Yes, the slide is built on school desks stacked on top of each other, but that just makes the ride even more thrilling.
One of the highlights of the year for Japanese students is the school festival, commonly known as “bunkasai” (“cultural festival”). The annual event is a chance for students to come together to show their team spirit, with classrooms and clubs putting on displays and performances for the entire school, and families and locals invited to enjoy the fun festivities as well.
In recent years, these school festivals have been unearthing some rare and unexpected gems, including fantastical cosplays and musical arcade games that have caught the attention of thousands online. Now there’s a new bunkasai find that’s going viral, thanks to a video that shows a group of students who made their very own roller coaster inside the school.
▼ Check out the roller coaster below.
束 原 智 也 (@Vanillas_orig_) September 12, 2019
The video starts with two students pushing another one in a cart, the three of them perched high above the ground on a stack of school desks. As the cart rolls down the roller coaster, screams ring out as the ride gathers speed, turning a number of corners that have been so cleverly designed the cart even goes backwards at one point, before safely coming to a stop on the ground below.
▼ The open corner at the first turn looks particularly harrowing.
While the design is ingenious, we can’t deny that it looks frightening, due to the fact that it’s constructed on stacks of school desks. Some people couldn’t help but wonder if the ride was structurally sound, prompting the video’s uploader to leave some follow-up tweets to alleviate everyone’s concerns about student safety.
“This was a trial run during summer vacation so we increased its strength to about five times more than this.”
“People have been leaving a lot of admonishing messages, but:
・The structure was additionally reinforced.
・The desks were secured one by one with cable ties.
・Riders were required to wear a helmet.
・A 30-centimetre thick mattress was laid out below just in case.
・This was our third year making the roller coaster so every detail has been carefully looked after.”
While people still pondered over the safety of the ride, the clip racked up over 3 million views in less than two days, with people leaving comments like:
“Wow — I can’t believe the teachers gave permission for this!”
“So jealous! We made a roller coaster when I was a first-year high school student, but because of safety concerns we weren’t allowed to have it anywhere near as high as this!”
“Omg the fact that this has a section that goes backwards is amazing! Please be careful though!”
“I’d love to know what it feels like to ride on this!”
“This is taking bunkasai to a whole other level!”
It’s amazing that the students were able to not only design this theme park ride, but make it a reality with the blessing of the teachers and the school community. We can’t wait to see what the future has in store for school festivals in Japan, especially if there’s now scope to expand on the impressive VR roller coaster and the amazing teacup rides we’ve seen at other schools over the years!