Thrill-seeking families looking for a roller coaster fix during the warmer months need look no further than Mount Fuji.
At the foot of Japan’s most famous mountain, sits Fuji-Q Highland, which provides just the right mix of drops, turns and spirals to get the adrenaline pumping.
While the four main roller coasters are for adults, there are kid-friendly alternatives available at the park’s Thomas Town children’s area, including smaller roller coasters, tower swings and a water park.
The main attractions at the park are, of course, the roller coasters — Fujiyama, Takabisha, Eejanaika and Dodonpa.
All four have set a world record at one point or another; Dodonpa is the fastest-accelerating roller coaster in the world; and Takabisha owns the record for steepest free fall. Eejanaika is one of only seven “4th dimension” roller coasters, meaning the seats can rotate forward or backward 360 degrees in a controlled spin.
There is no shortage of other entertainment around Fuji-Q. Evangelion: World features 3-D shows based on popular Japanese anime. You can also spend time at the Super Scary Labyrinth of Fear, the Ultimate Fort or the Shining Flower ferris wheel.
Food and drink options within the park vary, and include everything from curry and rice to pizza. Canned beer is also available at the park.
Lines at Fuji-Q can sometimes exceed two hours for one ride on the weekends, so it is recommended to schedule visits during the week to avoid long waits. When planning a trip, it is also recommended to check the weather, as most of the larger coasters stop for high winds and rain.
All stations at Fuji-Q offer English menus and instructions, and there are employees throughout the park to assist guests, as needed.
Address: 5-6-1 Shin-Nishihara, Fujiyoshida, Yamanashi Prefecture 403-0017, Japan
Take the train to Fuji-Q Highland Station (about $26 and 120 minutes from Shinjuku Station). A round-trip bus ticket costs $75. Passes with discount rates are available through the Fuji Q website.
Visitors can pay a 1,400 yen ($14) entrance fee and then buy individual tickets for each ride, or they can pay 5,200 yen ($52), which grants them access to the park and unlimited access to the rides.
Fuji-Q Highland is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends. The park also takes occasional holidays, so check the website in advance.
Restaurants and snack shacks offer a variety of treats.
Website: www.fujiq.jp/en; phone: 0555-23-2111