Unless you are a roller coaster enthusiast, Japan isn’t really known for their incredibly thrilling roller coasters or amusement parks. However, in the shadow of Fuji-san lies a thrill seeker’s dream, FujiQ Highland.
FujiQ Highland Park is one of the few amusement parks in Japan, resting at the foot of Mount Fuji in Yamanashi Prefecture. This park is divided up into 3 separate parts which include Highland Park, Thomas Land, and La Ville Gaspard et Lisa, and has a total of 40 different attractions including roller coasters, family rides, kiddie rides, and a water ride. There is also a haunted hospital and Evangelion World, making this a perfect place for everyone of every age.
Because this place is so far away from the beaten path, there aren’t as many tourists visiting or even know if it. However, it isn’t a hard place to get to, and there are shuttle buses you can take to the park and back for a day. Find out below all the information you’ll need to get there, the park attractions reviewed and rated by my experience visiting there, and the hours and days you should go to avoid waiting in long lines!
Getting to FujiQ is not an easy task without proper knowledge or guidance on how to get there. You have several options to consider if you are coming from Tokyo. I’ve personally taken local trains, and let me tell you that choosing that option is both long and there are a few transfers between different lines. It’s not bad, and it’s actually a great way to see the mountainous countryside when visiting. You’ll definitely get to see stuff the average tourist wouldn’t, so it makes up for the long and somewhat confusing journey.
Alternatively, you can take a highway shuttle bus from Tokyo, but you will be restrained to a schedule when the bus departs. Buses can cost a lot more than taking the train, but it is possible to find discount one-way tickets which could make the price much more reasonable and worthwhile.
JR Chuo Line – Fujikyuko Line, 2570 yen, about 3 hours and 15 minutes of travel
From Tokyo station, you can take the JR Chuo Line Rapid to Otsuki station and transfer to the Fujikyuko Line to reach Fujikyu Highland station that is right outside FujiQ Highland. These trains are local and have many stops along the way which can make for a long ride. From my experience, these trains aren’t typically busy unless you are coming back to Tokyo during the night rush. You can use a JR day pass from Tokyo station to Otsuki which could help save money. You can also get a Fujikyuko day pass from Otsuki station if you plan on traveling a bit around FujiQ on the Fujikyuko Line.
Keio Highway Bus, 7900 yen, about 2 hours of travel
There are buses that run from Tokyo to FujiQ that are operated by the Keio Highway Bus company. These buses are standard coach buses with comfortable seats, ample legroom, and overhead storage compartments that can fit bags and backpacks. You can get on these buses at any of the following stations in Tokyo; Shinjuku, Shibuya, Tokyo Station, Ikebukuro, Akihabara, Machida, Fujisawa, Haneda, and Yokohama. The price above is for a round trip ticket, so you are covered for the trip there and back. Be aware that there are discount websites that will try to sell you tickets at discounted prices. I’ve never tried these sites before, but most of them only sell one-way tickets. When you can view your ticket, be sure to take note of the departure time from FujiQ so you don’t miss your bus. I recommend reserving bus tickets a week before going. Bus seats typically run out fast, especially over holidays and weekends.
You can find the complete list, schedule, and prices here at FujiQ’s official website, as well as reserve tickets. The ticket reservation site is in Japanese, so be sure to translate the page when you land on it!
Fujikyu Highland Top Attractions
The roller coasters and rides at FujiQ are indisputably awesome and thrilling. I’ve had the privilege to ride almost every ride multiple times. Below is a list of my top favorite rides that I recommend you ride while visiting, and the experience I had riding them!
Literally translated to “It’s Okay”, or “It Will Be Alright”, this ride is nothing but being alright. This ride is one of the most popular rides at FujiQ and famous for being the roller coaster with the most flips. Yes, flips. The ride has you sit in a seat where your legs dangle below and a safety harness comes down over your head to hold you in. When the ride gets to the top, it drops and the seats begin to spin freely as you descend down and up the roller coaster through the multiple loops. Honestly, this roller coaster has to be the most disorienting ride I’ve ever been on. After riding this ride three times within a day, I managed to get a migraine and my body felt as if I was hit by a boxer by the time I got home. Although this ride destroyed my body, I put this ride at the top and consider it one of the best rides for thrills ever. Expect to be waiting in line for at least an hour, or two at the most.
