Fuji-Q Highland Park, Fujiyoshida, Yamanashi
‘A Japanese theme park has unveiled the world’s steepest roller coaster, with a 121 degree incline and speeds of 100 kilometres per hour. The ride, which cost a whopping $40 million to build, is found at the Fuji-Q Highland Amusement Park in Yamanash, and has been named ‘Takabisha’ – which means ‘dominant’ in English. Takabisha, which has Mt Fuji as a backdrop, is packed with jaw-dropping features including seven twists, blackened tunnels and a 43 metre high peak. But the most impressive thing about Takabisha is the freefall at 121 degrees, which is so steep it’s Guinness Book of Records-worthy.
‘Relying on a combination of gravity and a set of linear motors attached to the cars, you’ll be strapped in and flung down the incline at 100 km/h, experiencing a feeling of weightlessness as you go. The roller coaster has seven major twists and turns along 1,000 feet of track. The average roller coaster that has a turning sharpness angle of 45 degrees. This roller coaster has a tilting level with an almost 90-degree angle. The current Guinness World Record-holding roller coaster is the UK’s Mumbo Jumbo ride at Flamingoland in Yorkshire. This ride has held the title of “The World’s Steepest Roller Coaster” since July 2009, but with an incline of just 112 degrees, Takabisha will be an essential 9 degrees steeper.’ — The Malaysian Insider
Hollywood Dream – The Ride
Universal Studios, Osaka
‘Each of Hollywood Dream’s 5 trains carry 36 riders in nine cars, each having a row of four seats. All trains have an on-board audio and lighting system, with each seat having a headrest stereo sound system capable of playing one of five songs selected by the rider with a control panel inserted into the seat’s restraining lap bar. The on-board audio and lighting system animates LED lights that are built into the trains’ sides and front riderless pilot coach. The lighting program varies as the train moves, with different animations for different track sections and the station. The lighting pattern used for the park entrance track section gives the effect of a Comet with a sparkling head and glittering trail of light.’ — JTA
Nagoya Higashiyama Zoo
‘The very unusual Slope Shooter is a trough coaster with logflume-like cars that run on wheels on a concrete surface. It looks much like a sidefriction coaster *, but without any supports, for it is located on the side of a hill. It’s like a cross between a coaster and a log flume without any water. The Slope Shooter looks like it was made in someody’s back yard. It has goofy cars with big rubber wheels running down concrete and asphault chutes. The entire layout is like the hairpin section of a mouse. There’s a really quick and fun surprise jerking as the lift chain engages.’ — European Coaster Club
* A side friction roller coaster is an early roller coaster design that does not have an extra set of wheels under the track to prevent cars from becoming airborne. Before the invention of up-stop wheels, coaster cars were built to run in a trough, with wheels under the car and side plates to help keep the cars on the track. Because the cars were not firmly anchored and could derail if they took a corner too fast, the largest side friction coasters required a brakeman to ride on the train and slow it down when necessary. The invention of up-stop wheels in the 1920s allowed much more scope for height and speed in coaster designs, leaving side friction coasters to quickly fall out of favor. Only two have been built since World War II, and none since 1951. Today, there are only nine left in the world.
Space World, Kitakyūshū
‘Zaturn opened approximately 1½ months after Stealth at Thorpe Park, and was almost identical to Stealth. However, Zaturn took 2.3 seconds to launch, whereas Stealth takes only 1.9 seconds. In addition, Zaturn’s average top speed was 0.3 mph (0.48 km/h) faster than Stealth’s, while being 0.9 feet (0.28 meters) shorter. Also, the ride’s maximum G-Force was 0.5G higher than Stealth, at a total of 5G. On December 16, 2016, Zaturn was announced as closing alongside the rest of Space World in December 2017. It closed on the 31st and was dismantled in early 2018.’ — roller coaster fandom
Washuzan Highland Park, Okayama
‘The Japanese are known for their wacky inventions, so it’s no surprise that they have come up with the ultimate green rollercoaster. It’s called the Skycycle, and it’s a pedal-powered rollercoaster that allows people to “shoot for the sky” as they ride side-by-side in bike-themed carts. The Skycycle is one of the most thrilling amusement park rides at Washuzan Highland Park in Okayama, Japan.
