cfc wrote:“Ooo, you work for Ralphs? Come here, you sexy thang!”
I'm pretty sure I heard these words once in a dream like 20 years ago... and never ever again since
Always love your TRs, Chuck! I miss Japan. Such a great trip R&E managed! Despite the fact that Japan keeps trying to kill us with typhoons and earthquakes and volcanoes and yakitori and awesome trains and Braddock and the Compass to my Heart and ARGH I love it so much... ... ...
A Wet Day at Brazilian Park Washuzan Highland and New Reoma World
People like to experience different cultures, but often lack the opportunity to do so. This is as true for the Japanese as it is for anyone else.
Some theme parks, such as Epcot, successfully fill that void. For its part, Japan has Parque Espana (more on this later), which celebrates Spanish culture and history. It also has Brazilian Park Washuzan Highland. I was unaware that the Japanese had a burning desire to embrace Brazilian Portuguese culture. Maybe they really like chimichurri sauce and salsa music.
It was a gray, rainy day, and I swear we were the only ones at the park, except for the staff, who smiled and doled out complimentary green ponchos as we passed through the turnstile (it was raining fairly hard at that point). Then we learned why “Highland” was such an important part of the park’s name.
Stairs. Lots of colorfully painted, Brazilian-looking stairs.
We looked like we were on our way to a meeting of the Irish Klu Klux Klan.
Breathtaking views of the mountains, ocean, and islands awaited us at the top. There was also a pedal-cycle ride on the edge of a cliff, which was also a bit breathtaking.
The park has three coasters, two of which were closed for maintenance: Ultra Twister (which has been SBNO for some time) and Chupy Coaster (a family “Jet Coaster”). However, the big, rusty old Togo looper, Star Jet, was open. This ride has both a standing train (not running) and a sitting train that goes backwards through the course and (it seems) requires only one ride op. (Yep--one guy checked the restraints, walked upstairs to the control room, gave the safety spiel, and dispatched the train.) The ride is surprisingly fun, but made me feel a bit queasy. Once was enough.
All in all, I enjoyed Washuzan Highland, and the park seemed like it was a really nice place--once. Now it needs a lot of TLC, but it does have a good location and those beautiful views going for it. Big thumbs up to the staff and the performers at the Brazilian samba show, who really believe “the show must go on,” no matter how small the audience. I hope they can keep going.
Forgot I took this photo of “Not Exactly Universal’s City Walk.” Here ya go.
Before visiting Brazilian Park Washuzan Highland, one must worship at the HOLY LAND OF JEANS.
Blessed be your mighty name and holy flattop, oh Panda of Denim!
We were all converted. Would you like a copy of our newsletter?
To be fair, I’m pretty sure that my attempt to spell “entrance” in Japanese would be even worse.
Brazilian flag + donkey = TPR in Japanese Brazil.
Yes, may as well make the best of the weather.
We never got a chance to play “Brazilian Bing.”
Yeah, they don’t have “Highland” in their name for nothing.
Something here is big. I’ll let you decide what.
We took a train across that bridge later to get to New Reoma World.
Remember that viral video of the scary Japanese pedal-car ride? Well, we rode it.
Danger! Watch out for . . .
. . . this guy!
Yep--it’s hard to beat this park’s location when it comes to views.
Yes, this is the lift hill, and yes, they are going up backwards!
And here they are going down backwards--or . . .
. . . is it merely a clever deception on my part?
How can you be sure what direction they’re traveling?
Yes, just thinking about it . . .
. . . could drive you stark raving mad!
Don’t blame me. I only do this rodent’s bidding!
Uh oh! We have to leave soon, but we must get past the guard goat.
Good thing he’s easily distracted.
I think we were the only people in the park other than the staff . . .
. . . but the Brazilian dance show must go on!
Nathan and Megan have been swept away by the samba! Yes, they caught the fever and haven't stopped dancing since then.
They even taught us about Brazil, . . .
. . . along with a little Portuguese. This was one of the most surreal TPR trip moments ever.
“Tonight, I will haunt your dreams!” Gulp! On to New Reoma World.
New Reoma World was a nicer park than Washuzan Highland. It had its own hotel and was more of a “resort.” Plus, it didn’t have nearly as many stairs.
That being said, I’m not sure what to make of the place. I liked the park, and it looked nice, but I was perplexed about what the place was about.
