Any self-respecting world-class roller coaster enthusiast has to visit the Fuji-Q High Land at least once. The amusement park—in Yamanashi, Japan, almost literally in the shadow of Mt. Fuji—is home to many of the planet’s best rides.
The self-assigned goal of the Fuji-Q High Land park: To build a roller coaster every five years worthy of a spot in The Guiness Book of World Records. Thus far, the amusement park has achieved that goal:
• In 1996, the Fuji-Q High Land amusement park opened with the Fujiyama coaster. At the time it was built it was the world’s fastest at 130 km/h (81 mph). Though the Fujiyama lost its title of World’s Fastest Roller Coaster a year later it remains one of the Fuji-Q’s most popular attractions.
• In 2001, the Fuji-Q retook the coaster speed record with the Dodonpa. It propels riders forward at 172 km/h (107 mph). Perhaps more amazing (or nauseating, depending on your view), Dodonpa reaches that speed a mere 1.8 seconds! The Dodonpa’s speedy ride has since been surpassed by two coasters in the USA—the Top Thrill Dragster in Ohio (193 km/h, 120 mph) and the Kingda Ka (206 km/h, 128 mph) at the Six Flags in New Jersey—and the Formula Rossa in Abu Dhabi. That reaches an amazing 240km/h (150 mph).
• In 2006, the Eejanaika coaster opened; its track includes 14 inverted spins, still the most of any coaster.
In 2011 it was time for another record beater—the Takabisha.
The name means “dominant” in Japanese. And so it is. The Takabisha is the world’s steepest coaster. Its maximum 121-degree sustained track angle bests the previous record holder, the Mumbo Jumbo at England’s Flamingoland, by 9 degrees.
Takabisha riders experience weightlessness and a full during the coaster’s entire 121-degree, 43 meters (141 feet) fall. Their reward for surviving the steep drop? Zooming into a pitch-black tunnel. After that Takabisha continues on for another minute-and-a-half,
A day pass allowing access to all of the Fuji-Q High Land’s rides and attractions will set you back ¥3,300. The cost of the barf bag for after your coaster rides is not included.
If you go: The world record setting coasters get all the attention, but Fun-Q High Land has many other superb rides (most of which have shorter lines). In terms of other coasters, try the Mad Mouse. Of the other attractions, our favorite (and not only because of its name) is the Super Scary Labyrinth of Fear 4.0, which is like a medical-themed haunted house.
Family friendly: The larger coasters have various height and age restrictions, limiting them to (brave) teens and older. For toddlers the Fun-Q park is home to Thomasland, dedicated to that famous talking train, but generally parents would rather smash themselves over the head than spend extended periods of time there.
For your computer: Rollercoaster Tycoon ← great, interactive video game
Time Lapse Video of the Tababisha Coaster Being Built
Photos of the Fuji-Q High Land Amusement Park
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