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So I was going to wait untill the weekend to start this trip report but screw it I'm in the mood.


In late April this year, me, my best friend and his wife (who's also a good friend) went on a bit of a special trip to Korea and Japan and it was fantastic! For as long as I can remember I've wanted to go to Japan, the coasters there have always peaked my interest. Korea is a bit of a different story, my ba***rd friend, the same one on this trip, introduced me to Kpop in 2015 and suffice to say it's ruined my life, couple that with T Express and I had more than a good reason to visit. If I rant or moan or come across sarcastic at points let it be known I fully appreciate how lucky I am to be able to have done this trip. This is going to be a long one, hope you enjoy!


Day 1


Our trip begin by boarding a BA (WHY?!) plane from Heathrow to Incheon (Korea) on the Wednesday at 12:30pm, due to crazy time differences and a rather (to say the least) long flight we arrived in Korea at 7:30am on the Thursday. This was my first ever long distance flight and it wasn't anywhere near as bad as people make them out to be. I was worried about going to sleep on the plane, my logic being our plane took off at midday (our time) and would land by about 9pm (our time) and that it would do more harm than good, so on the first day I pulled a rather long one! I watched Fantastic Beasts (it's alright), Moana (it's great), 2 American Dads, 2 Family Guys and then we were there, really wasn't an issue.


The amazingly slow queue to get into Korea was thankfully broken up by beautiful airport hosts wearing "can I help?" t shirts, yes please. First ever stamp in my passport and we were in. Straight to the high speed airport - Seoul shuttle train, buying a T Card (the same T from T Express did you know?) on route. The T Card is an essential for tourists wanting to get around Seoul, it very similar to an Oyster card and offers tourists discounts on travel (mainly the subway), during the 2016 - 2018 "visit Korea YEAR", they must be using the same logic as Disneyland Paris on that one. Got to Seoul station and walked about 500 miles over awful floors in order to come out the wrong exit and have to walk 500 more miles during morning rush hour, Christ. Checked into our hotel, Kpop Hotel, which is meant to be 2 minutes from Seoul station if you aren't stupid and take the wrong exit, ditched our bags there and we went to get breakfast at Quiznos. We were meant to be going to Lotte World on this day but discovered on the morning via their website Atlantis Adventure was down for maintenance until the weekend, spite! Needed a change of plan then, while the other 2 finished eating I went and spoke to the offensively pretty lady on the help desk about the best way to get to Everland. She was fantastic and said she makes the journey regularly herself (really should of asked for her number I think), she booted up her laptop and printed me a map and told me all the details I needed. We topped our T Cards up at Seoul station, which is a joy for the record, in England when I had an Oyster card it meant going to an angry Indian man who'd shout at me for doing it wrong for 2 minutes, not here, all on machine and simple as anything. Took the subway to Gangnam (isn't there a song about this place?), walked outside and caught the bus. The bus driver was a complete asshole, my second time dealing with Korean money and paying for all 3 of us and he didn't have any time for that, starts driving and shouting while I'm paying and my friends are behind me leaning against the door, what the hell, ba***rd! He drove about as well as he dealt with people which in this case is a good thing because lack of sleep started catching up with me.




After driving for another 10 minutes after passing the Everland entrance sign we finally arrived at the park, oh wait we didn't, we arrived at the bus park - park entrance shuttle bus, come on! We used our T Cards to give us 30 percent off the entrance price, told you they are essential and we were in! Everland is located in a hilly area surrounded by trees and is easily the prettiest park in Korea, the park is very well presented and definitely has an almost magical feel to it which I'm sure I would of enjoyed more if I wasn't completely ruined by this point! The only graffiti came in the form of locals carving their favourite Kpop bands names into queuelines and I'm ok with that. It's a huge park with lots and lots of hills which is ideal if you've been awake about 70 hours but also a warning for you if you visit. After walking miles in the wrong direction and still not seeing T Express we came to the conclusion it had either been removed like Eagle Fortress (WHY?!) or we were so tired that we invented it in our minds, then we found it!


Dragon Coaster https://rcdb.com/1340.htm - This powered (not a cred) twin helix (a lot on this trip, just wait) would have just been for the rare points if it wasn't for the 2 hyper active women operating it making it one of the best rides in the park.

Herky & Timmy's Racing Coaster https://rcdb.com/2969.htm - +1.

Rolling X-Train https://rcdb.com/1338.htm - This weird Arrow looping coaster holds a special place in my heart, not at all because it's good but because it's one of the funniest roller coasters I've ever been on. I'm not exactly sure why but me and my friend spent the whole ride laughing, to the point I couldn't breathe and he needed to run to the bathroom afterwards, not many rides can garner that reaction from me, I appreciate that!

T Express https://rcdb.com/3938.htm - I knew this monster was going to be good but I didn't think I'd love it as much as I did. The first drop makes Wildfire's first drop cry in shame and Balder weep in the corner, it took me completely by surprise how intense it was. The amount of air time hills and the amount of them that actually work (looking at you Geforce), coupled with how long some of them leave you pinned against your restraint is crazy. Our 3rd ride in the dark, where the coaster had gotten even faster and you couldn't see the insanity coming actually made me cry with happiness and much like Karnan reminded me why I love this sometimes rather silly hobby. 

Live Hologram Theater - AOA, a previously favourite Kpop band of mine performing in hologram form, loved it so much, well worth the up charge.

Mystery Mansion - Almost good it's so bad shooting dark ride, reminded me of Golden Nugget at Drayton.

Rotation House - Madhouse attraction where 2 gargoyles shout extremely loudly during the ride section and then like the Europa one your under carriage is violated by something in the seat.

Rapids - This rapids featured a velco attached plastic cover over every rider. It provided a sense of security but don't be fooled still got rather wet!


We also did the zoo which was very good, first time seeing giant pandas! We rode the lost valley amphibious vehicle safari, think Zufari but much much much much better, with a hyper active Korean man loving his job and a pointless water section. About this time I should point out as well as not getting enough sleep on this trip, we didn't really eat enough either, at Everland after being awake so long I could only muster up eating 2 churros, probably not wise. Everland is a great park and deserves the recognition it gets as Korea's top amusement park, on Korean TV it features nearly weekly and rightly so. T Express is incredible, the Kpop hologram show is life changing and the rest ranges from average to hilarious, if you went to Korea and missed this place you have messed up.


