Tuesday, 31 March 2015

♥Japan 2014! Trip Report → Day 3 (Toshimaen Trip Report! with some Harajuku)♥


 Hello everybunny!♪ This trip report is for day 3!
Our plan for this day was the theme park & water park, Toshimaen, which is north of Ikebukuro. Though first we headed to Harajuku, since a friend told me about an event at La Foret where indie designers would be selling things, so we thought we'd check it out. We ended up skipping this in favour of the theme park though ahah.^^;; I highly recommend Toshimaen, especially if you're travelling with children or someone who isn't a fan of thrill rides. The attractions are fairly low key, but are still really enjoyable! I'm sorry this trip report isn't so in-depth, I really neglected to get a lot of photos of the park. >< Nonetheless, I hope you'll enjoy reading.^^

Heading out through Ikebukuro♪

Outside Ikebukuro station♪

We arrived at Harajuku after a short train journey, here's Takeshita Dori.
I've heard so many people say how amazing Harajuku & Takeshita Dori are, but I saw a lot of cheap-y things that looked like they came from a generic Taobao store. ;; It was a bit anti-climactic www

The Daiso looked cute but I didn't really see many things in there that grabbed my attention. I picked up a useful usb charger that plugged into sockets though, handy.^^

Overall, Takeshita Dori struck me as pretty tacky, though there were some cute places that I'll mention in a little bit, but yeah not so great ahah... Also it smelled really off. x-x;;; And when we got to the end, there was lots of rubbish strewn across the road & path. It seemed a bit neglected.
Maybe it gets more interesting & clean when it's not summer? I kind of want to give it another chance when I go in May but at the same time I don't want to waste time www

Heading towards La Foret♪

-Alice & Josh simultaneously burst into tears-

I can't remember where we saw this but it's looks like Bert's jacket! If it wasn't so pricy I would have bought it for Josh to wear on our Jolly 'oliday www

There was a queue for the event and it was already super hot outside, and we didn't really want to hang around.. so since Josh & I had theme park plans we started to head towards the station with Jen, who was hoping to head to Shibuya.♪

This building was a little gem on Takeshita Dori, which I spotted because the sign said 'Aikatsu!' hah.. I didn't know there was an Aikatsu! shop so I went in to take a peek and it was really really cute.♥ I bought a couple things, oops ww

By the way, if you get the chance, check out Sweets Paradise. It's an all you can eat dessert buffet! We didn't go to this one, but we did go to one during our holiday.♪ But more about that in a future trip report. :3

It's a cute place to pop in, though a lot of the clothes and goods seem to be aimed at young girls. Moments where I'm grateful I fit into a Japanese junior 150 size ww

Crepes that are suuuper popular. We didn't bother with them, but maybe another time?

Here we parted ways with Jen and headed back to Ikebukuro to quickly drop stuff off at the hotel and pick up our swimming stuff.♪ Though of course, someone had to forget to pick up a towel. Me. :D Luckily I could pick one up easily.

The main aim of the day was to go to Toshimaen! Which is a theme park & water park, however the water park is only open in summer. Please check the operations calendar if you're planning a trip, as well as their water park rules if you plan on going to a theme park! Though their website doesn't have an English option, so you might want to use google translate.^^;; As with many water parks/public pools in Japan, tattoos are not allowed. It seems like a really outdated idea to me, but nonetheless, the rules are in place. There are no rules about covering up your tattoos though, so if you have them but want to enjoy the water park there's nothing against wearing a wetsuit or something to cover them. c:
From Ikebukuro, you can get a direct train to Toshimaen! Super convenient.♪ 
 Firstly, you need to head to the Seibu lines in Ikebukuro station. Stations in Japan are organised by the operating company, so in Ikebukuro you have JR lines, Seibu lines, Tobu lines, and Tokyo Metro lines.♪ At first I found it a little confusing, but I got used to it.^^ You might also notice that Ikebukuro station has department stores owned by the Seibu & Tobu groups.♪
For Toshimaen, you need the Seibu train that is headed to... Toshimaen!  It's the last stop on the line, and the train will say that it's heading to Toshimaen, so it's easy to spot!

The theme park though... not so easy to spot ww
(Because we were looking in the wrong direction haha... look more left ww..)

Here it is!♪ There are price lists in English, in case your Japanese skills aren't great. c: We got a passport that got us admission, unlimited theme park rides, and water park admission! The park looked super empty from here, but we could hear it was super busy over in the water park ww

In the Toshimaen water park, there's a massive complex of water slides called Hydropolis. It's awesome!

Lots of places we went to had these really cool outdoor aircon things, they were super refreshing. - 7-


The theme park part of Toshimaen was pretty much empty ww It's a pretty neat park though! There are lots of rides on top of buildings, it's a really interesting use of space, and makes for some good views on rides.♪ There are also a lot of kids versions of the big rides!♪ There's a mini Cyclone, a mini pirate ship, a mini eagle ride etc.. We also spotted a lot of cosplayers around, in particular a lot of Scouting Legion members ahah. c: I guess they came to the theme park for a photoshoot or something perhaps?

So empty ww But check out Cyclone in the distance!

This was a cute little kids ride with an old car theme.

