Washuzan Highland – Kurashiki-shi, Japan - Atlas Obscura
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Kurashiki-shi, Japan

Washuzan Highland

A dilapidated amusement park with a million-dollar view. 

Washuzan Highland was once home to the Guinness World Record for longest rollercoaster ride, an uninterrupted 1,050 laps on the Star Jet Line lasting just over 35 hours (the record was surpassed in 2007). The park continues to offer thrills, though the erosion of time and a lack of maintenance has made for a slightly dystopian scene. But that’s not the main draw.

The vaguely Brazilian-themed park’s main attraction is its stunning view of the Seto Inland sea, the Seto Ohashi Bridge, connecting Honshu to Shikoku, and many small islands. One of the rides, the Turbo Drop, boasts the most spectacular view of all. It’s about 200 feet off the ground, and the hill it stands on is over 400 feet above sea level. It’s a dizzying sight to behold.

The Sky Cycle offers a less frightening view, and one from which you can actually photograph the bridge and surrounding islands. It’s a fixed bicycle track about four stories high, and visitors can ride at their own pace and are welcome to stop at any point to take photos.

The park opened in 1971 and most of its rides were installed by the late ‘80s. Though the park continues to be operational, its rides are discolored from rust, and many seem to be permanently closed for maintenance.  If you are looking for a state-of-the-art amusement park, this is not it. But the view, at the right time of the day, is worth the entry fee alone, and the pervasive strangeness of the run-down park is an added bonus.

Know Before You Go

Adult tickets are ¥2,800
There is a bus to the park from Kojima Station.