so with skip the line passes purchased to come back to Fujiyama in a couple of hours, we headed off towards this beauty.
no, not the Carousel - tho it IS a beautiful one (even if not as pretty as the one ridden at Toshimaen), but rather that other beauty in this pic: Eejanaika
oh. there's also a sorta good shot of the SBNO Mad Mouse coaster, that still looked like they could have fired it up and started running immediately if they so wanted. But nope, it was closed down (for good apparently).
Same rules when looking at a sexy guy - I'm married, not dead.
so yeah. . we were headed to Eejanaika. . .but I'm still gonna snap pics of a Carousel when passing by it.
especially one so ornate.
the carriages on this Carousel were so damn beautiful.
don't worry baby. . I'll be back to spend time with you later.
Panic Clock looked like fun - it's basically a Zameperla Hawk/Pendulum type ride (think of the Kennywood Aero 360), and I might have caught a pic of it running elsewhere. I LOVE the theming on it, but we were more interested in the coasters at the moment.
and standing in this spot? was the perfect angle to get some pics of Eejanaika. . .
and here comes Eejanaika just off the little "bump" on the lift hill, and about to go down the drop.
and a ton of screams.
which really surprised me, since tho I had seen some of the crowd looking "scared" (in particular in the on ride photos), I hadn't really heard any screaming.
not true of Eejanaika. . . LOL
this looked like so hella fun! And I could not wait to get all the way around the other side to take a ride on it.
walking right by Do-Dodonpa's track, we spotted the first (of MANY) gigantic spiders - that were all over this park.
this freaked out some, more than others.
Myself, I wasn't particularly "scared". .but they LOOKED really viscous, with bright *danger* colors. . and they were so big, and had spun very large webs.
so tho I wasn't "scared" I did make sure I was aware of my surroundings thruout the rest of the day, and I will admit they made me a bit more uncomfortable than the tons of Spiders under Steel Vengeance queue line.
what I thought was a nice angle of the Ferris Wheel, with a big ol tree in the center.
Takabisha going up the vertical lift, thru Do-Dodonpa's track.
and here comes Do-Dodonpa out of the initial - crazy-fast - launch.
can I catch it? not really. . but close this time!
took a few tries, and hanging out here for a moment to try and get it, but eventually. . success!
this is that slightly downwards into the tunnel section, where I got a ton of airtime post launch. My butt was out of seat this whole section when we rode it.
after walking thru the narrow path between coasters, we came out to a section that looked deserted.
this was the area where most everything seemed to be shut down. . a dead area in the park if you will.
looking up, was able to get a wonderful view of Eejanaika's 1st drop. . but it was really the only exciting thing over here in this area (at least on the day we visited).
we had passed the SBNO Mad Mouse just before heading into this path..and it came out directly into the SBNO Red Tower drop ride, which the park had also shut down permanently earlier this year. (interestingly, when I looked at Fuji-Q's map to make sure I had the ride name correct, it is NOT flagged as closed - unlike the Mad Mouse is - so maybe they changed their minds? or it was just down for inspection and reopened? I mean, it looked permanently closed tho).
The Sky Cycle appeared to not be operating today either - this is a bicycle powered "coaster" that was similar to what we had seen at several other parks in Japan already. Although Fuji-Q's is unique in that it was set in the middle of a tree filled "island" area. . so most of the track was hidden (tho we noticed it, because the track was close enough that we could have walked across the grass and just touched it (no fencing). . so it brought up a "never in America. . could you imagine the lawsuits??" conversation). It's possible that this one wasn't seeming to run because it just wasn't that crowded today. .but I can't recall seeing any individual cars going by as we passed it on the way to Eejanaika's "area"
also shut down in this area was "Lisa and Gaspard Dairy of Sky Journey" . a family suspended coaster where you ride in a "cloud". . this featured those two "dogs", that Elissa taught me are actually rabbits. It looked fairly gentle, but watching some clips on YouTube, it does get a bit of speed, and as you are in individual cars, rather than a full train, I'm sure it gives a very different ride than Iron Dragon at Cedar Point, or XLR8 at Astroworld used to. I'm sorry we missed this one, as it seems to be fairly unique. And with the track so spread out and sprawling over this section of the park. . it made the area feel even MORE 'dead' since there were no coaster trains going overhead.
and really noticeable, and I caught in the picture on the right there, Cool Jappaan, the parks' Chute the Chutes ride. . which was not operating, and had been completely drained.
i really, really looked like they were getting ready to tear out this whole section and just put something new in. . it truly was like waking thru a "dead area" in the middle of the park.
since I was at Fuji-Q in October, i've seen reports that Cool Jappaan is back up and running (and one of the folks I was with on the trip did say it seemed to be filling up with water again during our actual visit). . . the Sky Journey Coaster is running, and as mentioned it appears even Red Tower is back up and running.
so I guess it was just timing that this whole section appeared to be down . .but nice to hear that at least the majority of the rides are back up.
can't complain tho.. . I mean, I rode other drop towers, and pedal cars, and I tend not to ride chute-the-chutes anyways. Not sure if worth ever going back just for the Sky Journey Coaster.
We had such a perfect day, best to never go back and be disappointed in a return visit, right?
anyways. . Eejanaika. . .wow.
we've rounded the drained "Cool Jappaan" ride area, and we've come to a beautiful & quaint Japanese village area. . full of street stands selling food and souveniers that leads you to Eejanaika
out front were these things in little "temples"
not sure if they are permanent installations, or there for October/Halloween. (they were surrounded by chickenwire . . to keep folks out? or to keep them in ???/ oooooooooooo )
My guess is they are permanent installations, as this character seems to be part of a monster themed anime called "GeGeGe No Kitaro: A timeless Yokai Story"
(Yokai is the overall term for supernatural creatures or monsters.. can be good or bad).
yep, just to the left of it was this wishing well with an Eyeball on it, and a place to purchase. . something.
by looking on the park map, I see we're right near an attraction called:
"Gegege monster by-street Monsters story" - which is a "aural sound experience" - you go into a small room, you put on headphones, the lights go down, and you hear a story and the sounds of Yokai creeping around you.
