Culture

Would You Go To Japan’s ‘Spa-Musement’ Park?

Where spa baths and roller coasters are one and the same.

Fun fact: Did you know there’s a town in Japan that lays claim to having the highest number of hot spring wells in the world? Yep, set between Beppu Bay and a string of volcanic mountains in the Oita Prefecture is the town of Beppu, where just over 2000 onsens exist within the city limits. 2000!

With such an array of soaking facilities, it’s only natural the town would want to capitalise on their extraordinary drawcard. Enter Japan’s newest crazy venture: The Spamusement Park.

Roller coasters, cable cars and ferris wheels, all with the added benefit of steaming hot water? Um, how have we not thought of this before? While this amazing venture doesn’t exist just yet, it’s currently in the works to become a real thing.

The Beppu City “Spamusement Park Project” is the delightful dream of Beppu’s tourism department, and was launched just last week with the above promotional video.

In the video, Beppu’s city Mayor Yasuhiro Nagano issues a challenge to social media: If the video reaches one million views, he’ll build the Spamusement Park for real. Lucky for us it’s already surpassed its goal, and is currently sitting at just under two million views on YouTube.

Speaking to The Japan Times, Michitaka Kubota, a spokesman from Beppu’s tourist department, has said, “We weren’t expecting this many views, but we sure are happy.” While it’s unconfirmed whether the planned park will operate the same as in the aspirational video, Mr Kubota assures us that the rides “will be something fun”. “We are still discussing safety issues, for example, whether we could actually run hot water inside a roller coaster,” says Mr Kubota. Fair point there, but we can always try, right?

A task force has since been entrusted with turning the park’s concept into a concrete reality, with details on rides, locations, prices and schedules all to be confirmed. Watch this space.