Thursday, November 30, 2017

Holiday at an Empty Amusement Park

枚方公園の新年日

Hirakata Park is an amusement park between Osaka and Kyoto on the Keihan line, at Hirakata Koen Mae station.

The entry fee to the park is only 1400 yen but the rides cost extra; a few hundred yen each or you can buy the All Access Pass for 3000 yen which allows you to ride as much as you want. There are discounted prices for elementary school students.

Hirakata Park was also featured earlier this year for their interesting performance skits:

The top tier of amusement parks, such as Universal Studios and Disney, draw most of the attention. But parks other parks, such as the one at Hirakata, offer a different kind of experience while being less crowded.

Hirakata Park was open for New Year's Day on 2017 and provided a special experience as it was amazingly devoid of costumers. It was surreal being in an operational amusement park where there was no waiting for rides, no bustling crowds but only quiet pathways lined with festive lights.
Hirakata Park prepared a field of LED tulips.
You can see the red lights of a passing roller coaster.
The ferris wheel can be seen in the background.
You can walk pathways underneath the roller coasters.
The supporting structures of the roller coaster.
A visitor casts a silhouette in the tulip field.
An interesting pedal powered roller coaster; you have to be ready to burn some calories to make it around this low track but you can bring one friend to help you.
Roller coasters and a log ride crowd into the same spaces.
A map of the park highlighting the seasonal illuminations.
Many rides like this with no lines; the operator will start the ride for the first person to show up.
Nets of LED lights cover these bushes.
New Years is about spending time with you family in Japan.
This family has gone to the park rather than the traditional family, temple and shrines functions but I am sure it will be a special memory for the impressionable youngsters.
A decorative treehouse in the background which fits with the park's fantasy theme of elves, goblins and wizards.
This bridge passes over a canal used for a tube boat ride.
Colored lights illuminate the structure of the roller coaster.
A swing ride for the personal amusement of a single family at this moment.
Beautiful pathways of light.
I light how the reflective concrete creates an illuminated backdrop which draws the eye to the dark figures of the coupe sitting at the picnic table.
A tunnel of lights. The directional LEDs are arranged so that you see a different color depending on which direction you are facing at the time.
The zodiac creature of 2017 in Japan; the rooster.
A gallery at the park exhibited materials from the game series "Dragon Quest."
The slimes are a long running mainstay of the Dragon Quest series.
Another recurring monster from the Dragon Quest series; the golem.
The "DiskO" ride in operation with only one customer on board.
A section of the park with a crystal theme that has orchestrated arrays of light and subdued music.
A long trail with pop-music whihc is paired with arrays of LED light-bars which create a beautiful light-scape.
This long trail is where people would line up to wait for the park's largest roller coaster.
Briskly walking through such a crowd maze is a novel experience.
Empty gardens bathed in light.
The park's ogre character reminds me of the creatures from the movie "Ernest: Scared Stupid"
This monster reminds me of the Summoned Skull from Yu-Gi-Oh.
The Christmas tree near the entrance.
The park had a lonely feel to it.
Near the large Ferris wheel that is a trademark of the park.
An amphitheater but no performers.
If all the visitors inside the park suddenly congregated here the seat would not have been 25% full.
LED lights lining the canal of the log ride.
Roller coasters, a log ride and a tower drop in the background.

References
http://www.hirakatapark.co.jp/en/
https://kansaiculture.blogspot.jp/2017/05/professional-bullies-and-hirakata-park.html

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