Recently, I went to a Japanese theme park for the first time in my life. The park was called Fuji Q, and had all kinds of roller coasters and other rides, such as the swinging boat, rotating/swinging disc, etc. You know the place. Fuji Q was also known for having the best rides in Japan, including the famous Fujiyama coaster, which was in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the most inversions, or instances in the ride where people get turned upside down (14 times). We decided to ride that one first.
I went with my housemate, Betrice, and two other Japanese guys that didn’t speak English. They were cool guys, though. One of them was a little quiet, and very sweet and considerate. The other was more of a rocker type, with a lock stuck through one of his ear lobes. He told us he used to be a host at a Japanese host bar. He was nice, too, and very funny. We had met them recently on our trip to Mt. Fuji. Somehow, through the language barrier, we all agreed to take a trip to Fuji Q. Luckily these guys and Betrice all liked roller coasters, too.
When we got there, we had a choice of buying a day pass which would give us access to all rides, or an entrance ticket, which was a lot cheaper, but you have to pay for every ride individually. I thought this was sort of a strange system for a theme park, where normally you just buy one ticket. It was more like a carnival, where you pay for everything individually, I think. But Fuji Q was not like a carnival at all. It was quite large and well established.
Though the park is famous in Japan and has all the best rides, it doesn’t have that many rides. It has three or four major roller coasters, and then several other large rides, but altogether it’s a lot fewer than what I would see in American theme parks. There are a few children’s areas, as well. One of them was Hamtaro themed and very adorable. But all in all, the park was much smaller scale than what I was used to. Because of this, the lines to everything were very long.
Back to the Fujiyama coaster. The wait in line was about 1 hour and 45 minutes, which I thought was crazy, but worth it, since this wasn’t just any coaster. Later, when we got back to our house, our host sister asked us how long we had to wait in line. When we told her, she said, “That’s it?! That’s so good! Last time I went, I waited 4 hours.” 4 hours!!! I think that is outrageous, but I guess that’s the way they do it here! My advice is, if you go to a theme park, just buy the entrance ticket and ride tickets individually, because with such a long wait, chances are you won’t be able to go on enough rides to make the expensive ticket worth it.
I wasn’t upset about the wait, though, because Fujiyama did not disappoint. I love roller coasters, but I NEVER want to go on that ride again! It was terrifying. I wanted to scream, but I couldn’t because all the air was sucked out of my lungs. I also lost control of my blinking abilities. As far as bonding goes, though, if you want to become friends with someone who speaks a different language than you, I recommend being scared/shocked out of your pants on a giant metal beast together. We felt pretty close after sharing that experience.