Osaka is a great city. But as a tourist there is, in comparison with Kyoto and Tokyo, not much to visit or to do. It is an amazing place for food, good for shopping and visiting the castle. We already saw and did everything we wanted to do in Osaka. Furthermore, we didn’t want to travel further to another city. But Osaka has one more famous attraction to offer. The Universal Studios Japan! We actually didn’t even plan to make a day trip to the theme park, but we did! It was our last day together and definitely an experience that we will never forget.
We woke up after 8am and started to get ready for the day. At the train station we ate some breakfast and headed afterwards straight to the Universal Studios. I heard already from some friends that the Theme park is always very crowded, and you have to wait extremely long for all rides and shows. We already noticed the crowd of people in the train, but it was still okay.
It was an amazing feeling when we arrived. We felt immediately like in a different world. Besides all the Japanese people and the language, we could have been in America instead. I think we didn’t even realize where we are going, because we’ve never been to the Univeral Studios before. Because we didn’t have any expectations, we were all even happier and excited.
When we finally got our tickets (there was an issue with the payment), we were just walking through the park to collect all the new impressions. At home, we are used to visit the “Europapark”. Because we went there already many times, we know what to expect, which rollercoasters are worth to wait, how to get around the park and so on. Here we didn’t have any orientation at the beginning. In addition, we had no idea what kind of rides and attractions they have, and which one are the popular ones. Therefore, we just walked and decided spontaneously where to go inside.
What’s definitely different to Europapark is, that you never really know what to expect. You don’t see the roller coaster from the outside. You have to give it a go and will be certainly surprised. The park is just like you imagine America. It is separated in New York, Hollywood, and so on. They even reconstructed the walk of fame. The rides itself were themed after famous movies, like Spiderman, the Minions, Sing, Jurassic park or Harry Potter. But I have to say, that I didn’t know many of them.
The Highlight of the Universal Studios is definitely the Harry Potter Universe. It is just amazing and absolutely beautiful. Before entering the Harry Potter world, you have to walk through a little forest. It gives you already a mystical feeling before even entering the world of magic. I have to say, that I am not the biggest Harry Potter fan, but even I loved it from the first second.
It was all so detailed and real, just like in the movies. There was a magical lesson, you could buy butter beer, many Harry Potter souvenirs and you had the opportunity to eat in a traditional restaurant, just like you would imagine it in Harry Potter. The biggest attraction in Hogwarts was definitely the castle. It looked magical, just amazing. We even went inside and took the ride. It was great walking through the dark castle, to see it from the inside.
We ate our lunch in the restaurant. It was nice to eat something else than rice! The corncob was delicious. As a dessert I got frozen fruits! I didn’t even know that they are existing. That’s why I was even more flashed from the idea. I saw everyone walking around with an orange ice cream on a stick. I thought it was ice cream, but no! It was actually frozen mango, they are just slicing the mango, put a stick in it and freeze them. They do the same with pineapple, but I chose Mango! It was so good and refreshing. Perfect for the summer season.
After we went inside a few shops, we left the Harry Potter Universe to discover the rest of the Universal Studios. The craziest and my favourite ride was called “The flying dragon”, which was part of “Jurassic World”. It was just crazy and quite tough! You were hanging there like you would actually fly with a dragon. We needed to wait around an hour, but it was worth it!
To some up, I can say that we all enjoyed the Universal Studios. Especially for me, being a bit tired of Japan, it was great entering a different world. Overall, the park wasn’t as big as we imagined. The price it pretty high for what the park is offering. The roller coasters and shows are nice, but not amazing! The Europapark in comparison is huge, designed more detailed, is definitely more diverse, has much more to offer and is still cheaper. But what we loved most about the Universal Studios, was the Harry Potter world. It was overall a very nice day and I am definitely happy that we decided to come.
At around 6pm, we decided to leave the Universal Studios Japan and get something for dinner. We needed to leave to early, because I had to go back to Kyoto. We went inside a Udon shop right next to the Universal Studios. I didn’t search for any location and therefore wasn’t sure about the food quality, but I have to say it was delicious. The concept is so easy, quick and uncomplicated. You order at the entrance, get your noodles right away, can choose some side dished like Tempura or Onigiri, pay directly, out some toppings by yourself on your dish, get free water and take a seat. The food was super fresh, filling and just so good! We all liked it and left happy.
After dinner, we headed back to the hotel, where I packed my luggage. I actually planned to be back in Kyoto around 8p, but at the end I didn’t care went I will be back. I even thought about staying in Osaka with my family the last night and take the train at 4am to Kyoto. But that was kind of a risky business. It was horrible walking with my mum and my sister to the subway station. I was just so sad, that they are leaving again. It was so nice, that they both came the long way from Germany, just to visit me. I really gave my best to introduce them to my life in Japan, show them the nicest spots in Kyoto and the best Japanese food. At the end it wouldn’t have mattered what we have done. It was just nice spending time together. But their visit reminded me definitely how much I miss my home, to speak German and to have someone around me. It’s always nicer to share the experience and all new impressions you gain with someone else. But as much I was looking forward to seeing them again, as much I was being sad that they are leaving. The good thing is just, that I have already 4 months behind me. 2 more months to go, until I will be back home! I can’t wait!