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Japan’s Soapy ‘Spa-musement Park’ Is Finally A Reality

Rub-a-dub-dub.

Many said they couldn’t – or wouldn’t – actually do it, but Japan’s so-called “spa-musement park” opened at Beppu Rakutenchi amusement park over the weekend, eight months after the proposal first captured the world’s attention.

An attempt to promote the volcanic city’s plentiful hot springs and unique natural attractions, the park comes complete with a hot-tub themed rollercoaster, a bathtub merry-go-round, and foam-filled dance parties. For reasons yet to become clear, actors dressed as zombies also roam the grounds.

Located on the island of Kyushu, the idea was first floated in a concept video by Beppu’s mayor, Yasuhiro Nagano, in late 2016, promising he would work to make the park a reality if the video garnered over a million hits. It was eventually brought to life by government and crowdfunded contributions (around $850,000 to date) and completely sold out its first day at its temporary location.

Beppu is the world’s second-largest thermal spring water source, after the USA’s Yellowstone National Park. Almost 3000 hot spring vents spew 130,000 tonnes of hot water every day, meaning some of the springs are too hot to bathe in. Fortunately, water at Rakutenchi is temperature-controlled.

It’s not known how long the spa-musement installation will remain at Rakutenchi, but it’s open from 9:30am to 5pm, Monday to Sunday, and is located at 18 Nagarekawadori, Beppu 874-0820 in Japan’s Oita Prefecture. Entry costs $14 (Y1300) for adults and $7 (Y600) for children and include access to the park’s cable car, while rides are priced separately (around $10 each).

(Lead photo: YouTube)

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