It's now 9pm, I've now been awake for god knows how many hours and oh it's bad. We jump on a bus that's heading in the direction of a subway station that's sort of near where we need to be, little did we know this bus was going to go the very long way to get there. 1 and a half hours later, during which all 3 of us were falling asleep at different times only being awoken by the driver almost crashing. Got the hotel, was fairly convinced I wasn't going to make it through the night at this stage but I did!


Day 2


Late start today thankfully and after trying and failing to work out how wet rooms work, not well apparently, we went about our day sightseeing. We saw a palace (it's better watching Kpop idols visit there than going yourself), a weird building, a mall that closed at 5pm (madness), a food hall (where they even managed to ruin cheese rolls) and that's about it, I'm very cultural honest. The main mission for today and one of the reasons for the whole trip was going to Music Bank. Music Bank is a weekly Kpop music show where about 100 people a week can be in attendance while it's filmed live. We got tickets through the airport, as part of a plan to bring more tourists to Korea, oh it worked! Tonight's show featured performances from 3 of my favourite bands in the genre, Dreamcatcher, Oh My Girl and EXID. Explaining it to you won't do it justice but being about 15 feet away from bands you idolize is something I'll never forget, life altering stuff. After my life was changed forever we returned to the hotel and I couldn't sleep I was so happy, oh well I only need to be up at 4am tomorrow.


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Day 3


The reason I needed to be up at 4am and the reason I only got 2 hours sleep was today we were flying to Japan. The reason for this weird 2 days in Korea, Japan leg and then back to Korea to finish, revolve around the Music Bank tickets, you had to be in and out of Korea Incheon airport in 72 hours if I remember correctly to quality, totally worth it! Took the shuttle train back to the airport with the phenomenal Korean train host bowing every time she entered the carriage. Off to Japan we flew, we flew with Asiana and they were incredible, really put BA to shame, then again Easyjet does that... We landed at Fukuoka airport, it was tiny, smelt like a hospital and had a long queue to get in but it was kind of charming in a way. Told the head of immigration when he asked "why are you coming here today?", "for your roller coasters", this put a big smile on his face and I bet he doesn't hear that often! Faffing about with stupid car hire over and done with (why do they hate us so much!) and we hit the roads of Japan. My friend drove and he deserves many rewards for doing it, we shall get onto that. Straight out of the car hire street and into a massive junction, took the wrong exit but finally found ourselves driving up a ramp onto the Japanese highway. Signs for a toll were approaching but no gates were down, maybe this one is free? I told my friend to speed up and just go for it, but then with music blaring and all windows up we hear someone scream "STOOOOOOOOOOOP", 1 emergency stop later and an eldery Japanese man walked over to the car, verbal murder incoming we thought, but no this is Japan and with a smile on his face he asked for the toll, no worries! But of course I paid him in Korean coins, if you know anything about Korean and Japanese history you'll know I screwed up but once again he smiled and helped show me which coins were the right ones, top bloke! As we pulled back onto the road we were all laughing so hard we almost crashed, hell I'm still laughing now. Despite being the country that blessed the World with my favourite car of all time, the Nissan GTR, the speed limits are stupidly slow in Japan, couple that with aforementioned tolls, of which there are many and they cost between 10 - 40 pounds on average and you wonder why anyone has a car in Japan!


Greenland https://rcdb.com/4967.htm


Pulled in the Greenland car park and paid the man at the gate the car parking fee, it wasn't much at all thankfully. While trying to find a good space among the seas of those weird Asian cube cars, I noticed the elderly car parking man was sprinting across the car park towards us, had I really made the same mistake again?! Of course I had! But like before he saw the funny side of it and after the right exchanges were made, he left and left me hoping when I'm an old man I'm this full of mobility. Because of faff at airport, faff at hire car, slowest roads in the World and getting lost a bit, we were now about 4 and half hours from park close, this park has a lot of coasters and the cred anxiety was real. This didn't deter friend's wife though, she spent 20 minutes going through all her bags in order to obtain something no one needed, women!


First time buying entrance tickets in Japan then, had been warned by everyone I knew that the Japanese know hardly any English and everything would go awfully wrong, liars. Manned myself up and walked over to the ticket desk to be greeted by a beautiful and shy Japanese girl blushing and covering her face after everything she said, I think I'm going to like this country. All sorted, let's go! While looking for the building that coverts your entrance ticket to a wristband I hear running from behind, my new best friend from earlier was running towards me, blushing, bowing and giggling as she went. I had forgotten to take the equivalent of 10p in change from her and she handed it over bowing, no wait I'm going to love this country! This was a theme I noticed in Fukuoka, easily the nicest place I've been in the World people wise, everyone was so happy to help and it made this part of Japan even more amazing for it. While the park wasn't exactly landscaped or well themed everything was well presented, something I noticed in Japan with the exception of 1 park, the Japanese really do seem to care about their parks and their roller coasters which is lovely to see.


Blackhole Coaster https://rcdb.com/3782.htm - I remember quite enjoying this indoor powered coaster, good cheesy fun.

Goa https://rcdb.com/1212.htm - My first Japanese jet coaster, which mean it's 10,000 feet long, does nothing of note and is great at resting your feet and letting you remember, "oh god, I'm in Japan"

Grampus Jet https://rcdb.com/1311.htm - While sharing the same layout as Dream Catcher at Bobbejaanland, this suspended coaster is quite good, Bobbejaan's one deserves a fire, nah Bobbejaanland as a whole deserves fire actually.

Ladybird https://rcdb.com/1925.htm - That makes 2 powered twin helixes of this trip

Milky Way https://rcdb.com/1213.htm - First Togo and I'm calling out everyone who slags them off for no reason, this coaster was great! The sit down side was good fun but it's the stand up side that wins all the love, yes I said it, I loved a Togo stand up. 10,000 times better train design than the Intamin one allowed for an actual feeling of openess, plus you were properly standing unlike Shockwave. Ejector air on your feet is something I never thought I'd experience, but I did!

Nio https://rcdb.com/1211.htm - Not even Japan can escapes the clutches of the SLC, this one was fine, if you've done El Condor you can do anything.

