Fuji Q Highland Amusement Park

fuji q sarah strausLocated at the base of Mt. Fuji, Fuji Q Highland is a wonderful place to spend the day, especially if you love roller coasters!  The park boasts 14 roller coasters – and they are intense.  The Dodonpa goes so fast… 111 miles per hour in 1.8 seconds after take off.  The Fujiyama is a huge roller coaster with multiple loops and drops that seem to go on forever.  The Takabisha has a vertical ascent and rather than just a free fall to start, actually hangs upside down during its initial descent.   Most of these roller coasters have a height restriction of 130 cm (4 ft 3 in) and age restriction of 10 years, though there seems to be no age restriction and 120 cm for the Fujiyama.

Ok, honestly, I enjoy watching roller coasters from the ground rather than riding them and I had younger kids with me the day I went (ages 5 and 3).  Still, there was a lot to do and we had a great day!  There are plenty of intermediary rides that are not as intense as the big roller coasters.  Our favorite was the mouse in the clouds roller-coaster that zipped through the trees.  Both our kids met the 100 cm height requirement and could ride with an adult.  Many of the other rides have a height requirement of 110 cm.  Elementary aged kids will have a great time too… there are plenty of rides for every age.

fuji q sarah strausThere are many rides suitable for the very young.  The large Ferris wheel, tea cups, Merry-go-round are all very tame.  Thomas the Train land is filled with rides great for 2 and 3-year-olds.  See the separate entry on Thomas the Train Land.  For those who want to be scared, there are two horror rides – The Ultimate Horror Maze and a Monster House.  I didn’t go on these either, but even the entrances looked scary.

There are plenty of restaurants and snack bars throughout the park as well as food courts like the Food Stadium.  On the third floor of the Food Stadium the Latteria serves hamburgers and fries.  I would avoid the Pizza-La – especially if you have kids.  They do not have any slices of plain cheese pizza and the topping are truly strange.  There are plenty of places to eat a picnic if you’ve brought a packed lunch/snacks.  I would recommend bringing and refilling your water bottles there too because the ice cold water that comes out of the tap tastes wonderful.

fuji q sarah strausObviously any amusement park is going to be more fun when the lines are short and the area isn’t too crowded.  We went on the last Friday in August when Japanese schools had resumed after summer break.  The park wasn’t too crowded and in particular, there were no lines for all the rides designed for smaller kids.  The roller coaster lines were 1 hour 30 minutes during the day, but after 6pm the wait was closer to 15 minutes.

For a list of prices check the webpage here.  It is possible to just buy your entrance into the park and then pay for rides as you go.  However, if the park isn’t crowded and you plan to ride on a lot of rides, it might be worth it to just pay the full entrance fee that includes unlimited access to all of the rides. Instead of a full pass for our kids, we bought the cheaper kids pass.  It allowed them to ride everything they were old enough for except this funny, yellow roller coaster toward the entrance, near the tea cups.   Everything I read says the hours are 9am-6pm on the weekends, 9-5 weekdays.  However, they must be open longer during the summer… at least we stayed there long after 6pm in August when we went.  I’m not sure what their summer/holiday hours are.  Open year around but closed one Tuesday a month.  Check here for which Tuesdays.   Japan Guide has a nice review of the park and some good photos.  GPS coordinates for parking: 35.486655,138.77625.

DIRECTIONS:  Basically head to Mt. Fuji, towards lake Kawaguchi.  Find your way to the Chuo and head away from Tokyo, toward Mt. Fuji.  When the freeway splits, head toward Kawaguchi/Fuji/Tsuru.  As you travel towards Mt. Fuji you’ll see the Fuji Q roller coasters at the base of the mountain before the exit.  Exit the freeway at Kawaguchi, pay the toll (we paid ¥1900 each way) and turn almost immediately into the parking area.  GPS 35.486655,138.77625.  From this parking lot you’ll walk right under the impressive Fujiyama roller coaster.  Go through the gift shop and the little french village to find the pay booths.  If you purchase an all inclusive day pass, go to the photo booth before entering the park.  Here you can exchange the pass you just bought for a pass with your photo on it.  You’ll show this pass at each ride. – Sarah Straus, September 2013

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