‘So, how does this whole pedal-powered thing work? It’s actually quite simple. Visitors strap themselves in with seatbelts, they put their valuables in the cute pink basket that’s in front of the cart and then they start pedaling. Those brave enough peddle their way through this towering bike trail which, aside from lights used to illuminate the path at night, uses zero electricity. Even though the Skycycle isn’t as white-knuckled a ride as the others in the park, many visitors have expressed a deep fear of a particular stretch on the course that they call, “The turn of fear.”‘ — bordom.net
Nagashima Spa Land
‘On January 28, 2018, Nagashima Spa Land’s gigantic wooden coaster, White Cyclone, gave its final rides. Built in 1994, White Cyclone was one of only a handful of wooden coasters in Japan, but also the nation’s largest at 139 feet in height and more than a mile in length. In that quarter century, maintenance demands and lower ridership were a couple factors in closing the ride (but not the only ones). Enter Hakugei. The transformation of the former wooden coaster into a Rocky Mountain Construction IBox track creation is Japan’s first venture into the latest trend. The height of the coaster has grown to 180 feet, but the length has been shortened slightly to just over 5,000 feet — still a substantial length. Top speed hits 66 mph. Now named Hakugei, the name change translates to White Whale. “I have to comment on the structure. The massive wall of white wood with the blue track, it looks great. The track just pops,” says Jake Kilcup, COO, Rocky Mountain Construction.’ — Amusement Today
Fuji-Q Highland Park, Fujiyoshida, Yamanashi
‘Fujiyama inadvertently attracted attention in 2000 after an article was published in the journal Neurology. The article discussed the possible relationship between riding roller coasters and the occurrence of subdural hematomas. The primary case study cited by the authors was a woman who had reported severe headaches after riding the Fujiyama roller coaster. Upon investigation, it was discovered that this woman did in fact have a subdural hematoma. Subsequent research, however, has maintained that this risk remains low and is not unique to this particular coaster.
‘When Fujiyama opened in 1996 it was the world’s tallest roller coaster at 259 feet (79 m), and had the largest drop in the world at 230 feet (70 m). Fujiyama was also the world’s fastest roller coaster for a year of its operation. As with many Japanese roller coasters, Fujiyama has a maximum rider age (54 years old) and a separate entrance fee (1,000 yen). It incorporates many of the elements that are typical of this coaster design, including a large first drop, “headchopper” elements and a series of small “bunny hills” near the end of the coaster’s course.’ — Theme Park Review
Yomiuri Land, Tokyo
‘Fire Bandit is a steel roller coaster located at Yomiuriland in the city of Inagi, near Tokyo Japan. Built in 1988 by the TOGO company, it was the world’s tallest and fastest roller coaster before the opening of Great American Scream Machine at Six Flags Great Adventure one year later. The first drop is 256 feet in length and reaches speeds up to 68 mph. There is a sign saying that you can now see Tokyo’s Sky Tree from it on a clear day. Spot the Sky Tree and you are supposed to have good luck. In its summer incarnation as “Splash Bandit,” riders are shot with Super Soakers at the start and fire hoses at strategic parts of the track.’ — crystaltjapan
‘A unique, visually impressive coaster with some fairly big drops and an intense helix. The name of the coaster refers to the fact that this coaster “dives” and “vanishes” into an underwater tunnel, accompanied by a large spray of water. The track measures 2,440-feet in length and each ride lasts for approximately 1-minute 58-seconds. Vanish is the first dash-into-water type jet coaster in the world. The moment cars dash into the pool of water, they make a tremendous splash and disappear for an instant. It is a full-scale jet coaster that is presented in a sensational way unknown until now.’ — Coaster Force
Nagashima Spa Land
‘The attraction which is called Acrobat. The train that takes them on a 1021m-long roller coaster ride , reaching top speeds of 90km/h. Acrobat restrains riders in the prone position.’ — Nagashima Resort
‘Eejanaika is a steel 4th Dimension roller coaster at Fuji-Q Highland in Fujiyoshida, Yamanashi, Japan. Eejanaika, designed by S&S; Arrow, is a “4th Dimension” coaster, a design in which the seats can rotate forward or backward 360 degrees in a controlled spin. This is achieved by having four rails on the track: two of these are running rails while the other two are for spin control. The two rails that control the spin of the seats move up and down relative to the track and spin the seats using a rack and pinion gear mechanism.
