Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Lights at Huis ten Bosch

Of course Santa speaks English here... Santa Clause speaks all languages!
We went to Huis ten Bosch to check out the Christmas lights a few days before Christmas. They were beautiful!
They also had a Christmas concert that included a tribute to Michael Jackson. Apparently, Michael Jackson visited the park twice. I looked it up and there are several pictures out there on the internet of him at the park.

The line to go up into the clock tower was very, very long, so we opted to just ride the merry-go-round and sit in wooden clogs.
You can take a short 7 minute canal cruise from the clock tower back to the entrance.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

More Kit Kats!

Sparkling Strawberry that came out last week.
Milk coffee.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Mt. Inasa Park (稲佐山公園)

Mt. Inasa Park is a beautiful park in Nagasaki. It's at the top of Mt. Inasa (obviously) and you can get there one of three ways.
You can drive to the top. That way takes you through narrow winding roads with beautiful views on either side of the mountain.
You can hike up to the top. I was told that takes about 90 minutes from a shrine near the base. We were running out of daylight when I was there, so that wasn't an option.
Your third option is the Nagasaki Ropeway! Sadly, it was closed for maintenance the day we were there. I was told that it was to re-open on the 16th of December.
There is a good size playground at the top, as well as an amphitheater, plenty of open grassy fields, hiking trails, a dog park, gardens, and a spectacular view!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Space World!!!

We went to Space World in Northern Kyushu on Saturday. It was a blast!!!! Ha! Get it? A blast. Uh, okay. Well Space World is a neat theme park based on space travel with an open mind for space alien life forms. That replica of the Space Shuttle Discovery is a full-size replica! The Shuttle is tucked within the Venus GP rollercoaster.
This photo was taken from the walkway between the parking lot and the park.
That's the water ride with the Titan roller coaster in the background. One tip, if you arrive at the park and have forgotten an umbrella or poncho, you can buy an umbrella near the entrance for 500-yen, or you can head to the ride above and buy a poncho for 100-yen.
It was raining when we first entered the park, but it stopped shortly after arriving. Above is a picture of the Space World front entrance and the Zaturn roller coaster next to it.
Viky Live! That's the name of the show above. As you can see, it wasn't well attended. The whole park was quite empty! We had six hours at the park. The park was empty, but there still was not enough time to see everything.

The Zaturn! I went on that and loved it! When you first go up, they have you empty your pockets of everything into lockers. You pay 100-yen that you get back when you return the key. The directions they give you take a while. Maybe it just felt like it took a while because you sit there with that (above) staring you in the face. The scariest part, in my opinion, was the very start when you take off like a rocket! The whole ride probably only lasts 30 seconds.

Bouncy clouds! They were too wet to jump on at first, and we just never went back to them later.
I guess this must be the mother ship. It's in the Space Dome where you will find the "Blackhole Scramble" and the "Mission to Mars." Blackhole Scramble was a jerky ride in the dark. No loss of stomach or anything. Kids only need to be 110 cm to go on the Blackhole Scramble. Mission to Mars was really neat and there was no height restriction. In Mission to Mars you sit in big vehicle things in front of a planetarium like screen. There are four vehicles holding maybe 30 people in each. The vehicles move as you journey on a mission from Earth to Mars. It was tame as far as rides go, but really, really neat!

Freeze dried space food of the Japanese and Korean variety.

There was no way to take photos of it, but the 4-D Theater is something that shouldn't be missed!!! 4-D meant that not only were images popping out at you, but when the polar bear sneezes, you get a spray of water sprayed on your 3-D glasses. When a tree falls in the rain forest, a little thing knocks around on your shins to make it feel like you're right there in the forest.

That's a roller coaster geared toward the younger set, but there were plenty of adults only on the coaster too. The only restriction is that the kids have to be three years old.

They also have an Imax theater and they were showing Space Station narrated by Tom Cruise. Well, it said it was narrated by Tom Cruise, but it was actually entirely in Japanese... even the astronauts were dubbed over into Japanese.

This park reminded me of Cape Canaveral, without the shuttle lift off, of course. The Imax showing of Space Station at Space World was not the 3-D version.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Lights, my camera, and a little bit of action

Last week we went down to Nimitz Park for a winter something or other. Fake snow ensued. It wasn't really our thing, so we headed into the Ginza.
This is what we found! It's very pretty here!
This guy was making really intricate balloon animals.
Next it was off to dinner at Indiana, and Indian restaurant that was not bad. I think we liked it a little better than Bishnu, the first restaurant we tried when we moved here. I ordered a vegetarian set.
Do you have your order in yet for your Christmas Chicken from KFC? That reminds me..... It's time again for my favorite Christmas in Japan video!!!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like Kurisumasu!

I have to give credit where credit it due. I never gave a second thought to Christmas cards here in a country where Christmas isn't... well... Christmas. A friend was on the hunt for these cards, so I jumped on the bandwagon. Here are a few new ones this year. I bought these at Jusco.
Do you see Santa flying by Tokyo Tower?
I love this card! Hundreds of tiny Santas celebrating in Aomori, Japan.
Santas on a Shinkansen near Fuji-san... a familiar card theme.This is my favorite card because of the amount of time we spent here.
So, you take those sumo wrestlers above and put them on the platform below.
Then, from what I gather, you can fight with your friends.
Hello Kitty Kurisumasu Kado.
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