Beppu City boasts Mount Aso- Japan’s largest active volcano, and the second largest source of thermal spring water on the Earth- the first being Yellowstone National Park. Mayor of Beppu Yasuhiro Nagano decided to take full advantage of the city’s eight natural hot springs and already booming resort and tourism industry by opening an amusement park on the island of Kyushu- entirely spa-themed.
Since the announcement to construct this park was made eight months ago, patrons from all over the globe were eager to contribute some money to make it happen. Over 75,000,000 yen (or about 650,000 US dollars), made through crowdsourcing, contributed to the construction of the project. And on July 31st, with much fanfare, the first-ever “spamusement park”, called Yu-enchi, celebrated its grand opening.
If riding in a merry-go-round car filled with hot bubbles sounds like a bizarre childhood dream, prepare to make that dream a reality. The park’s grand opening also featured a roller coaster filled with hot water, alot of dancing, a pedal-powered carriage ride, and actors dressed as zombies. Because why the heck not?
There will surely be no shortage of hot water to keep the theme park afloat, as 3,000 vents eject about 130,000 tons of hot water per day.
The grand opening was, unsurprisingly, sold out. Only those who donated 8,000 yen or more to the city, or who bought an advance ticket, could attend. Tons of towel-clad patrons danced with bubbles and foam, and waited patiently on absurdly long lines for this quirky attraction, and it was a tremendous success.