Hamanako Pal Pal: The Park with the Funny Name

Despite being partway between Nagoya and Tokyo, with a bullet train stop nearby, Hamanako Pal Pal is one of those smaller amusement parks most coaster fans don't get a chance to visit. Let's face it: a smaller park with only one or two coasters is a low priority for those with limited time in a country. But I made sure I was able to swing by on one of my trips to Nagoya.
 Arriving pretty early in the morning, I still had to get to the park from Hamamatsu Station. I should mention that Hamamatsu Station is in Shizuoka, a long way from Tokyo. Don't confuse it with Hamamatsucho. Anyway, the bus ride takes about 45 minutes, on bus 30, and the fee is 550 yen each way.
 Hamanako is pretty compact, but they have several coasters. The "marquee" coaster is Mega Coaster. It's not really bad but it can be a bit rough.
 It's not terribly exciting, but it has a couple good elements, including the first drop if you're sitting toward the rear.
 Down goes another set of riders! The park's rides don't move a lot of people through, and on a busy day the lines can get long. I didn't have too much trouble, but I could see where it would be a problem.
 Right next to Mega Coaster is Mini Coaster. It lives up to its name, with small cars and a small track.
 It reaches a maximum height of a few meters. It really is a Mini Coaster.
 Those two coasters are on one side of the park; the other side, across the street, is accessed via a bridge. To get to the bridge, you have to go through an arcade building.
 There are several dark rides and walk through attractions. I missed this one because of time constraints.
 Located on a small bay next to some mountains, and built on a hill itself, the park is quite attractive.
 One ride I wish I had been able to ride was this little boat ride.
 It travels through a storybook land of some sort.
 The ride in the foreground is the most exciting flat ride in the park, going upside down several times and traveling pretty fast.
 Down at the bottom of the park, seemingly forgotten by the crowds, is the painful, old Jungle Mouse. The only thing jungle-ish about the ride is the nearby palm trees.
 But, as expected, there's a Ferris wheel here, which is positioned just right for photos!
 See what I mean? The best angles for many of the rides include the Ferris wheel in the background.
 The fourth coaster in the park is a Batflyer. I don't think I ever had the chance to ride a Batflyer in America, but I've been on at least a couple since coming to Asia. They aren't that exciting, really. I think that's Pinocchio-themed.
 All the buildings are themed well! I had to pick and choose which rides I went on due to needing to leave early.
 So I went with the Pinocchio ride. With Pinocchio lobster.
 We all sing happy songs and move back and forth repetitively! Dark rides in Japan can be really fun and goofy.
 The park takes advantage of its hill, with a large outdoor theater.
 It looks like there was some sort of Kamen Rider (an action hero show) ninja performance.
 I totally want to jump on this! A big white bouncy rubber bubble! I wonder how high I could get if I were to jump on it. Or perhaps I would send a kid flying through the air...
 The Ferris wheel looks even larger due to its position at the back of the park, at the top of the hill.
 The Ferris wheel offers wide views of the area. The Mega Coaster and Batflyer are easily visible in this photo.
 Mega Coaster sends another train full of riders through the course!
 Here's that water boat ride and a kids' play area, with the bay nearby. A flume ride is at the bottom of the photo.
 Here's the Jungle Mouse from above.
Remember, all the photos can be enlarged by clicking on them. Here are a couple views of the bay from the Ferris wheel. In the second photo, you can see the additional-charge gondola to take you across the water.

I'm not really sure what people do on the other side of the gondola ride. It looks like there's a hotel and probably a restaurant over there, and there might be some trails on the hill. There's a music box museum, which could be on either side of the park.

I don't feel like I had enough time at this park, although there isn't much here. The rides I tried were pretty fun, and I didn't get a chance to go on all the dark rides and see all the attractions. Those just looking for coasters could show up, ride all four, and be on their way, but this really feels like a park I could spend a whole day with if I had kids.

Admission with an all-day ride pass is 3900 yen; regular admission is 1000 yen, and rides are up to 800 yen each. The park opens at various times throughout the year, usually 9:30 or 10:00, usually closing sometime around 16:30 to 18:30. As I mentioned earlier, the park is accessed by bus from Hamamatsu Station.

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