Japan 2014 post 43

November fourteenth
Today Ayana didn’t have school since it’s the city’s birthday, so I was able to sleep in a bit. Instead of getting up at 6:30, I slept until 8:20. I had a shower, then Catherine made me the same yogurt, granola, and raspberries dish. It was just as good as yesterday. Not too much later Kazuya’s mom Eriko came to pick me up, she had Kazuya, Yuta, and Kazuya’s sister Haruka (I believe, but it might be Haruko I can’t quite remember). The five of us drove to Toshimaen, an amusement park about an hours drive from Catherine’s. I was still pretty groggy during the drive, but I was able to talk to everyone a bit.
When we got to the park, we left our car in the parcade, and got in line for tickets. There weren’t too many people yet, but we still had to wait a while. At the gate there was a sign saying that people with tattoos or tattoo stickers on their bodies wouldn’t be let into the park. Catherine had told me before that tattoos were looked down upon, and made doing things in Japan difficult, but this was the first I had actually seen of it. But anyways, we bought tickets and proceeded into the park.
We all started out on a ride called the “Pirat”. I guess they’d forgotten the “E”, but it was fun anyways. It was the same sort of ride that I’d started out with when Reiko and I went to an amusement park. It was shaped like a boat, and swung like a pendulum. You went almost vertical, then swung smoothly back down, over and over. It really makes your stomach feel weird, but I loved it. Kazuya was sitting right beside me, and he was making the funniest faces because it made his stomach feel weird. What a blast.
Once we got off that, we proceeded to one of their roller coasters. The Cyclone. It didn’t have any loops, but it was pretty fast, and had several bid drops. We had to wait in line for around 20 minutes, but it was worth it. Although at one point it went underground, and it was pitch black, loud, and we were moving very fast. That made me a bit claustrophobic, but other than that it was great. I was next to Kazuya again, so I was laughing part of the way. He’s a really funny guy.
It was almost lunch time by now, so we stopped for a quick crepe. I got the chocolate strawberry one, with whipped cream. It was delicious. I took a picture of it (and of some other things around the park), but it’s on my digital camera, so I can’t show you now. After we finished our crepes, we were thinking of what ride to go on next, but then Yuta said he was still sort of hungry, so we decided to just have lunch.
We bought fried chicken, and fries to share. Then I had a big bowl of miso soup, and a cheese and motchi thing. It was sort of like a hash brown, but with cheese and motchi. Kazuya had one too, and he didn’t like it, but Yuta and I loved ours.
After the meal (we couldn’t eat everything, so Eriko made a makeshift bento), we didn’t want to throw up, so we decided to go into the mirror house instead of on a ride. Not only was it a confusing maze and there were mirrors everywhere, it was also sort of dark. They had the same sort of lights as glow-bowling places, so the white on our clothes, teeth, and gum shone. It was pretty cool. The other kids I did it together, and we made it through. Having a blast in the process.
The next ride was called the flying pirate. It was almost the same as the pirat, but it was way bigger. It was super high off the ground, and the boat went at least vertical. Only Eriko and I wanted to do it, so everyone else just watched. But it wasn’t too scary, just fun. And there were some really nice views of the leaves changing colour. When we got off we walked a little ways, and everyone got onto a different ride. It was one of the ones that spins really fast, in several different directions, and is constantly changing directions. It wouldn’t have been my first choice for shortly after lunch, but no one threw up.
We all rode another roller coaster together too. This one didn’t have any loops either, but it went really fast, and had lots of sharp turns and angles. Eriko and I wanted to ride the roller coaster that did have loops, but we just didn’t get around to it in time. And no one else wanted to, so it wasn’t much of a priority. But we still had fun anyways. In fact, Eriko and I did a ride called the magic carpet together. There was a ride just like it at the Yorkton Fair that mom and I used to like. The place where you are sitting is always parallel to the ground, but the ride itself goes in a circle, dropping you from the highest point. But you don’t fall straight down. At one point, the ride stops at the top, and you’re up there for a few second before it drops you suddenly, it was great.
