Shirahama Trip Day 2: Adventure World
Gimme a Little Kiss チュッ! at Adventure World in Shirahama, Japan 白浜のアドベンチャーワールド -- Shirahama, Wakayama, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70mm — 1/320 sec, f/2.8, ISO 160 — map & image datanearby photos
Gimme a Little Kiss
チュッ!
at Adventure World in Shirahama, Japan
白浜のアドベンチャーワールド

After day 1 of our weekend trip to Shirahama Japan we debated on what to do for the second day before making the three-hour drive home to Kyoto that evening. The area is known for having pandas, but I'm not a big fan of zoos so I didn't really want to go. (I've lived a 5-minute walk from the Kyoto City Zoo for 10 years, and have been only twice.) But Anthony wanted to see the pandas, so off to Adventure World we went.

Signs Above the Entrances: “ FEEL NATURE ”    ·    “ for Your emotion ” -- Adventure World -- Shirahama, Wakayama, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/640 sec, f/2.8, ISO 160 — map & image datanearby photos
Signs Above the Entrances:
FEEL NATURE    ·   for Your emotion
Apparently Not a Zoo 動物園ではない雰囲気 -- Adventure World -- Shirahama, Wakayama, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/200 sec, f/2.8, ISO 160 — map & image datanearby photos
Apparently Not a Zoo
動物園ではない雰囲気

Upon walking in it was clear it wasn't a normal zoo, with the entrance hall being highly evocative of Tokyo Disneyland, but the penguins quickly made it apparent that it was more than a normal amusement park:

Penguins in what feels like a mall fountain ペンギンたち -- Adventure World -- Shirahama, Wakayama, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/100 sec, f/2.8, ISO 220 — map & image datanearby photos
Penguins
in what feels like a mall fountain
ペンギンたち
Flamingos “ caged ” by a few planters and a piece of string フラミンゴたち -- Adventure World -- Shirahama, Wakayama, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/800 sec, f/2.8, ISO 160 — map & image datanearby photos
Flamingos
caged by a few planters and a piece of string
フラミンゴたち

There were various colorful birds like cockatoos on trees inside without any kind of barrier or restraint (except clipped wings, I suppose), so it felt like you were very much with them, as opposed to looking in at them from behind a fence. This was the theme for much of the wildlife at Adventure World, and we loved it.

Like everywhere in Shirahama, they played up the whole panda thing...

Panda-Hat Photo Opp Service パンダ帽子の撮影場 -- Adventure World -- Shirahama, Wakayama, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 38mm — 1/250 sec, f/2.8, ISO 160 — map & image datanearby photos
Panda-Hat Photo Opp Service
パンダ帽子の撮影場

Of course, what sets this place apart from everywhere else is that they have real pandas as well, but we'd not come across them yet.

We next came across some penned animals like camels, horses, sheep, llama, and in this next pic, a pair of alpaca...

Approaching with Extreme Caution the little square sign hanging on the bigger one says “ beware of spit ” つばに注意のアルパカ -- Adventure World -- Shirahama, Wakayama, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 34mm — 1/1250 sec, f/2.8, ISO 160 — map & image datanearby photos
Approaching with Extreme Caution
the little square sign hanging on the bigger one says beware of spit
つばに注意のアルパカ

Even these penned animals were more approachable than in a zoo (you could touch them if you had the guts to get spit on or bitten). Basically, rather than fences and cages, this place maintained human and animal safety by allowing nature's own sense of self preservation to work.

The only disappointment was an American Bald Eagle in a fenced in area the size of a small bathroom, with no room for anything resembling flight. I can only hope they let him out from time to time to spread his wings.

We eventually came to the rides area, which we were disappointed cost an extra $20/person on top of the $50/per we'd already paid. But let me tell you we got our money's worth, because a light sprinkle kept the crowds away, and we never had to wait for a ride. Ever.

Anthony was most interested in the little carts one could drive:

Entering a Two -Seater 最初のは二人乗り、パパの運転 photo by Fumie -- Adventure World -- Shirahama, Wakayama, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Fumie, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 4S + iPhone 4S back camera 4.28mm f/2.4 at an effective 35mm — 1/180 sec, f/2.4, ISO 50 — map & image datanearby photos
Entering a Two-Seater
最初のは二人乗り、パパの運転
photo by Fumie
Three Minutes Later 三分後 photo by Fumie -- Adventure World -- Shirahama, Wakayama, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Fumie, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 4S + iPhone 4S back camera 4.28mm f/2.4 at an effective 35mm — 1/680 sec, f/2.4, ISO 50 — map & image datanearby photos
Three Minutes Later
三分後
photo by Fumie

Once I'd taken him around in the two-seater, he was ready to try one all by himself.