Sphinx https://rcdb.com/1924.htm - +1

Spin Mouse https://rcdb.com/1215.htm - +1

Ultra Twister Megaton https://rcdb.com/1214.htm - First time on one of these contraptions and it was quite good fun but nothing special. The brakes before the backwards section is the surprise highlight!


Another amazing conversation, this time with 2 blushing shy Japanese girls, in order to buy tickets to ride the 400 foot ferris wheel (so many in Japan it's crazy), the views from up there coupled with the breeze blowing through the pod made for a great ending to our day. We rode everything we wanted to with the exception of the Bobkart, if it was listed on CoasterCount probably would of hit it just for the rare points but otherwise not worth the hassle. I really enjoyed myself at Greenland, it was a great start to the Japan parks. Hour drive back to hotel later and having only eaten a cream pastry for breakfast and it now being 9pm we were clawing at the walls. After discovering there was literally no shops or restaurants for miles, we kidnapped the friendly man from reception and got him to translate the Japanese only menu at the hotel restaurant. Ate my weight in fries and Chinese dumping things and despite how weird that combination is, it was fantastic.



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Day 4


After skipping the clam chowder at breakfast, no really, we hit the road on route to...


Space World https://rcdb.com/4962.htm


Space World is closing at the end of this year, some say it is partly due to the backlash the park faced when they put dead fish in the ice rink, I really hope those moaning know how stupid they sound and certainly hope they don't get fish and chips for dinner tonight. We parked our stupid hire car in multi story opposite the park entrance, paid our entry and we were in!


Zaturn https://rcdb.com/3454.htm - We started our day off with Zaturn after reading trip reports that they run it badly, they do. We were in the first train of the day's worth of people waiting at the air gates, then they made an announcement about loose articles, made everyone leave the air gates and go into a small room with paid lockers, all the Japanese faffed about for ages with everything in their pockets while we stood there lost having left our wallets with our non rider, I guess my phone is sneaking on then! Seated now and now they are pointing to signs and making speeches about safety stuff, please send the ride! Zaturn is a clone of Thorpe Park's Stealth, it rides EXACTLY the same as well, as I'm not really a fan of Stealth anymore and because of the faff, I'll rate Zaturn meh.

Titan Max https://rcdb.com/1194.htm - This Arrow "hyper coaster" was awful. The weird non standard S&S trains aren't as flexible as the old reliable Arrow ones so you spend 90 percent of the ride jolting and crashing around. Going up the lift I had a mild headache, by the end brakes I was crying and holding my head still. If Amanda buys these for Big One... Hell I'd probably still ride it for a laugh but it would be awful too.


Titan having given me my worst headache to date, I needed to go to the car for pills. Waiting at the hand stamp gate and no word of a lie, 6 Japanese girls came running to fight for the chance to stamp my hand, this is fantastic! The winner, let's call her the alpha held my hand and sung to me while she stamped my hand, Merlin parks don't even manage to apply the ink properly so this level of service almost fixed me before I got my pills. On my return, the scramble happened again, this time fighting for who gets to let me back in, of course the alpha won again and once again sung as she guided my hand into the ultra violet light to see the stamp, do we have to leave this part of Japan?


Boogie-woogie Space Coaster https://rcdb.com/1197.htm - This amazingly named roller coaster was a lot better than it had any right to be. The operator was encouraging everyone to do amazing hand movements and say "Boogie-Woogie, Boogie-Woogie", not even I could refuse that.

Venus GP https://rcdb.com/1195.htm - Easily the star of the park. Rare Maurer looping coaster that rode and looked like a Schwarzkopf. Fast, quite intense and a lot smoother than I was expecting, really hope this ride is sold and can live on, great fun. The ride plays rock music when it dispatches and the operator encourages you do devil horns as you go past him, madness.

Clipper https://rcdb.com/1196.htm - Kiddy cred of the park but I remember it being better than expected.


We got spited by the indoor coaster, Blackhole Scramble, but that's fine, I got my own scramble and loved it. We rode their 400 foot ferris wheel (that's 2), they give you binoculars and each pod has a note pad and pens so you can leave your mark. I got a banana chocolate ice cream crepe thing and it was excellent, Japan is apparently famous for it's crepes, or at least that's what at least 3 Kpop idols have told me.


Some fools online have said Space World is run down and falling apart, they are wrong, while SOME parts of the park do look quite worn, there is nothing even on par with how atrocious Chessington has gotten. I enjoyed the park and found the whole thing quite endearing. The staff all seemed to be having a great time, despite their park closing down soon, so that's great to see. Followed up by quirky things like a graffiti wall, with pens included, for you to write your good bye message to the park and the capybara cafe, which I didn't do but I wish I had. The park was one of the busier parks on this trip and with how much I enjoyed myself I really hope the park finds a way to stay open, fingers crossed.


Got back to the car and punched into the sat nav the co ords for Kijima Kogen, the sat nav replied we'd get there 5 minutes before close and had 70 pounds of tolls on route, spite! Coast2Coaster booted up after spunking a 5 pound data bolt on and saw there was a +2 nearby, score!


Kashiikaen Yuenchi https://rcdb.com/5003.htm


This was such a pain in the ass to find the car park and then even harder to find the park entrance.


Bunbun Coaster https://rcdb.com/3007.htm - That's 3 powered twin helixes.

Pegasus https://rcdb.com/1302.htm - Another fantastic sit down on 10 mile long jet coaster, bliss!


We then drove back to hire car place, returned the car and took the metro to Fukuoka bullet train station. That night we bought our tickets for bullet train for the next day, 100 pounds, 1 way, not the full way, Japan why you got to be so expensive but so hard to say no to?


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Day 5


We started today nice and early and grabbed some pastry products on route to the bullet train station from our hotel 5 minutes away. All the bullet trains are named after Japanese women, I can't recall what our's was called but I think it's a fun idea and she was a looker for sure. The train was easily the smoothest train I've ever used and fast, very fast. I exercised the facilities on board and it was the nicest toilet in Japan, heated seat and all, as I left the bathroom a Japanese man bowed at me, awesome!


