|Muscle Park!||(Entered Jan. 28, 2007)||When in Tokyo...|
Guys! Bored on a weekend? Think of yourself as being pretty manly? Wanna show off to your girlfriend or kids a bit? Well you're in luck! Just when you thought Japan had enough theme parks, along comes Muscle Park in Odaiba to help you find out if you're a real man or just another wimp.
Ironically, out of all nine sections, only one of them was devoted to testing your muscle strength, and even at that, only arm and wrist strength. The Sasuke zone was designed to be similar to the gladiator contests you see on TV, where contestants have to pass various strength and agility challenges in a certain amount of time. Here we had to pass 4 tests. The first one called 'the arm bicycle' was fairly easy, but the next two, called 'the lamp grabber' (crossing a space swinging from little glass balls) and 'the cliffhanger' (crossing a ledge using just your fingers) were mainly finger and wrist strength which I am weak at, so I failed to my shame....
The last one was called the pipe slider (shown below) which was once again arm strength so I didn't have much trouble. 2 out of 4 ain't too bad I guess, at least none of the other guys there did better than me, and some couldn't pass any of the 4 at all. Thanks go out to my two models shown above and below. When it came to my turn, Kumi didn't know how to turn my camera to picture mode so my efforts were lost to posterity. To do all four challenges costs 700 yen.
For some the challenges, you were able to compete against another person. It would've been fine if I were pitting myself against a friend, but most of the guys went up against their kids or girlfriends, which only made them look silly. One guy's girlfriend managed to do only 1 pushup while he pumped out around 100. Are you sure you've made your point? Anyway I gave the pushups a pass, plus it costs 500 yen. 500 yen to do pushups? Please....
They had a lot of aim and shooting type challenges and one of them was frisbee! Now we're talking! A sport where I actually know what I'm doing. It was funny to watch everyone else try to throw a disc. 99% of the people there had no idea so they were all impressed when I could actually throw straight. Because of the difficulty for the average person to even hit one of the numbers with a frisbee, they had extravagant prizes for anyone who could clear the whole stage from 1 to 8 plus the bullseye using only 12 discs. You could choose from a home theatre system, a cruise on Tokyo Bay, an expensive rice cooker, etc. None of the other challenges had prizes like that. I managed to get numbers 1, 2, 6, 7, 8 and the bullseye but missed 3, 4 and 5. I figure with a little practice though I could do it. Costs 500 yen for one try.
Baseball fans won't be disapointed. There is a pitching and batting challenge to test your mettle in Japan's most popular sport. Here I am having knocked out numbers 1 and 4. You are given 12 balls, but unlike frisbee, if you screw up on 4 balls it's game over. And unfortunately, I missed my next 4 shots.... One try is 700 yen!
Zone 9 was devoted to testing your stomach. There was a little restaurant calling itself 'Monster Burger' with a hamburger designed to look like a vaulting horse. Kumi and I decided to try the double decker combo for 1000 yen. There was a larger quadruple decker burger for 1500 yen but it's a good thing I didn't order it as the whole meal was just plain bad. Head to McDonald's if you want bad food that at least tastes good.
Other interesting challenges included a twin zone where you had to work with a partner. Kumi and I tried this weird 'holding a basketball on a stick and trying to get it through a maze' game, which we only managed to get about a quarter of the way through. This is the kind of bizarre stuff you see on Japanese game shows.
There was also a soccer challenge which I didn't try, a darts challenge which both Kumi and I did fairly well at, and the above mentioned 'brain zone' which gave you various puzzles and memory games to solve. It was a fun time but as always, high Japanese prices brought the enjoyment level down. You can either pay 3000 yen which lets you try all the challenges, or you can buy tickets for the individual challenges you want to try. Kumi and I opted for the latter option to save a bit of money. One nice thing, I figured that it would be crowded like Disneyland seeing how it was Saturday, but surprisingly (and most likely sadly, for the owners), the place was almost empty! Good for a couple hours of fun.
Harajuku to Tokyo, Park Photowalk