December 02, 2011

The Cardboard Dragon

Time to break radio silence! The blog is lagging behind, which you have probably noticed by the lack of updates recently. Some of you may have seen glimpses of the future blog entries in social media networks in the form of pictures, wall posts or location data. It's time to tell you what really happened.

Almost a month ago we decided to go to Spa Land in Nagashima. Spa Land is more than just a spa resort with outdoor pools and dozens of slides; it is also known for its onsen, japanese hot spring, and one of the biggest amusement parks in Japan. Our lionhearted group, consisting of Jana, Naoko, Noora, Viviane, Ankur and me, set on the arduous quest to tame the Steel Dragon (explanation follows, hopefully).

The last picture.

The weather forecast was cloudy with a 50% chance of precipitations at noon, increasing toward the evening, but it didn't discourage us. To the contrary, fewer people meant shorter queues and more time to enjoy the attractions. In our unfaltering logic, we decided to slowly build up momentum starting from the more easygoing and stomach-friendly rides, to finally culminate the day on the awe-inspiring and almighty Steel Dragon 2000, the biggest roller coaster in Nagashima and one of the biggest in the world as a matter of fact.

The almighty Steel Dragon 2000.

The traditional viking ship was the first attraction to test our guts (hehe, a pun). We also got rocketed sky-high and soaked in the overflowing chute just to be blow-dried a while later on the White Cyclone.
All slicked up, it was the perfect moment for an intense photo shoot in a purikura booth. The idea is the same as in a normal photo booth, but in purikura the goal is to strike cute poses and retouch the pictures with ready-made backgrounds, texts and items to make it as adorable and sweet as a possible.

Purikura. The definition of kawaii :)

Shortly after the purikura, the odds turned against us and it started to rain. The rainfall didn't stop and most of the attractions were shut down, thus we opted for some lunch. We had been to most of the rides, so as soon as the rain stopped, we rushed to the Steel Dragon entrance. We were fast enough to get on the second car and felt a surge of excitement. Finally, the big finale of the day! We were all laughing when I said let's take the last picture. As soon as we sat down in the car and the security belts were tightened up, all hell broke loose and spears of ice it started pouring and the roller coaster was closed. We weren't laughing anymore.

Next time your mine, Steel Dragon!

Fortunately, the day didn't end there. The hot waters of the onsen soothed our wounds and washed away the minor disappointment. Back at Nagoya, we were starving and decided to fill our stomachs with ramen. We were reborn. High five!


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