We were on a train on route to Osaka but stopped off at Himeji for culture and creds. As we were lugging around our large suitcases it was time to find a drop off point, we knew looking online the station had limited lockers, just as we saw them about 3000 Japanese school kids walked past blocking our path, all of them waving at the strange looking foreigners, in any other country I wouldn't have reacted but it's Japan so of course I waved back. Arms now aching we arrived just in time to steal the last 3 big lockers from some rude Americans, suck on that!


Now feeling free we boarded the bus outside to take us to Himeji castle. Spent about 20 minutes looking at as much of the castle as you can for free and then we boarded another bus to take us to...


Himeji Central Park https://rcdb.com/4966.htm


The entry system for this park is a weird one, you buy an entrance ticket which let's you into the safari bit (which we didn't want) and the amusement park bit. You then have to buy a wristband to ride the rides on top of that. So this park ended up costing us 45 pounds each and if I'm honest with myself, it was a lot of money for what it is. The park feels very tired and out of date and with the fact we were the only ones there, it almost felt abandoned. Japan is home to the huntsman spider, one of the largest spiders on earth, I hate spiders, one of the toilets I went into was covered in cobwebs and the lights didn't work, one of the quickest drainings of my life this was.


Camelback Jetcoaster https://rcdb.com/2277.htm - Another nice sit down.

Diavlo https://rcdb.com/1208.htm - Batman clone B&M Invert. Rode like crap, no forces what so ever and could only ride in the front row, literally pointless.

Hurricane Screw & Loop Coaster https://rcdb.com/3444.htm - Another Togo, unlike the World would have you believe it was fine.

Imorinth https://rcdb.com/1210.htm - Cool name for a wacky worm, +1.

Labryinth https://rcdb.com/1209.htm - This weird mini Meisho coaster was probably the star of the park coaster wise, yes the invert was that crap!

Free Fall - My first Intamin first gen drop tower, this was the star of the park full stop.

Giant Ferris Wheel - Another 400 foot ferris wheel, this time however made of so much rust that as soon as we reached a quarter of the way round the beams holding our pod up started making extremely concerning noises, so glad to get off this thing.


Because this park had limited bus routes out of it, we ended up taking a taxi back to Himeji station, more money spent for this park then! Not sure I'll ever need to return to this park in my life and that's fine.


We then took the slow train this time from Himeji to Osaka and spent ages looking for our hotel, one day I'm sure we will be good at this. An adorable trainee checked us in at the hotel, her English was great! Room keys in hand, waiting at lift and she came running over to us, trying to explain that because I had a hotel room to myself I had to pay a one off fee, in hindsight I really should of just asked her to come stay with me for the 3 nights we spent there but stupidly I just paid the 1 pound fee, spite!


That night we took the subway into a place called Umeda (I think), it's a very busy place, great for starting panic attacks and features loads of knock off shops, avoid. Thankfully leaving that stain on Japan we went to a mall. First off we visited the Pokemon Center, which didn't really interest me but I did love getting my friend to name all the Pokemon I could find, he's rather well versed on the subject! We then went to HMV and spent far too much money on Jpop CDs. In Korea and in Kpop you can get a fancy CD package, normally with 60 page booklet, photo cards and somethings even balloons for about 7 pounds. In Japan you get a bog standard looking CD plastic case thing and nothing else for minimum of 10 pound, madness. To end the night we ate dinner at a snooty pizza restaurant and met the rudest people in Japan. I had been told Osaka is the ghetto part of Japan but after how lovely Fukuoka was it was bit off putting. The staff didn't really explain how the menu worked and then proceeded to stare at us while we ate, how welcoming! Back to the hotel we went carrying our life savings worth of Jpop and sat down to some free Japanese adult entertainment.



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Thank you Mark, means a lot coming from you. :)


Day 6


Breakfast time and friend's wife swore that I needed the McGrilled in my life, it's the McMuffin we know and I used to loved but made with sweet honey bread, it was easily one of the worst things I've ever put in my mouth, instantly every nerve in my body shouting please stop, terrible! On the up side it has stopped me having McDonalds full stop since this episode, so once again thank you Japan for helping fix my pathetic life! A short and easy subway trip later and we arrived at...


Universal Studios Japan https://rcdb.com/5492.htm


For too many years now I've watched YouTube videos from Disneyworld and Universal Studios Florida, I still haven't visited either but hopefully I'll break that very shortly. Universal Studios Japan is described by a few people as the best of the Universals, so I was extremely excited to try this one out!


Was greeted by a half hour queue to purchase tickets, which isn't the best of starts, I believe this queue was down to the selling of fast track packages, bit of a weird place to sell them if you ask me, very hard to judge which package you'll need (there are many) based on only seeing the amount of people waiting to buy tickets, strange. Even though at the entrance it looked so busy you'd NEED fast track just to survive this park, once in very few things were stupidly busy, I also noticed they inflate the queue times on the LED boards by sometimes half an hour, is this to sell more fast track packages or because they want you to be amazed a 90 minute queue has been cleared in 60.


Space Fantasy The Ride https://rcdb.com/9034.htm - This allegedly World class roller coaster was in VR mode as part of Universal's "Real Japan" event they were having. This meant they were only loading the front facing seats and had disabled the coaster from spinning. The VR was quite good and featured giant robots and giant aliens destroying Tokyo while you flew around in a little spaceship, what is Japan's obsession with giant things destroying things? I don't really feel it's fair to review Space Fantasy because of this, however as far as I could tell the layout was rather boring with lots of slow block sections, so maybe it's the spinning and theming that normally makes this coaster World class, that or it isn't and Mitch Hawker has misled again.


After McDonald's spite I was really hungry, so powered into the snoopy restaurant and grabbed some chicken nuggets, fantastic staff in here, could tell they were getting a real kick getting to try out their English. Stood outside Jaws watching the shark outside eat a never ending stream of Japanese school girls while I finished my food.


Jaws - You know what this ride is, I knew what this ride was going to be but it was still extremely good fun. The most energetic Japanese girl ever was our skipper and she was fantastic, from POVs of the American one, it really does look as though a skipper can make or break this ride, so I was very happy.

Jurassic Park The Ride - Another ride that from POVs I knew exactly what was going to happen but that didn't stop my amazement when the T Rex came out of nowhere, so impressive. The drop was also surprisingly intense to further my praise of this ride.

Backdraft - I always enjoy these special effect attractions. Armageddon in Paris is awesome but I think I like Backdraft slightly more. The main show is nothing short of intense and the heat from the fires were insane.

