Japanese Spa Roller Coaster Spamusement Park
13 September 2018
If you did not get the news, Beppu's Mayor, Yasuhiro Nagano, has fulfilled his promise even if he was ridiculed by everyone around the world. He promised to build 'spamusement park', an Onsen Theme Park
The Mayor opened a three-day amusement park in Oita Prefecture called Yu-enchi. The 12 attractions included a roller coaster and a merry-go-round that featured bathtubs instead of seats.
The project began with this promotional video for the city released online in November 2016. The video, showing riders enjoying a bathtub roller coaster and other hot spring-inspired rides at Beppu Rakuenchi became a hot topic, and Beppu Mayor Yasuhiro Nagano promised to make the park a reality if the video received 1 million views. Eventually the video reached over 3M views in only three days.
So, the municipal government started collecting contributions in February 2017 to make some of the play rides featured in the video a reality.
Beppu raised over 85 million yen, and created attractions such as hot spring water slide, as well as a duck race that visitors watched from a footbath.
The project got into slippery territory when it was discovered that the hot spring water in the bathtub cars on the roller coaster was too heavy and made it hard to engage the breaks. But after a series of test-runs, it was found that the problem could be solved by adding bubble bath solution to the hot spring water and having the ride run as a bubble bath.
Only those who donated ¥8,000 or more to the city, or who bought an advance ticket, could enter the park.
Beppu is situated between the sea and the mountains. The city was founded on April 1, 1924, and is famous for its onsen (hot springs). It has eight major geothermal hot spots, sometimes referred to as the "eight hells of Beppu". Six of these are located in the Kannawa district, and two in the more remote[clarification needed] Shibaseki district. Beppu is also divided into eight major hot spring areas known as Beppu Hattō (別府八湯).
A SPA is a location where mineral-rich spring water (and sometimes seawater) is used to give medicinal baths. Spa towns or spa resorts (including hot springs resorts) typically offer various health treatments, which are also known as balneotherapy. The belief in the curative powers of mineral waters goes back to prehistoric times. Such practices have been popular worldwide, but are especially widespread in Europe and Japan.
EXTRA REFERENCES: city.beppu.oita.jp, wikipedia, fun-japan.jp
|Written by: Julia Wright|