It’s been a few years since I actually travelled for more than a few hours outside of Tokyo but last Wednesday morning myself, Ethan and his workmates Charlie and Simon drove over to Mie prefecture which is 5.5 hours away. I had to get up at 4:15 am to meet up with the guys for our 6am departure to Nagashima Spa Land for a couple of days.
I decided to jump on the Michael Jackson bandwagon and added a few of his classics to my iPod which provided a surprisingly atmospheric soundtrack to our journey due in part to all the clapping coming from the back of the car for some reason.
On arrival we were shocked to discover that the worlds longest rollercoaster ‘Steel dragon’ was closed as was the wooden roller-coaster known as ‘White Cyclone’ so with that in mind we opted for the swimming pools and slides for our first day with the hope that the aforementioned rides would be open the following day.
The bad luck didn’t end there though as we were kicked out of the pool area as Simon had a tattoo which are banned in some pools in Japan due to past links to the Yakuza (Japanese mafia). Despite saying he would cover it up there was just no reasoning with the guard which is a really frustrating thing about this country. We got our money back but still lost out as Ethan had got the tickets on the internet at a cheaper price meaning that we would have to pay the normal full price the following day.
Anyway, we spent an enjoyable afternoon on the rides without any waiting in line and the White Cyclone did later open up which was a relief and a bonus. After a funny night out on the beer (due to Charlie’s drunken antics!) we went to the swimming area on our final day with no such tatoo issues this time as Simon was in a t-shirt from the off.
Again, there were hardly any queues and loads of great slides with my favourite being the more simple foam carpet waterslide race which we went on time and time again with the competitiveness between us increasing each time and I was lucky enough to win a fair few of these races.
One of the photos below is of the little machine which you use to dry your swimwear which is something I have never seen before and can only assume its another great Japanese invention. Some of the most immature and juvenile games on the journey back brought the curtain down on a trip which included a fair few ups and downs and that isn’t just said with reference to the rides.