Posts Tagged ‘Universal Studios Japan’

Jason and I wake up at around 06:30h (Japan time) and we get ready to start our day. We head to the 4th floor to eat breakfast, but realize when we arrive that we have to buy breakfast tickets at the main lobby, rather than paying for the meal at the restaurant itself. Once we pay our 500 yen per person, we go into the restaurant to get our breakfast.

Now the hotel advertises that it’s a restaurant but it reminds me more of the eating/common area of a hostel than a restaurant; buffet style breakfast, everything is pretty much self serving, but the breakfast that they offer is pretty delicious. They have scrambled/fried eggs, breakfast sausage, breakfast sandwiches, toast and croissants for more of the American style breakfast. They also offer rice balls, dried seaweed (nori), kimchi, pickles, japanese style waffles, and 2 soups (miso and just a plain broth) for the Asian style breakfast. After breakfast, we head over to Shinsaibashi station to make our way to Osaka Aquarium.

Outside of Osaka Aquarium

Outside of Osaka Aquarium

We arrive and notice that there are a barrage of school kids making their way to the aquarium; I don’t know if EVERY school in Osaka decided “hey, let’s send our students to the aquarium today” but there were hundreds upon hundreds of kids there. Our visit to the aquarium was still very enjoyable, just kind of loud 😛

This little guy kept photo bombing us when Jason was taking a picture of the penguins (after 4 attempts, Jason just gave up and showed the kid the photos he so desperately wanted to be a part of).

This little guy kept photo bombing us when Jason was taking a picture of the penguins (after 4 attempts, Jason just gave up and showed the kid the photos he so desperately wanted to be a part of).

I have been to quite a few aquariums over the last 2 years but this by far is my favorite. The first exhibit you see is the Aqua Gate, which is 11 metres in length and holds 140 tons of water.The most impressive, however, is the Pacific Ocean exhibit. The tank is 9 metres deep and holds over 5400 tons of water. The main attraction to this particular exhibit is the 2 whale sharks. You can find more information about the facility and their exhibits here: http://www.kaiyukan.com/language/eng/index.htm

Aqua Gate. Water volume: 140 tons, Water temperature: 21 degrees C, Tunnel length: 11 meters , Area: 63 square meters

Aqua Gate. Water volume: 140 tons, Water temperature: 21 degrees C, Tunnel length: 11 meters , Area: 63 square meters

After spending almost 3 hours at the Osaka Aquarium, we head over to the Tempozan Market Place and ride the Tempozan Ferris Wheel at the mouth of Osaka Bay. I am absolutely petrified of heights and wasn’t doing too well for the first half of the ride, but the views you see are breathtaking! I highly recommend going on the ferris wheel if you want to see a great view of the city.

Realizing we ate over 5 hours prior, we are on a new mission: find delicious and ever so yummy food. We stumble upon a restaurant that serves cold soba noodles and head in for lunch. The one thing that I really enjoy about Japan is that they have pictures or models of all their food, so even if there is a language barrier you can still know what you’re getting and order it easily. Jason shows our server in the display what we wanted to order (though we realized soon afterwards that if we just said “soba”, he would have understood) and within a couple minutes lunch was served.

Cold soba noodles in Osaka

Cold soba noodles in Osaka

Once we were completely satisfied with our soba, we hop on the train and make our way to Universal Studios.

Universal Studios in Japan was… a very odd experience. Imagine just the “cuteness” of Japanese culture meets Universal Studios. It’s hard to explain but the attractions were hilarious, probably because of their gestures and the way they said things (also probably because we couldn’t understand a damn thing they were saying). Though it was an interesting experience (to say the least) if I ever come back to Osaka, this is probably a place I won’t be returning to. If I could actually understand Japanese then maybe but it just wasn’t the same not knowing what they were saying.

Universal Studios, Osaka

Universal Studios, Osaka

We killed a couple hours at Universal Studios and then decided it was time to head back to Shinsaibashi and eat dinner. Due to Jason’s constant complaining about yakiniku, I found a place not too far from our hotel and we decided to head there. You can read a review that I wrote here: http://wp.me/p3jWPD-29 

Cooking a piece of Waygu beef at Yakiniku Rokko

Cooking a piece of Waygu beef at Yakiniku Rokko

2 meat platters and about 3-4 drinks later we begin to feel full, a little tipsy and extremely exhausted from our day. We walk back to our hotel, hit up the public bath and call it a night after loosely planning a day trip to Kyoto for the following day.

Things I Have Learned Thus Far on My Trip
1. The heat and humidity is unbearable. I’m currently suffering in 30 degree weather with an insane amount of humidity. When we first arrived to the Dormy Inn, we couldn’t read the remote that controlled the air conditioning. We had to send a photo of the remote to his ex so she could translate and hopefully help us (this was after going to the front desk asking for help).

Seriously, how were we supposed to work this thing?!?

Seriously, how were we supposed to work this thing?!?

2. I fucking love cold soba.

3. People do not give a fuck about how you dress. I have seen people dressed as cats, dressed as punks, lolita/schoolgirl, hipsters, business people and they seriously do not bat an eye at the way that someone looks. I kinda wish we had this non-judgemental mentality in North America (though I will admit that I am severely guilty of judging people).

4. Japanese school children are absolutely adorable. A lot of kids would say hi to Jason and try to strike a conversation with him in English because he’s a white guy.

5. Monkeys scare the shit out of me.

Okay, so there are 2 (unedited) blog pots for your reading pleasure. My apologies, yet again, for my poorly written posts. It’s time for sleep, as we are leaving Osaka tonight to head to Hiroshima for 2 nights.

Next blog post: Kyoto (and maybe Himeji and Kobe).

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