I passed on this, even tho it sounded like it could be interesting, for 2 big reasons: 1) I was way more interested in getting to Eejanaika - which was just up ahead at this point. & 2) the story was all going to be in Japanese, so I wouldn't have been able to follow along very well.
i mean, it sounds (ha!) as if it would have been a fun experience, but weighing that with other things I wanted to do at Fuji Q? I chose to buypass this.
Not sure if this one was an upcharge or not (the other haunt - Super Scary Labyrinth of Fear (the Haunted Hospital) was not included with Free Pass), but if you look closely here there is a place to put a coin in this well, and get a ticket of some sort. So there was some sort of nominal fee to reserve a place.
pretty cool tho, huh?
here's a look down the main "street" of this area, with Eejanaika there at the very end.
that shop on the left, called Fujisan Dumpling, sold several things (mostly dumplings, but also you can see whole fish) that were being roasted on sticks, as well as Ice Cream and sweets.
you bought a ticket from a machine on the far right, then brought it across to the booth and the lady would hand you your food.
and coming thru the end of the "shops" area? sits Eejanaika!
(the lady bending over in the front is setting her phone up on a kiosk, that you could use to take a selfie with points of interest behind you. The park had several of these kiosks set up thruout the park, out front of the "big" rides.
follow the signs. . .
wow, there was really no one over here on this side of the park. The outside queue for Eejanaika was completely empty, and even to the point that the ramps "split" (due to the nature of the ride, the queue splits to load on both sides, similar to how Gatekeeper loads), it was walk on.
once we chose a side to go to, there was maybe one ramp of folks ahead of us, so tops, we waited maybe 10 minutes for this 1st ride?
from the ramp up to the loading station, we watched a train pull out and head to the giant lift hill.
I hadn't realized that you go up the lift hill backwards! (not for long tho, the seats begin to flip the moment you crest the top of the drop).
this is how the seating works!
notice no shoes? yep, you have to take your shoes off and leave them in your designated loading area - they keep this ride moving pretty quickly despite the complicated loading required, but setting up two batches of folks per car, with two "holding pens" per car - so you take off your shoes and leave them on your marked spots (all your bags in your own cubbies there too), and when your train comes back, you just get your stuff/put your shoes on, while they load the folks that were in the next holding pen over.
photo courtesy of Zach.
pick came out a little dark, so too hard to see the complicated restraints. . . but an idea of what the seated folks look like before the train pulls out of the station with everyone facing backwards.
the seats are a little high up, and took some acrobatics to get over that "crotch hump" in the center of the seat, tho it was way easier to get into the seat than it was getting out.
(hint: it wasn't graceful getting out. . LOL).
not only was the inside of the station beautiful, with this gorgeous "stained glass" set into the roof of the station?
Eejanaika *also* has it's own theme song, that two months later still occasionally pops into my head: a very strong tribal beat, and chant of Eejanaika! Eejanaika! Ee-ja-nai-ka!!!!
it was wonderful.
the blue train loaded in front of us, before I put my phone away in the cubby.
you can kind of see the restraints here, with at least 3 separate areas of belt that you have to pull on to show the staff members that you are secure before the thumbs up is given.
Eejanaika! Eejanaika! Ee-ja-nai-ka!!!!
Eejanaika! Eejanaika! Ee-ja-nai-ka!!!!
the ride was spectacular, and this rocketed towards the very top of my favorite coaster I've ever ridden.
the "Gatekeeper" wing-flyer aspect isn't really noticeable after you get to the top of the lift hill. . as once the seats release and start rotation?
you lose all sense of location. . I would have sworn there were tons of inversions on this.. but looking at the track there really isn't any. the forces are just incredible! OMG. . the seat flipping while diving down the 1st drop is possibly the most amazing thing I've ever felt on a ride.
and once the initial wow factor passed? we all started clapping and laughing thruout the remainder of the ride.
A++ this coaster is incredible, and I loved it.
so much so that we got off it, and immediately got back in line for it - this time on the other side (so we had a view of more of the track while waiting on the ramp). This 2nd ride was also only a 10 or 12 minute wait.
Eejanaika! Eejanaika! Ee-ja-nai-ka!!!!
(yep, we chanted it the whole time waiting in line).
Wheee. . this 2nd time, I (and I think Alex) got placed in the very back car. . so we had nothing behind us but track and air, and wow. . it was even MORE intense than the prior ride.
laughing and hooting the whole time again, but my legs were kinda like jelly, and it was hard to get out of the seat once we got back to the station.
so intense, but so, so good!
i'll chant it again:
Eejanaika! Eejanaika! Ee-ja-nai-ka!!!!
I think everyone was ready to take a break from coasters for the moment (after back to back intense rides) and at least some of the group was ready to try a local beer. . so we headed back from the Eejanaika area, and back towards the "main" park.
but not before I stopped at Fujisan Dumpling to try something on a stick.
i had planned to try the fish,but it just smelled a little bit too fishy (so I chickened out.. tho I did try the fish on stick later, and it was good)... instead, I got these dumplings with a sweet sauce.
they were OK, and I'm glad I tried them, but I didn't eat them all, and think I shared with someone. they turned out to be only dough, with nothing inside - so were very chewy. and not what I was expecting at all.
the sauce on top, tasted a bit like honey, mixed with soy sauce. but not strongly. in fact, they didn't have much flavor at all. . I thought they just tasted "sticky"
they certainly didn't "wow" me, and they were not something I would get again, but at least I tried them.
while some went into a nearby restaurant to get a beer, I stopped at this photo op, that was in font of Cool Jappaan (which you can see behind me is sadly drained, and really did look like it hadn't been maintained and was about to be dismantled).
