The SEGA Joypolis (Odaiba, Japan)

Donald is walking into a Catholic monastery, eyes lowered in reverence as he enters the confessional booth.

Donald: “Forgive me father for I have sinned.”
Priest: “What’s wrong, my child?”
Donald: “I…I have committed…adultery, father.”
Priest: “Please, go on.”
Donald: “Okay. I have been loyal to Nintendo for just shy of 25 years. I swear…um, I mean, I really do love Nintendo. But over the weekend I went astray. I found solace in the arms of another…Sega…and…(tear, tear, tear) I liked it.
Priest: (Gasp) “BLASPHEMY!!”

I’m not really sure that’s even how a confessional works, because I’ve never had the pleasure of going to one, but you get the idea. The Sega Joypolis was one of the coolest parts of my trip to Odaiba last month.

What is the Joypolis?

The Joypolis is an indoor Amusement park with all that trimmings. The Joypolis definitely has a bit of a rock-n-roll vibe as soon as you walk in. It’s dimly-lit, organized chaos. I thought it was going to be lame, because it was an indoor amusement park. I figured that surely there wouldn’t be enough space to for the rides to be any fun. Boy was I wrong!

What I Liked About Joypolis?

I won’t go through every single ride, because I do want you to see it for yourself. But there were several indoor attractions that I really liked.

Just to start small, I really like punching things, so Ashita no Joe 2* was a boxing game where you had to hit this bag as hard as you could and it would record the level of force that you punch with (kinda reminds of Ivan Drago in the Rock IV movie). I don’t remember exactly what my punching power was, but I was able to beat the computer every time. That’s nothing super special, because they have games like that in the U.S., but I like games like that back home, too.

Working our way up, there was a racing game called “Storm-G” and it was a spaceship racing simulator that was INCREDIBLY fun. At the beginning of the ride, they explain everything to you in Japanese (there is an English instruction guide should you need it), and you can choose a regular or advanced course. The advanced course means that your spaceship will do more rolling maneuvers. I’m sure you probably know, but I want my spaceship to roll as much as possible, and roll it did. When I say roll, I mean the actual pod that you’re sitting in, physically does a 360! I was in video game heaven! You had to operate your ship using two levers and a two buttons. To move left, you had to push the left lever forward while pulling the right lever towards you (vice versa to move right), and your ship would respond in turn. To speed up, you had to push both levers forward, and to slow down, you had to pull both levers back. If you’re into game simulators, shoot even if you’re not, YOU GOTTA TRY THIS THING!!

There was another ride, sorry I don’t remember the name, that was also a simulator, that used clever videography and a shifting room to create the illusion of flying, falling and crashing into things. If you’ve ever been to Disney Land or Disney World, I would liken it to the Star Wars attraction that makes you feel like you’re flying or moving at light speed. Some people think rides like this are cheesy, but I like them.

The ultimate attraction at the Sega Joypolis, for me, was Half Pipe Canyon. This was ride just looked like a lot of fun while I was walking up to it. There were these brightly colored boards, made for two people) whooshing up and down this huge half pipe. It genuinely looked like a blast. But what you don’t realize, until you’re strapped in and moving that is, is how high up this thing really goes. Once my board was reached it’s highest points I got that thrill-ride, stomach flip with every descent. It was so cool! Half Pipe Canyon is about half thrill-ride, one-fourth interactive, and one-fourth competition. While you’re screaming with your partner, you have to trigger these foot pedals in tandem at just the right moments to get your board to spin. At the same time there are these screens showing how many points you have accumulated. The points correspond to how good of a boarder you are. I was just an average boarder both times :( .

What I Didn’t Like About the Sega Joypolis

There’s not a whole lot for me to say here. There was one major indoor roller coaster that was high-speed, and relatively fun, but definitely not meant for taller people. While the right was moving, I got a nice little bang on the knee, because my legs were a bit too long for the car I was riding in.

What else? Well, this had nothing to do with the Joypolis itself, but there was this group of teenagers there, and I could tell two of the girls were poking fun at me. I hate that sometimes, if you’re going to stare and crack jokes, at least make an effort to be more discreet about it. I just stared back at them and smiled. I guess that’s beats than the alternative, allowing the gamma energy in my blood to boil over and turn me into the green, destructive alter-ego, and starting smashing young kids.

Other than that, though. Joypolis rocked!

Sega Joypolis Price & Final Thoughts

There were 3-D movies to watch, there was laser tag, video games, caricatures, food, junk food (I won a bag of potato chips…weird, ne?), and…OH!…Dippin’ Dots! I love Dippin’ Dots (those delicious cups of super frozen, ice-cream pellets). There was no shortage of things to do at the SEGA Joypolis, and cost just 3500 yen for a full-day pass. What I liked most about Joypolis is that I didn’t get a chance to do everything. Which means…yep…I have to go again.

Next time I go, come with me, okay? It’ll be fun.

Donald Ash

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  • Traitor! lol!….pssst (6’5” black man in a trench coat beckons). “Yo, my brotha, how do you get to Joyopolis?” “Derrick, is that you!?” “Oh snap (pressing SEGA getaway button on his belt as song plays, ‘SEGAAAAA’)

    • Donald Ash

      Derrick. You are a freakin’ clown!!! LOL!

  • Julia

    Wow! That looks so fun! Sad to hear about the teenagers, though. Hope they didn’t ruin the experience too much.

  • Anthony

    I know what you mean with the nintendo loyalty but who hasn’t played sonic religiously at least once….on the gamegear! Please tell me you tried out the Initial D simulator. I would’ve been on that all day!

    • Donald Ash

      Uh oh, Initial D?

  • Damn. In Tokyo and Joypolis is closed for renovation until Mid-July! gRrRr. Was really looking forward to it too. Nothing else like this anywhere else I can imagine.

  • Miss Kitsune Luna

    how can I get there? ._. this place is a huge must for me! im planning on going their and Tokyo Disney Sea in the future :) even though I adore Nintendo since childhood, I enjoy sega as well because I love Sonic and Samba de Amigo xD

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