The first of the parks we were to visit in Osaka also happened to the biggest park on this side of Japan. Opened as part of the country's International Exposition in 1970 the park has remained in place to become one of the most visited parks in the country.

The entrance to the park was a fairly low-key affair especially for a park of this size. As with the Tokyo parks it was obvious that we were visiting out of season as the park wasn't that busy at all. The kana above the entrance here reads "e-ki-su-po-ra-n-do", the name of the park.

Warning signs at this park told us that under no circumstances were we to set our dogs on the women in the park, throw baseballs at the heads of young girls and chase people on bicycles and unicycles. So boarding our tandems with our pet tigers in tow and throwing baseballs at the young boys instead we made our way into the park.

The signature ride in the park is Daidasaurus and it was towards that that most of the group made their way to. Not wanting to be one of Finkelstein the shepherd's sheep, I made my way around the park in the other direction and the first coaster I came across was immediately inside the park was their mouse coaster. Nothing to worry about with these rides, I've ridden plenty before and this didn't stand out.

The ride in the centre of the park is the obligatory corkscrew coaster and as ever if the park offers the view looking through the corkscrews everybody will take a picture of it. I said I wouldn't be a sheep and here I am 2 paragraphs later celebrating the fact I'm exactly that. Baaaaa!!!

At the back of the park and directly opposite the entrance is the park's rather big big wheel. It was becoming more and more apparent that these things were perfect for taking aerial shots of the park so although rather slow and boring a ride, it was definitely going to be on the list of things I would do in this park.

This steel beast is Durrrrrrrrrrdasaurus, and at the time of writing is the longest steel coaster in the world (excluding those ridiculously long alpine things). It gets it's name from being pretty old and it taking about a day to complete it's circuit.

It used to be 2 long coasters running side by side but at some point someone saw the opportunity to join the rides together into a single length of track. Perhaps if they had spent some of their energy into finding a way of stopping the awful racket it makes more people may come to ride it. The third noisiest coaster I've come across behind Superman at Magic Mountain and the Roadrunner kiddy coaster at some other park that I can't recall.

Having ridden both the mouse and the corkscrew I thought I'd see if the sheep had made their way off the Daddy'sSauceUs ride but it wasn't to be. The queue was still there, so I thought I'd go off elsewhere and return later. The wheel didn't have a queue so I jumped on to take some pictures.

The white coaster in the foreground is Dadadasaurus and the crazy looking thing in the background is Fujin Raijin II, which would crunch my gonads and compress my spinal column later in the day. Like Nasu, I prefer parks that have lots of steel and a significant footprint of the park taken up with their coasters. Like this one in fact.

I was going to write about how I took this on the wheel as it started to rotate to the top but given the fact the wheel is clearly visible in the background I clearly got it wrong. In fact I can't remember how I got so high to be able to take this one of the Saurus. This drop is as steep as it gets, tame huh?

This one was definitely taken on the wheel and this is the final bend before the station. The ride consists of just two cars, one red and one blue. Given the length of this ride they could easily have yellow, green, purple, black, white and silver cars, but they don't. The combination of long ride and only a couple of cars would explain why there was still a queue.

Here's the corkscrew coaster and in the background the inverter Orochi. So why hadn't I ridden that awesome looking inverted coaster yet? Because it was closed for a lunch break. Yep, you read that right. This has been the only coaster I've ever come across that closes for lunch. Only in Japan. And it definitely wasn't lost in the translation as the teller pointed to the clock, and that's understood in any language.

Another shot of Deadasaurus and Fujin with the station to the former in the lower left hand corner of the picture. The weird face thing on the hill in the background has something to do with the original Expoland but nowadays serves as something to take a picture of and that's it.

Fed up with these aerial shots yet? If you are count the number of people you see, not many are there?

