Nagashima Spa Land: Love rollercoaster(s)

I like my rides hardcore – as intense and as crazy as they could be. You know, the sweaty palms + tangled hair and insides + screamfest kind of stuff. Those that leave your mouth dry as you push away scenes from Final Destination popping in your head every other second. Your toes curl and so does your face, like literally. It can get quite agonizing really, and yet even after all that, when it’s over, it’s always punctuated by a [Insert your favorite expletive here], let’s do it one more time!”

Hellz yeah, I LOVE ROLLER COASTERS!

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Yeah, me too… Me too…

I was lucky enough that no one needed any convincing why Universal Studios Japan wasn’t going to be part of our itinerary. Pretty much content being a muggle, and so were my cousins, while the elders did not really have a voice in planning the itinerary (evil laugh). Just kidding. But until Nimbus 2000 becomes a legit badass flying broomstick, quality roller coasters get top priority. And in Japan – the land of Shinkansen, Gundam, and harakiri, thrill rides are top-notch.

It was a toss between Fuji-Q Highland and Nagashima Spa Land, where half the rides in this list of 10 unmissable roller coasters in Japan are found. Ended up choosing the latter because it was more logistically viable for us.

Nagashima, a not-so zen spa land

Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 presetNagashima Spa Land is in Mie Prefecture, Kansai – roughly an hour bus ride from Nagoya Station, or 2.5 hours from Osaka-Namba Station via Kintetsu limited express trains (way shorter trip if you take the bullet train).

TIP: Based in Osaka/Kyoto and planning to do a day trip? Get a Kintetsu Rail Pass (or Kintetsu Rail Pass wide), a 5-day unlimited pass best for those traveling around the Kansai region. Details here.

This amusement park is huge! Home to a total of 18 thrill rides and 30+ heart-friendly ones. Of these, here are my top 3:

#3 Free Fall

To me, drop rides merit the same respect as roller coasters. They are no-fuss scarers intent on literally running away with your heart. Almost had mine stolen, good thing it got stuck in my throat.

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Video courtesy of Themeparkreview.com

#2 Steel Dragon 2000

Record holder for the longest steel roller coaster in the world. The ride lasts about four minutes, and in that time you are also able to complete an aerial tour of the entire park – amidst multiple drops, max speed of 95 mph (153 km/h), some crazy turns, and a very minimalist lap bar restraint (see photo below).

Feel free to raise your arms and pretend like you’re flying.

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Video courtesy of Themeparkreview.com

#1 White Cyclone

An all-white wooden coaster with a vintage vibe, intricately laid out like a bird’s nest. Possibly the prettiest in the world, but don’t let its exquisite looks fool you. Riding this thing feels like tagging along with a psycho whose screws are just one stress point shy of completely coming off.

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The ride was something like this… Incredibly bumpy, bumpy, all the way!

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Video courtesy of Themeparkreview.com

Other Attractions:

The rides alone are more than enough to satisfy a day’s worth of frolicking. But wait, there’s more! The amusement park is part of a much larger complex. Right next door are: Mitsui Outlet Park (an outlet mall with some 240 stores carrying well-known brands for some serious tax-free shopping); Yuami No Shima (one of Japan’s largest natural outdoor baths); and Nabano No Sato (a large flower park that’s perennially pretty, but particularly glorious during the winter illumination season).

Osaka-bound and with large luggages in tow, we ran out of time and didn’t get to visit Nabano No Sato. Sayang, I know. But then again, it was already a crazy day of thrill rides and shopping. We also managed to get ourselves into a train mishap (woohoo!) – understandably our family’s favorite conversation topic these past few weeks.

By the way, this was just Day 1 of my 18-day Japan trip last November. I guess we did a great job at starting things off on a high note, didn’t we?

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Space Shot

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Successfully “convinced” our moms to YOLO.

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Aren’t these kids supposed to be in school?

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Sending out an SOS?

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Star Flyer makes one a lazy dizzy.

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Corkscrew a.k.a that same type of roller coaster in Final Destination.

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Nabano No Sato’s Winter Illumination. Photo courtesy of Tokyotimes.com.

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Travel notes:

Admission price: 4100 Yen (~Php 1,640) inclusive of unlimited rides
Park hours: Depends on the season, click here for details.
Access: Detailed information found here.

Go on a weekday to avoid the crowd.

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7 responses to “Nagashima Spa Land: Love rollercoaster(s)

  1. Whoa! Just looking at your photos is making me have motion sickness. It looks a ton of fun though, but I am scared to death of heights so I’ll just vicariously enjoy through your photos!

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