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East Meets ACE – Epilogue – Conclusion: Tokyo and the Return Home

East Meets ACE – Epilogue – Conclusion:  Tokyo and the Return Home On Monday, October 8, our epic, 19 day journey to the Land of the Rising Sun would come to a close, but not before one last chance for sightseeing in Tokyo. Since we were staying at the Ueno Terminal Hotel as an easy exit to the airport, we saved a few sights nearby for this day.  We got an early start that morning at 8:00, checking out of the hotel and having them keep our luggage.  After a snack breakfast, we took a quick subway ride from Ueno […]

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East Meets ACE – Epilogue–Part 4: Beppu, Rakutenchi/別府ラクテンチ and Tokyo Return – Continued

East Meets ACE–Epilogue – Part 4: Beppu, Rakutenchi/別府ラクテンチ and Tokyo Return – Continued Our final park of the trip was Rakutenchi in Beppu, Oita, Japan, just a mile down the street that our hotel was on, so we walked to it. The park is set at the top of a mountain and requires traveling by cable car to get to it. We soon found it was very crowded this holiday weekend, so we waited in a long line to gain access. Purchasing a ticket allows you a certain number of points for rides, so we had to decide how we […]

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East Meets ACE–Epilogue–Part 4: Beppu, Rakutenchi/別府ラクテンチ and Return to Tokyo

East Meets ACE–Epilogue–Part 4: Beppu, Rakutenchi/別府ラクテンチ and Return to Tokyo On Sunday, October 7 Richard, Vanessa and I began our day early in order to get in some sightseeing before our visit to our final park of the trip. After a quick walk to Beppu Station we caught a bus heading to the Boiling Hells. Beppu is known for its large number of hot springs under the city and the region around it, and a number of them with varying characteristics have been set up for tourist to visit.   First we came to Shiraike Jigoku, or White Pond Hell, a […]

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East Meets ACE – Epilogue – Part 3: Kijima Kogen / セントレジャー城島高原

East Meets ACE – Epilogue – Part 3:  Kijima Kogen / セントレジャー城島高原 On Saturday, October 6 after another good breakfast, we departed Hakata Green Hotel No. 1 for Hakata Station, catching a bullet train to Kokura Station, where we changed trains to a regular train to Beppu.  We arrived at Beppu Station later that morning and dropped off our luggage at the nearby Beppu Komenoi Hotel. This was another part of the trip where logistics were tricky due to difficulty in researching bus schedules online.  At the tourist office we were able to purchase tickets for the park along with […]

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East Meets ACE – Epilogue – Part 2: Greenland / グリーンランド and Fukuoka – Continued

East Meets ACE – Epilogue – Part 2: Greenland / グリーンランド and Fukuoka – Continued There is one defunct roller coaster in the park’s history, Atomic (Meisho Amusement Machines/Senyo Kogyo Co., Ltd., Shuttle Loop, 1996-2009), the loop of which interestingly still stands as a decoration. This turned out to be my favorite park of the trip outside of Disney. It was a large coaster collection, with some interesting standouts including the unique Gao, the fun Ultra Twister, the sit-down/standup racer Milky Way and the rare suspended Grampus Jet. Add to this a large collection of dark rides, unusual rides like […]

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East Meets ACE – Epilogue – Part 2: Greenland / グリーンランド and Fukuoka

East Meets ACE – Epilogue – Part 2: Greenland / グリーンランド and Fukuoka On Friday, October 5 after a good Japanese inspired breakfast at the hotel, we ventured out to the first of three parks we would visit on Kyushu. This day would take some good logistics to make it work.  From Hakata Train Station we took a train to Tosu Station, where we changed trains.  This was a small open air train station.  We then took a train to Aaro Station.  Upon arriving we had to take a bus to our park, which was hard to find information about […]

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East Meets ACE – Epilogue Part 1: Nagasaki

East Meets ACE – Epilogue Part 1:  Nagasaki On Thursday, October 4 Richard, Vanessa, David and I left the Hilton Osaka early that morning to catch a bullet train at the Shin-Osaka Station for our journey to the southern island of Kyushu.  Breakfast had been good at this hotel, but we had to leave too early this morning to take advantage of our final breakfast here. After boarding the bullet train we arrived about two and half hours later at Hakata Station in Fukuoka.  After dropping our luggage off at Hakata Green Hotel No. 1, we boarded a train to […]

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East Meets ACE – Conclusion: Hirakata Park

East Meets ACE – Conclusion:  Hirakata Park We arrived around 2:30 at Hirakata Park in Hirakata, Osaka, Japan, our final park of the ACE trip.  Operating since 1912, this was one of the oldest parks we visited.  Located on a plush hillside it was also one of the prettiest parks we visited.  It had the distinction of having one of the three wood coasters remaining in Japan.  It would be the second and last of the ACE trip, but not the last in Japan for our group of four.   Elf (Intamin Amusement Rides, Wood-non prefab, 2001) ELF stands for […]

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East Meets ACE – Part 16: Himeji Central Park / 姫路セントラルパーク

East Meets ACE – Part 16: Himeji Central Park / 姫路セントラルパーク On Wednesday, October 3 we had come to the last day of East Meets ACE.  We had two parks on the agenda this day, the first of which was Himeji Central Park in Himeji, Hyogo, Japan.  Operating since 1984, this was the second of two parks not visited on the 2005 Japan trip that ACE did with ECC.  As the trip wound down, it was time to begin reflecting on this wonderful opportunity of a lifetime.  This park is smaller, like many parks in Japan, but unlike many of […]

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East Meets ACE – Part 15: Universal Studios Japan/ユニバーサル・スタジオ・ジャパン – Continued

East Meets ACE – Part 15: Universal Studios Japan/ユニバーサル・スタジオ・ジャパン – Continued WaterWorld™ We did not get to WaterWorld™.   San Francisco Backdraft™ was not operating due to Hollywood Horror Nights.   Snoopy Studios™ Snoopy’s Great Race (Senyo Kogyo Co., Ltd., Indoor Family, 2001) For a family coaster, this packed some punch, has really neat theming and is located indoors among other children’s rides and attractions – 1 ride. This area has two other children’s attractions.   Hello Kitty Fashion Avenue This section has two children’s attractions.   Sesame Street™Fun World This section has Elmo’s Go-Go Skateboard; Big Bird’s Big Top […]

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