Oct 10 2011

the 17th week

The Queues in Fuji-Q

After the hard grind of the last weeks I’m taking a time out. This time by train to Fuji-Q amusement park at the foot of Fuji San. It will already by my second time at mount Fuji. Even if the trip to it – starting from Tokyo’s city centre – takes up to two hours and is 90 km long it is quite a bargain to get there. The journey there costs less than 2,000 Yen (26,6 AUD, 16,7GBP 27 CAD, 26 USD).

On this trip I’m accompanied by Hiro, one of my previous hosts, (Week 2) and Christopher, who joined as after Hiro and I announced this trip as a public event on the couch surfing web page. Christopher is from the Ohio, U.S.A. and studies peace & conflict resolution here in Japan. Who knows, perhaps I’m standing in front of U.S.A.’s next exalted peace ambassador. Well, U.S.A. and peace ambassador. Ain’t that a contradiction? ;)

I’m glad we’re taking the train because we get to socialize with a nice women and girls travelling group with whom we can easily make conversation with. And this is how time rides. Well they say so, don’t they?

Fuji-Q has its very own station right in front of the theme park. The entrance fee system is somewhat confusing. Either you pay 1,300 Yen (17,3 AUD, 17,6 CAD, 10,90 GBP, 17 USD) for the entrance fee but have to pay for every ride separately, or pay 5,000 Yen (66,5 AUD, 67,6 CAD, 42 GBP ,65 USD) for a day ticket and can enjoy every ride without limit for a whole day.

“Okay, it’s obvious that we’ll take the day ticket, right?” I’m saying. But Hiro knows that a day ticket won’t pay off for us since it’s already past 1 p.m. and you often have to wait in line for over an hour for one attraction. If at all, the ticket only pays off when arriving on time at 10:00 a.m. and making use of one attraction after another for a whole day.


world record certificate

world record certificate


Only when getting in line for the first queue/line do I begin to realize the credibility of Hiro’s words. In fact we are waiting – believe it or not – for two hours and 30 minutes in line/the queue for a two minutes and 10 seconds roller coaster ride. Well, it’s the Eejanaika (ええじゃないか) roller coaster. A world record coaster – of course with an entry in the Guinness book of world records. 14 Inversions! However, roller coaster freaks are arguing about the acknowledgement of this record. Because when taking the record the inversions of the rotating roller coaster seats were combined with the track inversions and were counted as a whole. Record or not, it’s a fun coaster, however the two hours and 30 minutes waiting time is not justifiable for me for a little longer than two minutes ride.

EEJANAIKA onride 4 (rear seat) von purplefinale

As we want to use our time as efficiently as possible we are getting right in line for the next roller coaster ride. The Fujiyama roller coaster. With a maximum speed of 81 mph and a height of 259 ft a former world record roller coaster. From its year of completion in 1996 until 1997 the coaster was the highest and fastest roller coaster. But today it can’t compete of course with Formula Rossa, the world’s fastest roller coaster in Abu Dhabi with its 149.1 mph. At least you “only” wait for 45 minutes in line at the Fujiyama for a three minutes and 36 second ride.

FUJIYAMA onride 10 (front seat) von purplefinale
After four hours we’ve already spent here, we indulge ourselves with a short hiatus in a Japanese Burger restaurant. I guess this was a mistake because when getting into the next queue/line right after our break it starts to rain at about 7 p.m. After an hour waiting time the coaster is being closed down. The people receive a priority queue ticket as an apology.

“Ah, says Hiro, “this way we’ll get quicker to the roller coaster ride next time.”

“Well”, I’m contradicting, “What do you think might happen at the priority queue when a group of hundreds who are just receiving their tickets will get in line at the priority queue as soon as the track opens up again?”

The rain is getting stronger and it does not look as if it’s going to stop in the two last remaining hours.

“Until when is the ticket valid?”, I’m asking Hiro.

Examining the ticket he’s answering: “Only for today.”

I see, so we’ve been given a ticket for an entrance with which we would allegedly have a shortened waiting time, to which – within the next two hours – about a hundred other people might get in line as well provided it will stop raining today at all. Hm.. so my powers of deduction are telling me that it’s highly unlikely to profit from this advantage. Of course the park can’t help this turn in weather. But if it’s only for feigning politeness, I think they should save this useless wasting of paper with those worthless tickets. The trees would thank them for it.


waiting for the train

waiting for the train

We keep waiting for another 20 minutes – the rain is getting stronger – until we finally set forth on our way home. We at least had a really funny day, as we got to know a lot of people and the train ride through the marvellous Japanese landscape is also an adventure. But ultimately we spent somewhat more than 4,000 Yen (53 AUD, 54 CAD, 33,5 GBP, 52 USD) for four hours worth of train rides which stands in contrast to 3,300 Yen (44 AUD, 44,6 CAD, 27,6 GBP, 43 USD) for not even six minutes of roller coaster riding. Now everybody may decide for her or himself if it’s worth taking the long journey. And yes, Hiro. Thanks for advising against buying a day ticket

Special thanks to: Joakim Zatko, Canada (text revision), Hubertus Neidhart from Webspace Provider Network for excellent web page hosting services; Lilith Pendzich, Germany;

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