Once known as the world’s tallest and fastest roller coaster in the world, this attraction is still packed with thrills and is considered one of the best roller coasters in the world. If you’ve ever ridden the Millennium Force at Cedar Point, you might be able to see some similarities between the two. I did at least. In fact, the Millennium Force was the roller coaster that took the record from Fujiyama in 1999. The beginning of this ride begins with a long, steep climb to the top, and then a very fast drop that leads through a couple of loops and hard neck-snapping turns. The intense volcano-like branding of this ride definitely describes what it’s all about. I’d consider this the second best attraction at FujiQ. The line wait is typically 30 minutes to an hour-long. For me, I was able to ride this attraction 5 times out of the day due to going during a non-busy day.
The steepest roller coaster in the world, Takabisha is definitely a ride you don’t want to miss when coming here. This ride is short, but thrilling with a short straight climb to the top, and a moment of hanging over the edge before being sent down into a corkscrew and several loops. Because this ride is short, the line didn’t take too long to go through. After the ride when you walk out toward the white fence, there is a set of picket signs you can take out of the fence post and pose for a picture stating that
This probably would have made my top list if I actually rode it. Unfortunately, when I went to FujiQ, this ride was closed for yearlong maintenance. It has since reopened, but I haven’t been able to find time to go and ride it. Instead of trying to explain something I haven’t ridden before, I will rely on you guys what my girlfriend, who did ride it in the past, had to say about it. To me, the ride was described to be super fast, simple, and fun. The ride shoots you down a straight line through a loop at very high speeds. From what I’ve seen on videos, this ride is perfect for anyone who loves speed.
A wet water rafting attraction, I am always a sucker for these. At first, I was skeptical about the wet factor and actually gambled thinking I wouldn’t get as wet. When I went to FujiQ, it was pretty cold outside and I didn’t want to get sick. Unfortunately, I got what I didn’t want and get absolutely soaked. However, it was pretty worth it considering the fun I had on this ride with all the splashes and drops. You can purchase plastic ponchos from a vending machine for less than 100 yen while waiting in line. These ponchos won’t do much in protecting you from getting wet, but without them, you will definitely get soaked head to toe. This attraction is also known for having the world’s largest lucky cat. The wait for this ride is an average of 30 minutes and goes pretty fast due to all the rafts available during the operation of this ride.
A ride that lets you control the fun. Similar to those swing rides, you are elevated up at a high altitude while sitting in a seat. On both sides of you are wings that you can lift up and down with handles. Lifting the wings up or down will cause you to spin! While you are up in the air, there is a screen below above the waiting line that displays the seat’s number and the spins you’ve done, so it’s like a game! If you get the most spins for that day out of everyone, you can have your name written next to the number of spins on a board for everyone to see. When I was waiting in line for this ride, some people made this look like a piece of cake with the ridiculous amounts of spin as they tumbled around, almost making me feel sick while watching! The wings on this ride are a bit heavy so I wasn’t quite able to get the spins I wanted without tiring out, so, unfortunately, I never had the privilege of having my name put up on the board. I definitely recommend this as a fun and easy ride to throw in between the roller coasters!
A basic swing ride that gives an awesome view of FujiQ and the countryside around Mount Fuji. I Didn’t add this to my top list because it isn’t that unique compared to the other attractions, but I definitely recommend riding this if you aren’t afraid of heights. The theme of this ride is also pretty awesome, based on the Japanese construction style, and having a catchy song while you wait in line. The handles on the swings can also be slammed down to create a pinging noise as if you were at a construction site banging a hammer.
