featured japan osaka travel

Osaka (Aug. 2016): Universal Studios Japan & Wizarding World of Harry Potter

November 4, 2016

I think it would be impossible not to write about our day in Universal Studios Japan (USJ). For one thing, I can definitely say it was one of the most unique experiences I’ve had in a theme park. Why? Because we spent the entire day under the pouring rain. hahahaha! 🙁

Despite being the heavy researchers/planners that we are, my sister and I missed out on the precise weather forecast for the day we were going to USJ. I guess, it was because we were so fixated on finding the perfect day for USJ  despite the differences in our flight schedules. We were actually this close to backing out on our plans because, 1) The bad weather; and 2) Waste of money. But in the spirit of family bonding, and rare moments to get to be in a theme park together, we persevered and decided to push through!! hahaha!

If I were to add a third reason as to why we could have backed out, it would be because, while we were heading to Universal City, some of the train lines were down. hahaha! 🙁 But luck shone upon us (even just for a bit)!! As we were about to leave the station, the staff informed us that we could finally board the trains again. Yey!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

When you arrive at Universal City, you will be welcomed by several American-style signs and lights (at night, of course) for all kinds of restaurants and stores.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

We arrived around lunch time, so we stopped by this area to have a heavy lunch first to prepare ourselves for the whole day.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Tonkatsu Meal~

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

More fried stuff~

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

And, even more fried stuff~ haha!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Adjacent to the restaurants is the huge open walkway leading to the entrance of USJ (you can’t miss it!).

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Me and my messy blonde hair. 🙁 I didn’t know my hair was a mess up until the end of the day. 🙁 hahahahuhu

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

The iconic USJ globe! You’ll see this right after the ticketing gates!

We still took our time to enjoy taking pictures, despite the weather. Interesting enough, we thought there would only be a few people at USJ that day, but the place was actually pretty packed! I guess it’s because people have to buy these tickets in advance, and also, because it was a holiday that day in Japan!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

People having their pictures taken with Snoopy~ (yeyy biased towards beagles! lol!)

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

The first ride we took! It was a 4D kind of thing, similar to Realto in Enchanted Kingdom in the Philippines where the seats move up-down/left-right, except the seats here were grouped in sets and were actually in motion to different areas.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

After the Spiderman ride, we headed towards The Lost World. We already purchased the fast pass ticket set, so we had fixed rides we could go to throughout our whole day in USJ.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

At The Lost World~

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Fossil-like details on the ground

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

People in their rain cloaks to get around USJ. haha! We actually found wearing rain cloaks perfect for this area, cause The Lost World water ride was made mostly to feel like you were in the actual tropical rainforest setting.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Spotted some people in One Piece anime costumes!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Spotted Sanji’s restaurant at the Marine area!! AAAAA!!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Found another (chubby) Luffy at the marine area!! lol!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Random Navy-themed shops and restaurants~

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Spotted the Jaws ride with the huge shark display! We didn’t ride this anymore, since we wanted to focus on our fast pass rides.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Heading towards the cute-sy Sanrio-ish area next! ♥

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

The cute change in flooring! haha!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Super cute Hello Kitty corner cafe!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Super cute rides too!! Okay, I think this zone of USJ was made for me!! LOL.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

It was mid-afternoon, and we were getting a bit tired, so we decided to take a break in this area. We found a Snoopy-themed restaurant nearby and went there to buy some snacks like churros, ice cream, water, etc.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Snoopy-shaped ice cream sandwich! ♥ (It looks kinda weird in this photo though. lol)

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

After our short break, we headed towards the Wizarding World of Harry Potter for our time slots in our tickets. It’s not too far from this cute-sy Snoopy/Hello Kitty zone. The way to the entrance is a bit inconspicuous, since you’ll have to enter a narrow-ish path not too far off from the Hello Kitty zone.

