Is Disneyland too kiddie for you? Does it not have enough thrill rides? If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, perhaps Fuji-Q Highland at the base of Mt. Fuji in Yamanashi Prefecture is the theme park to visit, since it has 2 of the world’s top 10 fastest roller coasters, and the world’s second largest—and reputedly scariest—haunted attraction. Yamanashi Prefecture isn’t exactly close to Tokyo, so here are some things to know before you plan your trip to Fuji-Q.
Getting to Fuji-Q Highland
Getting to this rollercoaster wonderland is pretty straightforward. You can buy a discount Fuji-Q pass and then take the Chuo Highway Bus Fujigoko Line from Shinjuku Highway Bus Terminal above the south exit of Shinjuku Station for about 100 minutes for ¥2,000 one-way. Buses from the same line also depart from the suburbs of Hachioji, Fuchu, and Mitaka for ¥1,050, ¥1,550, and ¥1,650 (one-way), respectively. Additionally, Fujikyuko buses also run to Fuji Q Highlands from the Shinjuku Highway Bus Terminal, Shibuya Mark City, Tokyo Station, and Akihabara. The buses from Shinjuku (¥2,000 from the counter or ¥1,850 online) run most frequently throughout the day beginning at 6:05am with the shortest journey time of about one hour and 40 minutes. The buses departing from Tokyo Station (¥2,000) and Shibuya (¥2,000) run a little less frequently with the trip taking approximately one hour and 50 minutes from Tokyo and a considerably longer two and a half hours from Shibuya. The Akihabara bus (¥2,000) only runs daily once in each direction with a travel time of one hour and 50 minutes.
Meanwhile, trains are pricier, at about 110 minutes (not yet including transfer times), are slightly longer than a bus ride to Fuji-Q from Shinjuku Station, and run much less frequently. To arrive at Fuji-Q from Shinjuku Station, you have to take a limited express from Shinjuku to Otsuki, which has a base fare of ¥1,320 one-way, but since it’s a limited express, you have to pay an additional fare for seating, which costs ¥930–¥1,650 depending on the season. Afterwards, you’ll still have to transfer from Otsuki to Fujikyu Highland Station for ¥1,080 one-way.
You can also check out the QPack, a package that includes a ticket to Fuji-Q and a round-trip bus ride between the Shinjuku Highway Bus Terminal and Fuji-Q (it takes about 100 minutes to arrive at Fuji-Q from Shinjuku).
Cheapo tip: If you’re keen on seeing more than just the theme park, you might want to consider a Mt. Fuji Pass that covers your entry to Fuji-Q plus gives you access to other attractions and transport in the area.
One thing to know about Fuji-Q highland is that it doesn’t mess around when it comes to designing crazy, thrilling roller coasters! Its major roller coasters—2 of which were previously the world’s fastest—are:
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- Fujiyama – Its tallest and fastest roller coaster, and the holder of numerous world records (10th fastest, 8th tallest, 5th longest). With a maximum drop of 70 meters, it didn’t get the moniker “King of Coasters” for nothing! The ride gives you a view of Mt. Fuji, although considering how fast it goes, you might be too overwhelmed to look!
- Dodonpa – Currently the world’s 4th fastest roller coaster, it’s named after the drum beat used to get people fired up before boarding. It’s the world’s fastest-accelerating roller coaster, and it shouldn’t be missed if you want a thrill.
- Takabisha – With a drop angle of 121°, this roller coaster has the world’s steepest drop. It begins with a slow climb to the top, then, after a brief pause… it’s time for the plunge!
- Eejanaika – It’s the world’s second 4th Dimension roller coaster (a roller coaster with rotating seats). This ride will definitely get you dizzy, as the seats can rotate 360°, and you’ll go through 14 inversions.
If those still weren’t enough to give you the shock of your life, try the aptly named Super Scary Labyrinth of Fear, a haunted hospital attraction which takes at least 50 minutes to complete. Yes, you read that right—at least 50 minutes. The line for this attraction gets quite long because they only let people in a few at a time—the better to scare you with, after all. And just to make sure that they’ll still hold on to the title of being the world’s scariest haunted attraction, they apparently redesigned the route and added new rooms!
Are these getting too much for you? But there are still more rides! Fuji-Q has water rides like Great Zaboon and Nagashimasuka, which are guaranteed to get you wet; Evangelion: World, where fans of Neon Genesis Evangelion can see scale models of Evangelions and some other characters, as well as recreations of certain scenes; and Ultimate Labyrinth, a maze with, supposedly, a 1/100000 successful escape rate, no thanks to visitors being given tasks that are too difficult to carry out, as they require not only physical skill, but also brain power. And for kids (or those who just want something very light and fun after all those thrill rides), Fuji-Q has Thomas Land, which has Thomas the Tank Engine and friends as its theme; a merry-go-round, spinning teacups, and a Ferris wheel, among others. Those are just some of Fuji-Q’s attractions; there are still a few more that went unmentioned here. But really, considering the long lines and the extreme thrills of Fuji-Q’s main attractions, you just might not have time to see everything, and Fuji-Q’s major roller coasters will make their normal ones look boring!
At the end of the day, you can destress and congratulate yourself on surviving Fuji-Q Highland by taking a soak in Fujiyama Onsen, the amusement park’s in-house hot spring, with a view of Mt. Fuji from the relaxation area. Entrance is ¥1,400 on weekdays and ¥1,700 on weekends (but early morning entry and usage—from 7:00-9:00 am—is only ¥620).
For other things to do nearby, check out our guide to Kawaguchiko!