Jakizle wrote: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
Thanks Jake! I was there from September 14th to September 26th. A good 2 week trip, but I kind of think that I could've spent more time at some of the parks. I might do three weeks the next time I go over and do a park a day (excluding TDR of course).
xVicesAndVirtues wrote: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
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.
I want to say that they may have re-used the former station for it and turned it into a haunted walkthrough, but I'm not sure.
It's certainly no Skyrush or Millennium Force, but it is something you could just stay on and marathon it and not feel exhausted or bored. I kind of like rides that have a pretty good flowing layout, but I also like rides that have some decent airtime. This ride goes on a different list than the previous two to me.
Nrthwnd wrote: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.
I really enjoyed drinking Pocari Sweat each morning and I think those machines turned me into a grape soda fanatic. lol
TBpony414 wrote: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!
Thanks! I did spend a little time in there especially during the typhoon, but I didn't really mind the lack of space too much. I can say that it was a little tough to move around with a large suitcase, a rolling backpack and laptop backpack. I realized as soon as I got there I should've packed lighter when moving around the train stations.
Day 3 Part #1: Hakkejima Sea Paradise A typhoon was approaching Japan from the south (much weaker than the one that seems to be happened the other week over there) and it was getting clear that there was a good chance that we might end up skipping a park or two. The original goal for today was to start at Sea Paradise for half of the day then head over to Yokohama Cosmoworld for the evening. This changed the wetter it got.
Its a little bit of a journey to get to Sea Paradise as it is on a literal island at the southern part of Yokohama.To get there you have to take the Negishi Line to Shin-Sugita Station and board the SeaSide Line to the Hakkejima station. It took more than an hour or so to get to from Tokyo on a regular train, but it can be much faster if you take the shinkansen to Yokohama.
Going back to the SeaSide Line, it seemed to be the cleanest and most well kept of the train lines that I’ve traveled on the trip. I also kind of found it interesting that they had an anime character promoting the line as they had tons of posters up and even selling specially themed bottles of water and souvenirs in the drink machines.
Built in 1993, Sea Paradise (also called Sea Para) is located completely on a manmade island in Tokyo Bay. The park opened to be both a marine life park with also a bunch of rides scattered throughout the park. The park’s star coaster Surf Coaster Leviathan built by Togo, opened with the park and is still operating. The park did have a small wild mouse coaster in the early 2000’s, but that apparently only lasted several seasons.The park is also have to the famous Blue Fall drop tower and classic shoot-the-chute attractions. It’s newest addition is a 3-story wooden structure where you have to find 10 locations by navigating through a ton of crazy puzzles and doorways and not go off the course.
I looked a little bit into who owns Sea Paradise and it turns out it is owned by a Japanese holding company called the Seibu Group. They apparently also own many different hotels, ski resorts, transportation lines, shopping malls, and even a few Hawaiian resorts in Hawaii. They also own Toshimaen and Seibuen Amusement Park (both parks that I didn’t visit on this trip).
Admission to Sea paradise is free, but you can either purchase individual ride tickets priced from ¥100 to ¥1000 (approx. $0.88 to $8.80), a One Day pass for the aquarium and unlimited rides for ¥5050 (approx. $44.45) or Paradise Naitopasu (Paradise Night Pass for admission after 4pm) for ¥3300 (approx. $29.04). There are several uncharge attractions such as the Aqua Theater show for ¥500 (approx. $4.40), Ice House, and the wooden maze structure, but there is a slight discount for them if you have a one day pass.
After taking a long train ride down to Sea Paradise, we walked across a long bridge and were greeted by the park’s entrance area, which housed a huge carousel with several restaurants and games around it. So far things were mostly dry, but that would change as soon as we walked straight towards Leviathan after receiving our wristbands. We figured once it started to drizzle, things would start closing and it would affect our plan to his Yokohama Cosmoworld later on.
The park itself kind of looks like it hasn’t changed a whole lot since it first opened in 1993, but they have done an excellent job at upkeep and making sure the park stays clean. The main kids area is themed to Cartoon Network, which was odd, but it does kind of make me wonder why that franchise hasn’t been brought to any US parks.