The main goal of the theme park was to ride Cyclone! And would you look at that? An almost empty queue! In fact this was the longest we had to queue for anything in the theme park.♪ Cyclone is a steel coaster manufactured by Togo, a Japanese ride manufacturer. It's pretty awesome! It's a great ride with plenty of airtime and not a lot of booty on seat time.♪ Though if you find your booty on the seat at any time, you'll find that the seats are really comfy, they're like sofas ww

There was a takoyaki place and Josh, being a great lover of takoyaki, wanted a snack ww♥ What we didn't realise, was that it was giant takoyaki!! It was filled with different types of seafood, pretty interesting! I wasn't so hungry, so I just tried a little and got a grape soda.♪

The other 'big' coaster at Toshimaen is Corkscrew, and is exactly that; a corkscrew! It's another steel coaster, and is manufactured by Arrow Dynamics. It was pretty fun, but there weren't bag lockers or anything, you just put them down in the car. So I spent more time worrying about my bags possibly flying across the Tokyo skyline on an inversion rather than having fun haha. I know the whole 'storing bags in a locker' thing can be time consuming & faffy, but I prefer it so I can focus on the ride.^^;; We also went on the Eagle ride, but I didn't get photos, sorry. ><

Random British telephone box spotted ww

We headed to the gift shop to pick up an inner tube for me (I can't swim OTL) and spotted Adventure Time merch!

Then it was time to head to the water park!♪

I didn't take any photos in the water park because I thought it would be super weird to take photos in a water park. OTL So I'll add in some photos from the website. c: Until you see photos of soft serve, the photos are neither mine nor Josh's.♪

First of all, I really recommend getting one of...
Before you enter the water park building, there are windows where you can buy these handy cashless bands.♪ Just load them up with yen and you can use them to buy things like food in the park! We put our money together & Josh wore the band, I let him have the responsibility of carrying money on his wrist www

The changing area is split into sexes (male on one side of the building, female on the other, traditional), but... there are no doors or anything, you just walk into them.
And there are no cubicles. It's communal.
So I just stride in casually with my changing stuff expecting to just look for a free cubicle to change in and suddenly
There were just benches. :c It made me really really anxious because I was just expecting a comfortable quick change hidden away hah... I managed to find a little corner with a free locker and made a makeshift cubicle with a towel and locker door. I probably looked ridiculous but ugh. OTL This is something to really bear in mind if you visit. I put on some sun cream, but it didn't work. I think I need SPF1,000,000 or something.
After the changing ordeal, I met up with Josh and we headed into the park.♪ It was huge! And incredibly busy, it made me a little dizzy at times and I suppose the sun didn't help that either. OTL But huge! I'd never been to a water park before this, just swimming pools, so it was pretty exciting. After the excitement died down a bit, I became aware that I was in a swimsuit and remembered why I don't go swimming (aside from the fact I can't actually swim). OTL But! There were water slides to conquer! Onwards!!
 There were lots of beach towels and belongings just laying about, people seem to be more lax about leaving their things without someone guarding them ww I guess it's because Japan is safer? I've read a lot of things that say that, and it certainly seemed that way during the holiday. I was a bit worried about leaving our things, but they were fine!  

The first thing we headed to was Hydropolis! It's lots of water slides with two-person inner tubes♪ There are also some slides that don't require the inner tubes.^^ There's a small fee to get a wristband that allows you to use the inner tube slides.♪ These were really really fun! Though queueing in the sun... not so much. Luckily parts of the queue were in the shade, but primarily, the queues were in the sun. >< After having a few rides, we heading to a little snack stand for Josh's favourite... shaved ice!♥ Sadly I didn't bring my phone with me so I couldn't get a photo, but the shaved ice had cream on top, and a little teddy bear shaped sponge cake!♥ It was adorable! ;; v ;;♥

These are the slides that don't require inner tubes♪ They were awesome, but the queue was pretty long. ;;
 We went on the slides quite a lot, and then headed to the lazy river. Lazy rivers quickly became my new favourite things ww♥ After a little while, we got out because Josh wanted another shaved ice ww♥ I didn't get another, but I did have a little.♪ Then it was back in the lazy river for more... being lazy.♪ Though a little after that, I started feeling really unwell because I had been in the sun too much and been a bit anxious because of the amount of people, so we sat down for a bit and then got changed. I also turned into a cherry.

Before leaving the park, we grabbed some soft serve.♥ I got mango. :3 You can see on my hand how burned I was... ;; - ;; I didn't notice so much until I left the water park. After this, I bought stronger sun cream. ><

Thank you for a fun day, Toshimaen!♥ 
The coasters & water slides were awesome♪♪
Yes I ended up really unwell & I didn't enjoy the crowds or changing rooms, but that's all things I can remember for the future!♪ We did have plans to go to two more water parks during the holiday, but dropped those plans after this.;; Luckily it was only a short train journey back to Ikebukuro.

Bye bye Toshimaen.♥

Below is the guide, wristband, and ticket if you want to take a look.♪


When we got back to the hotel, we rested and then had a early night, because the next day was going to be super busy! :D ♪♪ 
 Thank you so much for reading! Sorry this trip report was a little bare photo-wise, maybe someday I'll go back there.♪ I have no plans to visit there in May because of time constraints, but one day I'd like to visit again.^^ I'm really excited to do the day 4 trip report, that will definitely make up for the lack of photos www

Have a lovely day♪

Love, Eliza♥

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