I think the photo op is supposed to be a wave, but you can also squat to make your head be the head of a budda - so I, of course, did that. . LOL
thanks to Jon for snapping the picture. . *and* for waiting to time it to catch Eejanaika going down the first drop (which I hadn't even noticed would be in the pic).
headed back to the main area of the park, here's Do-dodonpa's new-ish loop, and the "Shining Flower" the park'g giant ferris wheel.
you could see some of the clouds moving in, in this and the prior pics.
by this time, Mt. Fuji was completely obscured by clouds, and so I was extremely happy we had gotten such great views of it earlier in the day.
we had decided that it was time to eat, as most of us were hungry enough, and as we debated the options in the park (Grill Kitchen MEAT x MEAT sounded good, but also sounded very North American - burgers??), we all decided to just go to "Food Stadium", the parks major food court that's pretty much in the center of the park, and added a lot of options.
as we walked back towards the center of Fuji-Q, I actually did snap a good pic of the SBNO Mad Mouse coaster.
off to the left, those red supports? that's the infamous Frisbee at Fuji-Q that's themed to. . . pizza. yep, you're a pizza being spun around and tossed. . and in the center in front of the ride? a pizza restaurant. LOL. . .but I didn't come all the way to Japan to eat Pizza either (and hadn't eaten it the day before at Yomiuriland either).
walking around the central lake to get to Food Stadium. Across the lake is that Grill Kitchen MEAT x MEAT place. .which is advertising Curry as well, on it's windows. . . LOL
oh, that pretty lake in the center of the park? - that lake included an attraction, "Water Ace" boats (which we skipped. . only so much time in the park, even with a full day, so choices had to be made, and Water Ace didn't make the cut, even with the fun paths and islands to go around. . tho it seemed to be popular enough, there were some folks riding it thruout the day when we passed it).
a poster offering direction to get to Fuji-Q's version of Soarin' - here called "Fuji Airways"
(I also chose to skip this one, due to the time that would need to be invested in the pre-show, and the ride. . as well as I knew that I'd be riding "real" Soarin' at Disney later in the trip..but Trent went on it and said it was good).
further along the path towards Food Stadium, a view of how stacked the attractions are in this park.
back to front:
Do-dodonpa's loop Tekkotsubanchou (the park's Skyscreamer, which I rode later - was hella fun, if not the tallest I'd been on) Shining Flower (Ferris Wheel) Auntie Anne's pretzel shop (they had a Starbucks here too. . it was like an airport! :p) and the Water Ace boats.
that rocket tower in the center of the lake is either just a lifeguard stand, or a decoration they use year round to light up the boat ride (it looked beautiful at night).
looking more straight ahead at where we are headed (you can see Food Stadium at the bottom right of the picture), here's a great view of Tentekomai (the park's Air Race). This is what I rode at the end of the night, 5 minutes before closing, instead of Fuji Airways. I didn't get it to flip 60+ times, as some did. .but I did flip at least 30 before I started to get ill, and just enjoyed the rest of the cool night air, riding right-side-up.
Heading into Food Stadium, we passed this sign advertising the Halloween special offerings at the park.
none of these really "spoke" to me, but it's great that the parks have special Halloween offerings to make things more fun for those visiting.
after a crash course in using the ordering machines (they are way more confusing than one would think they would be - since you use the ones at the front for EVERY STATION in Food Stadium. .and then it gives you tickets you have to bring to the different stations to pick up your orders).
i don't really recall what this was, but I believe it had spicy pork, and of course, melted cheese on top. For something that was supposed to be spicy, I recall it being fairly mild (tho keep in mind, I like really spicy stuff). . but I did enjoy it, and ate every bite.
Jon was sitting across from me, and in addition to his main, he also got Takoyaki here.
I love Takoyaki, and he let me try one. . they were quite good.
(not as good as the ones we would get later on the trip at the Universal Citywalk's Takoyaki Alley area. . . but these were good).
We finished eating, and had about 15 minutes to let our food digest, and then it was time for. . . .
with our "Zekkyo Priority Ticket" we bypassed the entire line (and it was still super long). . you just walk with your ticket alongside the standby line, up all the ramps, and directly to the station, where they check your ticket, and put you in the queue for the very next train. And since Fujiyama was only running the Silver train today, that line was long.
I can just imagine that if we were in the states, we'd be getting glares and comments by everyone in the line. . but here in Japan? Just some smiles and waves as we walked by!
and it was a little odd, many folks just stood in the line, even tho there were plenty of priority tickets still available. (we saw this too at Tokyo Disney - folks preferred to stand in line, instead of getting a fast pass, that would have gotten them right on the ride). I suppose it's a cultural thing, but for only ~$15? I'm glad I got the option to buy one to bypass this huge line.
the station was very "old school" with some wonderfully tacky color combos. .and as you can see in this pic, the free cubbies to put all your stuff into. tho this one was set up different from the other coasters in that here we had to cross over the coaster to put your stuff away, then step back into the car. All the other coasters had the cubbies on the same side of the station you loaded/unloaded from.
so this was a very "Six Flags" set up.
the trains were so unique looking, it was kinda like being in a parade float.
and lap bars! (seatbelts too. . but really just lap bars)
as with most parks we'd been to, I recall this being assigned row - especially since we were using the Zekkyo Priority ticket - so we went where they put us, which was about 3 cars back, mid train.
the pic the group purchased from Fujiyama. . and once again, the TPR folks are all with HUGE smiles, and the locals are all grimacing with fear/angst. (well, Jon is kinda grimacing. . LOL)
what did i think of it? well, the 1st 2/3rds are amazing. If I'm recalling correctly the camera to take the pic is after the 2nd drop, so i'm still *loving* it at this point.
Yes, you read that correctly, I was loving a Togo.. it was really fun. . the 1st drop, the turn around, the 2nd drop, more high speed turns, helix. . it's fun, and not rough at all.
and then you get to the last 3rd. . . a section that would be best described as what if Maverick & Phoenix were combined, and then re-imagined by Togo.
yep, it tries to kill you. . . a bunch of bunny hops, while quickly zig-zag direction changes between them. it was horrible. The only bright side is that I was laughing, because being in the 3rd car, we HEARD the folks in the cars in front of us going "ugh!!" and "oooghh" a millisecond before we hit the same reaction. It wasn't quite enough time to brace for it, but it was funny as hell.
but yes, I thought this ending 3rd was awful! so awful, that when later in the day, some in the group decided to buy another pass to skip the line and ride Fujiyama again? I passed and went on the Carousel and the Naruto shooting ride instead!
Fujiyama is the only "big" coaster at Fuji-Q that I only rode the 1 time. . and i'm ok with that :)
to be fair tho, those that re-rode it, got placed in the back car, and they all said it rode much better in the back than it had in the middle of the train.
while waiting for the picture above to be purchased (which is on the 2nd floor of the Fujiyama station building), I peeked out the windows and got a nice view of the statuary and reliefs on the Carousel, which is outside the station.
