World’s steepest roller coaster… and three more for the ride

The attraction may have been invented in Imperial Russia and popularised in the US, but Japan has some of the most thrilling roller coasters on the planet.

In fact, since the 16th of July, the country has also been home to the steepest ‘jet coaster’ (ジェットコースター) of them all.


The thrilling new ride can be found at the Fuji-Q Highland Amusement Park in Yamanashi, and while the ride lasts for just 112 seconds, it’s certainly not for the faint of heart.

It accelerates to 100 km/h, packed with jaw-dropping features including seven twists, blackened tunnels, a 43m drop and a 121-degree freefall.

It is the 14th Guinness World Record set by Fuji-Q, which is one of the leading amusement parks in the world for thrill-seekers. For this attraction alone they invested over $37 million. Would you dare to ride it?

Steel Dragon 2000

If you’re not afraid of heights, this one is for you! When it opened in 2000—the Year of the Dragon—this was the world’s tallest (97 m) and fastest (153.26 km/h) complete-circuit roller coaster, and it still holds the record for the longest track length at 2,478.99 m.

photo by Kyota

As a little trivia, the building of Steel Dragon 2000 required far more steel than other coasters for earthquake protection. This put the cost of the coaster at over $50 million and effectively put Morgan Manufacturing, who built the ride, out of business.


Dodonpa, located in the same amusement park as the new Takabisha, is regularly ranked among the top coasters in the world.

photo by Engineering Excitement

When it opened in 2001, at 172 km/h, it surpassed Steel Dragon 2000 as the fastest roller coaster, and still holds the 3rd place today.

Dodonpa is only the second ride to use the power of compressed air to launch its coasters, following Virginia’s now retired Hypersonic XLC. With 172 km/h reached in 1.8 seconds, it has the fastest launch acceleration in the world.

Thunder Dolphin

Standing 80 m high, next to the Tokyo Dome stadium, Thunder Dolphin is currently the 6th tallest continuous-circuit coaster in the world.

The ride may last just 90 seconds, but passing through a hole in a building, and through the Big-O—the world’s first center-less Ferris wheel—at 130 km/h, it’s certainly one you’ll remember.

Have you been to any of these roller coasters? Do you plan to visit the Takabisha?

This is a submission to July 2011 J-festa on the topic of “Places in Japan.”