Next we all played bumper cars. I really like bumper cars, but it’s been a long time since I’ve been able to play. To it was even more fun! I managed to hit Kazuya, and Eriko and Haruka, but Yuta evaded me. The game was great, but too short! I wasn’t ready for it to end. The games seemed much longer when you were watching from the line! But oh well.
There were several other awesome looking rides that we couldn’t go on because the lines were too long, but we did get to go to an amazing playground. It was meant for older kids (well, probably the 10-13 range), so it was built higher off the ground, there were tons of sweet obstacles and elements, and different levels and sections of the playground. It was a parkour dream. Because it was fairly high, wooden, and thin/easy to fall off of or into holes, or down staircases, I didn’t do any flip on the playground. But it was EPIC for practicing pure parkour, that is getting from point A to point B in the fastest, most efficient way possible. There were tons of precisions jumps, long jumps, climbing, wall runs, vaults, drops, and jumping to grab onto things. I was able to do tons of awesome stuff, and I had so much fun! And so did Yuta and Kazuya, we all did parkour together. Even Haruka had a blast. In one part of the park, there were thick crash mats, and lots of places to jump onto them from. When we were there I did some huge (high, and long) jumps onto the mats, big dive rolls, front flips, and side flips. It was so awesome! I wish I had that playground on the farm! I would be amazing if I could train there everyday. We went to the park twice, and each time was just as fun.
In the park (the amusement park, not the playground) they also had an arcade. We spent a bit of time there, and played three games. The first was a laser challenge, where you have to navigate to and touch certain pints, without breaking the lasers that are crisscrossing the room. It was so much fun. Kazuya, Yuta, and I all did it, and we all enjoyed it. After we finished, the four kids played a game of air hockey. At one pint in the game, the machine released a ton of pucks, and it was just mayhem! Haruka and I lost, but we enjoyed it. But I won the next game, a ball tossing game. You had to toss a bunch of balls into a trashcan as it opened for a short period of time, and I got the highest score necessary for one of the big prizes. I got a really big partly plush mount Fuji. But I’m not sure what I’m going to do with it.
Before we left the park, we all got a surprise egg from the gift shop. I won’t say what we got, because I’m going to use them as presents, but it was fun. Yuta and Eriko didn’t need theirs, so they gave them to me.
Afterwards, we all went to a sushi bar together. I had tons to eat. Lots of salmon, tuna, shrimp, and ikura. Some of them had cheese on them too, which was super good. During the course of the meal, every once in a while a little video would pop up on the screen we use to order food (you can order food and get it sent straight to you via a speedy conveyor belt, or you can just grab whatever you want from a different belt), and if the guy representing you won the game it showed, you got a little toy! It was pretty cool. We won three times, so we got two mini cheesecake figures, and a mini coffee. I think they’re meant to go on your keychain or phone. I got to keep one of each. They each came in a little plastic ball, and during supper Kazuya accidentally dropped it into his water, which spilled it. Not long afterwards, he dropped it into his tea! It was pretty funny.
For desert I had two types of cheesecake, and we all shared these sweet fries. They were just like regular fries, except covered with caramel. Everything was great. Especially the slice of New York cheesecake, even though it took a while to make sure there were no nuts in the crust.
After we finished eating, Yuta, Kazuya, and I played catch outside while we waited for Eriko to pay. We joked around tons outside, and on the way home. Kazuya started calling the little ball that the toys came in my “memory cube”, and Yuta started chanting Mount Fuji over and over. Everyone joined it. It was so much fun, and I’m really glad I was able to go with them today. Thank you, Eriko!
When I got home I was really exhausted from the early morning, and the two consecutive days of Japanese. But I stayed downstairs for a while, because Catherine and the kids were having a party with some friends.
While I was reading upstairs before bed, there was a little earthquake. For me it felt pretty big, my whole room shook, the wood creaked, and it felt like the ground was doing the wave. But when I went downstairs, Catherine hadn’t felt anything. Even though I’m only eight feet above her, I guess it really makes a difference. In fact I remember the same thing happening last time I was here, only Catherine was upstairs and I was downstairs. How interesting!
Well, it was a really excellent day, but I’m in need of the quiet day tomorrow.


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