Once you enter the path, you’ll feel the change of scenery from the cute-sy zone since you’ll eventually be surrounded by tons of forest trees, just like being in the world of Harry Potter!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

You’ll know that you’re near the entrance once you see the iconic invisible car from the first book! haha!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

And, we’re heeeere!! ♥

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Weee~ The Hogwarts Express! 😀

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

People having their photos taken with the train conductor. haha!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

At Diagon Alley! ♥ I love how the cheery Christmas Harry Potter music was playing! The upbeat version of the Harry Potter theme song would also play every now and then! ♥

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

All sorts of stores straight from the Harry Potter books transported into real life!! AAAAA ♥ ♥

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

This shop felt.. very me. lol!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

 

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

The shop window to the right had the mandragora shrieking every time it would come out of the pot! haha!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Animated bulletin posters!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Finally got to try butterbeer!! ♥

Ver

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Verdict: It’s actually not that great! hahaha! It mainly tastes like soda mixed with a slightly caramel flavor. The combination of the two almost makes it taste like medicine, but I’m still glad I finally got to try it!!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

The broom stick shop!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Lots of people despite the weather~

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Chocolate frogs in Honeydukes!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Every flavor jelly beans!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

 

It wasn’t winter (notice summer rain hahaha), but they keep this design to keep a festive winter/Christmas-y feeling, I guess? I really like it though!

We had a ride scheduled at Hogwarts castle in the early evening, but since we came a bit too early, we tried out checking out this “show” type of ride beside the wand shop, wherein the storekeeper will act out picking a wand for one of the audience members.  We found it very convenient that the actor wizard would speak in bother English and Japanese (hallelujah!). hahaha!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

We checked out the wand shop after the “show.”

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

We had just one ride for our fast pass here, which was the ride inside Hogwart’s Castle. The whole ride was made to feel like a simulation of riding a broom, but it’s actually a 4D kind of ride. It felt very realistic though, since you’d have to wear 3D glasses, and the views made it feel like you were actually way high up in the air! I wouldn’t recommend this ride for those who are afraid of heights and easily get nauseous! I actually have a fear of heights, but I guess this was still fun and tolerable to me, to some extent!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

A replica of Hogwarts castle! ♥

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Pretty reflection in the dark water, as if it were placed far away. ♥

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

After the Hogwarts ride, as usual, you will be led to a souvenir shop, so we check that out for a bit. The place was pretty crowded though, so it was pretty difficult to get around to look at everything properly. Plus, the rain was pouring so hard outside, so a lot of people were probably trying to kill time by remaining indoors.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

All kinds of Harry Potter merch~ from scarves, hoodies, gloves, etc.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

All of the Ravenclaw (my favorite house! ♥) merch was so tempting though! But my wallet said no. lol!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

They also sell the chocolate frogs in the souvenir shop of the castle.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

We actually skipped the Owl Post, so my sister and I checked it out after coming from the castle. You can buy all kinds of souvenirs here, such as keychains, (more) jackets, etc. The displays were very interesting though! I especially liked the chained broomsticks, and the caged book (I forgot the name!! Sorry! haha! I’m not much of Potterhead, compared to my other friends. haha!)!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Owls at the Owl Post~

We checked out Honeydukes after the Owl Post since we kind of skipped that too. Also, we wanted to save buying weird snacks and candies for the last part of Harry Potter’s World, so we wouldn’t have to carry all of that stuff earlier on. haha!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Such pretty and vibrant colors~ ♥

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Ughhh looks so good!!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

More chocolate frogs!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

I forgot what was inside, but I really wanted to buy this because of the packaging! (sucker for good packaging! hahaha!)

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Ughhhh 🙁 🙁

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Zonko’s was also inside this area, but it was mainly for display and not for selling any kind of merch!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Headed back towards the exit afterwards~

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

We spotted this Moomin stand outside USJ, and we all immediately thought of my sister, Adi! hahah! She’s such a Moomin fan that we just had to take a picture of her with this as her background! hahaha!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

And, finally heading back to the train.

For one thing, USJ in the rain was definitely more exhausting since you’ll have to deal with trying to keep all you important things dry throughout the whole day. It’s definitely not recommended to go here on a rainy day (duh!) haha! But, I guess, there’s a first for everything?? And, I’m still really glad I got to spend a whole day here with my family. It’s not very often that we all get to travel together, so I’m really grateful! 🙂

It will be our last day in Osaka the next day, so stay tuned for that blog entry!

If you missed out on my other posts about this trip, you can check them out here:

  • Kyoto Posts (this was the first half of our trip): LINK
  • Osaka Posts (from Day 3 onwards): LINK

You Might Also Like

No Comments

Leave a Reply