I had said earlier that the (remember Mel and Kim?) Daydaydaydayddddddaydaysaurus ride used to be 2 seperate rides that were joined together. It's on this straight before the final bend that the joining took place. This crossover makes it a mobius coaster like Grand National at Blackpool. Unlike that ride though you can't get out at the end of the first lap and you're sent straight through the station to ride it all again, from the other side.

If you're still bored of the aerial shots then try counting the number of supports in the picture. Then when you've got a life feel free to read on. Alternatively try to come up with some Daidasaurus puns, I'm running out!

Typical, the one coaster I wanted to ride was closed and as soon as I get onto another attraction that takes an age to complete the ride opens and I can only sit back and watch it. Perhaps if I'd looked at my watch a little more often this would have been avoided.

Orochi opened in 96 and takes its name from a mythological dragon with eight heads. Coincidentally the trains on this ride have 8 rows. I don't know how exciting seeing an eight headed dragon would be but this ride looked pretty cool and I couldn't wait to ride it. If this wheel would just hurry up a bit.

But I couldn't do it yet because this wheel hadn't taken me back round to the station yet. To pass the time I took a picture of the corkscrew coaster, a shame though that the train was in the station for the duration of the wheel's revolution. Guess what the name of this "corkscrew" coaster that goes through "corkscrews" is called? Yep, it's called "Space Salamander". Obvious isn't it?

Now, I thought that DoYouThinkHeSawUs was loud but this games arcade was something else. Each stall was manned by a young Japanese girl screaming into their PA systems luring you to play their games. I don't just mean microphones but full blown PA systems. This on top of the ringing noises that the games were playing out and all of this in an enclosed room made it extremely deafening. I did it once, and that was more than enough.

Time to ride Orochi and this by far was the best ride in the park. I'm biased towards these kind of rides anyway but it was great even with it's lunchbreak. With the majority of the park still queueing for Sundaydasaurus I got a few goes on this.

Although the park contains some great coasters it's actually a family park and there are plenty of attractions for the kiddies. A few years ago I had a go at doing one of these pedal powered rides at a park in Germany and it was the most knackering thing I'd ever done. Either my car hadn't been oiled or I was totally unfit (probably the latter). This looked like a cute little ride but I wasn't going to risk going on it for fear of a repeat and causing a tailback as this young girl did here.

Way too much pedalling on both these rides for me to near them. Besides I don't think the leg room was tailored for Westerners. The helix that these rides are circling belongs to the Fujin.

There are a couple of coasters for the kiddies too. This is the better one of the two, how do I know this? Because I rode them both, that's why.

Having met up with some of the group we decided to do a mass takeover of the Fujin ride visting a few little attractions en route (not "en croute" as I'd originally typed although rides covered in pastry would be worth seeing). This as we would find out would turn out to be a big mistake. The Dark is one of the haunted attractions that the park has.

This is a shooting ride where if you score enough points you can win a fluffy animal. All of us who tried this came away empty handed. The skull with one eye reminded me of something similar at Alton Towers, can't think what though ;)

Made by "Japanese company now gone bust" Togo, this is the stand up coaster Fujin Raijin II. If the original Fujin Raijin was the forefather of stand up rides in Japan then this should be given the moniker of "bastard child". It's a truly horrible coaster that, although has some great Gs is unrelenting to both the family jewels and the spinal column. I've been on rides before where I've got an additional click on the harness and on Olympia Looping in Germany I've gone to two; this went to three. Ouch!!!!

This dark ride translates as "Grid War" and is another shooting game where instead of winning a stuffed animal you could win an inflatable one. Those that failed previously failed here too. I know that the Japanese are noted for playing video games a lot but you'd have to be something quite special to be able to win a prize on this. Accepting that we weren't going to win the prize we chose instead to see who could get the better score. I'm not sure it was me on this occasion.

