Universal Studios, particularly the Wizarding World of Harry Potter was probably my most anticipated part of our Osaka leg. I’m not that great of a fan of Harry Potter but I am still amazed by all of it – the novels, the movies, the characters and the magical brooms (fitting my manananggal reputation at the office, hehehe)…and seeing it recreated in real life is still dreamy! …though minus the actual Harry Potter. ^_^
Our 1st day in Osaka was for me the coldest weather we’ve had during our entire stay. Maybe because we were lining up for hours to the Wizarding World that it became so obvious…and because there was no hot coffee nor hugs, yikes! #chakabels
We took the train from Kyoto to Osaka early in the morning and arrived at Osaka station just before 9am. We secured our luggages first in the lockers and headed to USJ right after. The Universal City Station, train stop for USJ, is only less than 20mins train ride away from Osaka main station via the Osaka Loop line. I’m a huge fan of google map so all information on these train routes are very much accessible through our mobile phones…naks, kala mo sinong techy! #thatsbasicbaby
If you do prefer the old school method, Japan has a lot of informative maps and brochures given away for tourists. I do utilize them at times just for practice and props, ganern! Seriously though, if your internet fail you (which did not ever happen to us btw), you can always rely on the hardcopy version.
Japan in general has an uber-efficient (super na mega pa) transportation system and train/subway stations that is easy to navigate around…but of course, you have to give yourself some time to adjust…allowed naman tayo magkaroon ng learning curve, being from a third world country. ^_^
Anyways, going back to USJ – yoko na magkwento kung nag 7-11 noodles lang naman kami for breakfast – we did actually #kurimaw
Ohayou from Universal Studios Japan!!!!!
with the mandatory pose…
Let’s just say the most decent (not awkward) pose I have with the globe is where I was closing my eyes…ako talaga me problema at di ang photog, tanggap ko yan, heheheh!
…off to the wizarding world!
Narlyn blending in with her side pose…lakas maka Harry Potter vibe ni beshy!
I won’t say how many hours we waited just to enter the Wizarding World and for the ride but it was totally worth it. <3<3<3
picture picture after…
We had lunch in one of the restos in Amity Village (I think) and chill lang after. I’m not a big fan of rides so I chose to stay and freeze myself outside while my friends lined up again for other more exciting rides.
There are still a lot of attractions and areas I wasn’t able to get pictures of but I got the highlights of this day so, I’m good <3<3<3
From USJ, we went to Dotonbori for dinner because it was Liza’s last night in the city. She’s going home ahead of us because she also came a day (or a few days) earlier. She actually went to the beautiful Himeji castle that I missed on this trip.
So our Dotonbori night was all about looking for Glico man and Ichiran. They’re not famous people by the way – one is a famous landmark and Ichiran my favorite ramen house.
Our stomach come first so looking for food was first order of business. There are two Ichiran place in Dotonbori and both were full of customers lining up. We went to the 1st Ichiran branch but were led by one of the waitresses to this other branch beside the river…the more beautiful branch. ^_^
Ichiran is not a turo-turo kind of restaurant and you wont see a lot of pictures of food to choose from. Note that it is a ramen restaurant so don’t look for sashimi or udon there okay? For a first timer, you should generally be okay coz you can always choose the recommended option for “RAMEN”. If you have your preferences though, there’s a checklist available where you can select the texture of your noodle, the level of spiciness and other add-ons that are available.
…and some beer after <3<3<3
After Ichiran, we went to look for the famous Glico Man sign which is just like one block away…
…then it was time to go home, though we still needed to go back to Osaka station to pick up our luggages before going to our next Airbnb home. #struggleisreal
Day 5 – Itinerary