"My four year elder brother held my hand in horror and was screaming, Oh my God, Oh my God just before the Steel Dragon dropped us down from the height of 307 feet (93.5 meters)"
Nagashima Spa Land, Takeshima Island and Yaotomi Shrine
Nagashima Spa Land, Bring out the Child within you
Nagashima Spa Land is the largest Amusement Park in Japan located 35 km from Nagoya. Conveniently connected with the bus service from the 'Meitetsu Bus Center' outside Nagoya Station.
Advice: Don't overfill your stomach before going to Nagashima Spa Land as the rides are very choppy and may lead to bowel discomfort. Eat, but not too much.
White Cyclone, Steel Dragon, Acrobat, Looping Star, Ultra Twister; these are a few slides that will scare the hell out of you and fill you with excitement at the same time.
You will need one full day to enjoy and take all the rides. If you want to include the water park also, set aside a minimum of two days from your Japan Trip.
Note: Go on weekdays and definitely not during Golden Week Holidays or weekend, otherwise be prepared to wait in long queues. Also, remove all overhanging accessories from your body since the rides are designed to fly you off.
We purchased tickets after 3 PM and were offered a good discount on the tickets for that day, but we didn't take all the rides then, only the famous ones.
The best part of our day came late in the evening at 8PM when the fireworks started. You would not have seen anything like this firework before. Not even a single soul moved in Nagashima Spa Land for good 30 minutes and I couldn't blink my eyes even, looking at the amazement in the sky.
Note: ATMs are open until 10 PM only all across Japan. If you need to take out cash from the ATM, better plan in advance and always keep Japanese Yen handy with you.
The whole sky lit up for the entire duration of the firework. It was a non-stop firework, beautiful, awe-inspiring, and bright all over.
Note: Two most famous Amusement Parks in Japan are 'Tokyo Disneyland' and 'Universal Studios, Osaka'. I have heard, they both are a little expensive and crowded compared to Nagashima Spa Land.
We also met a few Local University Students who had already visited Varanasi before. We learned so much from them about Japanese studies and facilities provided at the elementary and professional level.
All in all, it will be a complete "paisa-vasool" day for anyone willing to go to Nagashima Spa Land.
Gamagori, Takeshima Island, Yaotomi Shrine
Takeshima Island is a hidden gem with a calm atmosphere, only 20 minutes walk from the Gamagori Station.
How to reach Takeshima Island: Take MEIJO LINE from 'Kamimaezu Station', ride for two stations and get off at 'Kanayama Station'. Ride time 5 minutes approx.
From 'Kanayama Station' take TOKAIDO LINE going towards Toyohashi and get off at 'Gamagori Station'. Ride time 45 minutes approx.
Not only the Island that you can visit but three or four Shrines also on Takeshima Island.
Takeshima Island is accessed by walking over a beautiful long bridge. The Island is a great place to take photos as we did. The whole of Island is having a serene eye-catching feel with greenery all around.
You have to climb a fleet of stairs to reach the 'Yaotomi Shrine' which I'd find very calm and comforting. You enjoy the rocky coast and harbor during the day. By evening, sunset as pretty as a picture should not be missed.
Your day will be a great album of Wooden Bridge, Takeshima Island, and Yaotomi Shrine with not many tourists flooding the place to take selfies.
Mount Gozaisho, A popular Skiing Resort
I was again invited to join a Japanese family for lunch, this time at a popular skiing resort, Mount Gozaisho. The Japanese family met me and my brother at 'Nagoya Station' and we all travelled together to the base of Mount Gozaisho.
How to reach Mount Gozaisho: Take a train from 'Tsurumai Station' and get off after two stations at 'Nagoya'.
Take the exit and walk to the 'Meitetsu Bus Center'. Board the bus going to 'Gozaisho Ropeway/Yunoyama Onsen'.
I love Japanese Curry with fried chicken and potato chips
During Summer Mount Gozaisho is a garden party place where families come to spend the weekend along with their kids and during winters it turns into a crowded skiing resort.
Even if you have never done skiing before and is an amateur, the skiing team will help you with the basics and you can get on to your feet ready to go in an hour. Try not to fall as the pain remains for a few days. You can rent all the skiing gear from the counter and everyone is helpful and kind.
Advice: It becomes difficult to walk on snow after wearing the skiing gear. Give time and practice well enough before you hit the slope.
My Brother in Japan giving a presentation on India, it's Customs and Traditions
You can spend a day or even stay overnight. The area has many hotels, cafes, and restaurants.
From the base, depending upon your liking, you can decide to hike, cycle or take a cablecar to reach the top of Mount Gozaisho. We took cablecar as I wanted to experience it once. During winters you may see frozen forests with a majestic view all around.
You can eat your lunch, click a few photos, walk for a while and explore Mount Gozaisho before heading back to the base sitting on a slow-moving open chair cart over-looking the skiing slope.