THEME PARKS IN JAPAN
Japan has some very famous theme parks with Tokyo Disneyland, Tokyo Disney Sea, Universal Studios Japan and Nagashima Spa Land featuring in the top 25 theme parks worldwide in a 2012 study by the Themed Entertainment Association. The first Disney park built outside of the United States, Tokyo Disneyland, is the most-visited theme park in Japan followed closely by Tokyo Disney Sea. Osaka’s Universal Studios Japan is the third most-visited theme park in Japan and saw a 14% jump in attendance last year. Numbers are expected to grow even more with the opening of a new Wizarding World of Harry Potter attraction there next year.
Aside from these well-known theme parks there are many other exciting ones to discover in Japan, some with record-breaking thrill rides and others with quirky attractions. There are a few in Tokyo including Hanayashiki, Japan’s oldest theme park which is celebrating its 160th anniversary this year. It’s a small but charming park and home to Japan’s oldest rollercoaster. Tokyo Dome City Attractions is a popular park located in the Tokyo Dome City complex with attractions such as the 26-storey tall Thunder Dolphin rollercoaster which passes through the hub-less Big O Ferris Wheel and a building, and a tower that drops riders 80 metres. Also in Tokyo is Sanrio Puroland, a must-visit park for Hello Kitty fans and small children.
Nagashima Spa Land just outside Nagoya is a major theme park featuring over forty rides and a water park, and is often referred to as the best theme park for roller coaster fans in western Japan. Another very popular park loved by thrill-seekers is Fuji-Q Highland in Yamanashi prefecture. The park is located in the Fuji five lakes region at the foot of Mount Fuji and is known for present and past record-breaking roller coasters including Takabisha, the world’s steepest roller coaster with a 121 degree incline. Takabisha was the 14th Guinness World Record set by Fuji-Q Highland and gives riders a feeling of weightlessness with seven major twists and a 43 metre peak. Another favourite ride is Eejanaika, a 4-dimensional roller coaster with 360 degree rotating seats that reaches speeds of 126km/h and holds the record for the most inversions on a roller coaster at 14, but for those after something a little faster, the Dodonpa roller coaster reaches 172km/h. Fuji-Q is also home to a terrifying haunted house based on an abandoned hospital with a 900 metre long course and Evangelion World for anime fans.
At 107 metres high, Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise Pleasure Land is home to the highest free fall vertical drop attraction in Japan, Blue Fall. The surprise of not knowing if you’ll get a straight drop all at once or a feint drop that drops in two stages is part of the fun and as a bonus, there are great views of the sea. Also in Yokohama is Cosmo Land which boasts the Vanish roller coaster that dives into an underwater tunnel, making for an exciting ride.
Offering thrills with an educational twist is Space World in Fukuoka prefecture, a theme park dedicated to space and science fiction. It features roller coasters including the Black Hole Scramble which propels you in complete darkness, water rapids and a space camp with a special training experience using the same equipment used by NASA astronauts.
Theme park attendance rates are rising globally and Japan showed impressive jumps in attendance numbers last year. There are many Japanese theme parks to explore, each with their own appeal. There’s something for everyone whether you’re a family looking for a fun day out or an adrenaline junkie looking for a fix!
Japanese Film Festival 2013
Thank you to all those who attended the 17th Japanese Film Festival in Perth! The festival was held from October 23-27 at Hoyts Carousel and the State Library Theatre. This year marks Perth’s first time joining the full national program. Thirteen of the latest feature films and five classics were screened.
The opening night film, director Yuya Ishii’s The Great Passage is a tale of a shy, unsuccessful salesman who finds his life’s calling as part of a dictionary editorial team. Majime spends fifteen years writing and compiling a modern dictionary, working hard to honour his predecessor, and falls in love with his landlord’s granddaughter along the way. The film explores themes of love, patience, growth and dedication, and was well-received at the opening.
We look forward to an even better Japanese Film Festival next year!
Thirty-First Australia-Japan Relations Essay Contest 2013
Open to Australian school students in years 7-12, the contest aims to encourage Australian students to develop a better understanding of Japan and the issues facing our bilateral relationship. Congratulations to Ms Kyoko Walsh and the students of Rossmoyne Senior High School for achieving ‘School of the Year’ in the Thirty-First Australia-Japan Relations Essay Contest! The following students from WA received a Highly Commended mention:
Junior A Division - Mr Alexander David Cornish and Ms Bree Webley-Hurrell from Australind SHS, and Mr Elijah Huege de Serville from Kalamunda SHS.
