As part of my last week in Japan, my partner and I rented an apartment in Machida, Tokyo. I had poured hours into research, determining all the different things we could do. One thing that came to mind was the Yokohama ferris wheel. It's one of the sights people think of when they think of Japan. (Actually, the main reason I thought about it was due to a windows theme that featured photos of Japan.) Anyway, I looked it up and discovered there was an entire amusement park surrounding the ferris wheel. That makes sense of course, silly me.
So I invited my friend to come to Cosmo World with us, and found the fastest route. Apparently, we were really lucky with the apartment location since the trains only took 40 minutes. Believe me, 40 minutes and under is a fast commute.
Of course, since we had all just gotten up, we wanted to eat first - there were a few restaurants nearby. We ended up eating at a T.G.I.F. for the simple fact that it was open (and it wasn't soup). The food was great, and we had a fantastic view of Cosmo Clock 21.
Then we marched onwards! What shall we find? What shall we do?
We arrived at Sakuragichou, but we could have also gone to Mintaomirai. From there it was a simple task of heading towards the enormous ferris wheel. The walk was really beautiful, since we had to cross over a re-purposed bridge that was fully decked out with perfectly trimmed trees, lights and speakers playing soft jazz. Then (due to horsing around) I tripped over my own feet, ripped my capris, and skinned my knee on the ground.
It was a minor injury. I didn't even notice it.
The closer we got, the more excited I became! I love amusement parks! I really, really do! Any opportunity I have, I take it! I'm not sure what I like most about them. I pretty much like it all, honestly. Although, I've never been crazy about carnival games. They're okay but you know they're a total rip-off.
Cosmo World has 3 different zones, each targeted towards a specific age group, but each area has something for everyone. There's the Kids Carnival Zone (children), Burano Street Zone (adolescents), and the Wonder Amuse Zone (adults). We spent most of our time in the Wonder Amuse Zone, but we also ventured over to the Burano Street Zone. I wanted to go on more rides, including one particular carnival classic. This ride may or may not include intricately decorated show ponies...
This park doesn't have day passes, oddly enough. They only sell "tickets". You can see how much each ride costs and purchase tickets marked with that amount. When you hand the ticket over, they scan it and remove the cost of the ride. Pretty smart.
The very first ride we got on was the Flume Ride: Cliff Drop ~Zekkyo-GP~. At the time, we had no idea what the scoreboard meant. We got on the ride and since I'm a bundle of nerves, I was screaming frequently. The worst part was the final fall. It's an 18m drop of 46 degrees. It doesn't sound that steep, but trust me, it is.
I let out an embarrassingly, piercing scream, and was pretty sure we were going to die. Then we didn't, and the ride ended. My heart was still leaping out of my chest when it was time to climb out of the ride. As we were getting out, an attendant handed us Toy Story towels. We assumed it was to dry up the water, and asked if we keep them - the attendant unenthusiastically told us yes. We walked away from the ride and found that we had set a high score on the ride's scoreboard. We all blinked collectively in mild confusion, trying to determine what gave us the score.
At first we speculated whether it could have been speed somehow. It made us feel a tiny bit insecure thinking that our weight got us top spot. Then, as the day wore on, we kept a consistent eye on the scoreboard. Maybe I wasn't sure why we had won, but I still wanted to be number one. Slowly, another theory struck us - maybe it was measuring our screams! I screamed so hard (my companions did not), and maybe it was enough to be the loudest for the day! In fact, I only confirmed our suspicions after looking it up. "Zekkyo-GP" stands for "Screaming Grand Prix"!
We were off to a really good start! On our very first ride we managed to win a cool souvenir! I felt very lucky!
Our next visit was Real Horror Game "The JUDGE" ~Cursed Flashlight~ (hereafter known as "The Judge"). I've been through a couple haunted houses before, each one is unique and has their own way of frightening you. (Although, I mostly find everything frightening and spend the time screaming.) The Judge is a timed course with a couple of levels. They provide you with a dim flashlight, which you then must use to navigate the course. The haunted house is mostly dark, as it should be, and without the light, you cannot see. How is it timed? Well, eventually the light gets dimmer and completely shuts off. Sound familiar? In fact, the longevity of the flashlight's "batteries" depend upon a steady hand. If you shake the flashlight, the batteries die faster.
I handed the flashlight over to my friend while I gripped my partner's hand. I decided that they should both be ahead of me, in case anything were to happen. Giving my friend the flashlight was the best idea, since she kept it steady while I continually suffered minor cardiac arrests. The course had a few exits, you would leave one area and be confronted with the question to continue. We continued each time, but one level was particularly horrifying. There were bodies hanging from the ceiling. You had no choice but to literally walk through them, since you couldn't duck far enough. I freaked out and pulled back on my partner so hard, that my friend walked away with the flashlight. We stood there in the pitch black, in a narrow corridor filled with bodies...eventually we had to run after her because she couldn't hear us.