Back down on the main level after purchasing the picture, I headed into the souvenir shop that was on the 1st floor next to the entrance queue for Fujiyama (in search of a magnet, which I had success finding. .and ironically? bought the Fujiyama magnet, since that was the one I liked best, even if not the coaster I liked best).
While I and some shopped, others took a restroom break, as the toilets are right there in the same complex.
we were waiting for everyone to finish up and meet back up, and this little trolley just pulled up out of no-where, seemingly following the lines on the ground (tho the park map indicates you should follow those lines to get to different "lands" - Red to Super Scary Labyrinth of Fear, Orange to Park Entrance #1 or #2, and Blue to Thomas Land).
So I think it was just coincidence that the trolley was on these lines? The park doesn't have a train, and not even certain where the trolley stops would be. .as there was no sign indicating where it would stop.
notice the "Power Rangers" type mascots for Fuji-Q on the front of the Trolley tho.
Seconds after I snapped the above pic - and noted I had no idea where the trolley stop would be?
the trolley stopped. . right there.
no sign that this is a stop.. and I couldn't ask anyone, as there was no one actually riding on the trolley. (and I didn't see where the driver went. .but as you can see in this pic, in the time it took me to cross to the other side of the trolley to snap this pic, he disappeared).
all of that info combined? yeah, I think he just stopped right there. . to go to the toilet. I mean, there really is NOT any kind of sign indicating this is a stop, and he kinda stopped right in the middle of the walking path, near the Men's room.
Speaking of the Men's room? Zach came out and showed us this amazing picture he took of the art inside the Men's room.
yep, that's one of the Fuji-Q Power Rangers-esque Mascots. . on the toilet.
BWAAA-HAAAA-HAAAAAAA. . I love Japan!
(thanks to Zach for the ok to use his pic in my TR) :)
we had all regrouped, and decided that we should ride Do-dodonpa again, so we headed over that way to check out the line. . tho not before standing by the end of the tunnel and attempting to get a pic of the launch.
took a few tries, but eventually got purple train.
the line for this 2nd ride was a little longer than it had been earlier. . about 25 minutes, but it still didn't seem too bad, so we didn't bother with Priority Tickets, and instead just got in line.
this time, I went 3rd row, since I had gotten to ride in the front on our prior ride. But we ended up with an all TPR train. . one open seat, I'm not sure where Trent had gone off to (maybe he was doing the Fuji Airways ride at this time?).
I found it a bit bumpier than the ride earlier had been. . so maybe the ride gets a little rougher as you go towards the back? Regardless it was still a great ride.
here's the pic, I think David bought this time.
while waiting for the pic to be purchased, I perused the "store" that was there by the photo counter, and came across these "non-misogynistic" treats. .themed to the female Power Ranger-esque park logo.
they appear to be pudding treats, shaped like her bewbs. . and look how shocked she is that you're looking at her bewbs!
of COURSE, I had to buy a set (ha!) of these as a souvenir. - and they actually survived the entire trip and made it home in one piece, and hysterically? once you open the box, there are steps you have to take to "release" the treats.. they are held within a paper "bra" when you first open the box up.
eventually (after I finish the report), I'll post pics of some souvenirs, so you'll get to see the brilliant packaging on this.
Can't tell you what they taste like, unfortunately, as I didn't actually unpack them. This is a souvenir that will forever stay sealed - it's better that way :)
after our 2nd ride on Do-dodonpa, we headed across to Takabisha, which also had a relatively short line still, tho this one too was a little longer than earlier. I believe we also waited about 20-25 minutes, but got in another great ride on Takabisha too.
some of us were starting to fade a bit (including me) since we had gotten up so dang early. . even tho it was only early afternoon, and the park was open until 6pm. So we still had ~3 1/2 hours left, and we were right by the Starbucks in the park.
so yep, Starbucks break!
I didn't try the "masquerade" flavor they were offering for Hallowing (I did get to try it later in Shinjuku, and found it to be a raspberry flavor), but was very pleased with my white chocolate mocha that perked me right up.
I believe a few others got coffees/drinks too, and then we decided that it was time to get another ride on Eejanaika.
but first, a spooky/horror themed photo op right in front of the Starbucks?
yep, count me in!
There was also a photo op set up over there with one of the Gold Trains from Fujiyama - with a fan set up to turn on and blow your hair to make it look like you were riding.
my hair isn't long enough to blow,and no one other than me wanted to climb up on the platform to pose for the pic. . . but here I am.
thanks to Alex for taking the pics for me/ of me :)
walking back past the "wave" photo op from earlier, I noticed on the other side of the "street" were these squatting (to poop?) photo op stools!
Allison was game, so she and I posed, and were "nuts 4 butts at Fuji-Q"
going back thru the little town section, I leaned in to pose with a Yokai that was just hanging out on a bench.
he/she/it confused me. . but I was intrigued by it :)
and I had another fantastic ride on Eejanaika.
Eejanaika! Eejanaika! Ee-ja-nai-ka!!!!
no pics from this coaster tho -- the pics just didn't look like you were in a 4D coaster. .they looked more like you were sitting in a baby bjorn. . . . so we passed on documenting our ride. WE know we rode it!
but I think Luke may have bought his pic from a ride he did earlier in the day with Trent.
headed back from our ride, the clouds are really coming in, and it's getting a little overcast.
but it was still a beautiful day, and we had experienced HOURS of sun.. so couldn't complain.
LTR in this pic: Tekkotsubanchou (skyscreamer), Do-dodonpa's loop, Red Tower (SBNO), Shining Flower (Ferris Wheel), Cool Jappaan (SBNO, and drained) and Eejanaika.
ah. . here's a pic of folks actually riding the Sky Cycle on the green tracks. . so I guess I was mistaken earlier. .it WAS open, it just wasn't really running because the park was kind of empty.
this is a good shot of that area I was talking about earlier tho, that looked closed down:
behind us and to the right are Red Tower & Cool Jappaan (both not running), the blue Track is the not running Lisa & Gaspard Diary of Sky Journey (suspended coaster). there are more people here than had been earlier, but really there's not much down this way attraction wise other than a raft ride & the upcharge Haunt (Super scary Labyrinth of Fear). . maybe because it was getting later in the day there were more people over here?
there certainly weren't many kids over here, and the little coin operated cars, were just sitting empty in the center of the large walkways.
that white track is Do-dodonpa's turn around before the loop.
we went over this way, because we saw Nagashimasuka (the raft ride) on the map.. giant lucky cats certainly got my interest piqued. .and this photo op in front of the ride - the cats vomiting water? yeah, this looked like fun.
and it actually had a little bit of a line - so THIS is where most of those folks in the prior pic had been heading.
