Disney Sea and Fuji Farce
Just a short one today. The other day we made a trip to the Disney Sea in Tokyo. Whereas the other Disney Land – conveniently located right next door – is a direct replica of one of the ones in America, Disney Sea offers (as far as I know) something unique to Japan. The main benefit to this park – at least when you ask pretty much anyone in Japan – is that you are allowed to drink alcohol. I don’t think I am quite at the stage where this will influence my decision to any real extent. When it gets to that point, I’ll probably start attending some AA sessions.
The park itself doesn’t have an overwhelming amount of rides but it succeeds totally in creating an environment that is very convincing in its illusion. From the Steam Punk style world of nautical adventure to the quaint little Venice, each area charms with its finer details and overarching Mise-en-scène.
As we visited the park on a weekday, the queues for rides were not so terrible, although one disappointing aspect was the seemingly short length of each ride (most were over in a couple of minutes with the exception of the Tower of Terror). A highlight, however, was the Indiana Jones ride which, while nausea inducing, was actually a lot of fun and represented the amount of work that seems to have gone into its construction.
So the one thing that is on every foreigners list when they come to Japan for any substantial period of time is to attempt Mount Fuji. Although not something that we would have been devastated to miss, when the opportunity presented itself for us to go we accepted with a certain amount of enthusiasm. When talk began to reach my ears of the regimented nature of our procedures and schedule however, the idea seemed a lot lot less like fun and more of a chore.
In the end it was the weather that denied us our experience/relieved us of our obligation. Having woken up at 3.30am and left the house masquerading as a hotel by 4am, the heavens well and truly opened, leaving our attempt in doubt. It was our guide who made the final call. Somewhat of a veteran of the mountain, he judged the weather to be too dangerous. His motivations were drawn into question, however, when he opened a huge bottle of spirits before the rain had even had a chance to let up. And so it was that we spent the very early hours of the morning drinking hard alcohol in the restaurant that the guide owned. He seemed a nice enough guy, although my wife found him somewhat lecherous.
By the time we arrived home late in the evening, I felt like I had been clubbed on the head. My wife, having had to endure the consistent compliments of the (by then very drunk) owner, probably felt a lot worse. She, at least, was given one of the owner’s own paintings as a gift. I only got a headache and a seriously messed up sleeping pattern.