Total Control 一人乗り、自分で運転。生まれたから初めて! photo by Fumie -- Adventure World -- Shirahama, Wakayama, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Fumie, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 4S + iPhone 4S back camera 4.28mm f/2.4 at an effective 67mm — 1/390 sec, f/2.4, ISO 50 — map & image datanearby photos
Total Control
一人乗り、自分で運転。生まれたから初めて!
photo by Fumie

He's always loved these kinds of things (such as when he was six and again when he was seven), but this was the first time he had total control all by himself.

It Was so Fun! 楽しかった! photo by Fumie -- Adventure World -- Shirahama, Wakayama, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Fumie, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 4S + iPhone 4S back camera 4.28mm f/2.4 at an effective 67mm — 1/430 sec, f/2.4, ISO 50 — map & image datanearby photos
It Was so Fun!
楽しかった!
photo by Fumie

Unlike the one at Disneyland, these had no rails... you just drove and hopefully kept it on the road, and hopefully didn't go backward, etc. They didn't go all too fast, but fast enough that on the wet pavement with a bit of skill you could do a power skid to a full 90-degree right angle. 🙂

Normally if you wanted to make another run you'd have to get in line and wait, but there was no line. Ever. We did it 10+ times.

Here's a scene of other folks in the carts that I took later, just to give some context...

Part of the Course コースの一部分 -- Adventure World -- Shirahama, Wakayama, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 48mm — 1/200 sec, f/6.3, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
Part of the Course
コースの一部分

All but the biggest roller coaster were closed for the rain, but the biggest one was open so I went. The light rain stung my eyes a bit, but it wasn't too bad, nor too scary. Anthony was reluctant, but I finally convinced him to go. He survived, but once was enough for him.

There was a large area with lots of free-ranging fowl of various types...

Poor Duckys easy targets for toddlers -- Adventure World -- Shirahama, Wakayama, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70mm — 1/640 sec, f/2.8, ISO 160 — map & image datanearby photos
Poor Duckys
easy targets for toddlers
Up Close and Personal -- Adventure World -- Shirahama, Wakayama, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70mm — 1/320 sec, f/2.8, ISO 250 — map & image datanearby photos
Up Close and Personal
More Flamingos -- Adventure World -- Shirahama, Wakayama, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/250 sec, f/2.8, ISO 160 — map & image datanearby photos
More Flamingos
Exotic “ Sea Urchin Head ” Birds -- Adventure World -- Shirahama, Wakayama, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/160 sec, f/2.8, ISO 160 — map & image datanearby photos
Exotic Sea Urchin Head Birds
Bashful 恥ずかしがり -- Adventure World -- Shirahama, Wakayama, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70mm — 1/320 sec, f/3.2, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos
Bashful
恥ずかしがり

Thanks to a comment by Mike Pedde on Google Plus, I now know that these are Gray Crowned Cranes from Africa (アフリカのホオジロカンムリヅル).

In Profile -- Adventure World -- Shirahama, Wakayama, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70mm — 1/320 sec, f/2.8, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos
In Profile
Looks Can Be Deceiving 脅威 な 雰囲気 (ではない,実は) -- Adventure World -- Shirahama, Wakayama, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70mm — 1/320 sec, f/2.8, ISO 360 — map & image datanearby photos
Looks Can Be Deceiving
脅威雰囲気(ではない,実は)

In the photo above, the bird's head is at a slightly-different angle than in this picture that I posted the other day, but the visual impact of that slight change is huge, creating quite the menacing look. It was a look that wasn't actually there, but instead was created by the camera as it froze a passing moment as the bird moved his head lazily, paying not much attention to me but perhaps showing a bit of curiosity about the camera for a few moments.

Later we had the luck to come across the hippo during his daily feeding, where we could throw pingpong-sized grass pellets into his well-trained mouth....

Feeding Time えさをあげる -- Adventure World -- Shirahama, Wakayama, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/400 sec, f/2.8, ISO 160 — map & image datanearby photos
Feeding Time
えさをあげる
Sticking Out His Rather-Substantial Tongue as a trick to please his food-offering fans ベーっ ! -- Adventure World -- Shirahama, Wakayama, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 52mm — 1/250 sec, f/2.8, ISO 160 — map & image datanearby photos
Sticking Out His Rather-Substantial Tongue
as a trick to please his food-offering fans
ベーっ

The amount of blubber in and around his mouth was substantial, perhaps exceeded only by the vast amount of saliva and goo, as the lead photo of this post might hint. The young couple in upscale dress who fed him right after me got somewhat of a goo/saliva shower as he rather actively slobbered down the grass pellet. I was lucky to have dogged that bullet.

