Author Archives: Renee Booe

Thomas Land at Fuji-Q

photo-102bIf you have a little one who is a fan of Thomas the Train then you must visit Thomas Land inside Fuji-q Highland (Fujique) Amusement Park. It is located in the back section of Fuji-q, but feels very separate once you enter the Thomas Land section.There are nine different rides that both kids and adults can ride including a little roller coaster,  a water boat ride, and a ride that lets your kids fly Harold. photo-100You will also find a movie theater, a maze, restaurants, gift shops, and a small man made pond/creek where kids can wade in to cool off. So bring a change of clothes for them just in case.  Click here to read a description of all the attractions. 

It is a perfect day trip since it takes less than an hour and half to get there when taking the expressway. Note that it will cost you around ¥2,100 in tolls one way. So be prepared for that. There is a train station near by if you prefer.

photo-104You could easily spend hours in Thomas Land depending on how many times your children want to ride each attraction and how long the lines are. My family just recently went on a Saturday in July and the lines were very short. The longest we waited was ten minutes to ride the train.

Costs: Click here to see the entrance fees There are two options when paying to get in the park. You can pay just the entrance fee and then pay for rides as you go, which is what we did. Entrance fee is ¥1,300 for adults and ¥700 for children 3-11. Children 2 and under get into the amusement park for free. Children 2 and under also ride all the Thomas Land rides for free. So you will not need to buy tickets for them to ride the attractions. photo-101Once you get into Thomas Land you will see ticket machines that sell tickets for the rides in this section. Use these machines to buy tickets for the rides you want to go on. Rides in Thomas Land cost between ¥200-¥300 per person.

The second option is to buy a day pass which covers the entrance fee and then allows you to ride all the rides in both Fuji-q and  Thomas Land without having to buy additional tickets for each ride. See the website for more details on one and two passes. http://www.fujiq.jp/en/

photo-103Important tips
*When you exit the toll road the entrance for one of the parking lots is immediately to your left. It is easy to miss so be prepared. If you do miss it there are additional parking lots but I believe this one is the closet to the main gate.   

*Once you enter the main gate of Fuji-q you will have to go through the gift shop and a little French village called La ville de Gaspard et Lisa to get to the actual ticket counter.   There are two small rides in this village, but continue on to get to Fuji Q.  They accept both yen and credit cards.

*There are park maps available in English for both Fuji-q and Thomas Land. Once you have entered Fuji-q follow the blue line on the ground to get to Thomas Land.

*You will have to pay for parking. I believe it is ¥1000.

* Park hours for Thomas Land are 9:00-17:00 on weekdays and 9:00-18:00 on weekends and holidays  Fuji Q stays open longer.

photo-106The park closes one Tuesday a month, so check the webpage before you try to go on a Tue: http://www.fujiq.jp/en/guestservice/.

*There were only two rides inside Thomas Land that had age/height restrictions. So this amusement park is suitable for babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and even young elementary school ages.  We took our 3 year old and 22 month old and both enjoyed themselves.

*Fuji-q is also know as Fijikyu Highland. This may be what you find when you search for it on your map app on the Iphone.

GPS Coordinates: 35.486463,138.780627

GPS Coordinates for parking lot described above: 35.486655,138.77625           Renee Booe, July 2013


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Food Land: East Side Grocery Store

photo-96Need to make a quick run to get some fresh produce or local brown eggs? Why not try Food Land which is only 1km out the east gate. Unlike stores such as the Seiyu and Daiei, Food Land is just a grocery store, which has it perks. It is never very crowed and the ambiance is very relaxing. No loud music or noisy arcades to distract you or make you feel like you are on a game show.  There is a large parking lot right in front of the store that is free of charge. They do accept credit cards. I believe the hours are from 9am-9pm but do need to verify this as the hours are not listed in English. Best part about this store is that it is so easy to get to.

