5. Hollywood Dream: The Ride — Universal Studios Japan (Osaka)
Thought to have cost some US$50 million, this ride the kind of sleek experience you could only expect from a big park like Universal Studios Japan (USJ). Although the ride doesn't turn upside-down at any point, there are still plenty of thrills to be found here, with the highest section of track more than 44 meters (114 ft) in the air, and trains reaching top speeds of 90 kilometers per hour (50 mph). Better yet, the coaster uses on-board audio systems that allow riders to choose their own soundtracks to be thrown about to. Very cool indeed.
4. Diavlo — Himeji Central Park (Hyogo)
A Bolliger & Mabillard inverted roller coaster, this ride is in fact a clone of Six Flags’ original Batman: The Ride coaster. Nevertheless, it’s a fantastic attraction and one not to miss if you’re in Hyogo Prefecture and have had your fill of animal spotting on Himeji Central Park ’s safari tours.
3. Thunder Dolphin — Tokyo Dome City (Tokyo)
Our next entrant is perhaps one of the most accessible to visitors to Japan in that it's located in the heart of the capital. Tokyo Dome City‘s Thunder Dolphin is not only the world’s 10th-tallest roller coaster at 80 meters (262 ft), but it also takes its riders on a breathtaking ride around the amusement park in which it's situated, flying through the center of the Big O Ferris Wheel and the giant hole at the top of the LaQua building, a popular spa resort that’s also well worth a visit.
2. Takabisha — Fuji-Q Highland (Yamanashi)
From fast starts to nerve-wracking drops, Fuji-Q’s Takabisha fires riders around in short cars rather than one long train, dragging them up a second climb at 90 degrees halfway through the ride before dropping them over a 121-degree steel precipice, making this roller coaster the steepest in the world and a Guinness World Record holder. The drop is absolutely horrifying, and for that exact reason this is without a doubt one of our favorite roller coasters of all time, let alone in Japan.
1. Dodonpa — Fuji-Q Highland (Yamanashi)
At No. 1 our list, with jolt and a head rush, it’s Fuji-Q Highland’s Dodonpa—one of the first roller coasters ever to utilize compressed air to fire cars out of its long, dark launch tunnel. And don’t let its cutesy pink and zebra-striped cars fool you: this is one seriously intense ride.
Although incredibly fast, and at one point the fastest coaster in the world at 172 kilometers per hour (107 mph), the reason so many thrill-seekers travel from all over the world to ride Dodonpa is to experience its brain-mushingly fast acceleration, hitting top speed in just 1.8 seconds. Not bad for a roller coaster opened in 2001!
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