More lucky cats, at the actual ride entrance.
huh. . the cats don't appear to be spitting water. . tho that's in ALL the art.
see? spitting water.
the queue was not nearly "full", which offered an opportunity to enjoy the wonderful murals on the walls. that's a LOT of water on the mural. . .
just before you got to the last row of back&forth, there were machines set up to purchase plastic ponchos. *everyone* seemed to be getting ponchos, and I noticed from the 3rd row back they were only a buck.
So we discussed it, and decided that we didn't mind getting a little bit wet. Besides, it would be fun.
but as we got closer to the front of the line. . . . hmmm. . . lots of folks getting on the ride are wearing ponchos.
I think for $1 we maybe should invest in ponchos.
a couple of us decided to stick to their guns, and go poncho-less. But myself, Jon, and Zach spent the freaking 100yen, and bought ponchos.
(pic courtesy of Zach)
not only was this way more "violent" of a rapids ride than the Splash U.F.O. yakisoba raft ride the day before at Yomiuriland - with way steeper drops, and a lot more splashing into the boat. . but the water was probably 40 degrees. It was COLD.
and those cats that didn't appear to be vomiting water? oh. .they do - from the *back side* of them which also have lucky cat faces, and that side faces the rafts! Not to mention the areas of heavy mist that the rafts go thru.
oh, and the rafts are teeny, tiny, as you can see from the prior picture! it was a tight squeeze getting 3 of us in there.
but LOL. . look at this pic. . you can really tell, who had purchased a poncho (and remained dry and warm), and who decided to brave it without (and ended up soaked and cold). . .
we were laughing and enjoying how much fun the raft ride had been (and deciding, no, we weren't going to get on it again. .it was too wet!), when Luke - who hadn't ridden with us - asked if we had been to the lookout point, that was in the center of Do-dodonpa's turn around.
ears perked up, and we headed that way further past the raft ride, and found these horrifyingly scary "bears" (I think. . I dunno, i think it was a demon seal.. look at those red eyes and bloody mouth!) at the base of a trail leading up to a lookout point.
ok, yeah, they are supposed to be bears. this other one is way more appealing.
tho, of course, I prefer the bloody mouth, 1st one. . and immediately made it my FB profile pic.
following the trail up to the lookout point.. many, many more HUGE spiders hanging out in the un-pruned bushes lining the trail. This guy was a bit scary, as it looked like it was about to give birth to hundreds of hungry spider babies. Or maybe it was just fat from all the tourists it had sucked dry today.
I honestly wasn't sure if we were allowed up here, as the trail was kind of overgrown, and unmowed.. but it *seemed* to be open (if not on the park map), and as a couple of path split offs WERE actually chained off? the path we were on towards the top was definitely open.
a look at some of the "path" we took to get to this lookout point.
see how overgrown it looks in places.. but it was open!
what looks like an abandoned attraction left to rot, I believe is part of the Winter attractions. It looked like it was going to be covered in snow, and be a snowing hill (along the bottom there were cushions attached to the walls to help stop sledders who were out of control. . at least it looked that way to me). And checking the Fuji-Q site, they DO offer a sledding hill. . so yeah, we just were there before they had started getting this area cleaned up for that.
but the amazing thing about this lookout area? it's right in the middle of Do-dodonpa. .so you can track the train around
and into the loop.
loop de loop !!!
behind all those clouds?
yeah, that's what Mt Fuji looked like for most of the day, after we had such a beautiful view of it in the morning.
it was pretty impressive that the clouds rolled in so densely around it. Once again, I was so thankful that I got to see Mt. Fuji so clearly earlier that day.
from the lookout, a closer look at one of the bizarre WTF rides in Thomas Land .. . this one called "Thomas' Happy Smile"
I did try to get folks to ride it during our pass thru Thomas Land, as we walked the park - but no one wanted to do it, even for giggles.
I prolly should have just ridden it alone, but there were still several things I wanted to ride at that point, so I didn't bother with it.
I still like the WTF-ness of it tho.
from up here, you get a great view of the back side of the lucky cats statue on Nagaashimasuka. . . yeah, they really do vomit water. . LOL
such a fantastic view . . so much track from so many rides, in one pic!
got Tekkotsubanchou starting to go up on it's cycle, and Eejanaika about to drop. . too bad that Red Tower, suspended coaster, chute-the-chutes aren't active, or that Tondemina (the Pizza Frisbee) isn't cycling.. otherwise would be a perfect picture.
but I'm in it, so it's still pretty good :p
not the highest Skyscreamer I had ever been on, but Tekkotsubanchou really gets up there. and once it started to get darker? it really felt like we were so high!
as you can see here, it gets some good forces, and swings you out pretty far!
here comes the Red train for Do-dodonpa.
tracking it around the turnaround. . .
and into the loop!
again, a whole lot of tracks
Tekkotsubanchou is back down on the ground, but Eejanaika is pumping out trains, and over in the distance can see Tondemina (Pizza frisbee) now cycling.
enough with the view from the top of the lookout, let's continue around the park!
time to walk thru Thomas Land.
that pumpkin was the full extent of the Halloween decorations over here (which makes sense, as this area is for kids. . but weird, since that coffin with the bloody hands is near the front gate, so kiddos would have had to pass it to get TO Thomas Land).
but we had to cut thru Thomas Land 1) just to see it, and 2) because that's how you get to the bridge that lets you stand over Do-dodonpa's track (and leads you to Tekkotsubanchou (the skyscreamer)
on the bridge over Do-dodonpa's track, looking towards the front entrance of the park, I actually did get a decent pic of the Panic Clock ride (or "Panic Rock" if you believe the English park map) in action.
from this viewpoint, you can get a pretty spectacular view of Do-dodonpa's train as it comes out of the loop (I'd assume this used to also be where one could stand before to get pics as the train used to come down from the airtime hill).
