I'm sure it's VERY similar. We have seen 3 or 4 of them now, and from the outside that all looked pretty much the same. Even though we've only been in the one, I'm sure they all feature a similar layout and amount of activities.
Our next day took us to the town of "Beppu" which offers quite a bit to do in Southern Japan. One nice thing about the way we put this trip together is that we had a lot of days where people could just go and do whatever they wanted based on preferences. For our group, we either had been to parks in the area like Kijima before, or wanted to do something different, so while some of the group went to go ride one of the few wooden rollers in the country, we went and did a selection of more random things this day, starting with Hello Kitty and ending with monkeys!
This is a BIG day of 100+ photos so be sure to get through all of them! Lots of fun stuff in here!
Today was one of the days we all split up to do different things. While some of the group went out to Kijima to ride Jupiter, some of us wanted to go see one of Japan's biggest celebrities...
For some it was about riding one of four wooden roller coasters in the country....
for us we wanted to check out Sanrio characters, Ocean Sunfish, and Monkeys!
Our day started off on a train named after a video game character. This was the "Sonic" train! lol
Each train comes equipped with an emergency door penis.
Yes! We are in the area where everything is going to get sugary sweet!
Harmonyland is basically the home to Hello Kitty and all her cutesy Japanese friends.
It's a legit theme park which much of it being themed better than 95% of the parks in the USA.
And yes... you can meet Hello Kitty!
And many of her friends are here, too!
We figured we'd get the Hello Kitty roller coaster out of the way first.
Yes, it's a Vekoma Roller Skater, but it's a completely custom model and it's actually really good! It feels more like a "mine train" and less like a "Roller Skater."
Some funky little pops of airtime on this ride, too!
Next we hit up the controversial "Hello Kitty Train."
The controversy comes with the coaster nerds. Yes it runs on "tubular steel track" and is powered on it's own gravity for some of the trip.
The girls don't give a crap what coaster nerds think, they just want to ride to get down the hill to the Sanrio Boat Ride!
But as you can see, the ride does have familiar looking rails...
It does climb a lift hill on one of the legs of the ride...
...and it does coast downhill with the speed controlled by the operator. So what do you think?
The girls say "Anyone who counts this as a roller coaster is not someone we would ever go out on a date with!"
Next up was the star attraction of the park... the Sanrio Boat Ride!
It's sort of like "It's a Small World meets a LOT of Sugar!"
The storyline is simple - All of Hello Kitty's friends get an invitation to her party....
And then they spend the first part of the ride getting ready to go!
And yes, a penguin (Badtz Maru) gets spanked. This right here makes it an AWESOME ride!
My Melody & Kuromi are both going to the party....
Pom Pom Purin seems pretty happy to have gotten his invite!
And then they all take off to the party! Badtz Maru chooses jetpack to get there...
My Melody takes some sort of dirigible.
Yay! They gang is all here!
And let's celebrate Hello Kitty!
"The rest of you all suck! My Melody is my TRUE friend!'
Here is the ride-through of the Hello Kitty Boat Ride. We got a lot of complaints about this on YouTube, which kind of surprised me. Yes, I get it that the ride is very sickening "sweet" but it's also a totally legit, very well done ride! If this was in Orlando, it would be one of the better dark rides in the area! Check it out:
After the boat ride, Kristen went to do this sort of Sanrio "Ninja Warrior" course.
There was a lot of money bars...
And falling on faces.
She is a true Sanrio Ninja Warrior!
The park is really a lot of fun, and all the rides are totally themed to Sanrio.
The Ferris Wheel has each cabin themed to a different character.
And there are a lot of different Sanrio characters!
There goes a few of them...
The girls got the Little Twin Stars car.
Hello Little Twin Stars!
And YAY! We got Badtz Maru!
We are all bad penguins.
The park most certainly seems to have an "old and new" part, with the newer, more well themed section being towards the front of the park...
and the less themed, more "pavement" part towards the back.
The girls loved it!
And yes, there is a little powered coaster here, too.
There are just so many things wrong with this picture! lol
I love these random little "put your kids on display" rides that you see all over Japan!
Hello Kitty themed Tea Cups.