Everything in the park was covered by the entrance fee. The one exception was the park's haunted walkthrough. When we got to it we couldn't figure out where we got the tickets from and I don't know if it was because they were scared to enter themselves or they felt sorry for us, but a group of girls ran over and gave us their tickets. How nice was that. Much bowing and saying thankyou and we were in the queue to give it a go. It wasn't bad with some really nice themed areas including a full Japanese garden but the rooms were quite open with plenty of space to get around the live actors walking around within it. It was here that I discovered Talhat's confrontational side to his otherwise meek personality. He did not hesitate to get in the faces of the actors.

This is the other kiddy coaster in the park and I think this one is the Mini Coaster. It was buried away in a corner of the park hidden amongst other rides designed for people much smaller than ourselves.

In one of my earlier pages I introduced you to Anpanman who's head was a bun that kids could eat when they got hungry. Here we see some of the other characters in the cartoon. They are:
  • Shokupanman, friend of Anpanman with white sliced bread for a head.
  • Jam Ojisan, Anpanman's baker father.
  • Batakosan, Jam's bakery assistant.
  • Baikinman, Nemesis of Anpanman who's head is made of germs.
  • Anpanman
  • Currypanman, friend of Anpanman with a curried loaf for a head.
  • Dokinchan, Baikinman's female assistant who apparently likes the dudes with white sliced bread for a head.
  • Derek, not really. I couldn't find anything on this character at all.
Orochi, I like this coaster. Shame about the colour scheme though. Notice how everything in this park except the mouse coaster is coloured white. At least this has a hint of something else, but why pink? You'd have thought for a coaster themed around a fearsome dragon they'd have gone for something a bit more............ dragonlike.

Beside the park is a small water park, and whilst it was too cold to go for a dip walking to the other side of it did offer some nice views of the park, with Orochi in the foreground. It was looking at this pic that I realised that I must have been on the tower ride when I took that high up picture of Daidasaurus earlier.

Here's the water park which if it had been sunnier might have offered a nice respite from the main park. The big netted structure in the background is one of hundreds of golf ranges built within the main cities of Japan. With land as expensive as it is there is no way you'd get a full blown golf course inside the city. How bad a shot must you have to get a ball over that!

Whilst a few of us were enjoying the park, a small number made their way to another park, Portopia, which they all raved about. Some of that group then went on to Universal Studios but that was just mad as they only got time to go on one ride before the park closed. My "it'll be there next time" attitude proved to backfire as Portopia has now closed, although Universal is still there.

Over on this side of the park I came across this map of the park and rather than have it at the entrance they'd put it a bit out of the way. To get to it you had to cross the water park and you could only do that on a scary little chair lift. With no belt of harness of any kind it was a bit exposed and it was quite quick so having to jump out and get out it's way was a bit dodgy. Fortunately there were staff on hand to assist.

Looks like we'd been fortunate with the weather today. Storms were on their way. For those of you that have been Cedar Point firstly I'm deeply jealous. Secondly Orochi's layout is similar to Raptor.

Plenty of white steel, to the unitiated it might look it's all the same coaster. If it was it would be both longer and more exciting than DarthVadersaurus.

Orochi was the first of these kind of coasters that we'd come across on the trip and there was going to be one other at Parc Espana a few days later. It would be interesting to see which one would come out on top. This had set a good precedent!

Back in the main body of the park now and I took this from one of the flying rides that the park has. If you haven't already guessed I wasn't a big fan of the Dial-a-saurus coaster although I found I took plenty of pictures of it. I guess because it covers so much of the park, it's hard to avoid it.

Another shot from the flying thing showing the lift hill of Deirdre-saurus with Space Salamander behind that and Orochi behind that and some trees behind that and Osaka behind that!

The park does have a couple of water rides. The first is this log flume looking out of place because it wasn't white. It's close proximity to the other rides reminded me of Blackpool, in fact, in places this park definitely had that same vibe.

The other ride is a little boat ride that is part scenic part haunted. Once again the girl in the camera gave the peace sign without prompting.

Time to leave the park and a final chance to take a final picture of Fujin. I hate you you nutcrusher!


Post a Comment

<< Home