Directions: Turn left out the east gate and right at the first light next to the 7 Eleven. Navigate this narrow road and turn left at the first light you come to which is next to the Sukiya. Continue on this road through one stop light and then the store will be on your left. –Renée Booe July 2013


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Daiei: Grocery Store, Indoor Playground, and More

photo-93A great resource only 1km out the east gate is the Daiei. It is a store very comparable to Walmart in that you can buy groceries as well as clothes, household goods, toys, and more. The first floor houses a few fast food restaurants, a shoe store, the grocery section, and all the household goods such as dishes, towels, sporting goods, makeup, and many other items.

 

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On the second floor you will find a sit down restaurant, a ¥100 section, an arcade that includes games and small rides for little ones, clothes for men/women/children, restrooms, and even a small indoor play land.

 

The play area is called Kid’s Us Land.  It is open from 10am-8pm and is located at the very back of the store. The first time you go you will have to buy a membership card for yourself and any child over the age of two. photo-88The membership card is ¥300.The price to play is ¥105 for each 15 minutes you play and you pay this fee at the end. When you enter they will give you a necklace with a paper inside which shows your arrival time. Just show this to the cashier when you are ready to leave and pay for the amount of time you stayed. The area has tables and vending machines with drinks and ice cream and it seems acceptable to bring in snacks. There are video and arcade games that are all free. Kids can jump on a trampoline or run around in the play area that has tunnels, slides, and a ball pit. photo-91The best part about this place is the free massage chairs for the parents to lounge in while children play. There is a very small gold fish pond where your kids can actually buy bait and go fishing.  There is an additional fee for this activity so be sure to ask the cashier for details.  Visit the stores website if you would like more information. Note that the site is in Japanese.  GPS:35.73557, 139.378889.

DIRECTIONS: Go out the east gate and turn right. Turn left at the first light. At the first stoplight make the far right hand turn, not the immediate right. (See map for clarification)  Continue on this road and the store will be on the left.  Alternative Directions: Go out the east gate and turn right. Turn left at the first light. Continue on this road. Just pass the first stoplight you will see the entrance to the parking lot on the right hand side.  –Renée Booe July 2013

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Hard Off: A Chain Second Hand Store

photo-83If you like thrift stores then you will love Hard Off. Located in various locations around Japan, Hard Off is a chain second hand store that sells a variety of gently used items. You will be amazed at all the treasures you can find at these stores such as furniture, clothes, electronics, toys, baby gear, dishes, sporting goods, purses, jewelry and much much more.  Need a surf board or shelves for your storage unit? Dying to have a designer purse? Then visit Hard Off  to see if you can find one for a discounted price and still in great condition.

The nearest Hard Off is out the east gate and about a 8-10 minute drive depending on traffic. It is open daily from 10:30 am-7:30pm and has ample parking space. photo-86 They do accept credit cards and yen.  There is an area to try clothes on.  Just remember to take off your shoes. If you find a piece of furniture that won’t fit in your car they will hold it for you for a few days. Thus allowing you time to borrow your friend’s van to come back and get it. However, you will have to pay for it before they will hold it. They will write you a receipt which you will show upon pick up.

Note that this second hard store is actually three stores in one; Hard Off, Hobby Off, and Off House.  Purchases must be made at the appropriate cash register depending on what “store” or section you found your item. If you aren’t exactly sure which cashier to use the workers will direct you. To purchase an item from upstairs use the checkout located on the second floor.

photo-84Have items you want to get rid of? Bring them to the Hard Off and make a little bit of money. After inspecting your items they will offer you an amount for what you have brought in.  If you agree with that offer you will be required to sign a piece of paper and then they will give you the money for your items. Some have said they were not offered a lot, but it is worth a try.  GPS: 35.72987,139.360812

photo-85DIRECTIONS: Turn right out the east gate. Drive on this road and then turn right at the fifth stoplight, which is Route 7.  Continue on Route 7 for .5 km thru one stoplight. The Hard Off will be on the right. -Renée Booe July 2013

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