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Tokyo amusement park with 'Japan's slowest roller coaster' undergoing renovations

Arakawayuen amusement park is seen before its closure for major renovations. (Photo courtesy of Tokyo's Arakawa Ward)

TOKYO -- Arakawayuen amusement park in the capital's Arakawa Ward is undergoing its first major renovations in about 30 years, including the addition of a 40-meter high Ferris wheel, and is scheduled to reopen in the summer of 2021, according to the local ward office operating it.

The ward will abolish the facility's "Coffee Cup" spinning ride and install a "Water Shooting Ride" where passengers shoot at targets with water pistols while moving. The Ferris wheel will be replaced by a new one approximately 8 meters taller than the present facility. The "Family Coaster," known as the "slowest roller coaster in Japan," will remain.

The ward will also construct an indoor "House" facility, which offers equipment for bouldering and a dining and rest area that will be larger than before.

Arakawayuen opened in 1950. It has rides for young infants and a section to touch animals. It has often been crowded with families on weekends and the number of visitors in fiscal 2017 reached 417,000.

Hideo Yamashita, manager of the ward office's section operating Arakawayuen, said, "The facility will become a more comfortable and exciting amusement park. I hope people will look forward to its reopening."

(Japanese original by Shohei Kawamura, Tokyo Bureau)

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