When we started using thrill rides as therapy for anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), we knew we’d have to make a trip to Fuji-Q Highland. The theme park is located at the base of Mount Fuji and it’s absolutely spectacular! It’s everything you could love about Japan — unique rides, cool costumes, efficient operations, and spectacular views. We can’t wait to go back!
Planning a trip to Fuji-Q Highland (also known as Fujikyu) can be a little intimidating, though. Even if you access their English site, it’s confusing. Getting there can also be a challenge. If you’re preparing for a visit, we thought we’d share our tips for making the most of your trip!
Get There by Bus or Train
Japan has an incredible transit system ranging from regular city buses to the amazing Shinkansen (bullet train). As such, it’s pretty easy to get to Fuji-Q Highland once you know what you’re doing. We saw this bus outside Shinagawa station when we arrived in the Tokyo area from Osaka, and I wish we’d just hopped on it. Taking the train was okay, but it was complicated from where we were staying in Shinjuku (plus it was raining!).
Fuji-Q Highland is right next to Fujikyu Highland Station on the Fujikyu Railway Line. Unfortunately, the tickets won’t be covered by the Japan Rail Pass, but it is covered by the JR Tokyo Wide Pass. We learned this the hard way!
By contrast, there are many direct buses that leave from Shinjuku, Tokyo Station, and Yokohama Station (and more!) that will stop at Fuji-Q Highland on their way up to the Mount Fuji area. Search on sites like Voyagin and Klook for combination tickets that cover both the transportation and park admission.
If we could do it all over again, we’d probably just take the bus directly from Shinjuku. We did hop on one on our way back to Tokyo, and it was completely empty except for us!
It’s Open Even If It’s Raining
Having traveled so far to experience Fuji-Q Highland, we almost had a meltdown when we woke up the day we were supposed to go and it was pouring! We only had one chance to make it, and miraculously, it all worked out in the end. The clouds parted and gave us just enough time to get on our three bucket list rides before the park closed (more on that later!).
So, if you’re headed to Fuji-Q and it’s raining, just know that it will be open no matter what. During the rain, there are few indoor attractions and a water ride that will stay open. Aside from that, expect everything else to be closed if it’s doing anything more than a light drizzle.
The good news is that rides will open if the skies clear up. We even watched someone personally wiping down the tracks to ensure it was safe once the rain stopped!
Check the Schedule Before Going
In North America, we’re used to theme parks staying open relatively late. On the day that we went, everything was closed by 5 p.m.! With the rain delay, the rides only opened around 2 p.m., so we had just a few hours to make use of our passes.
So, be sure you check the schedule for the exact date you plan to visit to avoid any surprises. It takes a lot of effort to get up there, so you don’t want to waste time (or money)!
Buy Your Tickets on Klook
We absolutely love Japan and would live there in a heartbeat, but we’ve got to say that Japanese websites are confusing. Even without the language barrier, they seem dated and hard to navigate. As a result, buying tickets is tough. To beat our travel anxiety, we like to have these things secured before we leave home.
We found Klook, a reputable third-party site that sells tickets to attractions in Japan. Not only did we get our tickets for Universal Studios Japan through Klook, but we picked up some discount passes for Fuji-Q Highland! There’s also an app, which makes it even more convenient.
One note — should you visit Fuji-Q during the peak season, consider buying a Priority Ticket. It’s similar to the FastPass at Disney or Express Pass at Universal Studios in that you can skip the line for popular attractions!
Look for Photo Op Spots
Located at the base of Mount Fuji, it’s hard to imagine a more picturesque park location. As a result, there are many stations throughout Fuji-Q Highland where you can stop and pose for a cool picture. Here we are, running through to get to Do-dodonpa after the rain cleared. A super friendly family offered to snap this shot for us. So sweet!
Along the way, we couldn’t help but notice some familiar theming. Hayley loves Sword Art Online, so she stopped to take pictures with the different characters including Kirito and Asuna! Okay, to be completely honest, I love this series too so it was really cool to see the SAO stuff around Fuji-Q Highland. Plus, we think the ride instructions were narrated by the characters’ voices!
Everything about Fuji-Q Highland is so much fun. Just look at this mascot on the platform for the Fujiyama roller coaster! We were the last ride of the day, it had been raining for hours, but he still humored us with a thumbs up.