Anyway, after that ordeal, we returned the flashlight and found out we qualified for a prize! We earned spooky bracelets with little skulls. Pretty great!
As you can see, my heart could only take so much before I needed a break. We headed over to Cosmo Clock 21 for a relaxing ride around the ferris wheel. Optionally, you can have your photo taken before getting on the ride. I made sure to get one! We hopped inside the car and enjoyed our spacious retreat. There was a small monitor with information about the surrounding landmarks, and Yokohama. Unfortunately we couldn't turn the volume up, but it was interesting all the same.
The view was truly spectacular, and although the heights and movement of the car freaked me out a little, it was still wonderful. It's the tallest ferris wheel I've been on so far! It's 112.5m tall, with a 100m wheel. There are 60 passenger cars (like a clock) and each one carries 8 people (although I don't see how, more like 4 people I would think). One rotation takes about 15 minutes. We took photos, chatted it up, and decided on rides we'd try in the distance.
t From the ferris wheel, I pushed for my next choice - the roller coaster. Both my partner and friend were nervous. I found the whole thing laughable. They had no problem trekking through horror riddled darkness, but go on a ride that goes in circles? Forget about it. I eventually pushed hard enough and we waited patiently in line. The shoulder harness was a bit tight over my chest, but that's a more comforting feeling than having it loose.
The roller coaster is named, "Diving Coaster: Vanish!". At one point, the coaster dives into the water and "vanishes" with a perfectly timed splash. It's a terrific feature! It totally freaks you out since the coaster descends at a near right angle into the water. The ride has a tendency to put you on edge because most of the rail seems to be at an angle, so you're never quite upright. There are fantastic falls and I would definitely call it one of my favourite roller coaster experiences. It's unfortunate that it couldn't be just a little longer.
We all really enjoyed the coaster after all! However, it did result in a sacrifice. We had to try another horror themed ride, "Haunted House: Shin Yuureidou ~Tour of Horror~". This claimed to be an authentic Japanese haunted house. The ride featured cages with seats. That freaked me out right away, does that mean things might try and touch us? We were all excited and expecting great things. The cage rolled through dark, iconic scenes from Japanese legends and myths. They were creepy, sure, but not overly scary. When the ride was over, we were all mildly disappointed. The ride was just okay. They didn't really utilize the cage and the cultural references were too specific to be enjoyed through our western lenses. We imagined that it was a lot more frightening for Japanese people who grew up with these stories.
After my friend's suggestion, I voted to try out the odd attraction. Something titled, "Mirror Adventure ~The World of the Kaleidoscope~". We weren't sure what it was but I thought it looked fun. At the entrance, we were each given a piece of paper with the zodiac. Our job was to find our matching zodiac sign and stamp the paper. All 3 of us entered the maze together and soon found a labyrinth of passages. We decided to split up, and inevitably we would meet up again. The stamps were scattered throughout the maze, so it wasn't easy finding our particular stamp.
It was a lot of fun actually, I've always enjoyed trying the "house of mirrors" at carnivals. I've avoided it for years since they're usually childish but this one actually proved to be difficult. It helped that it was dim. All 3 of us often found ourselves walking into mirrors, the only thing that helped sometimes was looking at the floor. I found the exit first by doing what I do every time with a puzzle, rushing through and magically coming out on top. I just let my gut decide on which way to go.
At the end of the maze, there was an incredible and dazzling mirror room. When we finally exited, we showed our stamped papers and got the chance at a prize by pushing a roulette button. My partner won, and let me pick the prize. It was an adorable little change purse with the likeness of a hamster. That's right, we won a total of 3 different prizes.
We wandered downstairs to find something to drink - we were all fairly thirsty, partially due to alcohol intake earlier. I enjoyed a bubble tea (I love bubble tea). We rested our feet for awhile then walked over to the next zone. A couple of rides caught our eye from the ferris wheel, and our curiosity brought us closer. One ride appeared to be a ferris wheel at times, and then would return to a parallel position next to the ground. Upon closer inspection, the giant wheel was attached to an arm with cars hanging off of it like flagella.
This ride was lovingly called, "Super Planet". One person to a car (or 2 if they're smaller). When everyone had entered a car, a gate slid over the opening. The ride began by spinning very quickly, lifting the cars from a perpendicular position to a parallel one - so there was some unease at being sideways. Then the entire wheel lifted away from the ground, spinning so quickly that the centrifugal force kept people nestled safely in their seats. Eventually we were spinning upside down but sitting right side up! Pretty amazing! It was definitely one of the best rides. There were definitely a couple of G's involved. Below you'll find a video of the ride. For a POV video, click here.
The final ride was named, "Disk 'O'". I'm not sure if it was supposed to be a play on words or what, but the ride did in fact feature a large "disk" with seats facing the outside. The seats were incredibly comfortable, and the ride itself was very unique. It moves along a curved rail while spinning. Sometimes it feels like you're going to fall off the ride altogether since it gives the illusion of moving away from the rail. Very cool!
