This is making me want to get back to Japan all the sooner. The food, the weirdness... but it's definitely the people that I miss the most. It's amazing to be able to walk around such massive cities and not get constantly hassled by a bunch of obnoxious Americans! Everything in Japan just "works", and there's a sense of cooperation in the culture that just helps everything move so smoothly.
Odaiba definitely brought back some memories... we went to a pretty good ramen place in the basement of one of the shopping centers there. I assume the Toyota self-driving car exhibit is still closed? It's crazy that Japan was showing off that technology a decade or so before self-driving cars even became plausible.
I have to agree with all the Thunder Dolphin reviews. I really need to go to Tokyo more often. Being stationed in Misawa is a little bit of a bummer ($150 bullet train ticket each way) but I love just randomly walking around.
I will also have to agree that the owl café is really weird but from what the Japanese national that works in my flight says, there are several "cafes" like this (with different animals) all over Tokyo but the owl one takes the cake. lol.
Really looking forward to the rest of your trip report as it will more than likely give me ideas on what to do next time I'm in Tokyo.
Our next day was Tobu Zoo, home to the awesome Intamin Mega-Lite "Kawasemi." I only rode in the morning, and while it started off kind of sluggish, every train that went around the circuit got faster and faster and the airtime more extreme! It's amazing! I didn't get a chance to ride it later in the day yesterday, but I have in the past, and WOW, it really lives up to being an AMAZING ride! It's a shame only for of these were made and I hope we see more at some point!
Other highlights of the day include:
- Being handed a basket with a guinea pig. - The "Cheese Wheel" that was better themed than 95% of the rides at amusement parks in America - The most awesome tortoise ever! - More Yakitori!
Here's a video of Kawasemi we shot a few years ago so you can get an idea of how awesome this ride is!
Onto some photos!
Hooray! We have arrived at Tobu Zoo!
Like many theme parks in Japan, they will not allow you in if you have visible tattoos, especially to the water parks. You need to cover them up if you want to enter.
Gotta love all the awesome vending machines filled with a variety of drinks in Japan!
Thad meets one of his roller coaster idols - Joe Schwartz of www.joyrides.com - Thad will go through many tissues tonight due to this moment.
Yes! Kawasemi is open for us for the next hour!
Here you can get a sense of the layout - airtime hill after awesome airtime hill!
Takashi from Intamin Japan came out to ride with us!
Every one of these hills produces awesomeness!
The was the first big coaster of the trip for many! I don't think it disappointed!
Gotta love those yummy curves!
Yes, Thad was very excited to ride, he could hardly control it.
More airtime, please!
The return run to the station is totally out of control!
We got in about 10 or so rides this morning before the park opened!
And it kept going...
Was nice to have a very small group and we just barely filled the train!
The first drop is only about 90 feet. But this proves that you do not need to be the tallest or fastest to produce an amazing ride.
Kawasemi - Love it! Let's go check out the rest of the park.
There are only four wooden roller coaster in Japan - Regina is one of them.
Regina is also only one of very few roller coasters themed after a woman!
The layout is fairly massive and very impressive!
The ride is a bit rough, though. Not like Voyage or Mean Streak rough, but it does shake you around quite a bit.
The layout is great, though. It produces some good airtime and some interesting laterals! lol
Love the Japanese arcades with funky things like the "walk the dog" game.
Here Kristen is controlling the Japanese rail system. This is probably not going to end well! lol
That little bear had NO CHANCE at all with Thad around!
There is a fairly new powered coaster. It was closed due to weather. Not that I would be credit whorish enough to ride it anyway.
Oh, look, ACE is here today, too!
Tobu Zoo has really cleaned up their animals section and its really nice!
These elephants were making a HUGE mess! It was amazing!
This tortoise was... AWESOME!
One of the highlights of the day was being presented a guinea pig in a basket that you could hang out with and pet!
This is the one Elissa chose.
In this enclosed area, you walk in, point to a guinea pig, they put it in a basket and give it to you! You are trusted not to torture it, kill it, or leave the building with it! Never in America! lol
Awww, this one was mine, he's so cute!
Next up was the rabbit area.
Same kind of thing - you want fluffy, fluffy bunny filled with medicine and goo to hold?
Next we went to play with the chicks.
ROBB! DO NOT EAT THE CHICK! IT IS NOT ON A SKEWER!!!
These guys were awesome because they eventually become amazing food!
"Hello little guys...you will one day be awesome dipped in sauce!"
The sign says "chicken" but I see "yakitori!"
Yes, there were crazy looking owls here, too!
The kangaroo area was kind of fun.
This guy had a few too many peach sours the night before!
No comment here...
Seriously, this tortoise totally kicked ass!
And wherever you have camels, you also have a serious case of...
Here's the map for Tobu Zoo. Interesting laid out park.
Everything is Japan is required to be happy and cheerful!
This is the awesome "Cheese Wheel." Yes. It is a Ferris Wheel themed to cheese!
The ride has a complete back-story...
themed elements in the queue...
And an on-board audio track! Yes, this ride is better themed than most rides in America's amusement parks!
This is the look of someone who hates Ferris Wheels...HATES THEM...but has been dragged on them! (This is only one of many, Jack!) =)
Hey look! The powered coaster is open! And this makes Joe VERY happy!
Even the kiddie powered coaster has some cute theming to it.
Some of us will ride powered coasters, some of us will take pictures of people riding them...and laugh! =)
This was a really fun walk-through!
First you had to hold this metal thing and remember how much you thought it weighed.
There were REALLY SCARY aliens along the way.
And then one of the craziest mirror mazes I've been in! (Honestly it was really cool!)
You then had to handle some balls (yes) to guess which ball weighed as much as thing you held earlier. If you suck at ball handling, you don't move on...
Robb fits in perfectly with the rest of the Galaxy Walkers.
What a great day we had at Tobu Zoo hanging out with friends and riding roller coasters!
Hey look! We found a hidden Mickey! So funny how Disney is really part of every-day pop culture here. Even moreso than in America.
Next up...more yakitori!
These chicken meatballs on a stick with some miso sauce...OMG!
My goal is to have either katsu curry or yakitori (or both) every day of the trip!
We love introducing people to yakitori for the first time. It never disappoints!
One of the best sights ever...lots of empty skewers means this was a GREAT night out!
We went and checked out the Mandarake shop in Shibuya for all your anime needs.
Some REALLY bizarre stuff in this store.
But it's all really awesome!
OMG! Pterri from Pee-Wee's playhouse!
"Why did my Atari 2600 game have to suck so bad?"
Um...someone want to explain this one?
Shibuya is one of my favorite places in Tokyo.
It's famous for the crazy "pedestrian crossing" where thousands of people all cross the street at the same time going multiple directions.
It's also famous for this dog Hachikō, who is remembered for his remarkable loyalty to his owner which continued for many years after his owner's death. The episode of Futurama "Jurassic Bark" was based on this story.
And we will end with this totally awesome ad for what we think is some sort of deodorant or at least a PSA to remind woman to wear it.
Last edited by robbalvey on Tue Jun 16, 2015 12:59 am.
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