Unique venues: Observation Wheels

Ferris wheels have evolved from being the main ride in carnivals. A number have been built as destination attractions serving as observation wheels from which visitors get a good view of a city. They also serve as unique venues from which corporate groups can enjoy a drink or two. Below are some examples:


Location: Tokyo

Description: Completed in 2001, it is the largest operational ferris wheel in Japan. It takes its name from the flowery patterns of the spokes that support the wheel. The views that this delicate structure, located at the scenic Kasai Rinkai Park in Edogawa, Tokyo, Japan, boasts are second to none – clear weather affords guests spectacular sights of Edogawa, Rainbow Bridge, Tokyo Tower, Tokyo Bay, Tokyo Disneyland and even Mount Fuji. The intimate cabins and serene surroundings make it ideal for a relaxing and exclusive gathering.

Rotation Time: 17 minutes

Capacity: Each passenger car is able to carry up to six people, with 68 passenger cars in total.

Cost: JPY700 (US$9) per person per rotation

Website: www.jnto.go.jp




Location: London

Carrying an estimated 3.5 million customers every year, this impressive structure combines unparalleled views of the London skyline with top-notch service and customisable capsules. Events like champagne parties, afternoon tea and birthday parties can be and have been held in the London Eye’s private modules. Another unique aspect of the London Eye experience is the London Eye Barracuda, a vintage river cruiser plying its trade between the London Eye pier and Canary Wharf pier, which can host cocktail parties, dinners and dinner dances.

Rotation Time: 30 minutes

Capacity: Capsules can hold up to 25 guests each while the Barracuda can hold up to 230 guests in total for a drinks reception or 140 for seated dining.

Cost: Rental of a basic private capsule starts from £480 (US$745) and the Barracuda package starts from £85 (US$132) per person.

Website: www.londoneye.com




Location: Singapore

Rising up to 165 metres high, the Singapore Flyer is one of the world's largest observation wheel, towering majestically over the Singapore cityscape. The superstructure sits on top of the Singapore Flyer Retail Terminal, a mini-shopping arcade with many restaurants and a quiet, cool garden. The flyer also has a number of additional meeting facilities at the base for post or pre-event get-togethers.

Rotation Time: 30 minutes

Capacity: Each of the 28 capsules can hold up to 28 passengers each.

Cost: One rotation in a private capsule starts from S$1,500 (US$1,180), with every additional rotation costing an extra S$750 (US$590).

Website: www.singaporeflyer.com




Location: Nanchang, Jiangxi Province

The Star of Nanchang brings something different to the table – it is actually a full-blown Ferris Wheel, the tallest in China and the world at 162 metres. The massive wheel has another ace up its sleeve – the whole structure lights up at night in an array of colours, forming huge Chinese characters that read, “Nanchang welcomes you!”

Rotation Time: 30 minutes

Capacity: 60 space capsules that are equipped with LCD televisions each carry up to eight people at once.

Cost: RMB70 (US$11) per person per rotation




Location: Yokohama

A popular venue among many tourists and locals alike, the Cosmo Clock 21 is an impressive structure located in Yokohama, Japan. The original Cosmo Clock 21 was built way back in 1989 but dismantled and relocated onto a taller base, maximising the panoramic views of Tokyo and her lush surroundings. The funky Ferris Wheel also holds the title for being the world’s largest clock.

Rotation Time: 15 minutes

Capacity: The Cosmo Clock 21’s 60 passenger cars are each capable of carrying up to eight people.

Cost: JPY700 (US$9) per person per rotation

Website: www.minatomirai21.com


Randall Sim


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