Where We Be
Our first view of snow-capped Mount Fuji came
during the Shinkansen bullet train ride from
Tokyo to Kyoto. We were lucky to have a clear
day since the mountain is often swathed in
clouds or invisible. The next time we saw it we
were much closer. From Kyoto we took a 2-hour
bullet train and a 2-hour bus ride to Fujiyoshida,
located on the flanks of the mountain itself.
From our hotel room we had an astonishingly
clear view of Mount Fuji right from our window.
Our main reason for coming to Fujiyoshida,
other than the view, was to experience Fuji-Q
Highlands with its four famous rollercoasters.
After all, why not see Mount Fuji and go roller-
coastering at the same time? Without question
the highlight of our last day was getting to ride
Takashiba, the #1 steepest coaster in the world,
with a vertical drop of 121 degrees. Front row,
last car of the day. What a ride!
|Takabisha opened in July 2011. Acceleration is 0 to 100 kph in 2 seconds and it has
7 inversions. We were both a bit shaky by the time we got off but loved every minute of it!
|But what a ride! It's 2½ minutes we’ll never forget!
|This was the amazing view we awoke to on our last morning in Japan. While the hotel itself
(Hotel Fuyokaku) could use some sprucing up, it's hard to beat the view from Room 511.
|We were also lucky enough to get to see Mount Fuji from the Shinkansen bullet train from Tokyo
to Kyoto. Hikers can climb to the top in July and August, but most of the rest of the year it's off limits.
|Fuji-Q Highlands is known for its "big four" coasters: Takabisha (#1 steepest in the world), Dodonpa (4th fastest), Fujiyama
(10th tallest and 3rd longest), and Eejanaika (one of only two "4th dimension" coasters with seats that rotate 360 degrees).
We had hoped to ride all four coasters on an all-day pass ($50 pp) but had to settle for riding just the one -- Takabisha.
|Fuji-Q amusement park was closed due to rain when we arrived (left). By evening (right) it was looking clearer, but by
morning it was raining again. The park didn't open until 3:30 pm -- and it was set to close at 5 pm. We made a last-ditch
effort to get there by 4 pm -- and after an hour-long wait for Takabisha, we managed to squeak in on the very last ride.
|Exceptionally symmetrical Mount Fuji is the highest mountain in Japan at 3,776 m
(12,389 ft). The active volcano is located only 100 km (60 mi) southwest of Tokyo.
[Not my photo]