Lina World Amusement Park: Coasting Off the Beaten Track

As far as my amusement park travels go, I've hit all the major cities and the large parks that go with them. Sure, there are dozens of parks left around the country, but they are all very small or pretty far out of the way. It's getting more and more challenging to fit them in!
 Lina World is one of those parks that isn't really convenient to anything else, located in a valley near Yamagata. Don't know where that is? It's about halfway between Tokyo and Aomori, but about two hours west of Sendai. It was my first stop this summer during my Tohoku trip. Arriving a little bit after park opening, I saw a fairly slow-moving line at the ticket office/front gate. I guess everyone in western Tohoku was out for a little fun.
 The park is pretty nice, though a pain to navigate for its size. The entry plaza was large and, as you can see, had several temporary stands and an inflatable duck to help handle the vacation crowds. In my haste to get around the park quickly, I failed to notice the tiny pass-through just beyond this area that would lead to the main area. Actually, I think everyone missed it, because when I was truly looking for it I couldn't find it.
 Walking straight from the entry plaza leads to a nice water feature between two sets of steps. There are a few rides on the left side, and occasional bridges to get across the water.
 Of course, there's a Ferris wheel, nicely centered at the top of the promenade.
 A double decker carousel.
 The promenade ends at a waterfall feature and a naked woman statue.
 Do kids find these fun? I think they're pretty uncomfortable and boring.
 Continuing past the Ferris wheel, a few more small attractions are at the top of the hill.
 Do you want to walk inside a freezer?This ice house was themed like a fridge outside. I'm guessing it's similar inside, though I didn't get to check it out. The name is Kachinkochin. The park's website has an image of the inside which makes it look like you can take your picture as pieces of food.
 Scary ghost house, Japanese style.
 Once you reach the top of the hill, the path makes a U-turn and heads back down the hill to the right. And finally, you see coasters!
 The flume ride was pretty popular, as it was a warm day.
 The Jumpin' Star was not.
 The park has a decent number of small flat rides...
 and a kiddie area.
 My first coaster at the park was this children's Dragon Coaster, because the other two weren't quite open yet.
 By the time I finished the kid's coaster, the other two had opened. Everyone went to the one closest to the top of the park, so I headed to the bottom.
 Discovery is a fairly uneventful coaster that spends its time slowly going around the track, with small hills and few turns. This makes it very uninteresting, and probably explains why everybody went to the other coaster first.
 It's decently landscaped, though, I suppose. I'm not really sure what this was supposed to be. I guess I'll have to leave it to someone else to ... discover what those white rocks are for.
 The exit provides a nice view of the tracks.
 I bought an admission-only ticket, and bought ride tickets so that I could try the three coasters. So I passed on several of the small rides I would have ridden if I had more time here.

Getting pictures of the third coaster, Super Coaster, is very difficult from the ground. It's not exactly hidden, but the positioning of surrounding rides and trees make for very unflattering photographs. It was a bit faster than Discovery, as it had an actual drop. Super Coaster is smaller, though. By the time I finished riding the other coasters, it still had a large line.

The plan had been to ride the three coasters, take some pictures, and get out. The long line at the entrance and the long line on Super Coaster delayed me enough that I missed my planned train. The next one was an hour later, which coupled with the delay allowed me time to get on the Ferris wheel and browse the gift shop.
 That's a cute dual-passenger swing ride! It's called Pumpkin Tree Witch.
 The carousel and a bit of the front plaza; Lina World has a water park next door (for an additional charge, I'm sure). The ride just behind the Fairy Kitty Carousel is Strawberry Cafe, themed to Hello Kitty.
 Looking down at Super Coaster and Discovery in the back. The water flume is just visible in the foreground.
 The park's 4D theater. Right now, it's showing a Kamen Rider film.
 Discovery: it takes up a lot of space but has no hills!
 Here's the promenade path, front gate, and rides at the top of the hill.
 Another shot of the gift shop area, which is also the entrance to the water park.
 Perhaps a better shot of the promenade.
 Super Coaster, going down the first drop. All in all, the park is a nice local attraction, but thrill seekers won't find anything here. If I had had more time, I probably would have sprung for the day pass and checked out the dark rides and 4D show, but I needed to get back over the mountains to Sendai for another park that afternoon.
Lina World isn't easy to access without a car. There are sporadic buses to the park from the major stations, but depending on the timing it can be quicker to walk from Mokichikinenkanmae Station, for those in a rush like I was. Try saying that station name fast. It's a 1.7 km walk from Mokichikinenkanmae to the park.

The bus stop is right outside of the park. Buying the free pass plus round trip bus ticket (from Yamagata) set costs the same as a free pass, essentially making the bus trip free. Note that the bus runs about once every two hours, and takes 20 minutes from Yamagata Station.

Admission to the park is cheap but a full day of rides adds up fast; adult free passes are 3800 yen, but admission only is 800 yen. Lina World has lots of dining options at the park, and there are hot springs near by so it is possible to spend a full day in the area. It's open from mid-March through mid-November, with varied hours depending on the season (opening between 8:00 and 10:00, closing between 16:00 and 19:30).

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