Theme Park Review 2013 Trip Reports

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Part Eight


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For kicks, I googled "Togo" recently to see what results came up. The top hit was the hoagie restaurant franchise website. Second was the West African nation's Wikipedia entry. And that's the way it went through every link on the first five pages: information on Togo, the country, or Togo's, the fast food outlets. Then there was a link to a book on Amazon about a sled dog named "Togo" (written by Robert J. Blake, a guy who hears a lot of "Killed your wife lately?" jokes, I'll bet).

Did news of Togo, the defunct Japanese manufacturer of amusement attractions, ever show up on page one of a web search? Maybe yes, maybe no. Either way, it would appear that the company is slowly fading into digital obscurity and that's the way the cookie crumbles.

You and me, we'll keep the memory of Togo alive for awhile longer because it's fun to rag on their most heinous bruise dispensaries, isn't it? But as I mentioned in the Sea Paradise and Spaland reports, this trip to Japan schooled me – Togo did much good work in its home country. And that's why you'll hear nothing but praise today, for Hokkaido's Rusutsu Resort is where Togo dropped some really excellent product.

Rusutsu's ride portfolio gets high marks all around, with a supertanker-load of bonus points for the physical environment it sits on. Like Greenland, this resort's wintertime directive is to service skiers and while I can't vouch for the quality of Rusutsu's trails, I recommend wholeheartedly the tram ride to the mountaintop during the summer season.

We had to rise very early in the morning for a long bus trip to Hokkaido's higher elevations, but I'm not complaining.

"Look, out the window, it's JAPAN!"

Even if you're not all Sierra Club and stuff, you have to admit that is gorgeous, right?

Snow! I will return to Northern Japan during the winter some year. Must do it.

I surely do wish that the Tokyo Disney resort had a "Soarin' Over Japan" attraction. (That could be so freaking awesome and you could have Mothra in there, like "Soarin' With Mothra," with the Twins in the preshow and everything... I'd wait three hours for that, no problem.)