Outside FujiQ’s main park, there are two smaller parks in the area. This includes Thomas Land, a park great for kids and fans of Thomas The Tank Engine, and La Ville de Gaspard for people looking to relax at a Paris-themed cafe.
Surprisingly, Thomas The Tank Engine is very popular among Japanese children. To cater to kids too young to ride rollercoasters, FujiQ built a park equipped with all kinds of kiddie rides. If you are traveling with kids who love Thomas, I strongly recommend going here for a few hours of fun. Not only will your kid love the rides, but they can also enjoy a Thomas themed lunch from K’s Thomas Cafe.
When visiting Thomas Land, I recommend getting the cheapest pass, as there isn’t enough to do here for anything greater. The most time you can spend here is about 2 hours unless you repeat some of the games and rides.
La Ville de Gaspard
Directly behind FujiQ, you may stumble across La Ville De Gaspard, a French-styled village. At a glance, there isn’t much to do here. I definitely wasn’t aware of anything special until visiting the few pastries and cafes. The Dream Tea Salon is anything but a salon and is instead a ‘tea time’ restaurant, modeled to look like a Parisian theater. If you are familiar with Japan, the Japanese have what is called ‘tea time’, or an afternoon spent drinking tea and eating pastries, fruits, and sweets.
Here are my top tips I’ve gathered that will help you make your trip to FujiQ a great one! These tips include saving money on the cost of getting there, getting all-day passes for very cheap, and showing up during non-busy days so you can ride your favorite ride more than once.
Saving Money On Travel
If you are traveling by train, the best way to save money is through the One Day JR Rail Pass that tourists can take advantage of. You can get one at any manned office at a station, usually by the ticket gate and machines, and pay. The pass costs only 2200 yen and is good for the entire day. This is great to take to FujiQ because you would usually have to pay over 4000 yen for the entire trip there and back. When paying, be sure you have your passport. The train official will ask for it when issuing your train pass. Unfortunately, this pass is only good for JR Lines so you won’t be able to use it when you get to Otsuki Station and transfer to Fujikyuko Line. Keep in mind that this pass is for the entire day and is perfect if you have plans for the night in Tokyo after going to FujiQ. You can also opt-in for a Full Day Pass + Round Trip Ticket from the official FujiQ website here. This ticket covers your entry ticket into the park and transportation to the park for 6900 yen. This ticket is a bit more restrictive, so I recommend this if you are just wanting to go to the park and back to your hotel for the day.
Going On Good Days
Going to FujiQ on a good day will make your trip awesome and worth every penny you spend! It’s good to be aware of the main week I wouldn’t recommend going, and that is Golden Week. Golden Week starts April 29th and runs through May 5th. Many people take off work for this holiday making FujiQ unbearably busy. I recommend avoiding this week, and weekends altogether. When planning your trip, I highly recommend going on days most people work, such as Monday or Tuesday. When I planned my trip, I planned it for a Tuesday in the middle of June, and it was pretty empty. In the morning I had to sit in a couple of long lines (maybe 30 minutes to an hour) but after lunchtime, things died down and I was able to ride Eejanaika and Fujiyama 4-5 times in a row without waiting in a line. It was pretty dang awesome! So because of this experience, I recommend considering your days to go carefully!
Discounted Day Passes
You can usually get a day pass for 3600 yen. However, if you show up after 1:00 PM and show your passport to the ticket kiosk at the front gate, you can get a ticket for less than that. Sometimes free if you’re lucky. Sometimes you can find discounted tickets online, but I wouldn’t trust any websites unless they are official promotions from FujiQ’s official website here. I also wouldn’t pay any more than 3800 yen for a ticket since they are pretty much discounted all year long at 3600 yen per ticket.
Being able to go to FujiQ during your stay here in Japan is definitely going to be a memorable event, and isn’t something every tourist has the pleasure of going to. This guide is not exhaustive, and there is plenty of rides and attractions that I didn’t cover, so be sure to go out of your comfort zone and explore the park yourself!