February 15, 2004 – Train Simulator

Mt. Fuji from Izu Mito Sea Paradise

Mt. Fuji from Izu Mito Sea Paradise

Today I went to Numazu and hung out with The Penpal and Williams. I really love the change in scenery when leaving the greater Tokyo area and getting into Shizuoka. Mt. Fuji was snow covered and looked spectacular.

The first stop of the day was Izu Mito Sea Paradise, a marine park just south of Numazu along the coast. Sea Paradise has tanks with a great selection of fish and other underwater life. They also have a dolphin show, which is much like a dolphin show just about anywhere else in the world.

After Sea Paradise, we went to a beach along the coastline where people were practicing various water sports. For the first time ever I saw someone kiteboarding. Imagine someone on a small surfboard holding on to two handles connected to a large parachute like kite. Unfortunately for the man, he wiped out and his kite started blowing away. None of the onlookers at the beach stopped to help.

Following the beach, we went 10 pin bowling and then spent some time in a game center. I specifically mention that the bowling was 10 pin because bowling in Canada is typically 5 pin. I prefer 10 pin, except for the time it takes to find a ball the right weight with proper holes.

In the game centre I played a Dance Dance Revolution clone (badly) and tried a very strange train simulator game. You can’t drive off the tracks, but you lose points for being late to the next station or for giving the passengers a rough ride. I was very fast but I actually had a passenger fall out when I opened the doors at top speed.

It’s always good to get away from the Greater Tokyo area for a while, and I had a fun day with The Penpal and Williams. Fortunately the train driver on the way home was much better than I had been on the train simulator.

(partial rewrite of original post for detail)

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