Arakawa Park4th September 2005
Our relatively late leaving time from the hotel resulted in an accumulation of hangers on, in this case seven Americans, all of whom were as enthusiastic as we were at the thought of picking up a junior coaster credit in a small city centre park in Tokyo. Cultural sights have their place, but apparently not for coaster enthusiasts who have travelled half way across the world.
What we hadn't realised was that the Meisho coaster we were expecting had been removed. Its replacement turned out to be a design we were all too familiar with. Mini Coaster (#601) was a Pinfari Big Apple, of the type we could have ridden at any time in a multitude of places. There had been other options for parks in the Tokyo area which would have been more worthwhile given this knowledge. However, the benefit of hindsight is a wonderful thing!
Oyama Yuenchi4th September 2005
The approach to Oyama Yuenchi looked promising; a Schwarzkopf shuttle loop on the horizon, with a parachute drop and the obligatory ferris wheel nearby. However, as we got closer we suddenly noticed something; nothing was moving. Closer inspection again indicated that the park had been closed for quite a while; the gates were closed, and the gardens within were clearly overgrown.
We chose to turn adversity into opportunity. One of our group spoke to a security guard, and in no time we were all wearing staff passes and exploring a dead park, walking all around (and over) the rides. Pictures say more in this case than words ever could. On a positive note, all the rides we saw appeared to be intact, and although some could use paint it is certainly not beyond the realms of possibility that this park will open again. I really hope this will happen some day.