I believe this is where we spit off, as folks in the group I was with had the priority pass for Fujiyama, and I had not purchased another one to ride.
So I went off and hit up Tekkotsubanchou (the skyscreamer) - and then the Carousel, of course, while they all went off to Fujiyama, where they had a wonderful back car ride.
I have a funny story about the spiders at FujiQ...
I was in the bathroom stall with KT, probably 6+ years ago. I'm sitting on the toilet and KT is standing in front of me. All of a sudden she says "Mom?" and points up to the ceiling. There, directly above us, is one of those GIANT SPIDERS. I have never put pants on so quickly and run out of a bathroom!!!
^^ I can imagine!! LOL. .those spiders are freaky huge.
^ yeah, I was thinking the same thing, especially when we were going up that trail to the lookout, and the webs were everywhere around and over us!
If I weren't so certain that any follow up trip could never live up to the great day we had? I'd want to go back to experience more. . but we DID have a perfect day, so Fuji-Q checked off my bucket list.
(however, I do have an itch to finally get to Magic Mountain one of these days to ride X2 now).
after a quick stop for a really fun spin on Tekkotsubanchou (skyscreamer) - and I THINK I then went right next door to a whole "village" area, that had shops (tho most seemed closed, or it could have just been dead over here) a Naruto/Boruto museum (that I didn't bother with) and a so-so Naruto shooting ride that was like a knock-off version of Toy Story Mania, 3D with shooting at digital targets (I've never actually seen the anime, so tho i know they wear those headbands, I had no idea what was going on and just shot at everything. . LOL). Nothing to write home about, but it DID give me something to base my take on the Nagashima Spaland version of Toy-Story Mania shooting type game . . .ie: Nagashima Spalands was MUCH better.
but I get it, if I were a fan of the property, I likely would have enjoyed it much more. it was a fairly quick ride too, only took maybe 5 minutes.
anyhow, I needed to clean my palate so to speak, so it was time for Carousel!
unlike the prior day at Yomiuriland, I wasn't the only one in queue for this. and I let a very excited 3 year old in front of me at the gate, since he was SO excited to ride. (Mom was super apologetic, but I was really so fine with it.. and loved seeing the kiddo's excitement to be getting to ride a horse).
some lovely carving work on this carousel. and if I recall, all horses galloped and there weren't any stationary things other than the gilded carriages.
the view from atop my horse.
i'm ready to go!
as usual. . big ass smile.
hmm. . on closer inspection as going by, some of the paint is chipping a little on the interior figures.
so it needs a little TLC, but there is so much relief work on this Carousel, unless you're really looking for it, the peeling paint likely won't even be noticed.
the Sun was starting to set, and I got off the carousel and saw the line for Takabisha was only 1 ramp down from the station, so went and hopped in line for that. I think this wait was maybe 5 minutes, if that?
it was so close to "walk on" that I couldn't wait for a train to pass on Fujiyama or Do-dodonpa !
the sky is so pretty tho.
This was my last "coaster" ride at Fuji-Q, tho I still had other things to hop on.
My count on the "big 4" ended up being, in order of my preference: Eejanaika - 3 rides Takabisha - 3 rides Do-dodonpa - 2 rides Fujiyama - 1 ride (tho I would have ridden it again if the line hadn't required purchasing a pass. . I just didn't like it enough to want to buy another pass).
so I had a great day coaster wise. . and the flats were, for the most part, really great too! With a couple of the best yet to come still.
I headed over towards the wave swinger (called here "wave swinger" :p), and looked back across the pond in the center of Fuji-Q, towards Takabisha (that I had just gotten off of).
the lights were starting to come on, and I could tell even this early just how great this park was going to look once it got dark. Not that we'd have a lot of time to enjoy it, since it closed at 6pm today, and I think it was probably just about 5:15 at this point.
see? the Wave Swinger really does look great.
but as you can see from the pic, it was in the middle of a cycle, and wary of the clock, I went ahead and bypassed it and instead went over to Shining Flower.
I really wanted a ride on the Ferris Wheel, and with the ~15 cycle, I was worried I wouldn't' have time to do that and something else as well, so prioritized that.
Like most of the Ferris Wheels I'd seen in Japan thus far, Shining Flower had the occasional "transparent" gondolas. I considered riding in one, but those were only every 8 cars or so (only 4 total on the ride), and there were at least 8 people in line. So I figured that would be at least 1 complete cycle and was worried about the time. . so got a walk on, into a "regular" gondola.
roomy for 1 person, I could imagine it would be tight for 3 or maybe even 2. But I was thrilled to get on so quickly.
Headed up, was able to get lots of pics as the park lit up for the evening.
Do-dodonpa's loop, lit up with orange. . and apparently had actual fireballs at some point, tho I didn't see those (Zach got a pic of em from elsewhere in the park).
looking the oher direction at a pretty awesome view of Takabisha, with Tentekomai (Air Race)'s tower lit up blue. That's Food Stadium all lit up "orange-ish"
oh..and a STUNNING view of the top of Mt. Fuji, suddenly deciding to peek out above the clouds!
not the base, that remained hidden, but the top peeking out.
i was absolutely gob-smacked by how incredible it was.
glad I was alone in the gondola, I would have embarrassed myself!
a little higher up.. and oooo.. Tentekomai's tower lights change color. . it's redish-purple now
yeah.. I took a lot of pics of Mt Fuji as we went up, over the wheel.
Was also catching Takabisha cycling, so you can track the train in some of the pictures.
Mt Fuji looks like a freaking floating spaceship!
turning toward Fujiyama, and really liking the "rainbow" lights on the lift hill. (the rest of the coaster seems to be pretty unlit tho).
the lights in the lake are really looking great tho.
At the crest of the wheel, I turned my attention back to Mt. Fuji.
the photos really don't do it justice just how amazing this view was. . .Mt Fuji, peeking out thru the top of the clouds that surrounded it, while the sun is setting.