Once we had our fill of rides, we backtracked to the arcade in the Wonder Amuse Zone and let loose. We played a lot of UFO catchers, but luck was no longer on our side. That was until my friend won a prize! A character figure from a popular children's anime, Yo-Kai Watch. Of course, the only reason I know is due to my experience teaching Japanese children. They LOVE Yo-Kai Watch.
My friend and I tried out an interactive 2 player game - it was like using pogo sticks to race. A LOT of jumping - and I won! After that, my partner and I were compelled to try the arcade version of Mario Kart racing. It was phenomenal. It was so much better than the console version that it made me want to cry. First, it takes your picture and then allows you to customize your picture with ridiculous frames or accessories. Then you pick a character, vote on a race track, and you're on your way to the starting line! I wish I owned a set of these, or AT LEAST had access. Sigh!
There were girls in yukatas (summer kimonos) everywhere! We were curious about it since it seemed a bit out of the ordinary, but didn't pay much attention until it became glaringly obvious as we tried to walk back to the station. It was like swimming against the current. That's when I searched the date on my phone. It was indeed a local festival! The Yokohama Port Festival! We had managed to time it so perfectly that we were on the bridge when the fireworks were supposed to be set off. Unfortunately, we were completely exhausted from being on our feet all day. So we had stopped at a somewhat awkward place with nowhere to sit. Following a group decision, we stuck around for the fireworks. We didn't have the best view but we did get to see some. It was still a very beautiful evening.
Here's the breakdown!
Breakfast/Lunch at T.G.I.F.
Window shopping at nearby mall
The rides cost ¥13,500 for 3 people. A pretty good deal! With food, arcade and trains, the cost rises to about ¥8000 per person. So the total cost for 3 people is around ¥24,000 (~$240). Compared to Disney Sea, the total cost for 3 people was about $600. That's more than double! In my opinion, if you're deciding between Cosmo World and Disney Sea - pick Cosmo World. Cosmo World is infinitely more affordable, there are tonnes of rides which are all easily accessible by every age group, and require either no wait or a very short one. How much you spend is up to you! While it's true that Disney Sea is an immersive experience, waiting in line for hours and wandering a gigantic park until you're so tired you can't stand, is not exactly ideal.
All 2009 2012 2013 2014 2015 Actor Adolescent Advent Adventure Aging Alberta Amusement Park Anger Anime Anniversary Anxiety Art Astronaut Athletes Audio Australia Author Autumn Badminton Bake Bbc Bear Beer Biological Birthday Blind Body Book Brain Busy Calm Canada Career Cartoon Castle Cat Cbc Cell Change Chart China Christmas City Clean Clothing Coffee Comment Competition Concert Conflict Contest Corporation Cosplay Culture Dance Dark Dead Death Deceit Depression Director Disaster Disney Documentary Dog Dream Drink Driving Ds Earth Earthquake Egg Election Emotion Emptiness England English Espresso Essays Exam Excited Exercise Exhibition Eye Failure Family Famous Fashion Fast Fate Father Favourite Feminine Feminist Festival Fiction Films First Fog Food France Free French Friend Fun Funny Future Gallery Game Gender Glasses Government Grammar Haiku Halloween Happiness Hate Head Health Heart Hell Hidden Hike History Holiday Homage Home Honesty Horror Hot Housewife Human Hunt India Indonesia Injury In-law Italy ITTTi Japan Jewellery Job Kanto Key KFC Knowledge Labels Lake Language Laughter Law Learn Legalize Life Liger Liquor List Loss Love Lyrics Magazine Map Marijuana Marriage Masculine Mature Meet Men Metal Metallica Metric Mie Miss Mobile Monday Money Mortality Mother Motivation Motorcycle Mountains Murder Music Nagoya Nature Nerds New Nightmare Novel Obsession Ocean Okanagan Olympics Optometrist Pagan Pandaria Panic Parents Partner Passion Past Peace People Phone Photo Pirate PKC Plane Poetry Politics Prescription President Protest Psychology PTSD Québec Queen Racism Radio Rain Reading Recipe Reincarnation Rejection Relationships Relax Release Religion Remember Rent Resolution Resort Restaurant Review Rhyme Riot Road Robot Rural Saskatchewan Scary School Science Search Service Sex Shadow Vault Short Story Simpsons Sister Skydiving Small Snow Soul South Korea Spaces Spirit Sports Spring Starcraft 2 Star Wars Station Statistics Statues Stay Stereotypes Store Story Storytime Strategy Stress Submission Success Summer Sun Sunday Survey Teach Technology Tesl Theatre Theory Throne Top10 Tour Train Training Trauma Travel Trip Trivia Troll Tunnels Tv Unknown Usa Vacation Valentine Vampire Vending Machine Video Video Games Vision Voice Waiting War Warcraft Weather Wedding Week Wine Winter Women World Wow Writer Writing Yoga Youtube