Hello Kitty themed roulette wheel to the death.
The parade was about to start and this area went from empty to totally packed in about 90 seconds!
More sugary sweet Sanrio stuff...
More Hello Kitty....
...and lots of bubbles!
Elissa hanging out with her favorite character.
The girls just chillin'
Yes, because headbands make you awesome!
I'm not exactly sure what this character is...
but apparently he's totally naked!!! lol
All the Hello Kitty stuff you could possibly want!
Tons of plush...
seriously TONS of it!
The umbrellas were amazing!
And plenty of Hello Kitty swag to take home and make you cool.
Kristen is channeling her inner Pom Pom Purin at Harmonyland.
Next we went to do some more random stuff in Beppu.
Found at the train station....
Kristen looks absolutely thrilled about this! lol
This was the zoological park which included an aquarium and a "monkey park."
Yup, there were sharks...
...and some big ass ugly fish.
And these really screwed up looking sand worm things!
Dr. Shrunk from Animal Crossing was here, too!
But this is what we were really here for...the Ocean Sunfish!
Kristen is obsessed with this really bizarre looking creature.
She calls it the "half fish" because it looks like someone cut it in half.
Make no mistake about it, this is one UGLY animal! WOW!
But, it's also a very rare animal and they are difficult to keep in captivity (the USA only has one) and Kristen loves it, so we accept it...but man is it UGLY!!! lol
Wait, what is this? The tortoise and the rabbit?
Oh, I get it...
Yup, they hang out together!
In the "Never in America Department" we have the kids splash pool that is actually PART OF THE DOLPHIN ENCLOSURE! Yes!!!
You can see the kids splashing in the foreground and there are the dolphins swimming in the background!
From above you can get a better look at this.
But it's Japan, so all they need to do is put up a sign, and people pay attention and obey it.
If this sign was in America, instead of not throwing things at the dolphins, people would probably be smacking them with their selfie sticks or throwing their kids in the water. But in Japan, people actually obey the rules.
Here's another dolphin enclosure where they allow people to get very close to them.
"Dolphins like the taste of human arms...don't put your hand in there, stupid!" And people respect this. (Yes, it IS too much to ask at our parks here in the USA.)
Random stuff to do at the aquarium.
This chameleon took a liking to me and my cell phone.
It was awesome you could get so close to all the animals!
Across the way was the "monkey park."
We kind of knew what to expect here, but it sort of exceeded those expectations.
You could either take this tram to get up to the monkeys, or you could walk.
They monkeys were everywhere! And they really seemed to spend a lot of time grooming each other!
Some of them even groomed each others butts!
There were hundreds of them, just hanging out everywhere you turned.
"I find these monkeys are cooler to hang out with than most people!"
Is this one alive? Who knows!
They were everywhere! Climbing around and pretty much didn't care about the people around them.
So many of them had monkey babies.
"Yes, hi...there are monkeys here...can we go now?"
"Yup, that's a pile of monkeys over there!"
Not sure what's going on here...
"Will work for bananas."
I love that they were doing the "Share a Coke" thing in Japan, too!
Next stop was Canal City.. I mean.... um... Oh....
"Hey Reed! Check it out!"
Yes...Japan has Shakey's Pizza! lol We had to try it.
They menu was totally bizarre! Yes, those "Mayonnaise" pizzas had some sort of cream based sauce instead of normal pizza sauce! (the original pizzas were actually pretty good!)
This was the "Rosemary Potato" pizza! Really weird, but actually good!
It was all about the dessert pizzas, though! This was the Cinnamon Apple!
And "Quatro Chocolate!" Yes, it had four kinds of chocolate for all your diabetic needs!
The REAL meal of the night was... you guessed it....
Ooooh, soooo good!
This place is Fukuoka does "Bacon Wrapped Cheese!"
There it is... perfection! DELICIOUS!
Yakitori and beer...now we can go to sleep happy!
Although Derek found Zima in Japan! Yes! They still have it! lol
We will end this update with some Japanese porn...because shouldn't all updates end up with a bit of Japanese porn??? =)
Last edited by robbalvey on Fri Jul 10, 2015 11:28 am.
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