‘According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Eejanaika is the roller coaster with the most inversions in the world. Throughout the ride, the riders go through 14 inversions. However, most of these inversions are accomplished by spinning the seats rather than actually inverting the track. This has led to some controversy in the roller coaster enthusiast community concerning the legitimacy of Eejanaika’s claim. The Roller Coaster DataBase does not acknowledge these seat inversions for the purpose of record-holding.’ — rcdb.com
Tokyo Dome City Attractions
‘Thunder Dolphin is a steel roller coaster at the Tokyo Dome City Attractions amusement park, which is part of Tokyo Dome City in Tokyo, Japan. The ride was designed and constructed by Intamin. At 262 feet (80 m) tall, Thunder Dolphin is currently the 6th tallest continuous circuit roller coaster in the world, behind Kingda Ka, Top Thrill Dragster, Steel Dragon 2000, Millennium Force, and Intimidator 305. Thunder Dolphin’s 3,500 feet (1,100 m) long course passes through both a hole in the LaQua building, and through the Big-O, the world’s first centerless Ferris wheel. Thunder Dolphin’s maximum speed is 130 kilometres per hour (81 mph).’ — coaster-net
Kijima Amusement Park
‘Although Japan has had numerous notable roller coasters—including coasters that have held the record of world’s longest, world’s fastest, and world’s tallest roller coaster—it has had relatively few wooden roller coasters. This resulted from Japanese earthquake engineering regulations that restricted the construction of tall wooden structures. Jupiter was built by Intamin AG out of Norway spruce lumber and it cost a total of 2.5 billion yen to construct. The coaster was also the last to be designed by noted roller coaster designer Curtis D. Summers before his death in 1992 and it was one of only two coasters that he produced with Intamin. The roller coaster Jupiter is also notable for briefly appearing in the 1994 science fiction kaiju movie, Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla.’ — coasterpedia
Fuji-Q Highland Park, Fujiyoshida, Yamanashi
‘Dodonpa is an S&S; launched roller coaster located at Fuji-Q Highland in Fujiyoshida, Yamanashi, Japan. It opened in 2001 and currently has the highest launch acceleration of any coaster in the world at 2.7G. The name “Dodonpa” comes from the notes used by taiko drummers. In the queue line, you can hear these notes. At launch you hear a voice in Japanese running through a checklist and counting down before the launch. The dialogue occasionally changes, and, to surprise the riders, there is often a “false” countdown and “failed” launch followed by an “accidental” launch. The four trains are painted with different faces; a “father”, “mother”, “brother”, and “sister”.’ — rollercoaster.wikia.com
Steel Dragon 2000
Nagashima Spa Land, Mie Prefecture, Japan
‘Built by Morgan Manufacturing, this gigacoaster opened, appropriately, in 2000—”The Year of the Dragon” in Asia. It debuted only months after Millennium Force at Cedar Point, and surpassed that as the world’s tallest complete-circuit coaster. It lost these records in height in 2003 when Top Thrill Dragster opened at Cedar Point. It also took the record for the longest track length—8,133 feet 2 inches (2,478.99 m)—which it currently holds.
