Escaping from a castle turret in Japan involves hurtling down a narrow, flexible chute!
Cultural Property Fire Prevention Day was held at castles across Japan on 26 January; an event which has been implemented annually ever since fire destroyed part of Hōryū-ji temple in Nara in 1949, causing severe damage to a number of important cultural items. Disaster prevention measures and evacuation drills are now performed on this day to minimise fire damage and safeguard visitors in case of a dangerous event.
▼ Kumamoto Castle in Kumamoto Prefecture on the southern island of Kyushu put on an impressive display, with emergency services and about 80 staff members revealing exactly what it takes to safeguard a castle in modern times.
With 13 structures in the castle complex designated as Important Cultural Properties, manoeuvring vehicles into position to douse water on specific areas is an important task.
▼ Here, fire services hose down the Udo Turret, a nationally designated Important Cultural Property.
▼ Part of the disaster training drill involves rescue tasks using hook-and-ladder trucks.
And for the fastest way to evacuate a large number of people from a burning building, they rolled out this unusual item.
The flexible chute stretches from the main castle tower all the way to the ground below. Held in place with rope, metal rings and a handful of people, there’s no need for an inflatable cushion here!
The chute escape has surprised internet users in Japan, with many unaware of the unusual evacuation system, posting comments like:
“I really want to try this!”
“How do you get on the thing? That would be the scariest part.”
“This looks absolutely thrilling!”
“It’s like a huge playground slide.”
To take a look at the day’s proceedings, including a shot of the evacuation chute fluttering in the wind, check out the short video below.