Humongous yet relatively small, at only about 4,400 lbs どでかい 約2000kg -- Adventure World -- Shirahama, Wakayama, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 40mm — 1/160 sec, f/5.6, ISO 450 — map & image datanearby photos
Humongous
yet relatively small, at only about 4,400 lbs
どでかい
約2000kg

He seemed jolly and docile, so I was surprised to read on Wikipedia that hippos can be very aggressive, and they can run extremely fast (and could easily beat Usain Bolt in a 100m race).

And finally, there were pandas. This one was totally enjoying a bamboo snack...

Glutton 大食漢のパンダ -- Adventure World -- Shirahama, Wakayama, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 56mm — 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 640 — map & image datanearby photos
Glutton
大食漢のパンダ

This guy was spralled on his back enjoying his bamboo snack, peeling off its outside layer and crunching on the pithy inside. When he was done with one stalk, he'd reach over for another like an armchair quarterback making the effort to reach for another beer. Touchdown.

The rain had picked up a bit by this time. We had him to ourselves.

photo by Fumie -- Adventure World -- Shirahama, Wakayama, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Fumie
iPhone 5s + iPhone 5s back camera 4.12mm f/2.2 at an effective 30mm — 1/350 sec, f/2.2, ISO 32 — map & image datanearby photos
photo by Fumie

Pandas are, of course, bears with big teeth and claws, so this was one of the only places where you were physically kept separate from the animal, and the animal from you. With the hippo, for example, it was only your own sense of disgust and desire to retain your arm that kept you from thrusting it down the hippos throat. You could ride on the elephant, and pluck a peacock's feathers. It was much nicer than a zoo. (Monkeys were also separated, as well as the aforementioned eagle.)

The exit was, of course, through the giftshop.

Lots of Pandas -- Adventure World -- Shirahama, Wakayama, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/100 sec, f/6.3, ISO 2000 — map & image datanearby photos
Lots of Pandas
Another Try with This Shot -- Adventure World -- Shirahama, Wakayama, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/100 sec, f/4.5, ISO 1600 — map & image datanearby photos
Another Try with This Shot

I'd posted a B&W version of this shot here, but something doesn't seem quite right about it. When I took the shot I had B&W in my mind as obvious, due to the panda faces of course, but it feels forced. This color one feels better. (I think he looks cute, of course, but Fumie is less enamored with this shot than I.)

Faces -- Adventure World -- Shirahama, Wakayama, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70mm — 1/320 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1400 — map & image datanearby photos
Faces
“ Puffy ” one of the three stuffed pandas now gracing Anthony's bed -- Adventure World -- Shirahama, Wakayama, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 42mm — 1/200 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1800 — map & image datanearby photos
Puffy
one of the three stuffed pandas now gracing Anthony's bed

It was a surprisingly fun day. Three hours later we were home.


All 3 comments so far, oldest first...

I was astonished to see pandas at such a small zoo in a tiny city in Japan. I had been to lots of big zoos and never seen one before going to Shirahama. When I was there, there were two baby pandas, as well as the adults.

I later found out the reason why there are pandas there. It is actually a panda breeding center and pandas are sent from China for this reason.

— comment by Arthur Brigham on April 27th, 2014 at 11:15am JST (3 years, 6 months ago) comment permalink

Love the hippo pics! What truly fascinating critters. One comment, though, they are not faster than Usain Bolt: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fastest_animals. Not that I’d want to race one.

I think I mismatched kph and mph. At least I didn’t crash a hippo into Mars. —Jeffy

— comment by Michael Friedl on April 27th, 2014 at 2:27pm JST (3 years, 6 months ago) comment permalink

Jeffrey:

I had been planning to visit Shirahama’s Kinkaku-ji until tonight, when Google alerted me that the temple is permanently closed. Your blog seems to confirm this. Can you tell me whether the photo you took of the five-story pagoda is the only vantage point from which it’s visible, or are there other angles? Also, are you aware of any plans to tear down the temple and its various structures, or is the pagoda likely to be standing in March or early April of next year, when I plan to be in Japan? As long as I can see the pagoda, it would be worth the trip, as I plan to travel from Osaka to Nachi anyway, and Shirahama’s on the way.

I would leave questions on the City of Shirahama website, but there doesn’t seem to be any provision for this.

It’s been a treat to view your family’s vacation photos.

Thanks in advance for any information you can provide about the temple and the pagoda.

Larry Cannon (Obake)

I don’t have any new information, but I very much doubt the site will be taken down. These kind of places are privately owned, and many are not open to the public. The fact that all income is tax free is perhaps what drives popular ones to be open, but perhaps this one was far enough from tourists to not make it worth the hassle, so they’re actually concentrating on their religious activities rather than moneymaking. Maybe. In any case, the only view I got was from the parking lot, and I would expect that view to remain today. If you show up, you might get lucky to see the owner or caretaker, who might be persuaded by a smile to let you in further. —Jeffrey

— comment by Larry Cannon on October 11th, 2016 at 2:29pm JST (1 year ago) comment permalink
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