In Japan when it's raining, parks will not open their external rides, so it was a little disappointing, although not surprising, to find the main attractions closed when we eventually got to Toshimaen. C'est la vie, shit happens. We did try asking the park if they would open them for us after all we didn't come all the way to Japan to look at a park and wouldn't have minded riding in the rain, but rules are rules and the operators weren't prepared to back down, even after threatening them with a chinese burn (or would that be a Japanese burn?).

Not all was lost though, the rides that were enclosed or under cover were open, so whilst most of the group headed to a very old carousel, a few of us went for the ghost train ride, which wasn't scary at all.

The shuttle launched coaster was partly enclosed but not enough to open it, damn. A real shame as it looked like a nice ride too. Enclosed loops, like the one I'd ridden at Aquapark the day before are disorientating at the best of times, it would have been interesting to know how a partly enclosed one ran. The geeky peeps maybe interested to know that this is one of the few fly-wheel shuttle loops left.

The park consisted of the usual rides you would see in most parks, however there was one attraction that I was really looking forward to riding that we don't have in the UK; Giant Pirate Ships, that totally dwarf the ones we're used to.

I know what you're thinking. This isn't it, by the way..

That's it in the background. A real shame it wasn't running, however there was still a chance of riding one as Nagashima Spaland has them too. The ride in the foreground was one of the coasters that seemed to have quite a lengthy track, circling a lot of the park, but it also had these weird horizontal support structures that made it look like the ride was running on several levels.

The only coaster that looks like they ordered too many bits and so made do with the excess supports as best they could. The park opened at the turn of the 20th Century and is split into a theme park and waterpark. It is the waterpark that is most use by the locals though probably because it has the most ridiculous number of slides.

Looks like a plate of spaghetti and there's certainly plenty of fun to have there, well perhaps if the weather was nicer that is. The waterpark was also closed due to the rain, ironic really.

This is Doraemon, a blue cat thing created in 1969 by Hiroshi Fujimoto and is the Japanese equivalent of say, Yogi Bear or Top Cat in the West. Someone who tries to make the most of any situtation that they may find themself in, always laughing and loud. He is the second most popular cartoon character in Japan and is adored by little kids and older people alike. Doraemon is a caricature of what the Japanese male aspires to be; productive and positive. The most popular cartoon character in Japan is Hello Kitty who is so popular she gets her own park rather than just being an attraction in one. We didn't visit that though.

This is the obligatory shot that everyone takes of Corkscrew coasters, namely looking through the eponymous elements. Usually however the picture includes the coaster going through the corkscrew, but alas the weather ensure I wasn't going to do that here.

This is the Carousel that got a lot of enthusiasts excited. On the majority of rides of these type the things you're riding on go at the same speed. This one however had three rings that moved at different speeds so that some riders would overtake others. If you ever wanted to re-enact the scene in Westerns where someone jumps from the horse onto the wagon, you could probably manage it here.


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