China + Japan 06/19 – Shikoku
With the important rides out of the way it was time for some general credding. The outbound flight was from Osaka, which we had been to before, so it had to be an area to the west of Japan that I hadn’t yet hit. Ended up skirting round the city and onto the island of Shikoku. Only 5 hours driving, child’s play these days.
Tokushima Family Land
Follow that ferris wheel.
The first little place was another one of those Asian ghost town parks. Part of a bigger zoo resort, but we were literally the only car in the car park on arrival.
With staff outnumbering us at least 4 to 1, bought some ride tickets and headed to the first cred. The person standing nearest to it sprang into life and started the ride up for us in a friendly fashion.
More quality engineering. The manufacturer of these is unknown but it seems to be a suspiciously similar to that awful one at Fuji Q.
It rode a lot better though. Rough and ready, but no headache inducing vibration. A good laugh.
The other cred was boring Mr. Vekoma Junior. +1.
And that was that. On to the next one.
The road to the only other park on the island took us over some lovely mountains, at which point it decided to rain on us. On arrival, the weather had technically cleared up again, but dark clouds loomed ominously close making for a rather tense visit. This could very easily go wrong and everything will shut.
For a bigger park/resort it was equally ghost town-ish. No more than 5 cars in the car park on arrival.
New Reoma World
Took the plunge and bought the entry ticket, then bravely bought ride tickets on route, with the ever present fear of approaching rain.
First priority was the big boy. A jet coaster called Vivace. The couple of older staff members in the station were happy to see some customers.
In classic fashion for this ride type the first drop is angled at about 20 degrees, but the low turn over the water was unexpectedly forceful for one of these. Overall good fun, something a bit different.
This one was next.
A weird little wild mouse style ride with an interesting layout. It started to rain on us on the lift hill. Oh no.
RAN round to this one as it was the last remaining outdoor cred. Worryingly the operator had just walked away from the ride but we were told to wait a couple of minutes while sheltering in the station.
It was a wet experience, but they did run it. Literally couldn’t have timed it better as the weather just got worse and worse and they closed the whole area around us immediately after. Good stuff.
Which only left this beast. The indoor coaster.
Now featuring Virtual Reality obviously, but at an additional cost. Politely declined the VR option, garnering a little confusion from the staff, but the only other guests in the park had appeared out of nowhere next to us and did exactly the same.
Waited around a while in the first part of the indoor queue where more guests magically materialised. They did want the VR and were batched into a second queue where they got an extensive set of instructions about putting them on, while one of the staff members was visibly falling asleep on his feet. Interesting to see the Japanese approach to hygiene for these is to supply a thin clinical looking mask with eye holes cut out, to go underneath the actual headset. I like that.
From there we were all led down some spacey themed corridors into a room with some screens. Had a bit of a pre-show talk, then got taken into a spacey themed lift with more pre-show talk. It was all rather cool in a low budget sort of way. Reminded me of a less physical Clone Zone.
The lift takes you to the station, where we were separated from the guests wielding their VR. Ha, they had to wait for the next train.
The ride was small but quite fun. It starts at the top and works its way downwards to the bottom lightly jolting around in the dark, like a discount Eurosat/Spatiale Experience. It ends at a separate offload station meaning riders skip the lift hill.
Fortunately there’s a sheltered seating area at the exit of the ride as it was proper chucking it down when we emerged. Sat and watched it for a good half an hour wondering how any of these places survive in this manner, while the staff walked back and forth with umbrellas smiling, waving and closing things down.
Once it got light enough to handle, we made our escape.
It’s a nice looking place with a great setting, just in the middle of nowhere with very little to do.
Needs investment, but it ain’t gonna happen.
Up next – more of the same.