Fujiyama (roller coaster)

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Fujiyama
Fujiyama2 2005-05.JPG
The Fujiyama roller coaster at Fuji-Q Highland amusement park, Japan.
Fuji-Q Highland
Park section Mountain Park Section
Coordinates 35°29′09″N 138°46′37″E / 35.485856°N 138.777006°E / 35.485856; 138.777006Coordinates: 35°29′09″N 138°46′37″E / 35.485856°N 138.777006°E / 35.485856; 138.777006
Status Operating
Opening date July 1996
Cost $40,000,000
General statistics
Type Steel – Hypercoaster
Manufacturer TOGO
Designer Morgan
Model Hypercoaster
Track layout Out and Back
Lift/launch system Chain
Height 259 ft (79 m)
Drop 230 ft (70 m)
Length 6,709 ft (2,045 m)
Speed 81 mph (130 km/h)
Inversions 0
Duration 3:36
Max vertical angle 65°
Capacity 1,100 riders per hour
G-force 3.5
Height restriction 48 in (122 cm)
Fujiyama at RCDB
Pictures of Fujiyama at RCDB

Fujiyama is a steel roller coaster at Fuji-Q Highland, Fujiyoshida, Yamanashi, Japan.[1] When Fujiyama opened in 1996 it was the world's tallest roller coaster at 259 feet (79 m),[2] and had the largest drop in the world at 230 feet (70 m).[3] Fujiyama was also the world's fastest roller coaster for a year of its operation, succeeded by Tower of Terror at Dreamworld theme park in Queensland, Australia in 1997.[4] Despite being the world's fastest roller coaster in operation for a year, Fujiyama set no world records for roller coaster speed. Steel Phantom at Kennywood set the world record for speed before engineers added additional brakes to slow the ride down because of safety and rider comfort concerns.[5][6]

Name[edit]

Fujiyama is named after the iconic Mount Fuji, which stands to the west of Tokyo. The term Fujiyama comes from "fuji" which means king, and "yama" which means mountain.[1] Mount Fuji is seldom referred to as "Fujiyama" in Japanese culture, but is instead more commonly referred to as "Fujisan", using the on'yomi pronunciation of the "mountain" character. The roller coaster Fujiyama is named as a play on the common foreign mistranslation.[7]

Design[edit]

As with many Japanese roller coasters, Fujiyama has a maximum rider age (54 years old) and a separate entrance fee (1,000 yen) in addition to the height restrictions typical of any roller coaster.[8] The layout of Fujiyama is that of a typical out-and-back roller coaster.[1] It incorporates many of the elements that are typical of this coaster design, including a large first drop, "headchopper" elements and a series of small "bunny hills" near the end of the coaster's course.[5]

Reception[edit]

Daytime view of Fujiyama

Given its record-breaking status, Fujiyama attracted considerable attention when it was built. The ride has been rated positively by some reviewers, garnering 5 stars in Steven Urbanowicz's The Roller Coaster Lover's Companion.[9] Fujiyama did not, however, achieve a listing amongst the top 50 steel roller coaster in Amusement Today's 2009 Golden Ticket Awards.[10]

In medical literature[edit]

Fujiyama inadvertently attracted attention in 2000 after an article was published in the journal Neurology.[11][12] The article discussed the possible relationship between riding roller coasters and the occurrence of subdural hematomas. The primary case study cited by the authors was a woman who had reported severe headaches after riding several roller coasters at Fuji-Q Highland (including Fujiyama). Upon investigation, it was discovered that this woman did in fact have a subdural hematoma.[13] Subsequent research, however, has maintained that this risk remains low and is not unique to this particular coaster.[14]

Records[edit]

Preceded by
Big One
World's Tallest Complete Circuit Roller Coaster
July 1996–May 2000
Succeeded by
Millennium Force
Preceded by
Moonsault Scramble
World's Tallest Roller Coaster
July 1996–January 1997
Succeeded by
Tower of Terror
Preceded by
Unknown
World's Tallest Roller Coaster Drop
July 1996–January 1997
Succeeded by
Tower of Terror
Preceded by
Steel Phantom
World's Fastest Roller Coaster
July 1996–January 1997
Succeeded by
Tower of Terror

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c RCDB entry for Fujiyama
  2. ^ RCDB list of roller coasters by height
  3. ^ RCDB list of roller coasters by drop
  4. ^ RCDB list of roller coasters by speed
  5. ^ a b Rushin, Steve (9 August 1999). "High rollers". Sports Illustrated. 
  6. ^ Kennywood history page
  7. ^ Tanikawa, Miki (3 April 1998). "A bath with a view: Hot springs and Mount Fuji". The New York Times. 
  8. ^ List of roller coasters at Fuji-Q Highland
  9. ^ Urbanowicz, Steven J. (2002). The Roller Coaster Lover's Companion: A Thrill Seeker's Guide to the World's Best Coasters. Citadel Press. ISBN 978-0-8065-2309-5. 
  10. ^ 2009 Golden Ticket Award results published by Amusement Today
  11. ^ Davis, Jeanie Lerche (10 January 2000). "New worries for roller coaster riders". WebMD Health News. 
  12. ^ Nadis, Steve (August 2000). "Dangerous thrills". Popular Science. 
  13. ^ Fukutake, T.; Mine, S.; Yamakami, I.; Yamaura, A.; Hattori, T. (2000). "Roller coaster headache and subdural hematoma". Neurology 54 (1): 264. doi:10.1212/wnl.54.1.264. PMID 10636168. 
  14. ^ Braksiek, R. J.; Roberts, D. J. (2002). "Amusement park injuries and death". Annals of Emergency Medicine 39 (1): 65–72. doi:10.1067/mem.2002.120127. PMID 11782733.