Yabafo free fall ride, Japan

Photo © Craig Anderson

Is it the world’s fastest elevator? Or a thrill ride in a very unusual spot? Whichever, Yabafo drops shoppers in Osaka 74 metres at 22 metres per second.

Straight out of science-fiction, Yabafo is the world’s first building-mounted free fall ride, bang in the middle of Osaka’s busiest shopping district. It is integrated into the outside wall of the 12-storey Namba HIPS building, overlooking Midosuji Avenue, a chic tree-lined boulevard with brand name stores like Dior and Louis Vuitton. Shaped like an hour glass or a giant keyhole, it is a daring, cutting edge piece of architecture.

The six-person ride gives passengers a panoramic view of the city before plunging them down the side of the building.

Probably best to have lunch afterwards rather than before.

Written by - Photo by Craig Anderson

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