‘On October 19, 2003, one of the trains lost a wheel, resulting in a guest in the water park suffering a broken hip. The ride was “Standing But Not Operating” (SBNO) until sturdier wheels were installed and the ride reopened in 2006. The building of Steel Dragon 2000 required far more steel than other coasters for earthquake protection. This put the cost of the coaster at over $50 million. Unfortunately, the multi-million dollar price increase to manufacture the ride, due to the large amount of steel required to build the ride effectively put Morgan out of business.’ — Coaster Kingdom
Yomiuri Land, Tokyo
‘Once the fastest roller coaster in the world, Bandit does not disappoint roller coaster fans. Bandit is special as it was built to follow the contours of the forest-y Yomiuriland, which means that rides will pass through hundreds of treetops during the ride. Try to visit during Hanami, when you’ll be riding through the cherry blossom.’ — tripzilla
Space World, Fukuoka Prefecture
‘Circling an enormous model space shuttle, the Venus GP roller coaster makes it onto our list purely because of how surprisingly intense it is, and of course because it features both a vertical loop and one of the most twisting, helix-packed tracks in Japan. And as you can see from the video, it certainly doesn’t dawdle either!’ — sora news
Nagashima Spa Land
‘The car goes slowly through the station, loads riders, and then flips the car straight up, into the lift hill, which is partially very slow, but soon speeds up as the car is almost at the top. As the drop, into an airtime hill, and then up into a heartline roll, a very small hill, and then a brake run, going down into two heartline rolls, and then a magnetic trim brake run allows a car to go slowly back into the station.’ — WizLand
‘Gao is a massive dinosaur-themed roller coaster from Meisho Amusement Machines that has operated since 1998 at Mitsui Greenland Theme Park (now just called Greenland) in Japan. This mammoth coaster is 5457ft long and reaches speeds of up to 61mph.’ — davidjellis
Nagashima Spa Land
‘Leave it to Nagashima Spa Land to sport a priceless Schwarzkopf Looping Star and somehow distract us with even shinier toys first. Nevertheless, Looping Star was an obvious highlight of the day. It was my first ride on the beloved production model, Sean’s 2nd (after his childhood Thunder Loop at Slagharen). Of the 6 remaining Looping Stars (8 manufactured), Nagashima Spa Land boasts the only model still occupying its original location. Thrity-six years in the same location would yield a larger volume of mature vegetation were it not for a steady stream of typhoons splintering most trees of size.’ — The Coaster Kings
Parque Espana, Shima, Mie
‘The train departs the station and immediately climbs the 147 feet (45 m) lift hill. Once the train has crested the top of the lift hill, it banks to the right and drops at 62.1 miles per hour (99.9 km/h) into a vertical loop. Exiting the vertical loop, the train then soars through a zero-g roll, and then another vertical loop. Coming out of the second vertical loop, the train makes a highly banked speed turn to the left and travels up into a cobra roll. Leaving the cobra roll, the train travels onwards into a right hand helix which goes through the center of the second vertical loop. Pulling out of the helix, the train enters the mid-course brake run (which does not slow it down). Flying off the mid-course brake run, the train drops down into a corkscrew which leads into a wide left hand banked curve. Speeding through and out of the curve, the train then soars over an airtime hill, and into a sharp upwards helix the left and onto the final brake run.’ — Alchetron
Space World, Fukuoka
‘Thirteen visitors were injured Monday when the roller coaster they were riding at an amusement park in Kitakyushu, Fukuoka Prefecture, stopped abruptly, local police said. The six-car Titan V roller coaster at the Space World amusement park stopped at around 1:40 p.m. as a safety system activated after a joint between the third and fourth cars came off, investigators said. The injuries suffered by the visitors, who are mostly complaining of back pain or sickness, are not believed to be serious, they said. [The ride closed on December 31, 2017 alongside the rest of Space World.]’ — The Japan Times
Highland Park, Japan
