Monday, May 14, 2007

Safari in Japan

In keeping with my subconscious desire to be attacked by a lion, me and the missez loaded up the Cima and drove to the base of Mt Fuji to a safari park they have there. It's about an hour drive on the expressway, and the tolls cost about $20. Yeah, it's a bit much, but it takes more than twice the amount of time taking non-expressway and I didn't feel like sitting in traffic for 5 or so hours of the day. Now this is a picture heavy post, so click on the pics for larger size.

So what's a Safari Park like? It's just like Jurassic Park, only instead of Dinosaurs, you have all kinds of animals that are not extinct, and instead of fully automated cars that get thrown off cliffs by Tyrannasaurii, you can drive your own car and nothing attacks you. Or at least nothing attacked me. I really wanted to peal out or lay on the horn to get the wretched animals to look at the camera, but my desire not to get kicked out kept me from doing so. They also politely ask that you remain in your car and leave your windows closed, as seen with this sign:

They have it broken down by areas, which a double gate to keep animals from mixing and creating ligers or otherwise killing each other in front of impressionable children. Here are the categories:

  • Bear area
  • Lion area
  • Tiger area
  • Cheetah area
  • Elephant area
  • Herbivore area
  • Mountain herbivore area

    I have to say that the Safari park seems like a much better alternative to Zoos. I'm not a huge fan of either I guess, but at least in the Safari park they have more room to run around in, not to mention a good view of Mt Fuji. We started off in the bear area, with one bear strolling down the middle of the street and another one languishing in a pool.

    After the bear area we went into the lion area. Near the front was a group of little lion cubs frollicking with their mommies.

    I wondered why they were kind've cordoned off behind electrical wire, but it made sense after I saw all the male lions humping the female lions. Spring was definitely in the air.

    Does this guy look happy? He should, cuz he just finished gettin' his freak on.

    Anyone who has watched big cat diaries knows that adult male lions like to roll up gangstah style on other lion prides and kill all the previous males' youngsters to reduce gene pool competition. Hopefully this wasn't a "trial and error" process of discovery by the Safari Park... We all know how the Japanese love their cameras, and I'm sure footage of a couple male lions killing a bunch of cubs would have been a black eye for the park.

    All the tigers were hiding, so we blew through that area and into the Cheetah area. We didn't see any open-savannah style running of course -- the Cheetahs were in full-on Chester Cheetah mode, as seen here.

    The elephants were busy being big and awe inspiring, and I thought that it might be a good story if an elephant shat on my car. Bird shit is one thing. But Elephant shit? That's something you never hear about.

    I actually enjoyed the herbivore area. They had lots of different types of animals there, cuz, you know, herbivores annihilate the herb, not each other. Killing is the last thing on your mind after annihilating some herb. They had zebras, giraffes, bison, antelope, goats, yaks, camels, and even some flamingos and ostriches. Picture time.

    I tried getting this giraffe in with Mt Fuji, but neither party wanted to cooperate. Almost though.

    I spent a lot of time checking out this bison. Weird to think that the US used to be covered with these fellers, until the White Man came through and exterminated them all. Who can blame them though? They're tasty.

    If you pay a little extra, you can look at the animals in one of these ridiculous busses. The advantage is that you can feed some of the animals I guess. The disadvantage would be that you can't get good pictures because of the bars on the side, and a lion can bite your hand off. It also wasn't that warm ouside, so I was happy we decided to drive ourselves. The camels were the first ones over to get some chow.

    There were some Rhinos hanging out, and the Zebras were walkin' down the street like they owned the place. Let's see how smug they act when we accidentally leave the lion gate ajar. I wonder if anyone has ever hit an animal with their car there? Maybe just given it a nudge? It's tempting, but I didn't want a zebra to mule-kick my windshield, so I let them act like they were in charge.

    In the mountain herbivore area they had some elk. I think they were elk. Maybe caribou. I'm not sure. There were some mountain goats too. All in all, the animals seemed fat 'n' lazy, which is no doubt a biproduct of having a non-competetive food supply and that no creatures are trying eat them.

    After the drive safari part (or before, depending on your preference), there is a little area where you can go up and get a close look at some of God's wonderful creatures, including, but not limited to:

  • Merekats
  • Kangaroos
  • Two huge dogs that look like Barkley from Sesame Street and are probably 2 or 3 tail-pullings from ripping out a Japanese child's throat
  • Tony's favorite animal
  • A couple seals
  • A miniature pony race, which was really funny

    I loves me some Merekats, so we snapped off a shot.

