Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Yomiuri Land Jewellumination

It's getting to be that time of the year when every town you take an evening stroll through is lit up in some marvelous way or another!  Winter Illuminations are pretty big time around here, with many places boasting about the number of lights they have on display.  Since Kris had off Monday and Tuesday, we decided to head out and take in our first show of lights.... Yomiuri Land's Jewellumination!

Now, this entry could have been called something other than, "What happens to the Havens family when the train they want is not running, or is late, or is broken, or perhaps it just got lost, maybe even, it fell off the track because too many men in black business suits backed their way onto the train and it just fell over".  But, I thought that was just too long of a title, so Jewellumination it is.  Now, why, do you ask, did I want to give this blog that horrendous title?  Let me tell you, my friends, gather 'round, Terra has a story to tell, heeeerrreee we goooo:  

Everything was fine from Yokosuka to Yokohama.  We got on the train at around 1600 and made it to Yokohama around 1645.  We found our next platform pretty easy, but noticed no one was standing there waiting for the train to arrive in the next minute.  Either no one goes this way or something is wrong.  We glance up at the information sign for this track and notice flashing red words, in kanji.  Great.  Wonder what that says?  So, we decide to hop on the track right next door, since it's going in the same had the same city listed as the destination for the train we wanted, what the heck, let's just try it.  If it's not the one we want, we'll get off at the next stop (we said this phrase way too many times on this'll see).  So, we ride and ride and ride and end up at Ofuna...wrong direction!  Ugh!  We check our train apps and figure out the correct way to go...every option given on our apps take the track that is having issues.  So, instead of going to the station that is right outside the entrance to Yomiuri land, we decide to go into the other station and just walk to the park, it probably isn't that far.  

We finally get on the track that is going in the right direction.  We get to Shin-Yurigaoka Station and I say to Kris, "I can't remember if this is the track that the website says, 'Make sure you're on the local track because the express goes past this station.'"  We think we've been stopping at every.single.station along the way, so we stay on the train (next time we will step off and look).  So, the train starts down the station and then the next is our stop....the train keeps going.  Geez.  "Well, we'll just get off at the next stop and take the local back."  (see, there it was again).  Turns out, this express train goes on and on and on between stops.  I'm pretty sure we almost made it to Yoyogi Park...way in the wrong direction.  Finally, we stop at a station, get on the local going the other way, and make it to our destination.  What should have been a 90 minute trip took us over two hours.  And, now it's dinner time so we are all starving.  (Un)lucky for us, there is a McDonald's right outside the train station.  After a few chicken nuggets and fries, at 1845, we were off for our "little" walk to the park.  Our kids did great...there was a little complaining, but the littlest legs in our group, also the child who never wants to lose, did the best he could to always be first, so we made the two mile walk along 124 in record time!
Finally, Yomiuri Land!!!
By the time we got there we only had about an hour and a half to enjoy the park, instead of the three hours we thought we'd have.  So, we decided not to buy the park pass that includes rides, we just bought the admission tickets so we could look at the lights.  (this is why Boy is frowning in every single picture...lights?  Just lights?  Who goes to an amusement park just to look at lights?)

We paid the 1,000 Yen for Kris and I, kids were free, and entered the park!

A view from the top...this isn't even the whole park!

Every tree had some sort of light on it.  There were sections of color...a purple section, and a green, and a blue.  

Here's the pond that leads over to the water rides.

Once we walked to the end of the pond, made a right and headed up a few stairs we found where the water show would be held.  We decided to come back for the later show and do a little more exploring until then.  Glumly, Garytt followed along, past the roller coaster, past the flume ride, past the upside down shuttle ride, even past the swings!  His frown grew deeper and deeper.  

Around the corner from the water show area, we found a hill with pretty lights.  As we walked around and snapped pictures in the lights music started playing.  We got a little music show!  I couldn't get in a good spot to shoot any video, but, the lights blinked along with the music and made waves around the circle of grass.  The kids ran around laughing...yes, even gloomy ole Boy ran with glee.

After this show, we walked back around the corner and found another music show.  The Arc de Triomphe and the French flag in lights!

A look back toward the entrance

Finally, it was time for the big light show.  So, off we went!  Three songs of lights and music.

Right about now an announcement was made that we assumed said, "Hey, the park is closing soon so start moving your derriere's to the front gate!"

Now, the dread settles in as we realize we have to figure out how to get home.  We easily decide that it would probably be much better to find the gondola and ride that to the Keio station, even not knowing exactly how far we would have to walk  from the end of the gondola to the station, it had to be better than the 2 mile walk we took to get here!  We walked all around the entrance to the park looking for where we get on this thing.  Turns out, it's outside the gate, duh!  So, we go to the ticket machine, put in our 1200 Yen for tickets, and hop in line.  From the gondola we were able to see Tokyo Tower and Skytree.  It was a beautiful night!

The trip home wasn't as dramatic as the ride to Yomiuri Land.  We rode all the way in to Yokohama and then back to Yokosuka Chuo.  Easy peasy (aside from the short stint we did on a local train by accident, but easily remedied at the next station.)

A little information on the place:  a plain admission ticket was 1,000 Y for adults, kids under high school were free.  If you get there earlier you can pay about 3,000 Y for adults (maybe 1500 for kids) and I think you get to ride ten rides.  If you get there with plenty of time you can pay around 4,000 Y for adults (2,000 for children) and ride 28 rides and take in a sea lion show.

The park is open from 1000 to 2030.  There are two train stations nearby:  Keio Yomiuriland Station and Yomiuriland Mae Station.  You definitely want the Keio station since the gondola (300 yen each) is right outside the station exit and it takes you directly to the park entrance.  There is a bus that takes you from the Yomiuriland Mae station to the park, but we didn't get there in time to catch it so I'm not sure on the cost.  If you drive, there is a parking lot that costs about 1,000 for the whole day.