Before Leviathan, I only had experience with Shockwave when it came to Togo coasters and went in expecting to have my spine split in half. While the train was a little cramped and did feature stomach guard restraints for some reason, it really wasn’t half bad! It was pretty smooth, had a pop of air or two, and the turns were still oddly formed, but were tolerable. Miraculously they were running it in the rain as well and had water jets set up at several places along the track! Only took one lap on it due to time constraints, but would definitely make the journey back to the park to ride it again.
This was kind of dumb on our part but Blue Fall was operating at this point, but instead of heading straight there like we should’ve, we went to check out the dolphins and then grab a Japanese style fast food meal at Lotteria in the food court (it was good other than the chicken I got was kind of rubbery compared to what you can get stateside).
After finding out that Blue Fall was closed, we went and checked out the main aquarium building, which was home to tons of different species and kind of reminded me much of the Baltimore Aquarium. We next decided to check out the Wooden structure and see how well we stacked up. You have three different courses to pick from that each make their way through the 3-story structure and at 10 different locations you need to get your passport stamped. Along the way, you have to go through doors that open a certain way, climb above, over, and around wooden gaps and holes but if you go out a certain way, you’re disqualified. Three of us went in, but we eventually separated to try to search and spot the stamp locations and were never able to meet back up. They got as far as the 3rd and 5th stations, but I managed to make it to the 7th on the top floor before accidentally going out the wrong door.
We discovered an Intamin rapids ride behind the aquarium building and figured on taking a ride considering we are already soaked… we ended up not getting wet by the ride at all, but it did wrap around a dolphin backstage area, which was pretty cool.
By this point the heavier rain was starting to approach and we decided to wrap up the visit and see about heading up to Yokohama and try to get the Dive Coaster credit, but first we rode the Shoot-the-Chutes. This ride is modeled just about exactly like those old water rides from the history books where you board a boat at the top of a long ramp, slide down and splash into a open pond below. The operators who ride the boat while standing used to jump into the air once it hit the water and land back on the boat, but they don’t do that anymore.
After waiting for the rest of the group back at the carousel, we headed out and attempted to try to get to Yokohama Cosmoworld before the rain got worse. Plan B was to hit Joyopolis instead.
Find out in the next update whether I get the Dive Coaster Vanish credit or the Veil of Dark credit!
We stopped in Tokyo Station briefly. Loved the beautiful architecture of the main station building!
Looked a little Victorian in style.
I think it is safe to say the winner was the shinkansen. lol
You can pay 100 yen to take the bus from the train station to the park entrance... or you can walk as it isn't that far.
Credit dead-ahead! Best grab it before the rain gets worse!
The first thing see once you get in the park is a central carousel with a guest services location, several food stands and games surrounding it.
The area looks pretty outdated, but looks extremely clean.
Reminds me of the Baltimore Aquarium.This plaza in front of the aquarium is pretty big to hold concerts and events.
If we would've went over earlier, we might have gotten to ride it. Oh well, next visit!
Surf Coaster didn't dissapoint!
Safety instructions were in Japanese and English. Also no loose items on this ride either, so no glasses with or without straps. :(
I guess you can say that I rode Leviathan without having to go to Canada's Wonderland. :P
It's not a very insane coaster, but it was still very fun.
It also came equipped with water cannons, which was cool.
It was only about a 10 to 15 minute wait and it still operated in the rain.
Don't let this photo fool you, it was still very rainy.
Hey guys, lets all take the erevator.
There was a large glass tunnel you can walk through with dolphins swimming over and around you!
This had to be one of the best dolphin experience attractions I've seen.
There was another tank area in the back that had a different type of dolphin in them.
The sanitation crews must have it very easy at these parks! :P
The food court seemed to have a decent amount of seating.
Lotteria is a Japanese fast food restaurant. I had the stretchy burger, which was a fried mozzarella wedge instead of a berger.
In the main aquarium, we got to see the typical sea-life animals such as seals.
The burger was pretty good, but the piece of chicken that came with it was kind of rubbery.
They have an excellent shark and manta ray exhibit. I saw from prior trip reports that they had a sunfish, but I didn't see it anywhere.
The school of fish inside looked beautiful.
