This is the video that started it all:
The video was posted on YouTube by Beppu, Japan, Mayor Yasuhiro Nagano showing amusement park goers riding different attractions in pools of water.
"When this video reaches 1 million views, we hereby pledge to construct an onsen [hot springs] amusement park in Beppu city,” the mayor said in the video.
The goal was reached within four days and now Yasuhiro promises he will “look at making the project a reality."
"I believe that, as one of the world’s best hot spring tourist spots, the appeal of having an onsen theme park in the town creates an opportunity for the citizens of Beppu, particularly young residents, to feel that 'Beppu is fun' and have a sense of pride for their hometown," he said.
"A task force and professional teams will now look towards making the Yu-enchi Project a reality and we would like to go forward with your support,” he added.
The city officials, though, were quick to remind fans that the eventual park may not appear exactly as it does in the promotional clip.
"It's only an image," said Michitaka Kubota, a spokesman from Beppu's tourist department.
"We are still discussing safety issue, for example, whether we could actually run hot water inside a roller coaster, but the rides will be something fun."
Beppu is a city and spa resort on the southern Japanese island of Kyushu. Set between Beppu Bay and volcanic mountains, it is home to more than 2,000 onsen (hot springs) — it has more hot springs than anywhere else in the world, with 83,058 liters of water flowing per minute.
The town is trying to boost the number of non-Japanese tourists visiting Beppu — and what better way than bringing the famous hot springs and an amusement park together? Hence the video.
Aside from conventional hot water baths, Beppu offers sand baths where bathers are buried in naturally heated sand, steam baths that are heated by the steam of a hot spring, and mud baths which are basically muddy hot water baths. Looks like they will have a "Spa-musement park" added to the list pretty soon as well.