Spiderman - I know this ride technology has been around for years but this was my first time riding one these incredible dark rides. I loved it, spent the whole ride laughing and smiling, didn't expect much from this but came off very very impressed.

Snoopy's Great Race https://rcdb.com/2519.htm - I know it's a kids credit and I shouldn't moan but this thing rode awful, stupidly rough thing.


Then we ventured into Potterland, I knew I wasn't going to enjoy it but it tried it's best to make me even less impressed.


Harry Potter & The Forbidden Journey - It was madness even trying to get into this attraction. 10,000 people crowded outside, then 2 entrances to fight your way to, 1 for castle walk through, one for this attraction and even once you think you're in the right one it's still not clear. Spent the whole queueline (impressive at least) confused to if we had entered the correct queue. Then we got to the front, told nothing can come on the ride, go to the this room full of lockers, it was even more stupid than the awful set up at Arthur at Europa, complete madness. After many hours and accidentally exiting through the gift shop but fighting my way back in we had a locker. Now the ride, oh boy. 3D glasses, screens 2 inches from your face and you are attached to a robot arm that can flip around and do all kinds of uncomfortable movements, needless to say this thing gave me motion sickness. Couple that with the fact it's just a collection of key scenes from the movies randomly mashed into a 2 minute ride experience I really wasn't impressed.

Flight of the Hippogriff https://rcdb.com/11885.htm - Roughest Vekoma Junior coaster to date.


After thankfully escaping Potterland, it was time to experience the big boy coasters of Universal Studios Japan.


Flying Dinosaur https://rcdb.com/12959.htm - This B&M Flying Coaster is breathtaking. The queueline board said the queue was 90 minutes all day but we queued 40 the first time and 60 the second time, perfect! This ride operates a fantastic loose article system that wouldn't work anywhere else in the World but I wish it would. 20 minutes before you reach the station, you are handed cards that explain the rules on loose articles, to sum up, none for the love of God, or we will eject you from the park and might send you to jail, noted! 10 minutes before the station you swap your card for a cute plastic tray to put your loose articles in, which you then put in shelving on the station platform. The many Japanese school girls in the queue also got handed big blue elastic bands to strap onto their shoes to stop them flying off on this intense as hell roller coaster, crazy but brilliant idea. By this point in the trip I knew Japan was awesome enough to trust putting my phone and wallet in the tray, you've already stole my heart Japan, you can have my phone if you want. The Japanese way of dealing with "assuming the position" is amazing. Ear bursting screams, turning into laughter, then silence as the coaster tilts up, then the exact same as the ride dispatches. While going up the lift of this beast, which is a lot taller than Craplactica and nothing at all below you, if you wave then everyone below waves back at you, must of triggered at least a hundred people to wave on our last lap. Flying Dinosaur is an extremely intense ride, something I didn't think this ride type would allow, it honestly bests Nemesis at points for sheer intensity and the pretzel loops are life altering. The pacing is fantastic and the intensity never lets up. Only complaint I can think of it, the ankle restraints are pointy and cut into your shins, I wonder why they did this, is it because of the Japanese market or because B&M think it's a better design?

Hollywood Dream: The Ride https://rcdb.com/3621.htm - Having only ridden Silverstar before this (this one is better) I wasn't expecting much from this baby B&M hyper coaster, but I was wrong and it's very good fun. Combining both the standard and awesome B&M hyper airtime moments with a more compact and twisty layout was great idea. This coaster features onboard audio, I chose Jpop on the first lap and it was awesome. Hollywood Dream runs 2 of it's 5 trains fully reversed, yes you read right, 5 trains! At the end of the day, in the dark, we rode this beast backwards with the theme from some anime playing, it was so fun I don't know if I have the words to convey. Backwards airtime you can't see coming, twisty dips and drops you can't see coming, the dark and the epic soundtrack made this really special!

Terminator 2 3D - Was bit lack luster for me, but was a nice rest for my poor legs.


At the end of the day, the park were doing a brand new projection show on the Hogwarts castle, more Potterland ranting to come, I'm sorry. We had it in our head what show time we wanted, and proceeded to get there 10 minutes before hand but spite. On approach to Potterland staff told us we needed a timed ticket to enter and needed to go somewhere vaguely in the direction she was pointing to get it. 5 minutes of being lost later we found the touch screen machines, however you had to scan your park entrance tickets to get a time slot, 5 more minutes of faffing around in bags later we had our time slot but wait a sec. Shows start on the hour, and time slots are hour hourly, so you had a 50/50 chance of missing the beginning of the show. Not wanting to wait around any longer we decided to just enter Potterland at 8 for the 8 show and miss the beginning. Showed the women our ticket and starting sprinting through the long walk that divides Potterland from rest of the park. We missed the start but it didn't matter, it was complete crap. Dementors crudely flying around the castle was the only projection part of this "projection show", with the rest happening on a stage in front of you. Some bad acting and nothing much happening later and the FIVE minute show of which we missed 2 of had finished, complete waste of time and effort. Give me Disney Dreams any day of my life.


Universal Studios Japan as a whole was a bit of a let down for me. As a park it didn't catch my imagination or do anything special enough to stir emotions by just being there. However the 2 B&Ms are World class and Flying Dinosaur on it's own is easily worth the effort of visiting this place, it's that damn good. Perhaps not getting Space Fantasy in it's normal set up didn't help the park by having 3 stand out World class coasters to flaunt, I will have to visit one day in the future to get Space Fantasy how it should be and ride Flying Dinosaur again until I bleed.


That night we went to Tower Records, a famous music store and spent lots more money on more Jpop albums, this was probably a mistake as I shall get to in the next 2 days.



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Day 7


During trip planning we had originally planned to have 1 less day in Japan and 1 more in Korea but we got a bit excited when we discovered if we put in A LOT of effort we could have a day at Nagashima Spite Land and ride Spite Dragon 2000, the World's longest roller coaster, We rented a car from the hire place 1 minute walk from our hotel. Even with picking the hire car up as soon as the place opened we knew we wouldn't make the park for opening, it wasn't an option to rent the day before and park it as no hotels in this area had parking, it would mean paying insane money to park it on the street. Setting off after way too much faffing about and we were now due to arrive at 10, the park opened at 9, spite.