I was pretty surprised the Ferris Wheel didn't have more of a line, with THIS view available from it!
starting to come down after cresting, and now the wheel was blocking Fuji, so I started looking more at the other sites. No one riding the Water Ace, but it was less than 30 minutes to close, so I suppose they don't want folks out on the water so close to closing time.
or maybe it shuts down when the lights in the center of the attraction go on?
Tekkotsubanchou looks to have stopped cycling (tho it looks like people are on it, so maybe my timing was just bad), tho Do-dodonpa is still pumping out trains.
here's Do-dodonpa's loop, and just behind it on the ground on the left, you can see an orange frog-like statue thing. .that's the entrance to the Naruto shooting ride.
here comes Do-dodonpa shooting into the loop
- DE -
ah.. I DID get some of the fireball. . there in the lower left of the picture.
it must shoot off as the coaster completes the loop and goes into the tunnel.
not a lot of ride lighting over here, but Fujiyama's lift does look good, as does the Carousel which looks fantastic with just white lights on it.
after my ride on the Shining Flower, the park was only open still for ~22 minutes.
I didn't think that would be enough time to make it to Panic Clock to take a ride on it (and wasn't interested in the Teacups that were also sorta over here). So I headed towards Fuji Air, and as I was approaching it, saw that just behind it, Tentekomai was just ending it's cycle. Having never been on an Air Race, I sped up and headed towards it.
I did get there before the cycle had ended, however the line was closed off - despite that there wasn't a full cycle of people that were going to load into the ride.
I saw Jon in the holding area, preparing to board, and waved to him.
the worker at the gate gestured to "wait" and I thought he was going to open up the line to allow me to join the holding area to get a full ride cycle. But no, he left the queue chained off, and they went to the front of the holding pen, and began to seat those in that Pen.
so here's Jon. Hey Jon!
once they had cleared the holding pen, the worker came back over to me (and the handful of folks that had come in behind me) and said "next ride. . ok ?"
It was just before close, so I thought it was very odd, but OK. Our bus didn't leave until 6:30, so even if I was out past the official park close, shouldn't be much of an issue.
Jon flipped the crap out of his plane by the way. I carefully watched his style, so I knew what to do - as the "wings" are free moving, so the rider actually controls the amount and force of the flips. So i watched how he did it, and he even demonstrated for me a little bit as his ride came to an end.
During the ride cycle, they had moved me, and the others behind me into the holding pen.
can't remember how many flips he got, but it was a LOT (and they track each "plane" on the monitor over the cubbies section, so you can see who "won" by flipping the most).
it was nuts.
as he was leaving, I asked would he wait for me to ride so we could walk out to the front together, and Jon said "sure". .so I got ready for my 1st Air Race.
I didn't realize Jon had gone over to the exit and snapped a pic of me as I was getting strapped in.
So I'm not looking at the camera in this 1st pic. I was contemplating how scary it was that the whole vehicle was going to flip, and it seemed the restraints were a little. . . flimsy.
ah. .now I see Jon, so I smiled for the camera before our cycle started. . . and there seemed to be some "end of night training" going on too, as it took them a bit to get us all strapped in and ready for the ride to start up. with some double & triple checking.
I'd guess it was maybe 5:59 by the time we actually got seated on the ride and ready to go.
what I also hadn't realized? As it had gotten darker, the wind had really picked up and it had gotten colder too. . something you don't really notice on the ground.
but boy, oh boy, do you notice it when the structure lifts up and the ride starts.
it didn't' take me long to figure out how to get the wings situated to get a flip going, and once you have the first flip? if you don't adjust the wings? you just start flipping faster and faster as the ride rotates!
I think I *may* have made it to 35 fast flips when I started feeling a little ill, and had to quickly figure out how to STOP flipping before I really made myself sick. So the rest of the cycle I was happy just doing a little sway back and forth, and shivering with how cold it was up there.
the view of the park was nice, tho it was already a bit too dark to see Mt. Fuji anymore.
the Cycle ended, and Jon and I headed to the front gates, so we could go towards the bus terminal.
even tho the ride cycle had been less than 5 minutes, by the time it ended and we got to the gates, it was probably ~6:15, and everything was deserted. But I was able to get a nice pic of the Main entrance gate all lit up.
i had forgotten we had to go back thru the "French" section, and across to the bus terminal. .but since we had pre-bought our tickets, 15 minutes should be plenty of time to make the walk anyways. So we set off towards the Bus Terminal.
Stopping briefly along the way at the fountains with the Eiffel Tower display. . which looked much nicer at night!
with a nice moon up in the sky too, behind it. . which is probably why I snapped these pics.
not as fancy as Bellagio fountains, but hey, nicely set up display with pretty colors.
and when it's darker, you don't really notice that this area just dead ends into the back wall of a building (which turns out is the "Fujiyama Museum" per the park map)
the double decker Carousel was all lit up nicely here, after park close.
and even tho it was outside the main gates, it too had shut down for the night.
so tho i didn't get to ride it, I stopped for a pic (or two, or three) with it.
and how cute. . they put the characters on some of the Horses.
(which says to me, that this smallish carousel - outside the park gates - doesn't see much action, if they can take away seating for (an admittedly wonderful) character placement.
Even was able to frame it nicely with the "Eiffel Tower" behind me.
Small but cute. and looking well maintained.
particularly like that it's a double-decker, even if upper deck is super small. This one was maybe 1/2 the size of Yokohama Cosmoworld's one that we rode a couple of days prior.
I do really like the use of the lights inside the Carriages & teacup seating. that's something I don't hardly ever see.
one final pic, to capture that both the Brown and White bunnies were represented, and then we headed quickly to the store at the front (passing thru, no time to shop), and up the path to the Bus terminal.
where it was a zoo.
TONS of people standing around, some of them being "ugly tourists" (in particular a Dad from Israel with some young kids, who was angry that his bus wasn't there).
it turned out there was something going on, and the Freeways from Tokyo were backed up, and so ALL the buses were running late. And when buses showed up "on time" it would turn out that it was the bus from 40 minutes earlier that was just then arriving.
they were trying to make announcements of when buses would be coming, but it was all getting lost in the din of so many people at the station that wasn't equipped to handle so many people.
I tried not to be too concerned, after all, along with us? there were tons of other people also waiting for their buses. So I went inside and did a little bit of shopping (picking up a snack and some magnets in the little store that was 1/2 of the station).
