Higashiyama Zoo

More renowned for it's zoo than it's theme park, Higashiyama, in Nagoya opened a few years before WWII and has become one of the largest zoos in Japan. The visit to this park was for a very strange coaster.

One of the attractions that the zoo is most visited for are tropical fish that flew into space on one of the space shuttles. Obviously there was no space ships in the park, but there was a pirate ship. On a scale of 1 to 10 that tenuous link scores a measly 3.

There are 3 coasters in the park, the first one is a powered model and is called The Bear Coaster.
Looks like the French members in the group liked it. Justin, in the front is a little unsure.

The other coaster has the most boring name for a ride in Japan, Jet Coaster. Neither ride were that good to be honest, but then this isn't a park that targets itself at worldwide travelling coaster enthusiasts.

But that's not to say we didn't repeat ride and enjoy them, after all we were the only people in the park that were riding on them.

Somehow I managed to maintain this guy's anonymity by getting his eyes immediately behind the safety bar. You know who you are!

This was the reason for visiting the park, Slope Shooter, a ride that is neither a steel coaster nor a wooden one. It can best be described as a concrete coaster, using the hill and some conveniently placed walls to guide the car from the top to the bottom.

Quite a short ride but it's uniqueness made it re-rideable.

The little wheels on the front are the ones that run against the walls and steer the cars around the hairpins.

So the coaster doesn't run on rails, nor does it feature any brake assemblies. Instead the station staff catch the train and slide alongside the cars, the rubber soles on the their shoes providing the friction to slow the trains down.

There wasn't much time left at the park so I ran around some of the zoo, with the time remaining. These monkeys wouldn't keep still, either they're shy of cameras or Westerners.

The animals are very well looked after, Higashiyama does have an impressive pedigree, so why did the Elephant look a little, well, sad?

Unlike this monkey who couldn't be any more content. Must have been the park pimp, pulling the ladies without doing anything.

This monkey looked a little bit weird, and reminded me of the Nazguls from Lord of the Rings, with the dark hood.

There were other people in this park, but visiting the zoo bit. Higashiyama is popular with schoolkids in the area, and this group we spending the day there. You have to love the uniforms, you'd not be allowed to dress boys in pink in America.

Another forelorn looking ape, which I could only put down to having to look at foreigners.

A rather lonely penguin who had managed to get down to a lower part of the penguin enclosure. The rest of the (what is the collective noun for a penguin?) were upstairs. Oh, apparently it's a "colony" of penguins.

This was the park's fun house. Now to be honest there weren't many fun-houses in Japan so we took the time to see what this one had to offer. It wasn't that good.

But the leaning room made for some good photography. David puts a slant on the rabbit caught in the headlights pose!

Heading out we passed more of those motorised animals. I have no idea what the yellow and green giraffe is all about.

Higashiyama isn't a theme park, it's a great zoo with some amusement rides to keep the kids entertained. We didn't stay at the park for long, I would have liked to see what else the zoo had to offer. But then this is a coaster trip, not a zoo trip. This got me wondering, are there any zoo clubs in the world? I wouldn't join it if there was, just curious.


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