Junior B Division - Ms Chethani Nanayakkara from Rossmoyne SHS and Mr Eric Wojcik from St Norbet College.
Senior Division - Ms Loan Dang from Morley SHS.
World of Food Festival
The World of Food Festival is a one-day event promoting a multicultural Western Australia at the Government House Gardens on Sunday 17 November. The event is being organised by the Consular Corps of Western Australia Inc. as part of the 150th Open Day Anniversary of Government House. The Consulate-General of Japan in Perth, Hyogo Prefectural Government Cultural Centre and JETAA WA are participating from 11:00am. Japanese stir-fried noodles, sushi rolls, sweet snacks and shaved ice will be served. Entry to this family-friendly event is free. See here for more information.
Applications for the 2014 Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme close on Friday, November 29. Now in its 27th year, the JET Programme is aimed at promoting grass-roots international exchange between Japan and other nations and welcomed 4372 participants from 40 countries in 2013.
No matter where you go in Japan today, you will find JET participants developing strong relationships with their local communities through foreign language education and international exchange activities. After completing their time on the Programme, many former JET participants use their experiences in Japan to continue enhancing relations between Japan and their home countries.
For more information on the JET Programme, please click here.
The JET Alumni Association (JETAA WA) is hosting its annual Hanami Picnic at Hyde Park on Sunday 24 November. See here for more details.
Get up close with Seibu Lions baseball stars!
The Alcohol.Think Again Perth Heat of the Australian Baseball League would like to offer you a chance to meet-and-greet with stars of Nippon Professional Baseball on Sunday 24 November at the Perth Heat v Melbourne Aces game.
For only $25 for adults and $15 for kids, you'll receive:
- A selection of antipasto platters and (1) soft drink voucher per ticket
- Exclusive access to the best seats in the house: the On-Field Lounge located right next to the away dugout
- Post-game field access where you can received autographs and run the bases
Rotary International Australia-Japan Youth Cultural Exchange 2014
Be part of the Rotary International Australia-Japan Youth Cultural Exchange 2014! An annual event between Districts 9455 of WA and 2570 of Saitama, the program gives 10 young Australians the chance to experience the wonderful sights, home life and history of Japan. See here for more details.
PHRASE OF THE MONTH
This month’s phrase is betsu bara, which can be translated as ‘separate stomach.’ The expression refers to an ‘extra’ belly just for sweets. It is used in the context of when someone has eaten till they’re full but still has room for their favourite dessert afterwards.
Listen Japan Now
Catch the Konnichiwa Japanese and English radio program on Thursday evenings from 7-8pm on 107.3 FM.
Web Japan provides Japanophiles with a world of engrossing information on Japan in all fields, from traditional culture to the latest fashions. http://web-japan.org.
Also available on Web Japan is a downloadable version of the popular niponica magazine about Japanese culture. Current issue: niponica No. 10: Quality with a Japanese Flair.
CULTURAL AND LANGUAGE CLASSES
会WA (kaiWA) is a casual get-together of Japanese and Australians held every second Thursday. Hosted and organised by the JET Programme Alumni Association of WA (JETAA WA), kaiWA is a great chance to practice your Japanese, make Japanese friends and learn more about teaching English in Japan on the JET Programme.
kaiWA is held at 43 Below on the corner of Hay Street and Barrack Street in Perth. It starts at 5:30pm and runs until about 8:30-9pm, so don’t worry if you can’t be there at the starting time.
For more information on the JET Programme Alumni Association of WA, please check their website above and for more information on the JET Programme please check the following site.
Chatterbox is another casual get-together of Australians and Japanese, held on Saturday afternoons at the Hyogo Prefectural Government Cultural Centre from 2-4pm. For more details please call the Centre on 9385 9002 or visit their website.
AJS Tomodachi Lunch
On the first Thursday of every month, the Australia-Japan Society of WA holds a Tomodachi Lunch. The lunch is held at 12:00pm at Jun Restaurant, 568 Hay Street, Perth. See here for more details.
Bonsai Society of WA and Bonsai Workshop Inc.
Meetings of the Bonsai Society of WA are held on the last Monday of each month and include demonstrations, lectures, films, advice and a display of members’ tree. The Bonsai Society also holds regular workshops and other events. For more information please click the above link.
Meetings of the Bonsai Workshop Inc. are held on the last Saturday of each month. Members can bring their trees to work on, receive advice and watch others at work. For more information please click on the above link.
Website of the Consulate-General of Japan in Perth
Monday to Friday
General Enquiries: 9am to 1pm, 2pm to 5pm
Consul and Visa Enquiries: 9am to 12:30pm, 2pm to 4pm
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