In the month of September at limited locations in Tokyo, the nation’s perennial favorite search engine Yahoo! Japan is offering a one-of-a-kind experience. By stepping into their motion simulator and strapping on a VR headset, you can virtually yet literally ride the waves of popularity of any topic of your choosing as if it were a roller coaster.

The concept is rather simple. When you select a keyword the number of people searching it on Yahoo! Japan at any moment will correspond to an elevation of the track. In other words, a real-time line graph of the number of searches will be transformed into a roller coaster track for you to ride on.

Choosing the hot topic of the moment is essential for an exciting ride. You can go with a stalwart topic like “Frozen” or “iPhone” for a reasonably bumpy ride or try to hit that truly breaking trending topic in the moment for the ultimate peaks and valleys.

For example, the Trend Coaster website posted some sample runs of different search items. Here are the tracks and speeds for “Yo-kai Watch,” “Adidas,” and “iPhone” respectively.

They all generated reasonable speeds from 100 to 700km/h (435mph), but you might have noticed a ranking for each run as well with iPhone giving only the 44th wildest ride. The top trending term so far was for tennis player Ken “Nishikori” after his stellar performance at the US Open, resulting in a maximum force of 26G’s and height of 670m.

Actually all of the top three rides were from “Nishikori” searches. However, that doesn’t mean you’ll get the same results if you go. The data is all real-time so you have to make sure you get what’s hot at that moment. My sciatica’s been acting up lately so I’ll probably just search for something like “” and enjoy a nice relaxing cruise.


Yahoo! Trend Coaster

12 – 15 September
11:00 – 20:00
Palette Town Store, Tokyo Leisureland

17 – 18 September
10:00 – 19:00
ad:tech Tokyo, Tokyo International Forum

Source: Yahoo! Trend Coaster (Japanese)
Video: YouTube – iPodStyleMovie