27 November 2014, 05:30 AM, woke up early, as planned, but when i look out the window, the haze got worse, not as planned :/. It’s still very dark, but i could tell that the haze was so thick and low that even light of street lamp got blurred. 6:30 AM, sun starting to rise but the haze refused to go away. I took the risk, walked out the hotel and follow the path outer the theme park to reach the FujiQ Bus Station (long walk! about 700m). As i passed the theme park huge parking area and some view of silent roller coaster, i kept turning my head to the Mt Fuji, its still covered by Haze.. oh well. Later my decision to keep walking reward me with one of the most beautiful God’s nature view i’ve ever seen
I got lost a bit and asked a Japanese salary man of where the FujiQ station is, apparently he was going to the station as well. The station is small and connected directly to north entrance of Fuji Q Highland theme park. Unlike Train Station at Tokyo, which you have to tap your magnetic card to enter, you just have to enter the Train car and the staff will reach you and request for your card / cash and bill according to your destination. Mine is Shimoyoshida, closest station to Arakura Sengen Shrine (also known as Chureito Pagoda).
When the train stopped at Shimoyoshida, i stepped out and oh my god…. all the haze has gone. the sky is light blue crystal clear.. and that’s the first time i saw it from distance.. the magnificent FujiSan, with snow covering its peak..
There is a map outside the station, although it shows where you are and where the shrine is, the map doesn’t give you sense of direction, north or south like that, that’s where google map was very helpful. I took small street passing some houses, then bigger street beneath a flyover before i saw a Japanese Sign with a Shrine drawing in it and an arrow pointing right up. It’s the entrance to the shrine.
The Red Torii (Japanese Shinto Gate), mark the entrance, the beginning of 300 stair steps toward the Pagoda.
I looked back, the Mt Fuji was still smiling at me :). The haze was actually still there, but low enough to reveal the peak of Mt Fuji. I was so excited and almost jump-walking the stairs before it gets tiring, i looked up, stairs with no end, i looked down, stairs with no end. Then a Japanese old men with a heavy photography equipment on his back walk passed me, slowly but firm step, that’s where i felt weak . i continued my walk, this time my hand holding the rail, and as i got higher, the haze got lower. Again i look back.. the Mt Fuji was not only still there.. smiling.. but.. the low flying clouds makes the mountain looks like sitting on the cloud. so beautiful its almost surreal..
07:30 AM, i finally reached the TOP! there is the famous Chureito Pagoda you usually see on postcard from Japan. Few Japanese Old Man are taking photograph from the cliff,with their bazooka lens on tripod. The view is amazing, panoramic view of Mt Fuji and Kawaguchi City. One old man asked me where i from and told me that he used to work at Indonesia for a construction project. We chit-chat a bit and he said i was so lucky to get such a clear view of Mt Fuji, especially since bad weather yesterday. According to him, this kind of view is rare, many visitors comes dissapointed, i was so lucky.
A bit walk up the hill, i got to another popular photo spot, Chureito Pagoda with Mt Fuji as background. after taking some photograph, i sat, took a deep breath and simply adore the view. i even called my mom with Skype to tell her how beautiful the view here.
As the sun gets higher and the weather gets hotter. i walked down the 300 stairs steps, took the same route to the station and took the train back to Fuji Q Station.
The breakfast buffet served at the hotel was excellent, they have Japanese and International selection, and the restaurant has a huge window facing Mt Fuji. i asked to get seated by the window.
9:30 AM Then.. it’s roller coaster time! one of the perk of staying at Highland Resort Hotel is to get discounted rate of unlimited rides at FujiQ Highland, and although i miss the early access at 9 AM, i still get to skip most people queue buying tickets at the counter.
FujiQ Highland Theme Park is unlike Disneyland which is thematic and has lots of decoration, instead, it’s plain, just a complex of record-breaking roller coasters, and it’s full by locals!
My first ride was Dodonpa, one and half hour queue and.. one minute ride. YUP!. this theme park is well known for its long line, especially on peak days where each lines can get up to 3 hours! and the Japanese people doesn’t seem to mind, those teenagers usually comes with group of friends and they seems like to have endless topic to chat about during the queue time. Ok.. back to the ride, Dodonpa is one of the fastest accelerating roller coaster in the world, it accelerates up to 172km/h, in 1.8 seconds. i felt like my head was left behind when the car start thrusting front. ADRENALINE LEVEL: WOW
My Second ride was Takabisha, the steepest roller coaster in the world! as if the 90 degrees drop angle is not scary enough, Takabisha has drop angle of 121 degrees! the rides starts in the dark with some small drops and twist before it stops.. and stroll slowly upward by 90 degrees.. and it stop on the very top, 50m from the ground, giving you a chance to
pray enjoy the panoramic view of the city and Fujisan, before it freaking tease you on the edge of the cliff.. and drop you in that 121 degrees curves.. the sensation is amazing. ADRENALINE LEVEL:AWESOME
My Third ride was Eejanaika, it’s a 4th Dimension roller coaster. The term ‘4th dimension’ explain how the the seat of the car, rotate forward and backward while the car itself follows the rail, twisted, inversed, dropped and rolled. Eejanaika is also the rollercoaster with the most inversion in the world, that’s it, 14 inversion (or 14 times your body is upside down). This is one HELL of a ride. Unbelievable. It’s really hard to describe, but ADRENALINE LEVEL on this ride is: LEGEN… wait for iiit.. DARY!. Seriously, you gotta ride this to feel it. It was so tense, smooth but full of happiness. If there is such term, then this rollercoaster gave me rollergasm.
Below video shows the ride from rider point of view. But trust me, by watching this video, its still much much incomparable to how it actually feels to ride the roller coaster..
It’s 3PM and i headed back to the hotel, didn’t want to miss the bus at 4. So i checked out, bought the bus ticket (at the small convenience store, right in front of the bus stop) and waited. Devoured some red bean pao while waiting. Then the bus came, i hopped into it, it wasn’t as crowded as the bus i took yesterday. Along the trip, thanks to clear day, i can finally enjoy some hills covered with Autumn leaves. The trip should actually take 1 hour 40 minutes to Shinjuku Station, but the traffic jam on highway (some accident) delayed my ETA by 20-30 minutes
I checked in at JR Kyushu Hotel Blossom Shinjuku. The room is quite small, but definitely bigger than my stay at Kadoya Shinjuku Hotel in Feb 2014. Design is minimalist modern, lighting is warm but not dark. It got fullsize bathtub too! anw, read my full review here
I took quick rest before going to the Shinjuku Station and take green line (yamanote) to Ikebukuro, to Hotel Metropolitan Tokyo where my family are staying. Had dinner there in the room, food bought from the depachika (food store) at Seibu Basement.
VERY TIRING! but VERY FULFILLING!. This day is the highlight of my Tokyo Trip this year. can’t beat the beautiful view of Mt Fuji, Can’t beat the adrenaline pumping of Eejanaika Roller Coaster. BEST!