Nagashima Spite Land https://rcdb.com/4958.htm


Pulling into the empty car park was a great start and we saw Spite Dragon 2000 cresting it's many hills, it looked wonderful. We got to the ticket office and by now it was lightly spitting with rain. A sign to the right hand side of the ticket office seemed to imply almost half the park was closed today, WTF. A sign on the ticket office window implied only Acrospite, Spite Cyclone and Ultra Spiter were down. We asked the quite rude man on the desk what was going on, he told us, the 3 coasters listed would be down all day but the other ones listed on the other sign were down because of the very light rain. He PROMISED us if the weather improved everything other than the 3 coasters listed on his window would reopen, liar.


Paid our money, more fool us and in we went to the still running Spite Dragon 2000 and joined the back of what must of been an hour queue. Spite Dragon has 3 trains, it was running 1, with a 60 minute queue, why?! Spite Dragon's entrance sign said the ride was closing for the day at 3 for maintenance. It was now 11, the park was closing at 5, Spite Dragon was closing at 3 and we have at least 10 more creds after this to hit and how many of them will close early. We left the Spite Dragon's queue to purchase the fast track for it, from the ORP women. Can we please buy 2 fast track tickets, she shook her head and snapped back that the ride was now closed and low and behold they had just evaced the queue because the rain had changed from light to standard rain, stay calm.


Arashi https://rcdb.com/14052.htm - We then joined a 45 minute queue for the brand new S&S Free Spin, Arashi, one of maybe 4 things operating in the entire park. I hate Zac Spins with a passion and this is no where near as bad but still not my idea of fun whatsoever. I really didn't like the constant flips and the intense feeling that comes along with it. Not sure I'd ride Arashi again but I've heard the American Free Spins are tamed down, so maybe they are more suited for more, I'm normally brave honest!


Spite Dragon now had an angry looking man standing outside the entrance, time for a chat. "If this rain stops, the coaster WILL reopen?", he snapped back with a aggressive yes.


Corkscew https://rcdb.com/1175.htm - More rude staff and me trying to sneak under a girl in the queue's umbrella later and it was time a Vekoma Corkscew. I cant' even remember how it rode other than wet.


Spite Dragon's still not testing...


Jet Coaster https://rcdb.com/1180.htm - After deciding at Universal that Japanese school kids are so respectful and friendly it wouldn't be an issue to visit during school trip times in Japan, Spite Land decided to prove me wrong, got queue jumped when there wasn't even a queue, why Spite Land why?! Thinking of Spite Dragon maybe not opening and how crappy this supposed World class park was turning out to be I can't even remember this cred.


I just want you to know Spite Land close their Tivoli Small in the rain...


Peter Rabbit Coaster https://rcdb.com/10873.htm - But they opened a powered coaster, amazing.


So 3 credits and a powered were the only things running in the entire park, so we went to a children's pizza restaurant, mainly because most other places were shut, I'm starting to notice a pattern here Spite Land. We sat in the pizza restaurant for over an hour, staring at the lift of Spite Dragon the whole time. Rain now fully stopped, sun out, it was time to man up and hold that man to his word!


Walked to Spite Dragon, no staff on platform, engineer in control box, rest of staff cleaning queue. Make our presence known time, stood there at the entrance for 15 minutes while they ignored us. Time to take this up a notch, we walked up the exit stairs and STOOD on the platform of the abandoned ride, the engineer in the control box HIDING under the console to ignore us and the staff in the queue not paying attention to the 2 white guys standing there losing yet more faith in Nagashima Spite Land. We asked the operator of the still running Arashi will they re open Spite Dragon, she said tomorrow. No other coasters reopened either. It looked as though all the staff had gone home and now it's 2pm and lovely weather there's no one here to operate the rides. Fuji Q gets shot down all the time by enthusiasts for this very reason, I think it's time Spite Land got viewed in the same league.


We had ice cream in Cold Stone Creamery in the mall next to the park to cheer us up and hit the road, paying over 40 pounds worth of tolls on the way back to hotel, I was now out of money and my friend was getting low, oh god. Nagashima Spite Land really let me down. Stopping rides in the rain is something I've heard about in Japan so I'll let them off for that. Not reopening when weather improves, that isn't sitting right with me. Useless and rude staff letting Japan down, now that just isn't acceptable. I will have to return here on my next trip but because of this visit I'll be returning in fear of a repeat of this. It will also just be a return for the creds because the park as a whole is dead to me.


That night we went to Joypolis, basically a big arcade thing, some of them have credits, this one did not. My friend was spunking the last of his cash on trying to win on the evil machines while I was distracted by the staff. The place was staffed by 2 Japanese girls dressed as soldiers, who went around shouting on mega phones, it was weird but I loved it. Joypolis, or at least the Osaka one is a little disappointing, 90 percent of the arcade is these weird beauty machines, where girls take their photo and then play about with the image to make it prettier. Couple of things, Japanese women don't need that, they are almost perfect as it. Also photoshop is a thing girls. Give me Coral Island any day over this.


That night I pondered if Japan would redeem itself tomorrow (our last day in Japan), of course it did!


Sorry for lack of pictures, I have a weird habit where I don't take photos of coasters that spited me and well they all did...

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Day 8


Putting yesterday's complete failure behind us... It was with heavy hearts that today marked our last day in Japan.


On route to our final park we came across our first Japanese only train ticket machine. We must have looked as confused as we felt because within a minute a friendly lady came over and pretty much did all the work while we handed her the cash and kept saying thank you (in Japanese of course). A short but pleasant train ride later and we arrived at...


Hirakata Park https://rcdb.com/5004.htm


Having done stuff before setting off to the park and having to be at the airport at 5 we knew we had to put the run into credit run as soon we entered this charming little park. We were pretty much the only visitors in the entire park, which of course in this case was a good thing. The park was very well looked after, had that quirky Japanese feel and the staff were so incredibly friendly, it was the perfect park to end our Japanese tour on.


Crazy Mouse https://rcdb.com/1303.htm - Reverchon spinner, but this one didn't spin making it completely pointless really. The staff were so happy to have customers though so I pretended to love it to keep them happy, I'm such a nice person.

Elf https://rcdb.com/1304.htm - Cute tiny Intamin woodie, was completely forceless but for what it was I really enjoyed it.

Fantastic Coaster Rowdy https://rcdb.com/1305.htm - You're jealous you don't have that name on your coaster count, I'll admit that for you.

Peekaboo Town https://rcdb.com/2501.htm - Japan saved the best for last, no not the coaster, the operator, easily one of the most stunning women I've ever seen, therefore this coaster is great, end of review.

Red Falcon https://rcdb.com/1306.htm - Probably the best Jet Coaster I've ridden, bring on next time I say, can't get enough of these pointless things.


Leaving the park very happy and with over an hour to spare we were feeling very pleased with ourselves, then it all went to hell.


Somewhere between Hirakata and the trip to the hotel to collect our bags we collectively and fully ran out of cash. You can just card the trains I'm sure, I remember saying, but no, Japan's subway is cash only... After spending a while trying to find a cash point that 1) did debit cards and 2) didn't have a minimum spend (we needed enough to get to airport, not enough to buy a house) we finally got to the hotel and got our bags. Power walked to Osaka station to find that 1) taxi drivers in Japan that are clearly taxi drivers, don't understand the word taxi and just stare at you till you back away laughing 2) Osaka has 2 airports and we don't know how to get to the one we want. We asked the tourist help women (desperate times) and she said it's over an hour from here to your airport. We paid our money and got our tickets. Spent about 30 minutes trying to check into the flight while on the trains, just about did it. We were going to arrive at 4:15, for a 5 take off flight and we had checked luggage, we were screwed! Or maybe not, literally running through Osaka airport we got to the Asiana desk to see the 2 Korean women running it weighing themselves on the luggage conveyors. Walked over, "Seoul?", "yes!", "whose bag first?", so at the very least our bags were going to Korea that evening. It's now 4:30 plane is delayed but due to take off at 5:15, one of the most intense queues for security of my life and we finally made it. Thank you Asiana!


We got back to Korea at about 8 and went to our first Lotteria (like much better Japanese version of McDonalds) and got their cheese sticks, bliss. This time for cost purposes, Japan had shaken us in the money department, we took the subway the whole way from airport to our hotel, which was just outside Lotte World, it took forever! After too much faff to even try to remember we arrived at our hotel. The adorable girl working the desk didn't know what she getting herself in for! Firstly booking.com had somehow screwed some part of the booking, so she spent about 15 minutes slapping her computer, saying she was sorry for the wait and repeating. We got our rooms, I should of had a double room to myself, walked in, 2 twin beds, damn. I had been dead on my feet for the last 5 hours so wasn't at all bothered. Took off my shoes and went to wash my face. Knock on the door. It was the lovely girl from downstairs, I've pulled I thought to myself as I opened the door. She said sorry about a million times and gave me my new room key, walking off forgetting to take the old one. Shoes back on. Lift downstairs. Return the unneeded key to her and told her not to worry, it's fine. Went to my new room and the key didn't work, I almost at this point felt like sleeping in a hallway. I'm not sure my body can take this anymore plus I can't keep doing this to her. Lift downstairs again. As doors open and she sees me I hear her shout the Korean expression for "what can I do" and she begins slapping her computer again. Finally sorted I left her to enjoy her night and realised it's now midnight and I need to get up in 6 hours. How did I survive this trip, I'm sure there's something in the air in Korea and Japan that helped us, Lord know if this was Europe I'd have been 6 feet under by now.


Sorry for lack of pictures again, was powering round the park too fast to take any. They will return tomorrow in style as I take on the fabled Aquatrax!

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Day 9


Lotte World https://rcdb.com/5016.htm


We had planned to get Lotte World done by 4 in order to test our luck in getting another crack at watching Music Bank, this wasn't to be however.


Lotte World is a strange beast, from the outside the entrance could just be another mall, of which there are many in the area too. Found our way to the ticket office just after opening. Told the man on the desk we had T Cards so we should get a 30 percent discount, his honest response, "UGRH"! The amazing man managed to screw up the discount too, instead of giving us 30 percent off, he made the price 30 percent, bargain!


Now I reckon a few of you will know of the wackiness that is Lotte World, but for the others who don't. The park is 75% indoors, over 4 or 5 floors and 25% outdoors. The engineering that must of been involved in this place excites a nerdy fool like me. Stuff like a full blown rapids on the 5th floor of a building and the indoor coaster, that's outside, is underground, despite the area being surrounded in water, madness.


Atlantis Adventure https://rcdb.com/1646.htm - We got to the fabled AquaTrax just after opening, expecting everyone to be enjoying the indoor attractions thus giving us the ride to ourselves, wrong! The queue was about 50 minutes just after opening. We went and got a free fast track ticket that told us we can return between 5 and 5:15, there goes Music Bank then! Strangely, the coaster's queue can only hold about 10 minutes, which is very strange as you'll learn about this park. So the 50 minute queue was over flowing way out into the outdoor area of the park, don't worry it gets better later! The theming on this ride is just incredible, both inside and out it looks wonderful, only thing missing is a soundtrack really. The ride itself then, it's very good, but could of been much much better, let me explain. Moments of the ride are insanely good but then amazingly bad pacing kills it completely. First launch is very fun, straight into a crazy intense twisted air time hill in the themed structure, it really does feel like you're going to be ejected into the ceiling, it's brutal. Then you fly around in and outside of the structure which is very good fun. Then brakes! You slow to a crawl, traveling past some random I presume broken animatronics and a transfer track. You then go up a slow lift hill, trim before you go down said hill, then it picks up again. More brutal indoor airtime and fast high speed corners, before trims and end brakes. It looks lovely and in moments it's very good, but what were they thinking with the layout though, what this coaster could have been!

Comet Express https://rcdb.com/1336.htm - This crazy indoor spinning coaster is almost as good as the AquaTrax! As you can see by the RCDB info, riders find this thing impossible to describe! Fast, non stop spinning (with crazy changes in direction), long and well themed. Oh and you get eaten by a big space monster at the ending, need I say more!

French Revolution https://rcdb.com/1335.htm - A full blown Vekoma looper built in the indoor part of the park. This coaster has VR but considering how it interacts with itself and other parts of the building we opted to do it without. Nothing special but I enjoyed it.


