Osaka Trip - Part 1: Universal Studios

Like I mentioned before, we had a long weekend trip to Japan with my husband a week ago. We headed to Osaka because our friend lives there and her boyfriend (my husband's friend) came with us. We had an airbnb apartment with two bedrooms, but we basically just slept there. I will divide my posts to three parts. This first one will be about our long and nice day at Universal Studios, second will be about Kyoto, and the last one will be about Osaka.

One of the main reasons for our trip to Osaka was to visit Universal Studios Japan. It's located to Osaka and it's easy to go there by subway. We were there in the morning when they opened, but it was already really crowded and we needed to line for a while. If you like to take rides, especially if you want to try many of them, I highly recommend to buy somekind of express pass at least for few rides since the lines can get long and for most popular rides the waiting time in a regular line can be over an hour. Express pass will double your ticket price, but it will also make you to save a lot of time. We went there friday morning and my guess is that it must be worse in the weekend time.

Unfortunately I can't go to rides because of my motion sickness. Even the plane ride to Japan was almost too much for me. I'm usually fine in short flights, so I don't know why I felt so bad now. I used even two kinds of medication for nausea and motion sickness, but it didn't work well this time. They don't have that many different rides there, but for roller coaster lovers they offer few options which looked totally sick for me! My travel company enjoyed the rides they took. Only rides I took were the "Jaws" boat ride, and "Backdraft". "Jaws" was funny. Big shark heads came suddenly to scare you, people sitting on the sides got a bit wet and fire/explosives on the water were so close you could feel the warmth of them. "Backdraft" was only about fire. It started really boring. First you go to a room where they show you how some fire scenes in movies are done (spoken in Japanese). Then you walk to a second room, where they have created a movie scene with a little use of real fire. Finally, you walk to third room and the fire chatastrophe scene starts. The fire comes so close it made us feel really hot and I couldn't be thinking about that what would happen to visitors if something would go wrong! It's basically a huge room with full of fire coming from many directions. I would recommend this "ride" if you don't have anything else left to do or if you are fascinated with fire. Or if you are like me and can't take any real rides.

The highlight for us was the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Both me and my husband are huge Harry Potter fans. I think it was amazing to walk around Hogsmeade and try butterbeer, but the are is made mainly of different kind of (expensive) shops. And the area is not big. They have the ride inside of Hogwarts and because they were checking tickets already before the doors, I didn't see how it is inside. I read from their website that they have recreated some of the rooms of Hogwarts there, so I'm sad I didn't see it... I'm not sure if I would have been able to just walk there and back without taking the ride, should have asked. They don't recommend 4K3D rides for people with motion sickness. Now I regret that we didn't bought more souvenirs from there because everything was so nice, but everything was also really expensive. Especially those beautiful capes... But we bought something for me! I chose the wand of my favorite wizard, Sirius Black. Some of the wands sold are interactive, like mine, so you will get a map with your purchase which shows you places where you can do magic, and how to do it. I didn't try this, but my wand is beautiful. The interactive wands cost around 5,000 yen (around 40 euro/53,600 won).

The second thing I was expecting to see was the Jurassic Park area because I love dinosaurs, but it was really dissappointing for me. They don't have much there, just two roller coasters, the other one looking totally crazy! If you are walking on the area, the "Flying Dinosaur" will go right above you. I've seen videos of dinosaurs walking around there, but we couldn't see any. They had one robotic one in the souvenir shop. After my company took the rides, we headed to see the parade. I thought it was a bit stupid and silly, but their song was so catchy. They are celebrating their 15th anniversary, so it's the theme for everything. The staff tried to teach silly dance to audience and the parade tried to get audience involved in their show. Maybe Japanese people like stuff like that, but it's not really for my Finnish shy and easily embarrassed taste. Unfortunately they had only few characters included to the parade, most of the staff was just normal people, part of them foreigners.

One thing I must mention separately is the lovely staff! Everyone of the staff is so helpful, happy and kind there. Their enthusianism is amazing. I can only admire how the workers who show the rides for visitors probably hundreds of times a day never fail to sound excited and to do their best to make the experience special for us. Almost everyone working there is in a good mood, or then they are incredible of faking it. A person collecting trash will wave and greet you and take your trash smile on his face. And a person serving food never fails to excitedly promote their anniversary slogan to every single customer and to look truly happy doing what she is doing. I hope they enjoy their job as much as it looks like because they are amazing! Never experienced a customer service like that before.

Even though I couldn't take many rides, I enjoyed my time at Universal Studios. And took lots of pictures, so here we go!


On our way to Universal Studios


Moomin cafe


First glimpse of Hogwarts!







Regret not going to see this show!

















Butterbeer!



Wish I could walk in this everyday


















They are so beautiful... Dream job?

This little witch was totally devastated because she couldn't master her "wingardium leviosa" :(




Scenery for "Jaws" ride



Crazy "The Flying Dinosaur"







Triceratops tail ;)

You can't really see it in the picture, but people are just hanging in there because the ride stopped working suddenly






It's so cute! Regret not buying this...













Paper "houses"

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