Day #7: Universal Studios Japan
Ok guys, this is the final post about our trip to Osaka so bear with me, LOL. There's a saying 'leave the best for last' and I couldn't agree more. The highlight of our trip is none other than to visit Universal Studios Japan (USJ)! *lompat2 kegembiraan*
I've been to USS (Universal Studios Singapore) before but I still look forward to USJ simply because they have this:
So now you guys know, the main reason I was super excited about going to USJ. I'm a big fan of Hogwarts and being able to experience Hogwarts in life is something that I've always wanted to do.
On that day, we woke up early despite reaching home late last night as we anticipated there will be long queue. Luckily, my sister had bought USJ tickets online so we could skip the ticketing counter line. We stopped at Universal Studios Japan station and immediately saw a huge billboard of Harry Potter in front of Hogwarts Castle. Yup, we've reached USJ :)
To our delight, the queue wasn't so bad. A friend warned us that they had queue up as early as 6am due to the long queue but during our visit, there was just normal queue. Yeay!
|In front of Universal Studios landmark - the revolving planet|
|Just us :)|
|Universal Studios Japan|
Guys, I gotta warn you - USJ is really HUUUGEEE! So if you only have one day (like us) to enjoy the park, then you gotta plan where you want to go and how long you should be there. USJ attractions are arranged in nine areas / theme of the park. Basically we covered only these areas:
Area #1: Hollywood
Entering USJ, the first area you will be in is Hollywood. There's something about the excitement and glamour of Hollywood which is so infectious. The moment we saw people queuing up for Hollywood Ride, we forgot being parents and joined in the fun, LOL! We just dumped our kids with my sister to take advantage of the short queue (by the way, we queued up for 30 mins, but that's short by USJ standard!)The last time I was on a rollercoaster was a month after getting married, so that's how long ago it was!
Each train has four seats and each seat is equipped with headrest stereo sound system to heighten our experience. Riders could choose one song to play during the rollercoaster ride. Not that we could pay attention to the song as we were busy screaming at the top of our lungs! We could pick either going facing forward or facing backward, so I picked facing forward. It was less nerving to anticipate when we would plummet down, than suddenly being jerked back into a free fall! *shudder*
Luckily the ride lasted only 2 minutes or so, but boy, was I woozy after that! That was then I decided that I am too old for rollercoaster, LOL!
Area #2: Universal Wonderland
Khayla enjoyed herself being in Wonderland - it was all she talked about for days after we returned to Malaysia, LOL! Unfortunately for Khadeeja, she was too small to enjoy many of the rides in this area (which explained why 3 years old are not charged entrance fees).
|Welcome to a world of Hello Kitty and Sesame Street!|
Before we came in, we stopped by to buy popcorn because the girls wanted the Minion case that came with the popcorn. Khadeeja was more interested in her popcorn than on any of the rides in the park, LOL!
|I love popcorn! Omnomnomnom!|
Hello Kitty's Fashion Avenue
While we were busy pretending to be young again, my sister brought our girls to Hello Kitty's Fashion Avenue where they had fun taking photos :)
|So happy about their Hello Kitty stickers on their face|
|Khayla impersonating a lady in pink|
|Same or not? LOL!|
Sesame Street Fun Zone
First ride was on the Hello Kitty's Cupcake Dream...
|The girls had a turn on Hello Kitty's Cupcake Dream|
Followed by a ride on Elmo's Merry-Go-Round:
|Khadeeja didn't go on the merry-go-round because she was busy enjoying her popcorn LOL!|
Then the girls got a turn driving electric toy car on Sesame's Big Drive. Although Khadeeja qualified for the ride, she was too short and couldn't push on the pedal so the staff had to push her car instead, LOL!
|Getting ready to 'drive'|
Khayla wanted to take a photo with the Cookie Monster but she was really shy. Eventually she managed to overcome her shyness and took a photo with the costume character:
|Smiling shyly as she was being hugged by Cookie Monster|
Area #3: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
|The archway going to the magical world of Harry Potter :)|
We got to see EVERYTHING! Even the Flying Car in the Magical Forest! (Sorry no photo, we forgot to take it LOL!)
Of course, before we reached Hogswart we were bound to pass by the charming village of Hogsmeade! Cute buildings with cobbled street and snow-covered thatched roof! I wanna live here!
|Hogsmeade Village looks like it comes straight out of Christmas card|
|My sister :)|
There was even the Hogwarts Train! And look!
Butterbeer! We had to taste the famous butterbeer in order to get the feel of being part of Hogwarts!
|Cheers to being in Hogsmeade!|
|Butterbeer tastes of butterscotch and honey, so yummy!|
We had fun browsing the shops which were based on the Harry Potter series:
|This shop sells wizarding equipment which are basically souvenirs :)|
|Gilderoy Lockhart's books with moving pictures!|
|This is really cute - a poster with moving picture|
|The signage shows Hogswart is just ahead|
And finally we were on Hogwarts ground! So. freaking. EXCITED!
|Hogwarts School of Withcraft and Wizardry behind us!|
Since we couldn't bring strollers inside due to the large crowd here, hubby volunteered to look after the girls while my sister (who is equally ardent fan of Harry Potter) and I went inside the castle:
|Griffin statue awaits us at the end of the hall|
|We thought they were normal oil paintings, until the subject started to move about :o|
|In the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom|
We decided not to go on the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey because the queue was too long and we wanted to cover other areas in USJ. Plus, I still didn't get over my headache from the rollercoaster ride in Hollywood!
Due to time constraint, we skipped Hagrid's Hut and so with heavy heart, we left the charming Harry Potter's world behind to explore other areas in USJ.
Area #4: Amity Village
If you are from my generation who was raised to fear the man-eating shark, you would remember the highly acclaimed movie 'Jaws'. Yup, Amity Village is featured in USJ and there was even a boat ride where we got attacked by robot sharks! Khayla was really terrified because she thought they were real sharks. Kids can be so funny! Sorry no photos because we were not allowed to snap any photo for our phone's safety, LOL!
|The robot shark on display|
Area #5: New York
By the time we reached this area, it was already night time and the park was almost closing. Still, we managed to squeeze in one more entertainment in our 'been there, done that' list - The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman!
Basically, it's a motion-based 3D dark ride based on the adventure of Spiderman. We asked Khayla if she wanted to go and she agreed, so hubby accompanied her. I decided to follow suit on single rider, because I was concerned that Khayla might get freaked out by the ride. I was freaked out! Although it was just a 3D ride, it felt too real as we 'fell' straight down from a tall building to the ground!
Too my surprise, Khayla enjoyed herself though! So don't underestimate a 5 years old huh? LOL!
|We are in New York, peeps!|
So, there it was our adventure in USJ. It was super fun but super tiring as well. I felt sorry that we didn't manage to cover the other 4 areas, but maybe that's an excuse to make our way to Osaka again in the future? *wink wink*
Since we were going back the next day, we stopped by a souvenir shop just outside of USJ to buy mochi, Kitkats and other souvenirs to bring back to Malaysia. Thank goodness for the stroller's roomy underneath compartment that can carry lots of stuffs!
So there you go. Our trip to Osaka in 11 parts :) It was fun, beyond my expectations. I wouldn't mind going to Japan again, that's for sure!