Penguins as well.
Time to go up the escalator through the shark tank.
For some reason you don't see many jellyfish in aquariums.
We first thought these wern't real due to how huge they were.
They had a polarbear as well.
If you eat this guy the wrong way, you could die.
The World's largest rodent.
I have a habit of breaking observation towers before I visit a new park (ex: Sky Cabin at Knott's and Sky Tower at SeaWorld Orlando), but Sea Paradise's was lucky to stay open. Didn't ride it unfortunately.
The park really feels like it didn't change much since it first opened.
he park's mascot is all dressed up for Halloween!
The rain I guess...
This maze attraction was awesome and a lot of the parks had these over here!
The Intamin rapids ride the park has circles a backstage dolphin pool!
Looks like they're doing a little training now.
The ride used to have a loading turntable, but they seemed to have converted it into a stationary loading platform.
This dolphin was so awesome! He would always circle around and look at us through this window! The two girls in front of us were having a ball! Ofcourse when I went over to the window next to this one, they completely ignore me. lol
The Courage the Cowardly Dog Drunken Barrel ride... doesn't really go along with the theme, but oh well.
Shoot the Chute was a little challenging to find the entrance (mainly because there was no line for it), but it was fun and something you can't do anywhere else anymore.
They had a Monster, but we passed due to time constraints.
She works at the park's guest services building behind me. Having kind of done the same, it was kind of cool how different it is from a US park were the standard uniform is a polo and shorts.
Back over to the train station!
Thanks and I definitley will be back!
At first it was just the train line adapting an anime character as a mascot, but it turns out after following Sea Paradise on Twitter that there is actually someone that is a PR rep. that looks like this!
It's kind of cool how the train line has branded a quite a bit of stuff to sell out of the drink machines as souvenirs.
We got off a little too early, but it allowed me to get some souvenir fridge magnets from the drink machine. lol
So while waiting for the next train, we decided to see if an anime pose is possible to perform in real-life. lol
So while we were waiting for the train, we decided to try our best to replicate the pose. lol I eventually Tweeted a photo to the PR rep and even got a reply back! lol
The sunfish used to be at the end of that dolphin tunnel you went through, that other dolphin wasn't there so looks like it changed. I forgot how many different aquariums that place had, there's a picture on the English site of it, but the japanese site confirms that other dolphin took over the sunfish's old round pool: http://www.seaparadise.co.jp/english/aquariums.html
I never saw a manta ray when I was there so that must be new, although I missed the door to see into the show tank where the whale shark was twice on my first trip (it didn't have a big sign back then) so I could have missed it, although I did end up seeing a manta ray in quite a small tank at the tokyo stadium when I was getting my galaxy express 999 credit.
Japan Trip 2017 Day #3 Part 2: Yokohama Cosmoworld and Joyopolis
We kind of had to make the best of a rainy evening and it was kind of to the point in the trip that there was a good chance that a park might need to be scrubbed from the trip. It really came down to that one being either Yokohama Cosmoworld or Joypolis. Since it was on the way back to Tokyo from Sea Paradise, we decided to swing by the first one to see if there was anything going on.
After getting off at Minatomorai station we went up the escalator right into the Queen’s Square shopping mall and to the surface. Once we got back to ground level and outside, things didn’t look good. We crossed the street and went over into the park in the pouring rain. Many of the rides looked sitting dormant and the only thing that seemed to be running was the park’s enterprise attraction. Halfway across the bridge heading over to the ferris wheel and coaster, we saw the lights off in the station and nobody home so we turned around.
This walkthrough was worth it though, I have always wanted to visit this park at night and see it lit up with it’s incredible lighting packages on it’s rides (especially Cosmo Clock 21, which is the park’s huge ferris wheel). I loved the different patterns that showed up on the wheel and thought it was the best out there (until I saw the one next to USJ a week later).
Turns out this was the park to be scrubbed from the trip, but I did manage to return later on after the trip so I’ll go over the park more in detail on that update! Since it was only around 7:45pm, we chose to get to Joypolis before it closed at 10pm.
