To Infinity and Beyond! Unidentified Foreigners at Space World

August 26 – four days ago – marked one full month that I have been in Japan; it’s incredible how much I have done in such a short time! There are still moments when I freak out about being here, many many moments of complete confusion and times when I just simply loathe Japan. But for the most part, I think I’m doing a good job of acclimating to a completely different society. Part of what is helping tremendously is having incredible friends! Two weekends ago, we had our second kenchou in Yamaguchi City, and instead of staying in the city like we did last time, Callie, Tiffany and I decided to stay in Shimonoseki, where they live… and we headed to Space World in Kitakyushu the next day.

Shimonoseki is the closest city to the island of Kyushu, and there is an underwater bridge that you can traverse (less than a mile!) to cross between the two main islands. Shimonoseki and Hikari are about 2.5 hours apart by train. To get to Kyushu it is less than a 20 minute train ride from Shimonoseki.

I live on Honshu, the main island of Japan. Kyushu is the island directly below Honshu. It’s the most southernmost island before the Okinawan islands. Its famous for its hot springs and castle towns; it also houses Nagasaki city, a popular tourist destination, what with it being the second city to be hit with an atomic bomb. And in the northern part of Kyushu, in Fukuoka prefecture, lies a perhaps less famous (but equally as deserving of fame!) adventure park called Space World. Filled with roller coasters, a water park, virtual rides and even an ice skating rink, it was the destination of our first trip outside of the prefecture.

It is, well… slightly ghetto… but an absolutely perfect Japanese theme park. It has that quintessential Japanese mix of high technology and cheesy, childish characters. And we took full advantage of it all… turning back the hands of time to 1997, the year we were all about 12.

So put on your spacesuit, grab your Buzz Lightyear references and enjoy Space World (and bad puns!) with us!

Welcome to Space World! Cost of admission: A good imagination and 4200yen. Ready?!

Welcome to Space World! Cost of admission: A good imagination and 4200yen. Ready?!

The entrance! Already, our first sight of Japanese silliness. Space is not to be taken seriously!

The entrance! Already, our first sight of Japanese silliness. Space is not to be taken seriously! Callie and Tiffany got on their excited faces as we all prepared to leave Earth!

To Infinity and Beyonnnnnd! This is the roller coaster Venus Expedition - board it only if you're ready for an out of this world adventure! (har har har har har)

To Infinity and Beyonnnnnd! This is the roller coaster Venus Expedition - board it only if you're ready for an out of this world adventure! (har har har har har)

Now that we've conquered Venus, let's go to the one-room, 20people capacity, AWESOME space museum!! This is a real Soviet Space Suit. We stood around for a long time debating how exactly Japan got a hold of this... turns out it said right below the suit, "Donated by the Soviety Union." hahaha must be that lack of gravity messing with our heads!

Now that we've conquered Venus, let's go to the one-room, 20people capacity, AWESOME space museum!! This is a real Soviet Space Suit. We stood around for a long time debating how exactly Japan got a hold of this... turns out it said right below the suit, "Donated by the Soviety Union." hahaha must be that lack of gravity messing with our heads!

Whoa. That ride was a little rough (I hear it is breaking through the ozone). Let's chill out on a ferris wheel with an amazing view of the city! The ferris wheel is really, really slow... but the view is incredible. In the background here you can see a red bridge - it must be the Golden Gate Bridge of space!

Whoa. That ride was a little rough (I hear it is breaking through the ozone). Let's chill out on a ferris wheel with an amazing view of the city! The ferris wheel is really, really slow... but the view is incredible. In the background here you can see a red bridge - it must be the Golden Gate Bridge of space!

Tiffany, me, Callie (from the left) at the top of the ferris wheel. Thanks for taking the picture!

Tiffany, me, Callie (from the left) at the top of the ferris wheel. Thanks for taking the picture!

Ready for a rock wall! It's not supposed to be one... but we definitely walked past a "cave," and I decided we had to climb the wall!

Ready for a rock wall! It's not supposed to be one... but we definitely walked past a "cave," and I decided we had to climb the wall!

