As a day trip from Tokyo, hop on a bus to Mount Fuji, but rather than admire the cherry blossoms or the snow-capped peaks, head over to Fuji-Q Highland!
Hailing from Europe, I am used to some great theme parks, but in Japan not only do they have the best theme park in the entire world (Tokyo DisneySea) but also one of the world’s best thrill parks, with so many wild rollercoasters on show that you can spend a full day at Fuji-Q Highland and not get bored!
There are many ways to get to Fuji-Q, but I took the Chuo Highway Fujigoku Line from Shinjuku Station (just a stone’s throw from my hotel) and it took just under 2 hours to make the journey there. The scenery is beautiful along the way, and of course you are practically heading to Mount Fuji, so make sure you build a small trip to Fuji Five Lakes into your itinerary to marvel at Japan’s iconic volcano! By train from Shinjuku Station, you can get to Fuji-Q for about 2,400 Yen, although the journey takes about the same as by bus because you have to change trains half way through the journey – there are no direct trains to Fuji-Q from downtown Tokyo.
General admission costs in Fuji-Q Highland are 1,400 Yen per person, although some rides and attractions inside the theme park will cost you extra, so the price will continue to add up if you do it this way. Perhaps a better way is to invest in the “1 Day Free Pass”, which costs 5,200 Yen per adult, although this includes unlimited rides on most attractions, including the famous rollercoasters for which most people come here anyway.
For me, one of the main reasons to visit Fuji-Q Highland theme park was to try out the famous rollercoasters in the area. Principally, there are 4 worthy of your time: Fujiyama, Dodonpa (which has the fastest acceleration of any coaster in the world), Takabisha (with a beyond vertical drop), and the renowned Eejanaika. All rollercoaster enthusiasts must ride each of these at least once in their lives, as they are all special in their own ways.
Of particular interest to me was Eejanaika, which is one of only 3 so-called “4D rollercoasters” in the world (the others being in the US and in China). It is known as “4D” simply because of the added experience of having your seats freely and seemingly-randomly spin round as you going along the coaster track. This adds another dimension to what is already a hardcore ride, not for the faint of hearted!
It’s not just rollercoasters that people enjoy at Fuji-Q, though. Just like any other theme park, Fuji-Q has its fair share of standard rides, such as the water rafting ride, spinning rides, and a haunted house (which is known around here at the Haunted Hospital). I particularly liked the PaniClock, which was like a spinning pirate ship kind of ride, but it was themed to look like a clock, I guess. Still, it was great fun!
I mentioned before that this theme park is probably the most scenic of any park in the world. I have been to both Everland and Lotte World in Seoul, and while they are nice, they do not compare to the natural wonders found here at Fuji-Q. Another great thing about Fuji-Q is that it has a long history and has not just been built out of nothing in the past few years, like Happy Valley parks in China or Adlabs Imagica in Mumbai. You can really appreciatr the history of the place as you are walking around, admiring the scenic views in tandem with the roaring sounds of rollercoasters gliding along the tracks – and the screams of terrified riders!
There is absolutely something for everyone at Fuji-Q Highland, even for the foodies among us! I found many western style outlets that were selling burgers and the odd hotdog (unlike at DisneySea, which is very anti-western in terms of cuisine).
On a clear day, you can get marvellous views of Mount Fuji and the surrounding countryside when enjoying your day at Fuji-Q Highland, although as you may already know, Japan does not have many clear days in this part of the country, and as such your views of Mount Fuji may be hindered somewhat by cloud and/or fog. Also consider that during rain and thunderstorms, most of the outdoor rides in the park close down for safety reasons, so you may spend a while waiting for the rides to open up again. This can disrupt your day, but fortunately I was able to avoid the worst of the weather until I got back home to Tokyo the next day! Result!