But this is Japan, and I’m used to those feelings when it comes to Japanese parks. I like how the colorful New Reoma mascots stand out against gray sky in this shot.
New Reoma had four coasters:
Vivace--I don’t know who built this ride, but it looked and rode a lot like a Schwarzkopf mine train. A very good family coaster.
Ladybird--This was a better-than-average “wild mouse” in a rather nice setting.
Spaceship 2056--This was New Reoma’s version of Space Mountain, and it had a very spaced-out, Star Trekish queue. The ride itself rumbles around in the dark and is OK. The coaster also offered VR (no, thank you).
A kiddie coaster--I didn’t bother with in the rain.
There was also this bizarre dark ride, Rainbow Bandits, which was sort of Wizard of Oz mixed with It’s a Small World augmented with a touch of Jules Verne and H.G. Wells. Fun, but . . . what was it?
Like I said--it’s Japan. Sometimes, you just have to go with the flow.
When at New Reoma World, be sure to stay at the Hotel Mordor.
The Eye of Sauron is on you!
“Enjoy your day, you punks!”
Hey, no one warned me about this!
Whoa! That T-Rex took a nasty bite out of that Triceratops and gobbled up all its organs!
I have no idea who built Vivace, but it looks Schwarzkopf-like.
It’s a pretty good ride, too--look at that happy if prickly train! (All those lights make it look like a porcupine with a crew cut.)
Then again, there is the sad-and-pathetic train.
“Whee, for me!”
Let's ride Spaceship 2056. It's in that dome.
I think the weather kept a lot of people away, but there were more guests here than at Washuzan Highland.
At least I think there were people there besides our group.
Hmm--no resemblance to Space Mountain at all.
“We are in no way reminded of any famous Disney attraction.”
Well, the queue is a bit “Space Mountain like,” I’ll grant you that.
It is a bit more sparkly than the average Space Mountain queue.
These TSA screening areas are getting a bit ridiculous. One more set of photos to come.
Allow me to share a little fever dream of mine. It started with a balloon.
I was accosted by the Tin Woodsman and the Cowardly Lion (who was, for some reason, cosplaying a "flasher" version of himself), who asked for my help against . . .
. . . the Wizard of Oz, who was now leading a satanic cult and planning to unleash the Devil’s Rain to melt Glinda the Good. He had to eliminate her to corner the Emerald City Green Meth market. (Call it "Breaking Bad: The Wretched Wizard of Oz.")
Oz had Mini Me-type minions who rode grasshoppers, which was no stranger than anything L. Frank Baum concocted for his novels.
Oz’s evil knew no bounds. First, he stole a sphinx . . .
. . . and then the Statue of Liberty! All hail the Great and Terrible Oz! (This is shaping up to be the worst "Wicked" sequel ever.)
Soon, Jack Skellington was revealed to be the man behind the curtain, and Oz knew the jig was up.
“Don’t ask us. We have no idea what’s going on, either.”
Baum couldn’t have imagined this, even after a week-long bender of cough syrup, opium, and vodka.
But, like I said, it was all just a fever dream.
Maybe it was all the sake and wasabi Kit Kats I ate in Japan.
The forecast remained wet.
When a park has a train, it must be ridden. Nerd law.
I thought the ride op was a good sport to haul us around on such a wet day.
They had a Ferris wheel. I know you’re shocked, this being Japan, and all.
Ladybird Coaster was surprisingly good.
All staff had to stop whatever they were doing and wave at the train.
Up close and personal with the Ladybird Coaster
“Arise, my son, and feast on man flesh!”
The train’s psychedelic surprise tunnel.
Utterly mind bending. Suddenly, the bizarre dark ride makes more sense . . . er, no it doesn't. Sorry.
One of these gondolas is not like the others. Looks like they have a seat for more daring riders.
I always spend the time of the relaxation. This is good advice.
Kids: If someone named “Captain Peddy” offers to show you his dinghy, just say “no.” That's all for now.
There is something so EERIE about these parks (made even more bizarro by the "Green KKK" conventioneers taking over the place). The murky weather heightens the mood - as does the Storyteller's pitch-perfect delivery (dare I say 'a bit like Dateline's Keith Morrison!'). Anyway! A fiendishly fun commentary, Chuck. I really enjoyed this opportunity to see Japan's two eccentric (in the best possible way!) parks!
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