Meta (Dropdown Menu):

August 28, 2007

FujiQ Highland (or The interesting Persepective of Mt. Fuji whilst upside down)

Filed under: Uncategorized — espeed @ 2:25 pm — Tags:

So, I decided to do more cultural research yesterday, and this research I decided would be best done at an amusement park. It’s obvious that to truly observe a culture you have to see them uninhibiited. And while it’s hard to catch a Japanese person off guard, I think I managed it at least a few times amidst the various attractions of FujiQ Highland, a theme park just a stone’s throw from the majestic beauty Mt. Fuji.

As it were I decided that in order to fully observe them I would have to walk among them and in other words, ride some wicked fun roller coasters. In an odd move, for a cultural paper like this, I’ll be referring more to the rides than the people. Consider it a new form of literary framing. I’m sure it will catch on in the mainstream in no time.

The first thing to note about FujiQ is that it’s literally the middle of nowhere. Tokyo Disney is a 20 minute ride on a monorail from Tokyo Station, but this place is a 2 hour bus ride from Tokyo. Yet even in light of the distance the kids (and adults) come from all over to bask in the brilliance which is FujiQ.

I’m not going to talk about the rides in a lot of detail, they weren’t in essence different from the rides you’d see in any amusement park you went to anywhere in the world. I rode a lot of really cool things, including the once highest roller coaster, and the roller coast that has the most inversions (according to Guinness). If you don’t believe me, check for yourself.

There are a few differences however, which I have not seen before and therefore will delve deeper into.

There’s a lot more interaction. One roller coaster had little laser guns on the cars, and you could rack up points while on the ride. (This turns out to be amazingly hard.) The problem with the ride is it was built for Japanese people. Of course all the rides are, but this one seemed to want to exclude larger foreigners (I’m sure some Japanese as well.) I was seriously thinking that I wouldn’t be able to participate the first time I tried to get in. In the end, I left the ride with indentations in my shins. Fun, but a might too much pain for my tast.

Aside from that unique roller coaster, the other interactivity was found in what were essentially haunted houses on crack. They had one or two actual haunted houses (but far more focused on actually being scary), but then they had a few other ‘houses’ which were really unique. The one I did, put you in the shoes of a mechanic needing to fix the armored mecha (a gundam to be specific) before an impending attack. It was a extremely elaborate setup and I did horribly. Mostly because I don’t speak Japanese very well, and thus my version of the instructions weren’t, I imagine, as complete. Another similar attraction was a search for treasure in this mini mountain, involving clues and ‘golden’ coins.

Probably a part of Japan’s excellent safety record, is how much every employee at least pretends to care. The safety checks are thorough, and if there’s any glimpse of a problem, they won’t hesitate to fix it, even if they don’t speak their language. Good for them. (I thought one guy was trying to strangle me with a shoulder harness though.)

Another delightful occurrence was that I had some pizza. The first in weeks. It was amazingly legit as well, no random corn, or other causalities of globablization, so that’s good. I’m still ordering some Papa Johns, the day I get back, but this will at least tide me over. Also had some dippn’ dots, which I haven’t had since I was at Kennedy Space Center. A pleasant surprise, indeed.

As far as my fellow attendees, it was a mixed lot indeed. I did a lot of observing, because, well, I always do, and it’s really interesting to see the Japanese at play. To be next to a girl as she laughs and screams her way through the various death defying feats that such a park offers. See the priceless expression of a kid, after being soaked in a classic water drop ride, (possibly even regretting the choice not to get a pancho, but then probably not.) It was all really cool.

In closing, I love amusement parks, both as a way to heighten the general thrills in my life, and also, as a way to test my rationality. The only thing that could have made this trip better and also isn’t some sort of mythical pipe dream (like, no lines) would having someone to enjoy the stuff with. But that’s pretty much true of most things in life, so that’s not exactly ground breaking, but it definitely looms large into the 2nd hour of a line.


  1. Dippin Dots and pizza-are you ready to move over there yet? Are you going to climb Fuji? D.

    Comment by Darrel — August 29, 2007 @ 3:55 pm

  2. I suppose its rather mean, but I gotta say I laugh a lot inside when I read about tall-person struggles. hah

    Comment by Jessica — August 31, 2007 @ 9:03 pm

  3. Wow, that just reminds me. In Snow Crash, the four things that America excels at are Music, Movies, Microcode, and Pizza Delivery. Well, I suppose that there have to be some things in America that Japan doesn’t have…

    By the way, I just learned that Nipponese means Japanese. I found that amazing for some reason. I mean, I’m reading something for a ridiculous amount of time, and I’m like, “Hmm, this island nation of Nippon sounds very interesting; I should probably look it up on the internet. Reminds me of Japan.”

    Comment by Manny — September 2, 2007 @ 3:40 am

  4. Nippon means Japan, Nipponese does not mean Japanese.

    Nihon also means Japan, but it’s used as a part of other words.

    Words like Nihongo which means Japanese. (go is the ‘ese’ part: eego -> english, supaingo -> spanish, furansugo -> french, and so on)

    Comment by Erek Speed — September 2, 2007 @ 4:31 am

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment