Japan may not be the first port of call for adrenaline junkies, but the country is home to some truly unique roller coasters and rides that will satisfy even the most adventurous of appetites. Below are 4 of the most renowned Japanese theme parks and the rides they have to offer.
Fuji-Q Highland: Dodonpa, Eejanaika and Takabisha (https://www.fujiq.jp/en/)
Dodonpa faces some stiff competition at Fuji-Q Highland, but for many it is their best roller coaster. It encompasses almost the entire park at a top speed of 172 km/h (111mph), but what makes it truly breathtaking is its incredible acceleration, it reaches this maximum speed in just 1.8 seconds after the ride launches.
It may not be as fast, but Eejanaika is even crazier than Dodonpa. Your seat can spin in full 360° so that while you are fired around the tracks, you will also be spinning around in your chair. They call it a “fourth dimension coaster” as you will be whipped around in more directions than your brain will be able to process.
Takabisha is yet another world record holder at Fuji-Q, this one is famous for having the world’s steepest drop, a terrifying 121° no less. The coaster has short cars of just two rows, instead of a long train, so everyone gets a horrifying view of the plummet they are about to make.
Nagashima Spa Land: Steel Dragon and White Cyclone (http://www.nagashima-onsen.co.jp)
With a top speed of 153 km/h (95mph), the Steel Dragon was once the world’s fastest coaster, and although it has lost that title, it still holds the record for being the longest steel roller coaster on the planet, with an impressive 2,479 meters of track. It is a staggering structure to look at and is a must for any roller coaster aficionados.
Japan’s longest wooden roller coaster, White Cyclone, is also housed at Nagashima Spa Land. It is an impressive 1,700 meters long and stands 42 meters high. It may not have the speed of the Steel Dragon, but it has a classic appeal and is certainly a ride to remember, as the track twists round on itself and you whizz through the beautiful hive like wooden structure.
Tokyo Dome City: Thunder Dolphin (https://www.tokyo-dome.co.jp/e/attractions/)
The Thunder Dolphin is the 6th tallest roller coaster in the world, standing at an impressive 80 meters tall. But what makes the coaster so exciting is the tour it takes you on. It whizzes passengers around the park, flying over the rooftop of the Spa resort building, LaQua, and even dives through a hole in the roof of the iconic building. And who can forget the passing through the huge Big-O Ferris wheel, the world’s first hubless Ferris Wheel.
Space World: Venus GP, Titan Max and Zaturn (http://www.spaceworld.co.jp/english/)
Venus GP is an intense coaster with twists, turns and loops all coming in quick succession. It circles a full-scale model of a NASA space rocket, and although it may not be the fastest or steepest of roller coasters in Japan, it is one of the most unrelenting.
Titan Max is a huge yellow roller coaster that reaches top speeds of 115km/h (71mph) and stands at 60 meters tall. What makes the ride so extraordinary is that besides a simple chair and safety harness, you are all but exposed to the elements, so you can feel the wind rushing through your legs as you are whipped around. The ride also has five soundtracks for passengers to choose from, so you can individualise your ride!
Zaturn is devilish in its simplicity. Passengers are thrown towards a loop 65 meters in height, before falling down a slope of 89°. Within seconds you will reach a top speed of 130 km/h (80 mph) and be back where you started before you know it. It may only last for the briefest of moments, but the experience of riding Zaturn is sure to stay with you for a long time to come.