‘The defunct Moonsault Scramble Roller Coaster that used to reside at Fuji-Q Highland park. was a world record coaster as the highest in the world and also the highest G force which led to its demise. Moonsault Scramble was known for producing extremely high g-forces on its riders. As of 1998, it was cited by some to exert up to 6.5 gs on its riders. It was one of only three roller coasters to exert such extreme forces on its riders. The pretzel knot element (compromising two inversions) that produced these high g-forces was the only such pretzel knot inversion ever implemented in a roller coaster until the opening of Banshee at Kings Island in 2014.’ — tripatlas
p.s. Hey. ** kier, K-k-k-k-ier!!!! I’m good enough. My toe still hurts, but less. Stubborn thingy. Our planned and very longed for trip to Phantasialand got killed because Germany just instituted a two week quarantine for Parisians. I think we might just hit Disneyland again out of desperation. Cool, cool, about restarted school and your settled and perfect sounding home. That all sounds so great. Yeah, I remember Erik. You saw ‘Lancelot du lac’! Godhead. Paris misses you too. And it’s still a very lovely place to be albeit with fingers severely crossed that they don’t up the restrictions. Right now it sounds like your situation. But with required constant masking. Not sure if you have that. But I (and Zac too) want you here as soon as it is safe and feasible for you. Oh, I’ll keep my eyes out for that Guyotat. Might not be easy to find, but, yes, I’ll check for it everywhere I go where English books are even remotely on sale. Dude, so very excellent to see you and to hear/read you sounding so fantastic! Tons of love from me, and from Mr. Farley too! ** David Ehrenstein, Yes, I chatted with an LA friend who sounded positively thrilled that it was only in the upper 90s yesterday, yikes. ** Jeff J, Hi, Jeff. Yes, indeed. I so agree that it’s sad and self-defeating for FSG to have cut loose Eugene Lim. Their publishing of ‘Dear Cyborgs’ is why I started paying close attention to what they were issuing in the first place. But I guess he has a new home. I forget which home, but I remember thinking it was a good one. Yeah, I’ll try to do a Jonas post. That’s the best way (for me) to fully investigate someone’s work and be productive at the same time. Yes, I did a Jon Jost Day. Here it is. Do you not know his films? I especially recommend ‘Last Chants for a Slow Dance’ and ‘Sure Fire’, both incredible. His films from the 70s to early 80s are especially good, I think. I haven’t seen much, film wise, other than some films I watched while making upcoming posts: William Greaves’ ‘Symbiopsychotaxiplasm’, a very strange early Nikos Koundouros film ‘Vortex’, rewatched Penelope Spheeris’ ‘Suburbia’. The new Charlie Kaufman is at the top of my to-see list. And I’ll find ‘She Dies Tomorrow’. Sudden work yesterday kept me from your new EP, but I should be in the clear by later today. ** Danielle, Well, hello, Danielle! You are a legend to me. And now you are both a blog star and contributor. How cool. Thank you for gracing here. I will admit shyness or something kept me from linking to Maryse’s amazing, honouring piece on my shit. Wait, that was really the original cover? Wow. I guess it scared FSG shitless, as it should have, but at such a cost. Ha ha, thank you kindly about the blog, and I’m kind of thrilled to know that you’re out there looking at it, I must say. No, really, she punched you? She is demonic. I mean I already knew she was, but now I really know it. Hey, come back any old time that suits you, okay? Sanitised hugs from me! ** _Black_Acrylic, Hi, B. Current day Paris sounds like current day Leeds but without your thunderstorms unfortunately. ** Steve Erickson, Everyone I know in LA seems to be surviving so far. The only lucky thing about the heat out there is that usually is dry desert-like heat. Unfortunately that same dry heat drives the fires crazy. I’ll check the new Marie Davidson/L’Oeil nu. I didn’t know about it. And, no, I haven’t seen that doc. Sounds strangely compelling. ** Bill, High 60s, now you’re talking. We’re still in the mid-low-70s. No complaints. Huh, I was just thinking the other day that I want to do a Piotr Szulkin Day. I’ll take your mention as a sign from above and do that. I think I’ve only seen ‘Golem’ and ‘O-Bi, O-Ba’, both of which I liked a lot. I’ll try to watch ‘Ga-ga’, probably while I’m making the post. Yeah, I think Eugene’s new book comes out early next year? I’m very excited for it too. ** Okay. Today I am indulging my profound love for amusement parks after a long dry spell occasioned by COVID’s having shut them down and delayed their upcoming attractions. So here’s a post featuring (almost?) every exciting roller coaster in Japan. You can enjoy them cold. You can bookmark the page for your next trip to Japan. Or if you’re there you can use the post as a guide map to thrills and chills galore. Dig. See you tomorrow.