Even cooler, there is a small cave inside the big cave that leads out to a waterfall! You're definitely not supposed to get up in it and climb through, but we had to do it. Callie and me in our Amazon photoshoot... or would that be Saturn perhaps? I could see Saturn being filled with beautiful waterfalls - it IS the best planet, after all... haha

Even cooler, there is a small cave inside the big cave that leads out to a waterfall! You're definitely not supposed to get up in it and climb through, but we had to do it. Callie and me in our Amazon photoshoot... or would that be Saturn perhaps? I could see Saturn being filled with beautiful waterfalls - it IS the best planet, after all... haha

A water ride! It's similar to the log ride at Six Flags, but with UFOs like this. This was THE BEST ride! It seems silly and simple and cheesy and then suddenly, right when your guard is down, you're plunged into complete darkness. And then drop. It's very fun. We bought the picture of the three of us coming down the biggest drop at the end. It's priceless.

A water ride! It's similar to the log ride at Six Flags, but with UFOs like this. This was THE BEST ride! It seems silly and simple and cheesy and then suddenly, right when your guard is down, you're plunged into complete darkness. And then drop. It's very fun. We bought the picture of the three of us coming down the biggest drop at the end. It's priceless.

after leaving the water ride, we headed to the water park. On the way, we saw a stringray petting area. Wait... whaa? Exactly what we thought :) They're really soft; it's kind of creepy. Perhaps they're alien stingrays?!

after leaving the water ride, we headed to the water park. On the way, we saw a stringray petting area. Wait... whaa? Exactly what we thought 🙂 They're really soft; it's kind of creepy. Perhaps they're alien stingrays?!

The three of us in the least lazy lasy river I have ever been in! The current was strong. The water was refreshing!

The three of us in the least lazy lasy river I have ever been in! The current was strong. The water was refreshing!

There are dragons in space!! THAT'S where they've been hiding!! This ride was in the kiddie water park section so obviously we had to do it! And it was a blast!

There are dragons in space!! THAT'S where they've been hiding!! This ride was in the kiddie water park section so obviously we had to do it! And it was a blast!

Now back to the real spacepeditions! This is Zaturn - a ride so crazy I have never seen it in the States. It shoots you out like a bullet (take off!) and you do a veritical, spinning drop. It was our favorite ride! (Further proof that Saturn is the best planet!

Now back to the real spacepeditions! This is Zaturn - a ride so crazy I have never seen it in the States. It shoots you out like a bullet (take off!) and you do a veritical, spinning drop. It was our favorite ride! (Further proof that Saturn is the best planet!

we've seen waterfalls and the world from above... now it's time for the jungle!

we've seen waterfalls and the world from above... now it's time for the jungle!

We're not sure if this is a kid's playground out somewhere in the solar system... or a gentlemen's club.... Either way, Tiffany rocked it!

We're not sure if this is a kid's playground out somewhere in the solar system... or a gentlemen's club.... Either way, Tiffany rocked it!

We found PLUTO!!!!! An ice skating rink in the middle of an amusement park - that really is otherworldly!

We found PLUTO!!!!! An ice skating rink in the middle of an amusement park - that really is otherworldly!

maybe we're the aliens..... *twilight music* haha we Stepped foot onto Mars before leaving!

maybe we're the aliens..... *twilight music* haha we stepped foot on Mars before leaving!

Coming back to earth... what a bummer!

Coming back to earth... what a bummer!

We had a great, silly, fun time at Space World. Hope you enjoyed it as much as we did!!

Next Post: Oshima Island English Camp

***I had what I thought was an ingenious plan before I came: My predecessor would keep her internet turned on… and I would pay for the month of August under her name when I got here. During August, we would switch the name over to me, and voila! I would never have to go without internet. My plan backfired, though, and they won’t switch the names over. I have to send in my modem and wait for another one (so silly, right?!) so I will be without internet for 7-10 days… ouch! I will post when I can, and I have a hope I will be able to mooch wireless occasionally! If not, feminist-san will be back up and running in a week!

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~ by C on August 30, 2009.

One Response to “To Infinity and Beyond! Unidentified Foreigners at Space World”

  1. found your site by looking for photos of roller coasters. check me out on facebook. https://www.facebook.com/jon.katz.921

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