We took the Yurikamome line to the Odaiba-Kaihinkoen station and passed a large crowd of teenagers dressed up like they were going to a club and wearing Guy Fawkes masks… which kind of creeped me out a little. lol From the station we walked through The Decks shopping mall and found Joypolis
Joypolis is owned by Sega Live Creation, which handles the amusement portion of the Sega Company and owns several parks and quite a few SegaWorld attractions, which are Sega-themed arcades that are scattered throughout Japan. The Odiaba location opened in 1996 and was home to the Speed Boarder coaster, but made way for the Veil of Dark spinning coaster built by Gerstlauer. Many of the attractions are simulation and VR attractions that make the building seem very futuristic and more advanced than Disney Quest.
Like Hanayashiki, you have two options on admission: buying a Passport the includes admission and unlimited attractions (¥4300 or approx. $37.73) or buy a cheaper admission ticket and purchase individual ride tickets for each attraction that range from ¥500 to ¥800 (or approx. $4.39 to $7.02).For visiting in the evening after 5pm, theres also a cheaper rate (¥3300 approx. $28.91) and an even cheaper admission after 8pm (¥2800 approx. $24.53).
Upon scanning my ticket through the turnstile at the entrance, I was catapulted into an experience I have never witnessed before fill with tons of high-tech oriented rides and tons of arcade and claw games. Knowing we only had just a little more than an hour and a half to get on what we wanted to do, we headed straight for Gekion Live Coaster which was clocking in a 30 minute wait (which turned out to be more like 20 minutes).
All I knew about Gekion is that is the first spinning coaster that goes upside-down and that they sometime retheme it to different anime characters or concepts. When we rode it, it was to some J-Pop boy band that I’ve never heard of, but going on right now it’s to Hatsune Miku, which probably would’ve been a little better, but oh well.
Before getting to the fluffy, fluffy bunny filled with medicine and goo area, an attendant groups you up, gives you an info card in English to read and directs you to a fluffy, fluffy bunny filled with medicine and goo to throw all your crap in (glasses with a strap were okay on this ride thankfully!) and you go up stairs to the extremely tiny loading/unloading station. You are told to hit a button on your restraint during the ride, but I didn’t know why (I was thinking it was something similar to Men in Black: The Ride’s red button). In the first scene, a moving screen follows us in front of the car playing music and showing a DDR-like screen… from there I knew this was going to be kickass.
You turn the corner and do a second screen of the same and then we get to a tire-lined launch track where we accelerate at a gradual pace and fly around a turn and curl up into the first barrel roll on a spinning coaster and the feeling is awesome (especially when you go through sideways!). Next it’s back into the building where you climb a short but steep lift hill, go through one final level of DDR: The Ride, then into an epic helix finale in a room filled with lasers and lights!
Between the four of us in the car, I came in second with I think around 80,000 points. Upon unloading, you go down the stairs and pick up your items on the opposite side of the fluffy, fluffy bunnies filled with medicine and goo. After experiencing Gekion, I really wish there were more attractions like this one in the US!
We went next up to the third floor to do some of the attractions up there and we came across Mystic Mansion: Tale of Pandemonium. This attraction opened up earlier in the summer and like Gekion, I had no clue what was going on or going to happen. Before loading you’re handed 3D glasses and a typical instruction card and the attendant informed us it was all in Japanese. The room that we entered had several rows of wooden benches in a themed room that looked like an Edo-period house.
From what I could make of it, there were several creepy characters such as a Geisha with a super long neck, haunted tea kettle and a possessed bamboo hat that live in this house and suddenly an army of evil skeletons show up and attack the house. Eventually the house gets set on fire (it gets REALLY hot at this point!), the skeletons merge into one super skeleton and shakes the house which causes your seats buckle and jolt then finally another monster shows up to put an end to things. If there was an attraction that I had no clue what the hell happened right after experiencing it, this is the one!
At this point, we only had about 30 minutes left until closing so we planned to do one more attraction before getting in line for Halfpipe Tokyo so we went to Wild River the Treasure Hunt (that’s seriously how it’s exactly named; you just go with it after awhile. Upon loading, I expected you to just sit in a raft vehicle while it slowly pitches in front of a screen right on the loading platform… not the case at all! Once you’re ready to go, the whole raft moves forward through a door and into a dark room with a screen and that’s where you experience the attraction! Kind of blew my mind a little!
