Fuji-Q Highland

One of the highlights of our trip to Tokyo was Fuji-Q Highland. We are roller coaster junkies and it was one theme park that we didn’t want to miss. There was only enough time for us to take three rides but the adrenaline rush from these three is probably more than what most theme parks can offer.

The first ride was Eejanaika, a 4th dimension roller coaster with the greatest number of inversions in the world. According to wikipedia, a 4th dimension roller coaster is a type of steel roller coaster whereby riders are rotated independently of the orientation of the track, generally about a horizontal axis that is perpendicular to the track where the cars do not necessarily need to be fixed to an angle.

The 2 hour waiting line barely quailed my excitement to be on the ride. There couldn’t be a better way to start the day than a 4th dimension roller coaster ride with a Guinness world record! The 14 inversions on the 8th tallest roller coaster in the world definitely added more oomph to this crazy ride. Just think of it as ups and downs with alternate view of land and sky. 😉

Not the best panaroma shot of Fujiyama 😛

Fujiyama with Mount Fuji in the background

Fujiyama, the king of roller coasters was our second ride. It is the 8th largest drop at 230 feet, 7th highest (259 feet) and 3rd longest roller coaster ride in the world. You can almost feel the love everyone had for this ride while standing in the line, and you have to sit the ride to understand how an old school out and back roller coaster nails it even without any loops. I wished I didn’t tighten my seat belts so much that I missed out on all the air-time throughout the bunny hops which is like the highlight!

We only had enough time for one last ride due to the long queues and we chose Fuji-Q Highland’s new ride, Takabisha over Dodonpa. Opened on 16 July 2011, it is the world’s steepest roller coaster with a beyond-vertical drop of 121°. I felt that it was the least enjoyable, or should I say scary, ride of the three though. It starts in pitch darkness below it launches into a few crazy loops and makes its way up a 90° slope where you are perpendicular to the ground. It then takes its time to creep on top of the loop before it descends quickly down the 121° drop and zooms into a few more loops. It felt too deliberate at times and it was too well executed that it took away from the thrill factor. To think I thought it would have been the most scary ride!

Ack my hand looks awkward but obligatory churro shot!

Fuji-Q Highlands is about 2 hours from Tokyo and we bought the Q pack which was quite a good deal. 7,100 yen for a day pass as well as a return express bus ticket which you can choose between a few time slots. The bus terminal is also conveniently located in Shinjuku station which was quite near the hotel we stayed in. 🙂

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Hippopotamus – not a place for tiny stomachs

We came by Hippopotamus because we were driving round the area and didn’t want to queue for Imperial Treasure at Marina Square. Faced by our lack of options and a sudden appetite for meat, we decided to check this place out.

At first Hippopotamus seemed like a family restaurant, especially so because we were there on a Sunday, but it’s not unbearable like Swensons so that’s all right. We ordered quickly because they had a large selection of steaks and we were hungry, but note that there aren’t any pastas or exciting salads on their menu. This place is not for people with tiny stomachs.

Don't compare it with the french, this warm bread when buttered is very decent

Hippopotamus beef capaccio

Hippopotamus Chicken Skewers

We ordered a few of their starters but not many because the mains each came with three accompanying sides and that was going to be filling enough. The chicken skewers were quite appetizing but they tasted suspiciously like something that came out of an instant ready-to-eat packet. The beef capaccio received mix reviews around the table – personally I found it bland but Eileen thought it had just enough taste.

Hippopotamus chicken salad

This place is not for light-eaters or for those who are regimental with their diets. Do not order a salad. Order a steak instead.

We ordered steak burgers, the hanger steak and rib eyes. The burger and rib eyes were juicy and awesome for the prices but the hanger steak was passable. I think the hanger was the only one that came from a ‘set meal’. What I love about Hippo is also their generous servings of sides. They offer french beans, basmati rice, fries, mash, ratatouille and gratin. Try their ratatouille and potato gratin. Unless you have a habit of eating steak with rice, which I doubt, I suggest you skip that.

Hippopotamus creme brulee

Hippopotamus lava cake

They weren’t bad but we hardly touched the desserts. They weren’t worth the tummy stretch. The acid test of a good dessert for me usually is one that will compel me to push the boundaries (literally) of my stomach even after an especially filling meal. We barely dug three spoonfuls into ours.

I heard Hippo’s a great place for their lunch sets where you can get pretty respectable steaks for about twenty a person. Not a place that I’ll get hot and excited about, but not a place I’d say no to going back either.

Hippopotamus Restaurant Grill
6 Raffles Boulevard #01-204/205 Marina Square
6338 5352