Korea + Japan 04/17 – Greenland
I thought I’d died and gone to hell, waking up to the intense heat in the room sometime late the next morning, but soon remembered it was actually heaven. The suitcases lying on the now searingly hot floor had some rather damaged goods inside, namely melted food and a raincoat that I would later find out had had its waterproofing destroyed.
In stark contrast, the ‘fridge’ in the room had frozen a couple of our carbonated drinks. Everything was working in extremes.
So Japan was never originally on the cards for this trip. The eventual motivation behind the rushed first half of the Korea leg was twofold.
1) Upcoming Space World spite.
2) If you transit through Seoul within 72 hours you are entitled to some free tickets to go and watch the live recording of a Kpop chart TV show.
Well that just had to happen.
And that happened on this day.
Passed some time with some sightseeing and a leisurely lunch nearby.
Didn’t feel like getting dressed up in traditional garb for the free entry inside the temple, but it’s a big thing for the young locals. See if you can spot them.
After overestimating the speed of the metro, we got to the TV studio with just minutes to spare and ended up accidentally joining the line of jealous fans that weren’t actually able to go inside and watch. Awkward.
Eventually found our way inside and sat just a few metres from the stage and cameras to watch all the magnificence unfold.
More life changing stuff, but I won’t go into detail.
Tried and failed to get an early night (seems to be impossible in Asia) and then at stupid o’clock we were off to Japan.
Landed in Fukuoka the next morning and took a little while to discover that the ‘airport car hire’ wasn’t actually at the airport. With a bit of faff and a phone call, a bloke in a minivan came to pick us up, all good.
Got the car and within a couple of minutes of driving things got interesting.
There are 2 types of toll road in Japan – some are robots and some are people. The first one we came across didn’t have a machine, but there was definitely no sign of a person either. There was no barrier. What do we do? “Go for it”, I hear, and do.
A man appears out of nowhere, slightly bemused and asks us for the cash. As if we weren’t misbehaving enough already, we passed him some Korean coins by mistake.
All in good humour, he sorted us out in the end.
It was a pleasant drive down, taken at a very humble pace (Japan never lets you do more than 60Mph in a car).
We were soon greeted by the sight of the first of a million ferris wheels in this part of the world.
Lesson not learnt from earlier, we gave the parking attendant some Korean coins by mistake. It took him a little longer to notice as we had already parked the car before seeing the poor chap come running towards us.
All in good humour, he sorted us out in the end.
Day 3 – Greenland
Got some entrance tickets and ride wristbands and headed in for what was to be a fairly hefty +1 marathon. The admissions girl came running over as we passed through the turnstiles and was deeply apologetic for having not given us the correct change.
We’re not the only ones.
The longest coaster in the park came first and I fell in love with Japanese Jet Coasters as a concept.
They’re such a relaxing little sit down, breeze in your hair, trundling along at unknown speeds, unknown height, having a good laugh. Nothing like those boring, thrilling western coasters.
Highlight: Getting front row and being able to watch the dinosaur on the front of the train as we went round.
Lowlight: Honestly can’t think of one.
On to my first Togo ride. Stand-up version first.
This was great fun. It had forces I didn’t expect to take direct to the legs and the design of the trains puts you in a very exposed position compared to anything I had done previously.
Highlight: Restored faith in stand-up coasters
Lowlight: Restored faith in stand-up coasters
The sit-down side of the ride was fairly inoffensive and forgettable in comparison. The on-board music was a little odd, playing what reminded me of Wild West chase music. It was good for a race, but not very befitting of the Milky Way name.
Highlight: More pink rides for the count
Lowlight: Unnecessary shoulder restraints
This Vekoma suspended coaster has a great name and great looking cars.
Highlight: Much better than the last one of these I did at Bobbejaanlend. All I needed.
Lowlight: Still a bit dull.
#5 Ladybird is a powered dragon nearby that isn’t a dragon. Didn’t expect to ride another one so soon…
The namesake of this website and what was to be my 300th coaster was now, unbelievably, standing right in front of me.
These are weird contraptions, in a very good way. Life feels a little less natural when you’re surrounded by cages and grease, which is basically what the cars are made of.
The vertical lift hill is unnerving, particularly as I didn’t know rides of this era could even do that (these were potentially the first, though they seemingly never found fame for it – justice for the Heartline Coaster!) and the resultant pitching you over the edge into the first drop and following hill is great fun.
Highlight: The backwards inversions catching me off guard.
Lowlight: Bit of a car crash on the transfer section.
Highlight: Middle of the road SLC on this particular day.
Lowlight: Having done enough SLCs to make statements like that.
Another, larger powered coaster, mostly in the dark. It was alright I guess, mostly forgettable.
Scraping the barrel for creds a bit now.
Highlight: Being handed a personal pouchie for my glasses was a nice touch.
Lowlight: Done far too many of these and they never beat Brighton Pier. What’s up with that?
This smaller jet coaster is as fun as it looks.
Highlight: Killer layout.
Lowlight: Lack of leg room.
Having polished off all the creds in good time, we took a spin on the ferris wheel for some views.
Again, as a park, Greenland was a very nice place to be, with many interesting and quirky coasters on offer. Sadly it didn’t quite have anything amazing enough to rush back for, though I didn’t really expect it to. A good day out, that’s all you really need.
Our hotel that evening was very nice, though in a somewhat rural location It had absolutely no food options nearby, so finding something to eat was particularly troublesome.