Could it be possible to ride a coaster or a merry go round that also serves as a jacuzzi? Could a blend of a spa and an amusement park co-exist? Just when you think that you’ve heard it all, you have to think again. When we first heard mentions of this, a few here at Coaster Addict thought perhaps this was a hoax and some still do. Apparently, however, this concept actually became reality in Japan. Check out the video at the end of the article and let us know what you think and if you would go. In the Japanese city of Beppu, staff worked hard to fulfill its pledge to make spa-themed amusement park concept a reality after pipe dream went viral.
“The existing Rakutenchi theme park in Beppu was “re-purposed” over a single weekend and renamed ‘Yu-Enchi’ – a play on the words fun and spa – with a number of rides being transformed into having an onsen theme,” says Spa Business Magazine writer, Tom Walker. What could you expect at this spa-themed amusement park? While it is safe to say there weren’t any inverting coasters at Yu-Enchi, roller coaster riders were able to get covered in soapy foam before being dispatched on the 49 feet tall Jet Coaster for what was certainly one unique and relaxing experience. The merry-go-round was fitted with tubs. Even the park had a number of group-themed spa activities. Mayor Yasuhiro Nagano and the city raised $300,000 USD through crowdfunding to bring this park to life.
Ready to go and experience it for yourself? Well, we have some bad news; the park was only open for three days from July 29 until August 1. Within those three days they reached over 12,000 visitors. The lines had already started forming before 7:00am to enter the park. Kids even got to enjoy an 80-meter hot springs water slide. While it appears to have been short-lived, the park’s successful transition caught the attention of accommodations juggernaut, InterContinental Hotel; partially because of this success, the hotel chain will open its first onsen resort in the Japanese city of Beppu in 2019. No word if more blended spa-amusement attractions might be in its or the city’s future, but anything is possible. Certainly, this took the concept of having a relaxing spa day to a whole new level.
[Feature image is courtesy of Rakutenchi.]