After hitch-hiking around Okayama and seeing all of the major sights it had to offer, I decided to make my way to Washuzan Highland so I could ride the “most terrifying rollercoaster in all of Japan” (that’s really not so terrifying). Washuzan Highland is a Brazilian-themed amusement park about an hour from Okayama Station. The park has everything from roller coasters to swimming pools to petting zoos. Because it’s located in the countryside of Japan, it has a huge amount of attractions but not nearly as many tourists as other amusement parks. With the tropical plants, Brazilian performers, and the vibrant atmosphere, I really did feel like I was in a different country here!
The terrifying rollercoaster, called the “SkyCycle”, is actually a pedal-powered roller bike that’s extremely high up in the sky. Although I didn’t find it scary, the fear likely stems from the fact that it’s not automated like other rollercoasters; the bike is entirely in your control and you go around at your own pace. Looking down might cause panic for those who are afraid of heights, but this is a great ride for people like me who love adventure. The ride is only about a minute long but you get an awesome view of Okayama Prefecture and Shikoku Island from it:
I was a little disappointed that the ride wasn’t a bit longer, but I understand that people may get scared over time if it were. The bike has two seats but you can ride it alone. I rode it twice so I could experience it from both the inward and outward seats. The outward seat is definitely more thrilling because it faces the edge and you can feel the motion of the turns more. Though it looks a bit dangerous from all of the media exposure, SkyCycle is completely safe because each chair has a seat belt, so you don’t have to worry about falling off. You should be careful of dropping your camera though!
After surviving the most terrifying rollercoaster, I decided to go swimming for a while in the pool. It’s not very deep but it’s extremely refreshing on a hot day in August! Next I did some rollerskating at the roller rink. I specifically remember that the song Cookie by banvox started playing on a loudspeaker, and I picked up the pace. It was really cool to hear one of his rare older songs played in his home prefecture! By that point I was exhausted, so I bought a melon and hung out at the petting zoo. I enjoyed seeing the white hens and hamster tree. I ate some nice egg sushi from a place nearby as well (the tamago sushi here is ginormous). Though this happened nearly three years ago, I still remember what an exhilarating experience this was!
Unfortunately I didn’t take many pictures of the park, but trust me it’s worth riding the SkyCycle for this view:
I may come back here again with my GoPro if I have time in the future. If you have the time, consider checking out Okayama! It’s such an under-rated city and has much for you to discover.
303-1 Shimotsuifukiage, Kurashiki, Okayama 711-0926
Admission Fee: 2800 yen (worth it because there’s hardly any wait time for the rides)