On a recent drive in the Fuji Five Lakes area I happened to pass the Fuji-Q Highland Amusement Park. It looked quite good. It offers a variety of exciting and thrilling rides all with fantastic views of Mount Fujii even if they do sometimes turn upside down and spin around and round. The Fuji-Q website promises, ‘Kids love it!’, ‘Even okay on rainy days!’ and the somehow wrong sounding, ‘Handicaps love it too!’ To be honest, I doubt I would enjoy it much. The rides do look fun, and there are loop the loops and near vertical drops and speed and splashing water and everything you could want from a theme park but, nevertheless, one thought would be racing through my mind the entire time I was on any ride and that thought is this: ‘What if an earthquake struck right now?’ Those roller coaster tracks looked mighty high and, although I am sure they have been designed to the highest of safety standards, they don’t look that strong. They look like narrow train tracks supported on narrow metal poles and to race along them at speeds that pin your cheeks back with the possibility of the earth opening up below doesn’t fill me with that much cheer.
Not to worry, though. Their website is entertainment enough in itself. Even for handicaps, probably. On the Great Zaboon ride, you can ‘wizz through the 18meter water sprout’, in the House of Execution, you will hear, ‘the sound of the most unfavorable execution’ and the Super Arm ride exclaims, ‘A MUST with a friend! you both get in different gondola and do this and that!’ Now that sounds like a ride and a half!
Fuji-Q is also home to a Thomas The Tank Engine area which rather bizarrely claims to be a place, ‘where lovers can make sweet whispers to each other.’ Not sure what sort of whispers they mean. ‘I go like a train,’ perhaps.
But it’s not just exciting rides where you can do this and that. There are shops, too – shops that are ‘humming of children’ apparently. The Varieties shop has ‘a full collection of all the tiny things that you just can’t pass by,’ and at the Fujiyama Photo shop you are told that ‘moniters…captures you while you scream…’ and are advised that you ‘can take it as a picture or make it into a mug and use it everyday.’ After all, it says, ‘Don’t you wish to cherish the moments with you forever?’ What? Of me screaming as my face turns inside out? Not really, to be honest.
If you want to know more about Fuji-Q Highland you could visit their English website where they have eight Frequently Asked Questions. These questions include sensible queries about nearby hotels and the price for children but they also have a rather peculiar one that isn’t actually a question but a straightforward command, ‘Tell me more about Skating.’ Are people really finding a theme park with no obvious link to any skating activities on its site and demanding to know more. I guess we just don’t know, for although there are Frequently Asked Questions, there are no answers.