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Goin’ Japanesque!

Area in Fuji-Q Highland of Yamanashi, Great for Small Children

Fuji-Q Highland in Yamanashi Prefecture is famous for roller coasters with Guinness World Records, but there are actually many areas of the facility that are safe and can be enjoyed when you visit with small children who cannot yet ride such scream machines.

I visited the Fuji-Q Highland when Halloween events were being held. The amusement park was decorated in the theme in many places and looked more glamorous than usual.


Thomas Land

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“Thomas the Tank Engine” is well known by British children’s books and TV programs. It is a very popular character particularly for small boys also in Japan, and many videos and goods are available.

Thomas Land of the Fuji-Q Highland has opened in 1998, 3 years earlier than in England where the original story was written. This mini theme park is very popular and many families come to the Fuji-Q Highland in order to visit the Thomas Land. This area was also decorated in the Halloween theme from the gate on.

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The main attraction you cannot skip when you come to the Thomas Land is “Waku Waku Ride”. You will ride in a passenger car pulled by a locomotive and make a tour of the Sodor Island where Thomas’ friends live. Which locomotive will you get to ride, Thomas, Percy or James? You will find out when your turn comes.

Among the three locomotives, only James has seats in the tender, and if you are lucky enough to get seats there, you can blow the whistle by pushing the button.

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When you are waiting in line for the ride, please watch out right after the arrival of a locomotive. I was really surprised at how fast the engineer opened the passenger doors. When the train is running, the engineer provides the guide of the Sodor Island.

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The island seen from the passenger car was also filled with Halloween decorations.

There are about 10 attractions in the Thomas Land in addition to this.

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This is a monument where you can take photos with Thomas, and you can get into the driver’s seat, too. There is Percy’s monument, too.

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Thomas Land has two cafés that offer snacks and one restaurant where you can dine. Popcorn is sold in a bucket with Thomas character designs and when you bring an emptied bucket to the store again, you can get a second serving at about half the price.


Attractions with Popular Characters Outside of Thomas Land

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There are other attractions with children’s popular characters such as “Tottoko Hamu Taro”, “GeGeGe no Kitaro” and “Kaiketsu Zorori” outside of Thomas Land.


No Admission Fees for “La Ville de Gaspard et Lisa”

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“La Ville de Gaspard et Lisa” is the area of these French-born characters and you can enjoy in this area without admission fees. The streets are lined with cafés and general stores just like a street in Paris and there is also a carousel you can ride with the Thomas Land pass (attraction charges apply).

“La Ville” is located in front of the entrance on the side of the park parking area. If you have come to the park by train from the Fuji-Q Highland Station, please head for the opposite side of the park to find “La Ville”.


There are a few different kinds of tickets for attractions in the Fuji-Q Highland. We recommend “Thomas Land Pass”, if you are primarily interested in attractions that toddlers can ride.  You can easily spend half a day within the Thomas Land only, though it depends on how crowded it is. If you visit a few more child-friendly attractions located outside of Thomas Land, you can fully enjoy a day.

If you are traveling in Japan and wondering where to bring your small children, don’t forget Fuji-Q Highland! For further detail, please visit the “Tickets” page on the official website.

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About the author

I had worked in a history museum as a curator staff. I enjoy visiting shrines and temples as well as castle sites. My current trips are taken with my family; with a husband who is a history buff and my two sons.

View all articles by Haya