Sunday, November 17, 2013

I Don't Think Japan Really Understands Coasters: Fuji Q Highland

Before I even say anything, the accompanying pictures are here. Read along!

So a couple hours away from my apartment is Fuji Q Highland, a little amusement park by Mt. Fuji that I've heard as some awesome rollercoasters. Yesterday my friend and I decided that we are going to get the hell out of the city and actually do something for once, so off we went! The bus left at 6:50, so it was an early day. At first, we couldn't find the bus, so we go underground to cross the street to get to what we think is the bus, and when we climb the stairs and look where we just were, what do we see? Our bus. Sigh.

So the way the bus tickets worked, we had until 5:35 to run around this park until out bus left. It was also a random Saturday in November. It can't possibly be that crowded, so we should have no problem hitting these four rollercoasters and seeing everything else we wanted to see with ease! Right?

It was a good theory anyway.

Well we got there early enough that together we waited about a half hour for Fujiyama, a merry coaster that only took about a half hour wait. However, the other three coasters in the park are a little more...unique.

Takabisha does well...this:


That's a 90 degree straight up followed by a 121 degree drop. Dondonpa is akin to Top Thrill Dragster in that it goes 107mph in 2 seconds. And finally Eejyanaika is a coaster in the side-style of Gatekeeper, but the seats are free to flip backwards and forwards while you are riding the coaster. These things are all right up my alley, but unfortunately my friend is not a xcore coaster junkie like myself, so we split up for a while so I could get all of the coasters out of the way.

First, Takabisha was a decent hour and a bit wait, with a secure feeling double seatbelt. Also, each coaster had free (locking) lockers by the train so you could just throw your stuff into it and get it right after. Why can't anyone else do this? Each train is only 4 people, but they were moving at a decent pace. I was surprised that the beginning of the ride isn't this monster, but there were some hills and spins indoors before you went out to that hill. Going up the hill was (unsurprisingly) terrifying, but the drop after was so small and slow that it was kind of disappointing. The rest of the ride didn't have the speed to make it anything special. I still enjoyed it though.

Next I jumped in line for Dondonpa, the launch coaster. It said the wait was only 1hr and 50 minutes, but this was not so. The thing had several cars running, but each train only held 8 people. Eight people! So it took two and a half hours. Ugh. It was fun (I love the launch types), but unlike Dragster the hill isn't right after the launch; you go down the track a bit and then you go up the crazy hill. So I kind of like Dragster better in that sense, but it was nice that the ride was longer than thirty seconds. And of course, on every coaster they tell you exactly where the picture spot is. God forbid you take a bad photo.

So because this one took so long, it was already almost 2 o clock, and I was concerned if we stopped for lunch I might not have time to ride the spinning one that I was most looking forward to. So I grabbed some food (I was not the only person eating in line) and jumped in the next line for Eejyanaika, which said 2 hrs and 10 minute wait, so God knows what that could mean. As I sat in line, I watched the track. There was a yellow car that would come out, but there was a long gap of time in which there was no car on the coaster. 

They had one train for this ride.

I was on fire. It wasn't even a crowded day! How ridiculous could this line be when it was actually busy!? Happily, I saw a blue car come out. ...Then, I saw the blue car again. And again. There was a brief period of time that they had another train, but then they got rid of the original? I don't know. But then miracle of miracles, both trains were consistently running. Because of this, the line was only about an hour and forty. Why couldn't they have done this in the first place?! I don't understand. The efficiency in all of the coaster lines was severely lacking, and it was pissing me off.

Luckily this coaster was fantastic, and it made me feel better. First, the boarding process was hella confusing. On the other coasters, they told you what number to stand by after checking your ticket (I had a free pass, but if you came in and only wanted to ride a couple things you only needed to buy tickets for rides instead of one expensive admission ticket. Admission was very cheap in itself). However, this coaster had little pods of people with locker stations, and I didn't quite hear which I was supposed to go to. I went to the one that looked like people were getting on from, and put my stuff in a locker. Then happily the nice lady told me the number to stand on. Then she said something that I assumed was make sure all of your stuff is in the locker, so I wasn't really paying attention. Then, when the gate opened to ride the ride, everyone had their shoes off so I was like 'crap,' and hurriedly took my shoes off to walk to my seat. 

The seat strap itself was the most confusing and terrifying thing ever. The lady had to do it for me. First, there was a seat belt, and then I looked for the overhead bar and there wasn't one? She told me to put my arms out, and I put on a heavy restraint like a vest. However, both sides didn't quite reach each other so there was a little seat belt to keep them together. Then there was another belt to hold those that down. I was not appeased. As we went up the hill (backwards) I was freaking out just a little bit.

I may or may not have been muttering The straps closed like a door, they can open like a door omg the whole way up the hill as I had an iron grip on the pair.

Then we went over the hill and turned around, and then I literally turned around and flipped backwards and flipped forwards and the ride was flipping and it was awesome. Terrifying, but super awesome.

So luckily, my friend and I had an hour and a half to actually do things together! We did some Fuji Q Purikura (why not) before riding giant yoyos (swings). The pole for the swings was as tall as the coaster next to it--cold, but fun. Then we rode the Ferris Wheel (what does Japan do better) and went shopping before walking through the little free area in front to the bus. Said free area was completely Christmas covered and playing Elvis Christmas music >.<

So although I didn't have time to play the Gundam game, or go ice skating (they had ice skating lol), or just...not be in line, it was a really fun time! It's a small little park, but I really enjoyed it (and that rollercoaster) and would definitely like to go back!


P.S. This park also has one of the most scary haunted houses in the world, but you couldn't pay me enough. That is all. XP  

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Photo Drop

Woo, it hasn't been a month yet! I figured since I've actually been doing things this weekend, I will write a blog post. Before that, I should put up pictures from all the other stuff I blogged about before I had the capability to post pictures. I know there are some people that read my blog that don't have Facebook (Dad) so here are some pictures!

Here is Orientation and Fireworks, One Piece in ShizuokaObon, and Climbing Mt. Fuji! Hoo!

Here are some pictures from a few things I did not blog about: small adventures if you will. About a month ago a few of my friends and I rode the train to Shimizu to see a ship called the Nippon Maru that was here for a little while. It is a ship with a huge amount of sails that has sailed around the world over...40 times? A lot of times. Anyway, the weather was less than stellar that day, but we sat out there with our umbrellas because we wanted to see them open all the sails. And what fortune, we got there as soon as they started opening the sails! Yay!

Well, we had plenty of time, because there were a lot of sails. Over an hour later, and they finally finished opening all the damn sails. But I am very glad we waited; it was really nice to see!

Also at the end of that album are pictures from Daidogei, a huge showcase/festival/variety show downtown once a year in Shizuoka. My friends would tell me to bring a ladder or a step stool, and I thought they were kidding.

They weren't kidding. It was super crowded, so I didn't get to see much of the shows. But this is okay, because there was FUNNEL CAKE there. I was a very happy baby. The threat of bad weather scared some people off, so it wasn't as crowded as last year I'm told, but I wasn't going to buy a para scope (because you totally could) to see. We had a good time!

Next up, Fuji Q!