Come to think of it, Elissa had told us that there had been an Earthquake in Tokyo on this day, while we were in Fuji-Q. We hadn't felt it, as we had not been in Tokyo, but Elissa had.
So on the one hand, yay, we weren't impacted by an Earthquake. . but on the other hand I can't help but feel a teeny tiny bit disappointed that there was an Earthquake and I didn't get to feel anything from it :p (I know, that's a Texan who's never been in an Earthquake talking. . but this wasn't a "big" one apparently, as it didn't affect an trains or even make the news when I turned it on later).
but maybe that's part of what impacted the traffic from Tokyo and what messed up the bus schedules?
regardless, we eventually - about 50 minutes past our scheduled pick up time, if I recall - got on our bus that arrived, and headed back to Tokyo.
I apparently exhausted myself, as I didn't take any decent pics at the bus terminal while waiting - and the moment we got on the bus in my reserved seat? I conked out. Waking up as we were pulling in close to the Shinjuku Expressway Bus Terminal
yep. . back in Tokyo, Shibuya to be exact, and the lights and architecture still gets me excited.
I didn't get to get close to Tokyo Tower (at least not on my first trip to Japan :) ), but I did get to see this:
NTT DoCoMo Yoyogi Building / Clock Tower - which is the 2nd tallest clock tower in the world.
tho the building might be more famous for being "green". . it uses Solar Energy, recycled waste & reclaimed water is used for the toilets.
oh, and it's pretty dang neat looking at night.
not sure if it does more colors than purple (I'd assume it does), but it's quite striking at night.
and you can see from the time on the clock, we made great time getting back. . despite leaving close to 7:20 (instead of 6:30), we were back at Shinjuku Station by 8:30pm.
not sure what this building is (a mall?). . but I thought it looked neat, so snapped a pic with it and the clocktower.
we split off in the Station, as Alex was going to go with Zach to the hotel to grab Zach's bags (he was coming to join the rest of the TPR folks at Shinagawa Prince Hotel, as the trip "officially" started in the morning (Thursday)).
the rest of us headed back to Shinagawa, where some went to their rooms to rest up for the next day, and a bunch of us had Plans for dinner - since Zach had found a place to get Gyoza, called "Yabu-Kuni" that was literally right next to the hotel (once we got past the pachinko parlor).
so planning to meet up at the restaurant, we split off.
both Zach and Condor talked about how nuts Shinjuku Station is? here's an example of the "easy to understand" (HA!!) direction markers on the floor of the station.
working together tho, the 5 of us (Allison, Luke, me, Jon, Trent).. found our way to which line we needed and made our way back to Shinagawa Station
as we were exiting the station, I got a ping from William, who asked if we were back from Fuji-Q and what were we up to?
I told him we were going to grab food at a place near the hotel, and when he asked if it would be OK to join us I told him "of course"
Coming out of the station, we bumped right into William - and together we crossed the street and found the restaurant, as advertised - along side of the hotel, just past the Pachinko parlor.
it was towards the end of the night, and we could tell they weren't thrilled to have a group come in. . but they welcomed us and sat us towards the back of the mostly empty place.
even tho it wasn't busy this late, the whole place absolutely reeked of smoke . . I have to assume it was from either the pachinko parlor next door, or the heavily smoking players there, were also frequent customers here (a good assumption) and the smoke smell lingered.
but the food smelled delicious, and was reasonable.
smiling happy people at the table - LtR: William, Allison, Jon, Me
we were waiting for Alex & Zach to join us, and I believe Eric had also just arrived in Japan for the start of the trip, and also was going to come down to join us.
note the English "I heart BEER" poster on the wall. . . LOL. .yeah, it was that kind of atmosphere in here, and I loved it.
still really only the 4th day in Japan, and yes, I whipped out my trainers. (I *think* this may have been the last time I used them tho).
I remember the pickled veggies were fantastic, and we all ordered multiple orders of Gyoza.
Alex and Zach have met back up with us, and the food has started coming out.
potstickers too? hell yes. . . they were good, but the Gyoza were the star of my evening, and really hit the spot.
just LOOK how great these look
right next door to the restaurant, between it and the Pachinko parlor, was this temple.
we didn't stick our heads in on the way to the restaurant, as there was a Monk praying there. But when we left to go back to the hotel, he was no longer outside, so with encouragement to approach (we were told that anyone was welcome to come up and visit), we made a quick stop up to the courtyard.
it was a small structure, but really lovely set up. . and another aspect of what I think of when I think "Japan" . .so I'm really glad that I got to experience this.
we even said a prayer and made offerings - William was able to advice on the process to follow, and I did (as did some others).
it was really a pretty amazing experience to cap of a pretty amazing day.
one last pic, of the dragon fountain, in the shrine.
and then it was around the corner and up the stairs to the hotel.
It probably was only just after 10:30, but it had been a heck of a long day, and I need to shower, relax a bit (watch the TV , which is where I saw really no mention of the Earthquake, but lots of coverage of Typhoon Hagibis), and pack everything up.
We had to be in the lobby and our bags checked for transfer by 9am - we were off in the morning to Osaka. and the official "start" of the TPR trip.
Condor wrote:You guys got a lot more done at Fuji-Q than I did. What time did they start closing queue lines that day? When I went everything except the Thomas Land rides were closed by 3:40!
that's strange. . . the park closed at 6, and as noted just above, I got on the Air Race at ~5:58, and was on the Ferris Wheel ~5:35pm
I can't speak for the coasters if they cut the lines or not - since although I saw Takabisha and Do-dodonpa running from the Ferris Wheel, they could have just been flushing the lines. . .but I certainly DID ride Takabisha after 5pm.
but it was a really slow day, when we were there, and the flats were open, so I would assume the coasters remained open too.
weird that they cut everything so early on the day you were there (was that also a close at 6 day?).
what day of the week was that? we were there on a Wednesday.
We went on a similarly slow Wednesday as you did. Closing was 5pm, but at 3:30 Eejanaika stopped accepting people into the queue and all the other big rides quickly followed suit. Ten mins later there was nothing to ride. Ferris wheel may have been open, but I didn't check.
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