Lotte World is unlike any park I've been to in regards of queueing. The Korean's would grab some nice snacks and drinks (huge choice in this park), grab their friend/lover, turn on their phone and just happily queue for hours and I do mean happily, having the time of their lives standing there. French Revolution's queue reached over 2 hours at one point and Atlantis Adventure was up to 4 hours as we left the park.  Everyone around you being happy and having a good time helped make the queues less tiresome.


Now for the dark rides.


Fantasy Dream - This was basically a drug fulled nightmare. Slow train ride past singing sunflowers and candycanes, get me off this thing!

Sinbad's Adventure - This park must of used dark magic to fit this thing in. Long and very well themed dark ride based on the adventure's of Sinbad.

Jungle Adventure - Full blown rapids ride, in a building! Ok so maybe nothing happened and the rapids were weak but it's in a freaking building!

Dragon's Wild Shooting - Interactive shooting dark ride. Felt mean shooting the cute little dragons! This ride was very good fun, think we rode it like 3 times.


Like I said before this park had a huge amount of food on offer. Having barely eaten for what felt like weeks I ended up eating so much junk today. Had a good day at Lotte World and felt satisfied when we left at about 8.


First we popped into the Lotte Mall next door and dipped our toes into the elusive World of buying Kpop in Korea, we went to their Hottracks store, think Korean HMV and found a fair selection, there was more research to be we decided.


We then on the recommendation of the girl in our group went to the supposed World's top 10 tourist attraction, Banpo Rainbow Bridge. Walked about a million miles, almost getting run over 50 times to watch some crap fountains dribble water off the side of a bridge, while some LEDs didn't quite light it well enough, useless but the memory gets funnier every time.


Day 10


Today was a cred free day that involved visiting many Kpop shops in various places, sounds dull but was essential work. In the evening we visited a tall building (I forget the name) which had an art gallery and a viewing platform, the art gallery was hilarious and the view was alright, as mentioned previously I'm big on culture, honest.



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Day 11


Today we planned to quickly dust off the creds at Children's Grand Park and Seoul Land, in order to make up for the farce that was Nagashima Spite Land, I'm still a bit bitter, not sure if you can tell.


Children's Grand Park https://rcdb.com/5042.htm


Children's Grand Park has 2 entrances, one with the rides right by it and the other a half mile walk away, through trees and a zoo. Guess which one we entered, yes that's right, the wrong one. The area with the rides is nothing special, just a few flats and a couple coasters just plonked on the ground with no theming or trees.


Crazy Mouse https://rcdb.com/3125.htm - Not the weirdest roller coaster with a mouse face on the front I rode today but still very weird. Rattled and bumped it's way round the track and then held you in a high level block section for ages then rattled a bit more and it was over. They were playing Kpop in the queue line though, so can't be too harsh on it.

Family Coaster https://rcdb.com/11880.htm - Vekoma SFC with the same layout as Kvasten. Even though it had a rhythmic jolt to it, it rode much better than Kvasten.


And that was Children's Grand Park!


On route to the next park we followed advice we read online to find more elusive Kpop merchants. We ended up stuck in a lift and then entered a drug den, so probably not the best advice. I had rather a large quantity of Won left so we visited a reliable haunt from the day before and I left with a few heavy bags, probably not the best idea.


Seoul Land https://rcdb.com/5019.htm


Seoul Land was a strange one. You got off the subway at Seoul Land stop, then had to walk down a long path with literally 50 people on either side of the path selling the exact same thing, talk about competition! You then had to buy a one way ticket on the elephant tram or something which goes from this area to among other things the entrance to the park.


This park wasn't on our T Card discount list, so knowing the ride line up we joked about how this is the only park in Korea we are paying full price for and what a park! Got to the desk, women got a lamented piece of paper from under her desk, informing us in English, we were going to get tourist discount, Korea I love you.


In the park we went and I had to find a place to stash my Kpop haul. Went to the locker building to be presented by 8 Korean girls cosplaying as anime characters, oh god! While I was trying to work out how the change machine worked 3 of them came over to help, oh god! After stashing my haul I left with a big smile on my face. This was the calm before the storm.


Much like Lotte World the day before, the locals were out in force today, prepared to queue insanely long for everything and anything.


Blackhole 2000 https://rcdb.com/1345.htm - We queued almost 2 hours for this piece of crap coaster, got the cred but at what cost.

Columbia Double Loop Coaster https://rcdb.com/1344.htm - This coaster was ever so slightly better and we only queued 40 minutes for it!

Crazy Mouse https://rcdb.com/1617.htm - Not even sure what the hell this thing is meant to be, it wasn't awful though.

Tikitoc Train https://rcdb.com/1513.htm - This almost wacky worm was easily the best coaster in the park, one part of the coaster had insane sideways ejector air, I'm not even sure it was meant to do it, but it did!

Tobot Train https://rcdb.com/1406.htm - What better way than to finish this trip of many powered helixs than with the best one in the World, it kicked ass.


So that was Seoul Land, nothing at all special, just +1s, at least I don't have to darken it's doors again on my return trip!


Day 12


Woke up feeling a sense of depression I've never felt before. This was it, this was the end of the best trip I've ever had. Somberly packed all my new purchases neatly into my suitcase.


Now weighing several tons it was a slow walk to the subway that took us to the airport.


BA were even more awful on return trip. Spaying aerosols into the cabin of the plane, "to kill diseases", the only disease here is you BA. Rude cabin bloke pulled the charging cable out of the seat of the Korean girl sitting next to me, who then asked me what he did it for, oh how I wish I could of replied, "it's BA". Someone fainted somewhere over Russia, either from the aerosol attack or in amazement at how incompetent BA are. I watched the Japanese anime film "your name" and it was insanely good, then spent the next 1000 hours drifting in and out of sleep, getting DVT and watching in awe at BA being racist and assuming shouting at Koreans will overcome the language barrier.


Good thing I had about 20 Kpop albums to import and browse through, many park maps to sort through, pictures to import and credits to count to keep me busy because it was a tough week or so accepting it was over. We are currently planning to go back to Korea and Japan next year to do the Busan end of Korea and Tokyo side of Japan, can't wait is an understatement.


Thank you so much for reading, it's been fantastic getting to think back to how great this experience was.



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