Most people who post videos on Youtube hope to make a big splash. The mayor of Beppu, Japan did just that, with a promotional video for a spa-themed amusement park that he promised would be built if the video received one million views.
The video became an overnight viral hit and now has nearly three million views. The two-minute clip is full of slapstick humor, with toweled men and women riding rollercoasters and carousels that have been modified so that the seats are one-person bathtubs. Everyone looks like they’re having the time of their lives, but it begs the question, can this thing become real?
According to a representative of the city’s tourism division, on behalf of Mr. Shinichiro Eto, the answer is yes.
“We didn’t think it would be easy to get million views, but we believed that we would manage to make it,” says the representative, Ms. Abe. “However, it was unexpected to make it within only four days.”
The video was filmed at Beppu Rakutenchi, an already-existing amusement park in Beppu which will serve as the foundation for the new project. The seemingly random spa theme is actually inspired by the city’s wealth of bathable hot spring water, which they boast to be the largest in the world. The release of the video was timed with Onsen Academia, a symposium with the goal of deepening public knowledge about the springs. So although it seems like a joke, the spamusement park aims to be a symbol of civic pride.
“For the residents in Beppu, especially the young, we would like them to re-recognize that Beppu is a great city that we are proud of,” says Ms. Abe.
As expected, at this point details on the construction are still scarce. Budget, water footprint, and cost of entry are still being decided, but the city has created a special task force to tackle the project, which they hope to open in July of 2017.
“Now the world is watching us, so numerous tourists will come to Spamusement Park,” says Ms. Abe. “We will build the Spamusement Park so that everyone, not only Beppu citizens, but people from all over the world can enjoy!”
Click here to read Beppu Mayor Yasuhiro Nagano's statement about the video reaching over 1 million views.