Our trip to Universal Studios Japan began at 07:00 with a semi-long commute to the "universal" amusement park. I finally got the Japan experience of smashing in like a bunch of sardines into a subway car that was too small for this. Daily commuting life must be like some messy version of Tetris here. Needless to say, we all arrived in our own separate one piece and headed to the park!
breakfast = pancake sandwich nam nam
There was lot of people already in line well before we got there, and by a lot I mean a plethora of people. We waited in line, dying from heat and humidity, and finally got through. We were now in Universal Studios Japan!
I'll spare you, my beloved reader, from the torture that was waiting in line, by briefly summarising what we did. I hope you never have to go through what we did. And if you have, you may join the exclusive club.
The first ride we went on was "Snoopy's Great Race". It's a cute little ride that takes you through an international 'race' as you crash through barns and billboards, trying to get to the finish line in time. Or something less dramatic, it was a really fun ride! To get to the ride you had to pass through a Sesame Street/Muppets playground, as well as by the Hello Kitty museum thing…
The second thing we did was ride the Hollywood Backdrop. It is a roller coaster that goes backwards to music, all the while you are lifted out of your seat as you go around and around and upside down and everything in between. Afterwards we found ourselves in Jurassic Park. Cars from the movie could be seen on each side of the walk way, and signs warning against the feeding of dinosaurs stood as a last warning to all entering the park.
After waiting 90 minutes (I lost track of time) in line, we finally headed to a place to eat - the One Piece Feast Restaurant. Once there you can see performances by employees dressed as the characters, who do a really good job of acting the part. I only watched One Piece as a child, so I don't remember much of it at all, and seeing as how there was so much One Piece stuff, the park was better suited for fans of the show…but I still enjoyed seeing everything all the same!
The rest of the trip is kind of blurry, since between the Jurassic Park ride and Harry Potter world I don't remember much else (I was too excited with life). I do know we went to the Back to the Future ride, as well as the Terminator 2 experience (Arnold Schwarzenegger in Japanese = Astah La Vista Bibi), and…I believe that was it until we got to Harry Potter world. The rest of the post is almost dedicated to it, there will be many pictures though, for those who don't care to read about it.
Okay, okay. The moment some of you may have been waiting for has arrived: Harry Potter! I love the movies myself, and I'm bound and determined to read the books in Norwegian but may break down and read them in English (someone I know was a huge fan when the series first came out and secretly told me everything that happened so I felt unmotivated to read the books when they could summarise it for me….yes, judge me all you want). Anyway, first let's get my disappointment out of the way: I hate listening to Harry Potter and his friends in other languages, it's a personal preference for me to love them in their original glory. And I like their accents. Now that that is out of the way, it was a really cool experience. After standing in line for 2 hours or so and fighting for a locker like wild animals, we were in the castle! We watched the paintings have conversations, Dumbledore greet us the way Dumbledore greets everyone, and be told to move by an employee after everyone stopped to watch 3 more paintings fight amongst themselves. We passed a mirror, and as everyone stared to watch the woman in the mirror speak, she abruptly told us to move (all in Japanese) and then laugh at our astonishment. I desperately searched for Durmstrang paraphernalia, but in vain.
I know you're probably wondering where the pictures are and I must tell you, we were the only group that didn't bring their cell phones. The card said put everything loose in the locker. Then when we got to the ride, it said hold on tightly to your phones. Go figure.
But all in all the ride went so amazing beyond words (I'm still excited about it all) and cannot tell you when the last time I had so much fun on a ride was. They put a lot of effort into making the Harry Potter part of the park look authentic (except…maybe the snow) and it really showed. Here are some pictures now, my condolences for my excited ramblings:
And that's it for Harry Potter. We finally left the park and went to go get something to eat. We stopped by a ramen shop where the cashier was so sweet and said; "Thank you, bye bye!" in English. It's really sweet to have things like that happen to you here just randomly.
After dinner we stopped by someplace I hadn't noticed on the way in (how?!?!?!?) - the Moomin Stand! I saw this picture on the food sign and I got a group "yes!" when I asked if we could go there later:
You bet your sweet bippy I bought something there, too.
I felt so bad because I wasn't sure how to check out, but in the end we got it all said and done! I ended up buying a postcard, a Snufkin keychain, and a stuffed Moomin. My friend killed me with kindness when she gave me her straw clip (that she chose to get of Snufkin, right after I told her he was my favourite character):
All in all it was a fantastic day that I am not soon to forget.
my neighbour was playing amazing piano music in the next room, nice way to end the day
Bonus Picture (if you know the value of ¥, you might cry):
That's hard to read: Authentic Elvis Presley Signature ¥1,026,000