Today was our first time park day. We chose Yomiuriland because it has a ride in a bowl of ramen AND it has nighttime illuminations. Although we left early, we didn’t leave early enough — we weren’t there at opening time, so we spent a lot of time waiting. We waited for the gondola that took us from the train station, not at the ticket office, for 45 minutes for the first roller coaster — a spinning coaster in the dark. The wait area was themed in turn-of-the20th-century haberdashery. Both the ride and the waiting area were a lot of fun.
The wait for ride two (my main attraction) was 75 minutes. Again, it was totally worth it. It’s a ride in water, themed around a good guy trying to prevent a villain from destroying the ramen. The good guy enlists the help of riders like Anita and I to thwart the bad guy. Riders go thru drops and rapids and go up hills. I’m sure there’s a YouTube video with a point-of-view recording of the ride.
To help visitors who got a bit too wet in the Ramen Ride, there was a dryer by the exit. We happily waited for our turn.
In the lineup to Ride 3, a hanging roller coaster, we spent time talking about spending money to avoid lineups. The conclusion was yes, and Anita went on the Bandit roller coaster with the paid premium ticket. She walked right on.
Many places we went, we saw capsule machines — for 100 or 500 Yen, you can take your chances and get a three inch sphere with something in it. In Yomiuriland, there was a pavilion with claw machines. For a reasonable price, you can test your dexterity and pick up something interesting. In this pavilion, there were two machines that gave you a chance to win handcuffs!
It was almost dusk, so we went on the giant Ferris wheel to get our first look at the illuminations. Back home, we call them Christmas lights. The park sparkled. In some areas, it twinkled. We walked through a very long light tunnel, and got confused when the lights went out. It was the start of some choreography the lasted the remainder of walk. The tunnel was mostly blue, with criss-crossed ribbons of colour, and during the choreography different patterns of light would go on.
Our next feature attraction was a light show by a pool. The map claimed it one of the most powerful fountain shows in Japan. Fortunately it lived up to the hype. It dazzled, it spurted, it danced. We loved it.
It was an enjoyable walk across the park, and the gondola loaders were putting parties who did not know each other in the same car. We were happy to share if that got us back quicker.
On the subway on the way there, the doors on our final train were open on both sides in one station. Riders in the know disembarking on the train to ou right walked right through our car. I’ve never seen anything like it.
We had left our luggage in our first hotel, so we recovered it to go to our second hotel. By that time, we were hungry and intended to eat at a gluten free restaurant near the subway stop. It was also at the shopping mall that would have been called Downtown Disney if it were in California. We found the restaurant and it shared its fryer with glutenous food, so we went to McDonalds.
We’re now settled in our new hotel and are excited by a day at Disneyland tomorrow.