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Tokyo 2017: Day 4

Joypolis is an amusement park that is based on Sega IP and one of their locations is in Odaiba. We had planned to visit Joypolis during our last trip to Japan but ended up not going, so this time we we're dead set on spending a day there.

We woke up, showered and caught the Yurikamome line again to get us to Joypolis by 10:15am. We paid for ¥4000 for a "passport ticket" which gave us unlimited access to all of the rides in the park. Based on the list of rides and their prices we were certain we would get our money's worth.

The first ride we tried was the most talked about one, Gekion Live Coaster, their indoor roller coaster / rhythm game. Four people are strapped into a car that has two rows of seats. You are slowly taken along the track where you need to tap the buttons on the front of your harness in time with the music. After a few minutes the music stops and you are launched forward at high speed and then suddenly the car starts traveling backwards before you are flipped completely upside down. You can check out this video or just search YouTube to see it in action. It was super fun and I would highly recommend it to anyone who visits.

Riding our high after the roller coaster we decided to move onto the second most talked about ride, the Halfpipe Tokyo. It is some sort of weird snowboarding, halfpipe rhythm game I guess would be the best way to describe it. Two people are strapped into seats above a snowboard like device and are told to pivot their feet forward every time the device comes back down to middle of the halfpipe. As you can imagine the device is not stationary, it is being moved back and forth to the top of either side of the halfpipe and every time you properly pivot the device when it crosses the midpoint the ride speeds up. Your goal is to get the highest score. The thing that they don't tell you is that after you pass the midpoint of the halfpipe a couple of times the device starts to spin in circles while you continue to move back and forth. It was entirely unexpected and mind-blowingly nauseating. Just watch it for yourself. Elsie and I came off of that ride completely disoriented.

On the edge of vomiting, Elsie and I took a little break, got some liquids in us and looked around for another ride that hopefully would not be as jarring as that damn halfpipe. We found some light gun games that were two people strapped inside a little room with a massive TV screen on one side. Surely this would be a simple light gun game where you just shot at the screen and maybe some air cannons blew wind in your face and the lights turned on and off. There is no way the thing could move right? Wrong. 20 seconds into the game the ride pivoted 180 degrees and revealed that there was another massive TV behind us. We proceeded to be whipped back and forth for a few minutes before we were mercifully killed and released from our prison.

Desperate for a ride that was not going to try to make us vomit we lucked out and found "Sonic Athletics", a treadmill game. You essentially run along a treadmill to get your Sonic character up to speed and then push buttons in time with some indicators on the screen. You can see a full play-through of it in this video. It was actually really fun to play and I would recommend it to anyone coming to Joypolis.

We were starting to get pretty hungry at this point but decided to squeeze one more ride in before we stuffed our stomaches with something that could be violently ejected later. We chose the "Wild Jungle Brothers" jeep simulator ride. We could literally see the Jeep from the line to the attraction so we were certain that it could not be some violent ride that jerked us around. As is a reoccurring theme for the day we were totally wrong. Once we got into the Jeep and were strapped in (bad sign #1), the Jeep then drove into a pitch dark room (bad sign #2). Suddenly a series of screens that wrap about 160 degrees around the room turn on and the whole Jeep starts moving up and down like we are driving along a bumpy road. Apparently the Jeep was on some sort of contraption that allowed it to rock and pitch the Jeep any direction it wanted. After a five minute ride that included running away from a giant boulder Indiana Jones style we were released and made our way to the cafe.

There really is nothing special to write about the cafe. I had some curry while Elsie had some pasta. They were both completely acceptable dishes that helped calm our nerves after all of those crazy rides. The thing worth mentioning is that apparently in Japan urinal games are a thing. Multiple times now I have walked into a bathroom that has screens above the urinals and targets inside them. When you step up to the urinal the screen turns on and tells you to aim for the target to make something happen. They have all been fairly innocuous until today. The urinal I walked up to had a game where the more you pee, the more wind is generated and the more a woman's clothes are blown off. Never change Japan.

By this point we were getting fairly tired but had not yet gotten our money's worth for the passport ticket. We took in one last ride to put us over the limit, the Initial D drifting simulator. This may have been my favourite ride of the day. It was actual cars that would physically move as you played the game and since the game was all above drifting the back ends of the cars were constantly fishtailing behind you. It really felt like you were driving the car. It is one of the more realistic driving simulators I have ever played.

We left Joypolis and decided to visit the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation a.k.a the Miraikan which literally means "Future Museum". I honestly was so tired that I barely remember anything from here except for the globe that was constructed of thousands of little OLED panels so they could project anything they wanted onto it.

We boarded the Yurikamome line and headed home just in time to catch the end of day 11 of the Kyūshū Basho sumo wrestling tournament. We got to witness Hakuho's first loss of the tournament before I apparently couldn't keep my eyes open any longer and passed out for a nap. When I woke up we decided to just make it a quick night out for dinner and headed back to Sora for some spicy miso ramen before coming back to the Airbnb and heading off to bed.