Theme parks with a difference
Greetings globetrotters and welcome back for another ground-breaking weekly rendezvous. Escaping to another world is one of the basic pleasures of the globetrotting kind. This week we take a closer look at some ideal places for such enjoyment, each comlpete with their own local twist.
Edo is the orignial name given to Tokyo when it first became the Japanese capital. Brought there from Kyoto in 1603 Edo was the capital of the Tokugawa family- the first Shogun (military government) to overthrow the imperial family in Western Japan. At Edo Wonderland you can try your hand at Shuriken (Ninja throwing stars) or dress in period costume as anything from a high ranking-courtesan to a merchant or ‘town maiden’. There are a large number of cultural theatre displays to enjoy that compliment the moving theatre that will surround you. For those travelling with children, prepare ahead and book them into a training session in the arts of Edo period warriors then watch them impress the crowds with their newfound skills. For further details visit http://www.edowonderland.net/html/en/index.html
Sanryo-Hello Kitty land
On the flipside, there is little doubt that hello Kitty is the quintessential hallmark of modern Japan. For a day in the nerd kingdom that will blow your mind, visit the home of kitty and the gang as an easy day trip from Tokyo city or Yokohama. The personal highlight of this globetrotter’s visit was a boat ride that Invited me to none other than Kitty’s birthday party!!!! Get your invitation at http://www.puroland.co.jp/english/
Nothing symbolises Ireland in her comfort zone more than a potato so it seems only fitting that there is now a theme park dedicated to the noble spud. Tayto is the Irish national potato chip/crisp of choice, represented by the immortal ‘mr Tayto’ who can be found anywhere from the packets themselves to a Dublin bus or roaming the streets in major Irish cities. Ever industrious, Mr Tayto hosts a fabulous day out featuring the following:
- Tayto factory tour- witness the magic in action
- Adventure sports- including high ropes courses and climbing walls
- Animal encounters
- Kids playgrounds and
- Themed events such as Halloween and Santa seasons
for your date with the man inside the jacket visit http://www.taytocrisps.ie/park/
Australian Reptile park
For those keen to play crocodile hunter in their own time, the Australian Reptile Park is situated at Gosford, just an easy day trip from Sydney or Newcastle (home of your GTG’s editor). Get up close and personal with our Gondwanan wonders and dignify them with the respect they deserve. Look, listen and learn, but most of all have fun and remember that many Australians live their lives without seeing any of these magnificent beings.
Well it may be a glitch in Australia’s 100 000 years of history but we did have a gold rush (the 1850s is the theme period here) that was significant in the narrative of our modern nation. You may miss some of the political undertones such as the abhorrent treatment of the Chinese community amongst the prospectors but a visit to Sovereign Hill in Ballarat Victoria is a unique and hands-on way to get a taste of years gone by. An added bonus is the opportunity to pan for gold in the river there, explore some different ‘mines’ and clasp your eyes on a dazzling gold nugget of substantial size! Enjoy the day outdoors and happy prospecting. http://www.sovereignhill.com.au/
Further (much further, actually) up the Australian East coast we end this week’s journey at Timbertown. Situated at Wauchope, Timbertown in a nutshell is an outdoorsy re-creation of a colonial village (albeit likely larger than it’s authentic predecessors). With lots to see and do, another great day out and about, visitors may prefer to visit on a cooler day as the temperatures can quite likely reach over 40 degrees at some parts of the year. Remembering there is always more to the story of a nation than can be presented in one experience, maybe check out an Indigenous Australian cultural centre near where you are to get another bit of our history. http://www.timbertown.com.au/
Well I’ll leave you all to your various time periods, catch you all next week as certified ninjas and bullock drivers!