We’ve lived in Japan for 7 years now, and that whole time has been with little kids in tow. That means that you do life a little bit differently. The places you go are different, the things you like to do are different and when you do them (working around nap times and school schedules). But that doesn’t have to put a damper on things — you just enjoy each phase as they come and embrace the highlights. In our case, we’ve learned to love a good roller slide.
Yes, Japan loves a good roller slide, and before Japan I really didn’t even know what they were. But these slides fill the parks in Japan — they can be found in just about any serious park in varying sizes, widths and lengths. Up until last year, none had impressed us as much as the awesome slide at Showanomori Park in Chiba prefecture. We went to the park for the obstacle course, but we were blown away by the slide! Starting at the top of the hill and barreling all the way down to the bottom, this slide has us coming back for more. You can see it near the beginning of our trip to the German Village.
After riding that slide, I thought I had just done the longest roller slide in Japan, so I decided to research it. I had only scratched the surface. Japan has a number of long roller slides that we hadn’t even touched, and soon a new trip formed in my mind: one where we hit a couple of the longest roller slides ending with the largest roller slide in Japan.
The longest roller slide in Japan resides in Tabayama, and this roller slide is not for the faint of heart. Blue mats are rented at the slide, and this 247-meter behemoth requires gloves for braking! There are instructions that are similar to riding a roller-coaster, because any mistake on this slide could be bad news. If you are able to learn good form and stay together in a train with your neighbors, you can enjoy the fastest speeds on the slide. With several tries, we were able to get it down, nearly breaking the sound barrier on our last run (or so it felt).
So are you ready to see what it was like? Here’s Japan’s longest roller slide!