After riding and taking a quick trip to the bathroom (awesome games programed into a urnal by the way. lol), we discovered that Joypolis closes their attractions at the point of how long their lines are. Since Halfpipe Tokyo was a 15 minute wait, they closed the line at 9:45pm since the park closes at 10pm. Kind of a bummer, but gives me a reason to go back! To finish up, I used the remaining time to shop at the gift shop where one of the things I bought a stuffed mascot (I ended up getting these at several parks I visited).
While waiting outside of the rest of the group I found out the source to the mysterious masked people we encountered in the train station: Ultra Japan, which is a huge techno/dance music festival. If I would’ve known about it, I actually would’ve kind of wanted to go as there were some groups I’ve heard of!
Since the typhoon was bearing down on us, we decided to have a late American style dinner in Roppongi. Going in, we were told that there will be a lot of people randomly standing on the streets trying to sell you stuff (anywhere from club tickets to drugs) on the streets. It really made the area feel pretty shady. The area is big with the club crowds and American tourists due to the numerous food locations. While eating from the 2nd floor of the TGI Fridays we were at, I had to have seem the drunkest person walking down an adjunct alleyway being carried along by his friend.
It was just about 12am and we needed to get out before the last train. Luckily we made it… but on the train going the wrong direction! At the next stop we got off and decided to take a taxi back to the hotel. ¥4000 to go 3km is steep so don’t resort to taxi’s unless it’s an emergency and be advised there can be a language barrier so be sure to know how to pronounce your destination correctly to avoid confusion. It was lights out once we got back, but the typhoon gave us a chance to sleep in a little. While the following day would be coaster less, it did allow us to catch up on some more culture and travel back to Akihabara to do a little looking around!
This looks to be the place.
Holy shit... I'm here.
I've always wanted to come here as it looked like a beautiful park to do at night with the awesome lights. Still enjoyed walking through it despite being soaked!
The park is divided into several sections. Closest to the train station is a narrow strip of land that holds a gigantic enterprise ride (not a Huss or Schwarzkopf) and a Swing Around ride.
There's the kiddie coaster called the Go Go Bananas coaster.
And a Zamperla Disk-O similar to the one at Hanayashiki.
On the main part is Cosmo Clock 21 (the huge 300+ft ferris wheel), Dive Coaster: Vanish, a log flume, Spinning Wild Mouse coaster, and several dark rides. This really is even more compact than Tokyo Dome City.
Cosmo Clock 21 is also a World record holder as the World's largest clock.
In between the two areas is an island home to a bunch of kiddie rides and a midway lined with many shops and arcades.
Every Japan park also has a cute mascot!
At this point we saw nobody home so we turned around.
The enterprise was open, but we just decided to bail.
okohama Cosmoworld became a writeoff for the group, but I went back a week later after Tokyo Disneyland to try my luck again.
On the way to Joyopolis, we went over the Rainbow Bridge.
Tokyo Tower is over there somewhere.
Looks like we're getting close.
Here's me trying to re-live my days of driving the Monorail at my home park. :P
Gekion was kickass and better than what I expected!
The attraction also partnered with Attack on Titan to celebrate it's 2nd season. They had a show in front of the stage, but we missed it.
I loved the concept of DDR on a roller coaster.
Attack on Halfpipe Tokyo.
Fuji-Q-Highland a few days later had a little bit more in regards to Attack on Titan, but still it was pretty cool.
The footprint for Gekion looked small for being inside a building, but it felt like a decently long ride.
Jury Duty: The Ride!
The stage used a good amount of projection mapping.
Joypolis also has their own mascot as well.
I kind of wish we had more time at Joyopolis, but oh well, next time!
Looks like they had some pretty good names for Ultra Japan.
I'll leave you with this ultra cute sign with a kitten. Next up is culture day!
Thanks for another great update! I'd still love to get back to Japan to explore everything beyond Tokyo that I've missed the last two trips, but I continue to live vicariously through reports like these in the interim.
Change the scheme, Alter the mood! Electrify the boys and girls if you would be so kind!
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