!!!
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"Elissa can I PLEASE buy a few HD cameras for the next DVD?"
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Ahh! If there's an arcade I know what must be close by....
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Yay! The REAL drum game!
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Mario Kart in the arcades?!?!? Why don't we have that!
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Now it's time to find some food! Hmm...flashing lights usually equals good meal!
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"Hey Quaker, want to venture down there and see if we can try not to get killed?"
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We end up in the yakatori bar where they bring out a burner and a pot for everyone to cool their food in.
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OMG! Best steak and chicken EVER!!!
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Next on the "food tour of Fukuoka" - sushi bar!
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Would you like the random fish to go with that sushi?
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Time to get back to our hotel, crash out for the night, and get ready for another long day tomorrow!

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Postby CoasterCrazy » Tue Dec 27, 2005 8:50 am

I think it would be fun to ride coasters in the snow! 8)

Oh, well....just gives us something to come back to during out trip next year! :lol:


Shouldn't that be a group trip! :wink:

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Postby ChrisZer0 » Tue Dec 27, 2005 8:53 am

Another great episode gang...My GF enjoyed the shots of the sanrio park...I liked the fact you can get DIY robata grilling over there ;)

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Postby robbalvey » Tue Dec 27, 2005 8:56 am

CoasterCrazy wrote:I think it would be fun to ride coasters in the snow! 8)

Oh, well....just gives us something to come back to during out trip next year! :lol:


Shouldn't that be a group trip! :wink:

Maybe, we'll see..... :lol:

--Robb "Elissa and I still gotta do a few trips on our own too, you know!" Alvey

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Postby socalMAN123 » Tue Dec 27, 2005 8:57 am

Mario Kart in the arcades?!?!? Why don't we have that!

Actually Robb, I recently saw that in the Stararcade at DLR. I didn't play it because I ran out of money spending it on food!

Wow, only Vekoma credits. That sucks. Nice pics, can't wait for tommorow's!
---Brent 8)
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Postby ScOtT k » Tue Dec 27, 2005 8:58 am

cool... I'm glad you guys are having an awesome trip. I'd love to visit japan sometime.

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Postby Luxo » Tue Dec 27, 2005 9:11 am

Baditz Maru and Chip N Dale? Why hasn't Elissa moved to Japan already?? :P
Great update, and I hope you were being sarcastic when you said the splashboat was running :shock:
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Postby dandaman » Tue Dec 27, 2005 9:27 am

My net's been out for the past three days, so I'd like to comment on a few things:

Ocean Park: "OMG! GODZIRRA!" :lol:

Dragon- "Good thing these restraints are padded like football players..." Looks more painful than Manhattan Express!

Well, not quite. ;) Liked the off-ride commentary of the on-ride people.

Wild West Mine Train- "It's the beautiful helix of nothing!"

HKDL: The barely visible castle has offspring! In the WDW Christmas Day Parade, they had interchanging segments between WDW and DL. They had a Main Street shot at DL, and it took me 5 seconds to spot the castle at the end of the road :shock:

And, yet again, words fail me in the following photos:

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Postby Penguin » Tue Dec 27, 2005 9:30 am

I just love the Sanrio park. I have to visit there and HKDL sometime. They both look like great parks and what could be better than penguins and rodents :D

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