All About Japan

Dog Days Are Coming to Fuji-Q Highland

| Theme Parks , Yamanashi

While it can’t compete with the star power of the costumed characters at Tokyo Disneyland or Universal Studios Japan, Fuji-Q Highland, an amusement park in Yamanashi Prefecture, has been attracting day-trippers from the Tokyo area since the late 1960s. It’s best known for its thrill rides, such as the Fujiyama roller coaster that provides a view of nearby Mount Fuji before plummeting down one of its steepest drops.

But the heart-pounding Fuji-Q is looking to be a bit more heartwarming this summer by allowing visitors to bring their pet dogs into the park. During the Fuji-Q Wanland (wan being the sound of a dog barking in Japanese) promotion, pet owners can stroll with their dogs through outdoor areas of the park (excluding the for-kids Thomas the Tank Engine-themed area), provided the animals remain on a leash.

Of course, what’s the point of going to an amusement park if you’re not going to ride any of the rides? While dogs won’t be allowed on the roller coasters, they will be able to join their owners on select compartments and vehicles of the park’s Ferris wheel, paddle boats, merry-go-round, and spinning tea cup attractions. There will also be a doggy pool and rest area set up to help keep the animals cool and comfortable in the summer heat.

Many dog owners treat their pets like their kids, and during the event, Fuji-Q’s admission system does too, charging ¥900 (US$8), the same price as a child’s ticket, for canine admission. There is a discount if you’re bringing multiple animals, though, as additional dog tickets are just ¥450 each. Animals also need tickets for the individual rides, which are priced for them at ¥500 for the Ferris wheel and ¥400 for the remaining three attractions that are part of the Fuji-Q Wanland festivities (human guests have the option of an all-access pass or paying for individual attractions). Owners will also be required to carry a water bottle and baggies to clean up any markings or other digestive messes their pooches make during their time at the park.

Fuji-Q Wanland runs from June 24 until July 9, 2017, and is sure to leave a smile on the face of dog owners and dog lovers who just happen to visit on those days, as well as deep jealousy in the hearts of feline fans.

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