Japan’s longest roller slide isn’t for the faint of heart

A rider picks up speed as he hits the steeper parts of Japan's longest roller slide in the village of Tabayama. THERON GODBOLD/STARS AND STRIPES
A rider picks up speed as he hits the steeper parts of Japan's longest roller slide in the village of Tabayama. THERON GODBOLD/STARS AND STRIPES

Japan’s longest roller slide isn’t for the faint of heart

by Theron Godbold
Stars and Stripes

Tabayama is a quaint village in the mountains west of Tokyo where the picturesque views and natural silences can be abruptly broken with the screams of thrilled riders on Japan’s largest roller slide.

Opened in late 1990, this 800-foot-long slide isn’t for the faint of heart. Harkening to an era of more casual concerns for safety, the slide has no seat belts, helmets or much of anything in the way of personal protection. A set of cheap cotton work gloves and a rubberized, hard-foam mat are all you get.

“It’s wet; might be a little fast and more dangerous,” said the manager of the slide in clear English.

The 1 ½-hour drive there from Yokota Air Base and Camp Zama winds past Lake Okutama, through forests, along riverside roads and deep into the mountains of Japan.

Read more at: https://www.stripes.com/1.600651

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