    Since it is Fuji Safari Park, it's right at the foot of Mt Fuji, so me and the missez took some obligatory shots. Here's the missez, lookin perdy as ever.

    Here's me, looking not-so-perdy as ever, sportin' my jits t-shirt.

    After we finished with the Safari, we cruised to an outlet mall and bought household acoutrements (I demand you pronounce it "ah-koo-twuh-muuuh"), headed back to our neck of the woods, and consumed an inappropriate amount of sushi. I had 16 plates, in addition to some other goodies.

    My only complaints about the Safari park was that there were no wildebeest. I have a really good idea for a "Trials of Life" section of the park, where you could have a mile long race-track filled with Wildebeest. They'd just run around in circles, not unlike their migratory life cycle in Africa, eating, pooping, humping, and getting brutally killed by all manner of predatory animals. People could pay a fee to watch a feeding session, where a lion chases after the herd and tries to kill one of them. If the lion fails, it gets the crap shocked out of it by an electrified collar, because if we can't get some pleasure out of watching a lion disembowel a gnu, at least we can watch a lion flail around on the ground getting electrishocked. Everyone's a winner.

    Either way, Fuji Safari Park is a good way to spend the day.
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    Blogger Hammer said...

    "I tried getting this giraffe in with Mt Fuji, but neither party wanted to cooperate."

    A lazy person would simply Photoshop that, but it's nice to see that your commitment to T.I.P. (truth in photography) instead motivated you to try to reason with a giraffe. Pretty surreal photo anyway, even if the giraffe refused to cooperate and ignored your directions like a pouty supermodel.

    2:01 AM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    That looks like a lot of fun, and I've often pondered what would happen if an elephant pooped on my car. It looks like the wife is standing in front of a fake backdrop. Great pictures!

    Your sista

    3:13 AM  
    Anonymous Hoss said...

    I can't help it, I love safaris/zoos and crap like that. I even like the one at Disney - the Animal Kingdom - or whatever.

    An elephant pooping on your car would have been the best story ever! Should have driven your car past a bunch of monkeys - they love to throw poop. Obviously it would be lacking in the quantity elephants would give you, but hey, something's better than nothing.

    3:55 AM  
    Blogger Paul said...

    hammer -- i know, i know.. is this a case of never cry wolf? is any potential photography career of mine destroyed by my reputation as a ruthless photoshopper? "A giraffe near Fuji!? whattevs. you purposefully photoshopped it so it'd look like shitty camera work!!"

    sista -- thanks :D and thanks for depositing that check too ;)

    hoss -- im with ya -- i like petting zoos even more. anytime there are any animals around, be them wild or domesticated, i turn into a 3 year old and have to play with them. ive been running around the past 2 days telling everyone with children that they have to check this place out.

    7:56 AM  
    Anonymous Tony said...

    What's my favorite animal?

    Those Merekats look a lot like my chihuahua. I have photographic evidence to prove it.

    It's good to see you sporting the jiu-jitsu shirt, you know, in case anyone is thinking about messing with you.

    I found a video today that demonstrates the principle of the man-slap that you love so much. Check it out, it's a very effective execution of the technique.

    8:40 AM  
    Blogger Paul said...

    i dunno, tony, click on the link and find out. sheesh.

    that man slap is ridiculous. his actions following the manslap are also ridiculous, in that he knows exactly what to do. he seems very unsurprised that he knocked the dude out, and calmly rolls him over on his side (I assume to keep his airway clear) without hesitation. as if knocking the guy out with a slap made perfect sense.

    8:47 AM  
    Anonymous Tony said...

    Oops, didn't notice that it was a link.

    Yeah, the manslap was crazy. He was so methodical about it. He's clearly used the manslap several times before.

    2:02 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    This was a fun post to peruse. I thought the warning sign was funny because of the picture of Tony the possessed tiger.
    I love Safaris, and have gotten thrown out from one before: I like to confuse the animals, and one time, I brought a bottle of female deer urine. I put some on a rag and threw it out. In a while, a group of monkeys fought over the rag.
    Were you allowed to pull over and park on this particular safari? I couldnt tell from the photos.
    Thanks for the post.

    Frank W

    11:33 PM  
    Blogger Paul said...

    lol @ tony the possessed tiger. that's why i had to get a picture of it. i think they had a possessed bear, lion, cheetah, and tiger for each respective area.

    the road leading thru the park was double-lane, so you could stop and take pictures. fortunately it wasnt too crowded, and people didn't linger for too long in front of the animals.

    maybe next time ill bring a supersoaker filled with pig's blood and start spraying other cars with it...?

    10:46 AM  

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