In the evening the group went to Odaiba a man-made island in the South of Tokyo halfway between the hotel and the Disney parks. Sega's arcade park Joypolis is situated in the middle of it in the Decks complex.

There is one coaster here called, yes you've guessed it, "Speed Boarder". It's supposedly themed around a surfing ride with little camel backs representing the waves. What is particularly odd about this ride is that for most of it you travel in a sideways direction as a surfer does on their board. It's actually quite strange to be honest and I guess can be compared to those mouse coasters but stick part way around turning. One cool bit though is when you find yourself going through a room with a superb view over Tokyo. Just a shame we weren't allowed to take cameras on board. This place had a ridiculous list of rules that prevented just about everybody from riding. The complex had recently re-opened after someone died on one of their rides (the hang gliding one I think) so I guess all the rules were being enforced to prevent a repeat.

With just the one coaster, the rest of the place is filled with simulator rides, arcade games and some walkthrough rides. The best was this skateboarding game called Half Pipe canyon where 4 teams of two battle to see who can do the most spins at the top of the pipe. You do this by rocking the board that you're standing on as you pass through the bottom of the pipe.

Myself and Keith came second in our game losing to a couple of local girls who probably spend every weekend here. The ride has a really good motion to it and the spins in particular are pretty cool. It is quite a physical ride though as it takes quite a bit of effort to kick the pedal that triggers the spins.

Sky Cruising is a hang gliding simlulator/arcade game. You are pulled into a room containing a huge screen and the aim of the game is to get your hand glider through a canyon and down to a beach. The problem was the glider was really awful to control and you ended up spending most of your time ricocheting off everything.

The arcade games on display here are the top of the range models. At the arcades back home this game would probably be just a basic cabinet with a wheel, perhaps a sit in version at the big places. But nowhere would you get a fully hydraulic car to drive as they have here. Does look pretty cool!

The Jurassic Park game is the one you've probably seen in the UK but this one features much bigger screens and an enclosed room with rotating seats. It was whilst queueing up for this that the rest of the group started to head back to the hotel (it was only a quick trip for the coaster really). Myself and Keith had chosen to stay here and make our own way back. I had a real challenge explaining to the girl here that we had chosen to remain behind, she was telling us that we were going to miss our coach.

"hoteru ni densha de ikimasu, basu de ikimasen" approximately means "We are going to the hotel by train, not by coach.". This was the message I should have said to them.

"hoteru ni denwa de ikimasu, basu de ikimasen" is what said to them. This actually translates as "We are going to the hotel by telephone, not by coach".

A basic error admittedly which in hindsight explains why they were giving me confused looks. In the end they got a girl over who could speak English and the explanation was eventually understood.

There were 3 other simulator rides there, one themed around a boat "Wild River", one a jeep "Wild Jungle" and this one around a plane "Wild Wing". All of these were really good and seemed to be set on the same island. They did feature some spraying of water and decent visuals. I knew there was a reason to stay at this place.

This is Final Call 2, another Ring themed haunted walkthrough. The girl running this ride was really sweet and gave us the following warning.

"Do not run through the attraction, do not touch anything in the attraction, but most importantly of all, do not beat up the little girl", which I think was the same girl having undergone a costume change.

The attraction was really good actually, the best bit being when something dropped from the ceiling and head butted Keith, clearly our height hadn't been taken into account.

The scariest attraction however was "The Chapel", which was just a 3D cinema but which featured visuals that would have it slapped with a 15 rating if we had it in the UK. It featured such delights as dogs bursting open รก la "The Thing" and as the room was in pitch darkness you were always on edge expecting a human element to scare you. This never actually happened but did build the tension.

Overall not a bad complex, and if the Trocadero hadn't gotten into decline we could have had it in the UK. I was expecting to see more video games, as it turned out I only played one, a House of the Dead type game featuring keyboards instead of guns. You don't shoot the baddies you type their names before the clock runs out. So whilst I did OK with "dan", "sam", "ken" and "ian" the boss "ramasamdamlamatamatoatallada" proved to be the end of my run.


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