We can’t wait to go back next year! Also, can we just take a moment to giggle over the fact that, while the vast majority of this outfit looks very Power Rangers, he’s got on dress boots? I don’t even care, though, because this was the BEST!
Food is Delicious (and Affordable)!
There are SO many restaurants and eateries at Fuji-Q Highland. There’s even a Starbucks and an enormous Auntie Anne’s! Just like everywhere else in Japan, the food is delicious and affordable at Fuji-Q Highland. Honestly, for less than $20 USD, we enjoyed two heaping bowls of spaghetti with meat sauce, two cups of milk tea, and a cup of corn potage soup. At a theme park!
Not only was the food high quality, but it actually tasted good too. Due to our anxiety and OCD, we tend to skip food at amusement parks. At Fuji-Q, the food handling was excellent and the prices were more than reasonable. We stayed warm while we waited out the rain and still had money for photos and souvenirs!
Look Out for Special Events
Throughout the year, Fuji-Q Highland has special events. While we were there, they were featuring Sword Art Online but we saw NARUTO on the calendar too! We didn’t happen to be there on a weekend when they had planned group activities, but the theming was still cool. Before you plan your visit, just be sure to check what’s going on so you don’t miss out!
Buy the Ride Photos!
We love on-ride photos at theme parks. Not only is it photographic evidence that you had the guts to get on a ride, but it’s hilarious to see what kinds of faces your making! Typically, these mementos are almost prohibitively expensive at amusement parks, but Fuji-Q Highland makes it easy to take home these mementos.
You’re probably used to walking right by the photo area because you don’t want to fork out big bucks, but don’t do that at Fuji-G Highland without checking the prices. A single photo was $7 while we were there, but we got all three pictures from Do-dodonpa for $11. And it came with a cardboard flip book! Definitely worth the money!
Stay at the Hotel
If there’s one thing I would have done differently, it would have been to stay at a Fuji-Q Highland hotel. There are several official properties nearby, some even offering access to an onsen (Japanese hot springs — we could have used a soak after all that riding and rain!). Here are some perks to staying at an official hotel:
- Early access to Fuji-Q Highland
- Priority tickets included — no waiting in line!
- No traveling on the day of your park visit
When we go back, staying at Fuji-Q Highland hotel is exactly what we’re going to do to get the most out of our experience. Plus, I can’t imagine waking up with a view of Mt. Fuji! Goals for our 2020 trip!
The Rides Are Record-Breaking
Let’s be honest. The biggest reason we went through all the effort to visit Fuji-Q Highland was to get on some world record-breaking rides! We were incredibly nervous, but we took the plunge. Here’s what was on our bucket list:
- Do-dodonpa — World’s fastest acceleration. This launch coaster goes from 0-111mph in 1.6 seconds.
- Takabisha — Steepest drop in the world. It’s 121 degrees!
- Eejanaika — The thing just looks insane.
The rain made it impossible to get on all three, so when the clouds parted, we made Do-dodonpa and Takabisha our biggest priorities and neither ride disappointed. We’ll be creating dedicated posts for each of these so we won’t go into too much detail here, but I’ll say that the launch on Do-dodonpa prepared me well for Top Thrill Dragster at Cedar Point!
Takabisha has a steeper drop than Cannibal at Lagoon, but Cannibal is almost twice as tall. That height difference mattered. We liked Takabisha a little more overall, but Cannibal definitely feels more extreme.
With 15 minutes left before we had to leave the park, we hopped on Fujiyama which is directly across from Do-dodonpa and Takabisha, so we got on. We almost missed our bus in the process (our legs were so wobbly from the rides — I can’t believe how fast we managed to run), but it was worth it. That aging ride is super rough, but that’s part of the charm.
With a visit to Fuji-Q Highland, you’ll get to experience a fantastic park, and you’ll also come away with serious bragging rights. Anxiety and OCD be damned, it was worth it!
Fuji-Q Highland Overall Review
We were there on a rainy day, so we didn’t get to see as much of Fuji-Q Highland as we would have liked. That being said, we really loved it! The bathrooms were a little uncharacteristically dirty for Japan, but you can expect that at theme parks anywhere.
Aside from that, we were so pleased with the park layout, food options, and ride operations at Fuji-Q Highland. And, of course, the rides themselves were amazing! We’re looking forward to returning in 2020 and conquering Eejanaika!
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