An office crazy and beautiful enough for Mr. Sato.

People often use the term “telecommuting” and “remote working” to mean they’re working from home, but technically they just mean you’re working from somewhere other than your office. So on Thursday, our ace reporter Mr. Sato logged in to start his shift not from his apartment or SoraNews24 headquarters, but from Tokyo amusement park Yomiuriland.

This was a different situation from when our resident Disney fanatic Daiichiro spent the day covering Tokyo Disneyland’s new Big Hero 6/Beauty and the Beast expansion, though, since Mr. Sato wasn’t there to check out any newly built rides. Instead, he was there to try out Yomiuriland’s new telecommuting service, which gives you a private workspace…in the form of a private gondola on the park’s Ferris wheel!

This is no chintzy school carnival-sized wheel either, as Yomiuriland’s Ferris wheel reaches a height of roughly 160 meters (525 feet) at its highest point.

The Ferris wheel work space is part of the park’s Amusement Workation plan, which gives you access to not only the Ferris wheel but also a reserved poolside lounge area and indoor restaurant seating (plus Internet access and power outlets) from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for a price of 1,900 yen (US$18) on weekdays or 2,000 yen on weekends (the price for a two-person pair is 3,600 yen regardless of day).

Since the regular park wi-fi won’t reach all the way to the top of the Ferris wheel, you’re given a pocket wi-fi router before you board. Each Amusement Workation customer can ride for up to five rotations, which works out to about one hour.

▼ You also get a “getting off” placard to show to the staff if you want to get off early for some reason.

As his gondola came around, Mr. Sato hopped on and took a seat.

▼ Since it’s designed to usually hold families or groups of friends, there’s plenty of space for one person to stretch out and get comfy.

For amusement parkgoers in Japan, the main appeal of Ferris wheels isn’t the motion so much as the scenery, so the gondola rises into the sky at a leisurely pace. With a full revolution taking a little over ten minutes, it moves quickly enough to keep the view from feeling static, but smoothly enough that there’s no swaying that’ll distract you from your work.

Powering on his laptop, Mr. Sato began writing articles and answering emails. The peace and privacy helped him concentrate, and when he ran into a bit of writer’s block, he could simply turn his gaze outside the window for a few moments to admire the scenery, refreshing his mind and letting him then come back to the problem from a new angle.

Another plus: phone calls are a snap. If you’re telecommuting from a cafe or park, you have to worry about ambient noise or people around you overhearing potentially sensitive company information. All alone in a private booth hundreds of feet in the air, though, that’s not a concern at all. Even video conferences are doable, and Mr. Sato decided to have one with boss and SoraNews24 founder Yoshio.

▼ “Hey, boss! So how’s it going working on the ground?”

Even with the overcast weather, the view was dynamic and beautiful, and when Mr. Sato stepped off the Ferris wheel an hour later, he felt like the mental clouds in his head had all been cleared away.

His next stop was the poolside area, where the staff guided him to his work lounge. These are staggered (the spaces adjacent to and in front of/behind you are left vacant), and Mr. Sato had both regular and reclining chairs to work from.

If you prefer to work with a roof over your head, the Amusement Workation package also gives you a table inside the La Piscine restaurant, adjacent to the pool lounge. While not included in the base price, you can also order food and drinks.

▼ Mr. Sato recommends the rice omelet.

All in all, definitely a more luxurious way to spend a day than at his regular desk, and we’ll have to keep this in mind for the next time he’s making us crazy by being in the office.

Loation information
Yomiuriland / よみうりランド
Address: Tokyo-to, Inagi-shi, Yanokuchi 4015-1

Related: Yomiruiland Amusement Workation website
Photos ©SoraNews24
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[ Read in Japanese ]