Four years ago we visited Japan Monkey Park in the middle of a rain storm and managed to have a good time despite the fact that all major attractions were closed. Returning today with the lights on allowed us to appreciate the place properly. Losing no time, we quickly tried out the Highway Coaster (#1685), a large terrain ride that can be thought of as the local version of Lisebergbanan. It goes without saying that this machine didn't quite track to the standard of Anton Schwarzkopf, but the experience was pleasant and thrilling nevertheless.
The same was not true of the powered Monkey Coaster, which could best be described as dull. With only two passengers on the train we may have had a faster ride than usual, which makes me wonder just how tedious the experience might be when fully loaded. It was just about worth doing once in order to tick the proverbial box, but no more than that. With that out of the way we went for our obligatory ride on Go! Go! Banana Coaster (#1686). It was impossible not to enjoy ourselves thanks to the ridiculous (and infectious) enthusiasm of the operators, who were clearly caught up in the hilarity of two gaijin shoehorning themselves into a children's ride. The Japanese tend to be fairly reserved, but these two gentlemen certainly were not!
7th September 2011
Long-time fans of Formula One racing will remember races in Japan where a large roller coaster could be seen towards the end of the start-finish straight. This was one of a number of adult rides that used to exist beside the race track at Suzuka Circuit, though all have since been sold on to other parks around the world.
Today a medium sized park remains at the facility, located perhaps three hundred metres away from the start-finish straight on the far side of a municipal road. The attractions within are geared mainly at the ten to twelve age bracket, including Rocky Coaster (#1687), a fairly rickety ride from Senyo with two backward facing cars that I wasn't hardy enough to try; the front was quite exciting enough. There was also a medium sized water park area, though this was closed today despite the weather being 32°C and sunny; it seems that it may only operate during the peak season.
The nearest train station to the park is Suzukasakittoino, about thirty minutes walk away. You can also take the train to Shiroko and catch a connecting bus, though be careful as this runs every two hours at off-peak times.
Sea Train Land
7th September 2011
Sea Train Land is a small children's park located at Nagoya Port, a few minutes walk from Nagoyako subway station. Though well suited to family groups, there is nothing there to draw in most coaster enthusiasts unless they really want to get every last credit. Family Coaster (#1688) is a standard model junior coaster from Zamperla, though retrofitted with extra seat belts which are extremely unforgiving. Those of a larger disposition will not be able to close them; let the reader beware.