Ferris wheels are a typical date activity. You and your romantic partner can get spectacular views as you slowly churn through the sky. They’re slow, yet relaxing. One Japanese theme park is putting a new spin, ahem, on Ferris wheels.
But what about standing next to your date, locked up in a cage over the landscape below? Hey, everyone has different ideas of fun!
This winter, theme park Fuji-Q Highland will install two jail-like cages to its Shining Flower Ferris wheel. (The remaining carts will stay as is.) You can see an artist’s interpretation of the attraction in the above image.
The official release explains that the thrill for visitors is being imprisoned in a “windswept cage,” being able to see group below through the cracks in the pen as they endure the ridicule of being locked up during the 11-minutes it takes to do one rotation.
Goodness. I’ll pass!
Ferris wheels, however, are extremely popular in Japan — to the extent that surprised me when I first arrived two decades ago. For example, there’s even a Ferris wheel atop a department store in Osaka’s Umeda, which is a local landmark.
The first Ferris wheel was built for the World Expo in Chicago in 1893, while Japan got its first in 1907. Since then, a number has gone up all across the country. As of writing, there have been nine Ferris wheels over 100 meters tall in Japan. Currently, the tallest one in the country, the Redhorse Osaka Wheel, clocks in at 123 metres tall. In comparison, the London Eye is 135 metres tall, and the High Roller in Las Vegas, the world’s tallest, is 167.6 metres tall.
The Shining Flower cages will go into operation from July 21 with ride tickets priced at 800 yen ($9) apiece.