Trip Report: Galaxy Express 999 at Aqua Stadium

Tetsuro Hoshino, a 12-year-old street urchin, is on a journey to the Andromeda galaxy to get an indestructible mechanized body, so that he can live forever. His trip takes place on Galaxy Express 999, a once-per-year train that travels from Earth. You are about to join him, but first, you must take the shuttle...
 You have to find the place first! I had some pretty good directions so it wasn't too difficult. Head towards the Shinagawa Prince Hotel from Shinagawa Station's west exit. You can follow the signs - you want to generally keep to the right side of the complex in the mall area until you start walking up a hill for a while. Head for Epson Aqua Stadium, and go in the entrance you see here.
You're transported to the sea, and this blue carousel.
You can ride a sea creature if you'd like (500 yen), or head to the right towards the Port of Pirates.
Are you sure you don't want to ride on the belly of an otter? Or saddle up for a sea adventure on a dolphin?
 You could just be as cool as a sea cucumber and take a clam cruise.
No? Alright, head past the swinging pirate ship in Port of Pirates (700 yen to ride) and look deep in the back of the crowded, not-so-large complex.
 Ahh, here we are. You are at Shinagawa Prince Station! Your shuttle to the express leaves soon.
 While you're waiting in the first entrance area, take a look at the props and souvenirs. I'm told some of those are original paintings from the creator of Galaxy Express 999.
 There are costumes to stare at, too.
Ahh, you're on your way! These security officers will brief you in Japanese about your ride, and you're off! But you're intercepted by an evil queen, shenanigans ensue, and finally you're saved and you arrive at the train. It's all in Japanese, but you can get the general idea as you watch the pre-ride film.

It's time to board Galaxy Express! Stow your belongings, have a seat in the coaster and pull down the belt.

This was my first coaster ride in Japan, so it gets some minor sentimental bonus points, but overall the coaster ride is pretty short and not terribly exciting. It's pretty dark on the ride to simulate traveling through space, but it's just not dark enough, so some of the excitement is lost. And at 1000 yen, it's not exactly a cheap thrill, and rerides shouldn't be part of your plan. However, I doubt there's ever really much of a line and it's probably the easiest coaster to ride in Tokyo since it won't close for weather (yay, indoor rides!). There is supposed to be a gift shop for fans of the anime, though I didn't even notice it when I went fairly late in the evening - it could close early or not even open at all. Keep your eyes peeled while you're there.

English website.

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