Curiouser and Curiouser!

What A Difference A Day Makes! Odiaba & Joypolis FUN! (Japan – Autumn 2018 Day 12)

FWOOOOOOO! Today was AWESOME! I AM OVER THAT COLD and energetic AF! Back to my happy bouncy self, I was ready to take on the day and it’s a good thing that I was ready because the plan was to visit Odaiba and Joypolis!

The others wanted to leave a bit later than I did, and I was STARVING so I decided to take the half hour walk to Asakusa to get some ramen.

I walked past the Asahi building for the first time and saw the golden squiggly cloud thing? up close. Got a nice shot of the golden building and the reflection of the Tokyo Sky Tree that is nearby, too.

Look closely – you can see the Tokyo Sky Tree reflected in the black building’s windows.

 

The gold…. thing.

I had my heart set on Ichiran, which is not the greatest ramen – if you’re looking for something more “gourmet” or “complex”, this is not the ramen for you.

The sort of ramen that it is would be summed up as comfort food. It’s tasty. It’s hot. It’s noodles and gosh darnit I love me some noodles!

This particular location had table service as well as the usual counter service – I chose counter service because I tend toward being a hermit side anyway, especially if I am dining alone. It’s not that I hate people, but when I’m alone, I want to be…. alone!

It’s cute that they give you instructions at your “booth”. It’s basically a long counter with removable dividers between each seat – if you’re with someone, you can fold that divider in so you can see your friend.

In front of you is a wall, with a window at the bottom portion. There is a bamboo shade that get’s rolled down after your food is delivered to you – through that window. They will announce your order and slide your food to you, but all you see is someone’s hands and legs and then SWOOSH goes the shade and you have privacy once more.

Had to have the side soft boiled eggie, of course!

 

Delicious.

Ordered kae-dama, which is a noodle refill – a nice thing when you have more broth just going to waste. Here you can order a half or full kae-dama – half was just enough for me.

Here is a view of the whole booth – hither to fore, I’ve not been bold enough to step back and take a photo because there were others around on previous visits, but this time I went for it. Silly Boo.

Best dining option or best dining option? Eating out isn’t always about being social.

Best dining option, or best dining option? Eating out isn’t always about being social.

Right as I was finishing up my lunch, I received a text that the group was heading out soon, so rather than explore Asakusa I headed straight to the train station to spend a little more time on my own in Odiaba before they all arrived. I headed straight for the waterfront near the Statue of Liberty, since that was close to Joypolis and where they would be arriving. It was nice to sit in the salty air by Tokyo Bay and just relax for a while. I miss the ocean. I was really missing my tree friends and hiking back home – I was a bit homesick today, wanting my home comforts and my hikes in the woods. Not to say that I am not grateful to be here in Tokyo, because I most certainly am… a bit of homesickness is healthy and to be expected amongst the fun and adventure.

My feets and Tokyo Bay – in the background is the Rainbow Bridge and what you cannot see is the Tokyo Tower and also the building that I lived in during Spring/Summer 2015. Much reflection was had at this waters’ edge today.

Somewhere around a half hour to 45 minutes of quiet reflection by the bay was had, and then I met up with the group. They were hungry so we went to what amounted to a ramen food court at Aqua City – seriously awesome to have that much choice! I was only snack-y at that point so I had a few gyoza and called it good. They were delicious.

After lunch, we went to see the Unicorn Gundam at Diver City

Unicorn Gundam!

Then we wasted a little time in the mall as we were waiting for time to pass before 5 pm – Joypolis is discounted after 5 so we wanted to get the maximum value. Spent a little time at the Sanrio store:

Tihi!

 

Hello Kitty Gundam at the Sanrio store!

 

Adorable Paulina in an adorable hat

… and also a few minutes at Round One (no pics) before we went to Joypolis.

It’s discounted after 5pm, and discounted a further 300 Yen when you show your passport too – we were so excited to play!

There are three floors of fun. The first thing that we queued up for was the Halfpipe Tokyo. You strap in and stand on a board, two people per board. You are both facing opposite directions and the center of your board tips on an axis… as you swing in the half-pipe, you have to coordinate which way you rock your feet on the board in order to make your board spin as it swings in the halfpipe – it’s harder than it sounds to get both of you coordinated, since one of you has to rock forward and the other back, since you’re facing opposite directions. Communication is key!

Halfpipe Tokyo was a BLAST to ride!

Then we went on a roller coaster that is suspended above the first floor – I rode this one alone so the other 4 could ride together. It’s a rhythm game as well as a roller coaster… three buttons on the harness that goes over your shoulders and during the slow portions of the ride there are projection screens in front of you with circles scrolling to the corresponding buttons on your harness. You play against your fellow rollercoaster car-mates (if you have any) and your winning scores are displayed at the end of the ride… after you go through a series of twists and turns above the first floor! There is also an anime of sorts playing as you are challenged by the rhythm game. I have no idea what it was all about because I was paying attention to the rhythm of the music.

The Swedes riding the rhythm rollercoaster!

The lines for attractions were not very long at all, I suspect because it was a weekday – this was a very nice thing indeed.

One thing that I was most looking forward to was the Initial D 4 ride – you’re SITTING IN A REAL CAR and controlling the game with an actual steering wheel, gas and brake pedals and gear shift! This made my nerdy car racing dreams come true – it’s about as close as I will ever get to actually racing a real car, I am certain! XD

Yes, this is the car that I “drove” –

 

THIS WAS SO GREAT! Initial D! <3

More simulators that spin – this one was a race – two people per pod and again you had to coordinate to make it spin – this time it was a button on levers that worked sort of like tank control for directions that you drifted in a half pipe race course. That was really fun, but I’d say that the Transformers pod spinning thingie was more fun. (I don’t have a pic of that one)

These capsules SPUN – like A LOT

On the third floor was a bunch of interactive 4-d simulators and such, but we didn’t have time to experience them all. One in particular caught my eye… all because of a creepy doll:

Creepy doll is creepy… she lured me into an experience of terror.

I HAD to check this one out, and ended up going in alone… well, sort of. There were two Japanese teenage girls that went in ahead of me… The guide tells you the backstory of which I understood nothing, since I don’t speak/understand enough Japanese to catch the drift… you enter through a black curtain into a dark hall… there is a railing on your left side and you are admonished before entering to NOT let go of the railing, lest you stumble and fall… or be captured.

The hallway leads to a small table with a candle and some creepy looking objects… behind you in the hallway sounds begin to stir… the two girls and I all gasped at the same time and giggled together… then a louder noise made us all jump and suddenly the guide was there again, looking creepy and opening double doors for us into a dining hall that can only be described as… not the sort of place that you would want to gather for dinner.

There was a long table in the center: above you on either side was shelving set into the wall… a small railing in front of rows of dolls in kimono… similar in kind to the one pictured above. Soft light gently illuminated them, casting eerie shadows onto the ceiling.

In the center of the table sat a wooden statue, nestled into a circle of oddly shaped runes – the statue held a basket, presumably for an offering as it was facing what was at the end the room opposite the door from which we entered… a large life-size doll, with it’s insides exposed, sitting on a throne-like chair… collapsed, silent. Silk curtains billowed gently from windows un-seen… we were instructed to put on the headphones resting on the table in front of us. Of what happened next, I dare not speak… you must experience it for yourself.

I went on a couple more “rides” before Joypolis was closing for the day, loving what I had experienced and already eager to experience more! I hope that I can visit again while I am still in Tokyo

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