Nagashima Spa Land is often nicknamed as the Japanese version of Cedar Point. Here’s why: the park offers 11 rollercoasters, including world record holder Steel Dragon 2000. If you’d like to read about my experience with the longest coaster on Earth, I’ve got some bad news: Steel Dragon 2000 remains closed because of strong winds during our visit. This was rather disappointing, but luckily we managed to ride every other coaster with no queue at all. Weekdays in April are clearly very quiet at Nagashima Spa Land, so we get private rides on most attractions.
A private ride on two Schwarzkopf coasters… that feels like heaven. Nagashima Spa Land offers a Looping Star and a Shuttle Loop, both classic coaster models. The smoothness of these rides is remarkable and I like the fact that they use a lap bar instead of an over-the-shoulder restraint. Other classic rides include the Corkscrew, a double Wild Mouse and an old-fashioned Free Fall. I’d like to compliment Nagashima Spa Land’s maintenance crew for keeping these senior rides in great condition.
The most beautiful coaster at Nagashima Spa Land is undoubtedly White Cyclone, an impressive white Intamin woodie. The ride is 1.7 kilometres long and 42 metres high, so it’s simply enormous. And although the ride feels rather shaky, I enjoy every moment of it. White Cyclone is a typical wooden coaster with some roughness, great airtime and a strong out of control feeling. Take a ride on the nearby ferris wheel for the very best views of this beauty.
Nagashima Spa Land is home to the world’s longest rollercoaster (Steel Dragon 2000), to one of the world’s most beautiful coasters (White Cyclone) and to the most bizarre rollercoaster I’ve ever seen: Ultra Twister. I used to think that this coaster type only existed in Rollercoaster Tycoon, but there are a few of them in the real world. This Togo pipeline coaster seems odd and the train looks like pure science fiction. However, the experience is actually not that good: it’s a bumpy and very short ride.
Nagashima Spa Land is currently building Acrobat, a flying coaster with a lay-out similar to Manta at SeaWorld Orlando. Thanks to this addition, the park once again confirms its status as Japan’s coaster capital. Nagashima Spa Land is a fine amusement park with a few nice rollercoasters and a good amount of thrill rides (they even have 3 swinging pirate ships!). Staff are excellent, queues are short and the park is impeccably clean. This is actually the perfect coaster break if you’re travelling between Osaka and Tokyo.