Some weeks ago I went to Japan with Victor to see the Sakura flowers. It was amazing! Every time I go to Japan, I like it more. It’s my third trip to the country (two times in Osaka/Kyoto and one time in Tokyo) in less than a year, and I left with the feeling it wasn’t going to be my last time there!
I remember I used to think of Japan as an overrated place. I don’t eat sushi and I’m not into their modern “weird” culture (although I do like watching some animations and their approach of cuteness). It’s funny how much one’s perception and ideas can change in the course of one year, and how much I appreciate Japan as a tourist destination now. Anyway! Here’s my memories and pictures of the trip~~ enjoy!
Day 1: Arrival and stroll around Sakuranomiya
We arrived to Kansai airport using Peach Airlines (super cheap tickets from Korea to Kansai!) around night time, took a train to Osaka and transfered to the subway to visit Kema Sakuranomiya, a river-side park with more than 4,700 cherry trees. It was quite dark already, but the trees were illuminated so that people could still enjoy their beauty. We saw several groups of coworkers bringing a picnic mat and enjoying a small snack after work. Later, we headed back to the Kyobashi station and had delicious dinner at the Keihan mall that’s connected to the station.
During this trip, we decided to stay at a Taiwanese woman’s house that we found on airbnb, since we hadn’t book our hotel/hostal in advance and everything was booked 2 weeks before our trip. Her place is located near Namba station, a few steps away from Amerimura (american quarter). An-an and a group of HK guests that were also staying in the house welcomed us enthusiastically. We started to speak a mix of English and Chinese and they were really happy we could communicate with each other. They had bought a lot of sushi and fruits in the supermarket and invited us to sit and eat with them. We talked, took pictures, exchanged itineraries and ate some cheesecake together. It is really nice when you are out for vacation and meet such warm hearted people!
Finally, before going to sleep, we went to the convenience store (Lawson) and bought our tickets for Universal Studios the following day! You can purchase the tickets in automated vending machines and then pay them with your credit card or cash at the Lawson counter. We didn’t think of buying the tickets in advance, but were advised by An-an to do so, because otherwise you may need to line up for a long time in the morning!
Day 2: USJ
On the next morning, we woke up really excited to visit Universal Studios! I had been wanting to go there since last summer, when my friend Jonas told me that they had open a Harry Potter world inside the Universal theme park of Osaka. Last year in May when I was in Osaka, I accidentally took the wrong train and got to Universal. At the time I just took a picture at the entrance of the park and left again, without giving it too much importance. However, now I feel it was probably a sign! 😀
We had decided to get to USJ at 8:30, before opening time. The subways/trains that go to USJ were already really crowded, and when we got off the station, we just saw seas of people moving towards the same direction. So we followed. We arrived to the park and kept walking in. There were already many lines formed up, and people were entering the park although the opening time was suposedly 9 AM. I imagine there were too many people already so they pre-opened.
Victor and I had 2 missions on this trip to USJ. Mission #1 was to run to the AoT (attack on titans, shingeki no kyojin) temporary exhibition and get timed-entries to see their real-life attraction. It was called [attention! spoilers] “Catch the female titan”. The 2nd mission was to run to the Harry Potter area after getting our timed-entry to AoT, so that we could enter the Harry Potter world.
What I liked the most about USJ was the shops. They were relatively empty and there’s so much merchandise, you can try it on and take pictures. I got a quite lovely picture with Victor disguised as Hogwart students! What I liked the least: the lines! Oh my… those lines were so long and for anything. The line for AoT (even though we arrived there before 9AM) was around 50min. We tried to get on other attractions between the AoT timed entry (at 11) and the Harry Potter timed entry (at 3:30), but you had to wait about an hour for anything. There were some panels in the park where you can see the waiting time for the attractions and we saw one with only 10min line: “Cupcake hello kitty” or something like that. We decided to go because we were bored and tired of standing up all day.
After the crazyness of USJ, we went to another popular and crowded place (because, why not?): Namba. Namba is the south center of Osaka, and it is known for its neon lights, small souvenir shops, street food, etc. It comprises many long streets with stalls all around, and it is really entertaining. We went straight to eat, since USJ food is also really expensive. We chose a ramen place, Victor’s favorite, and got some gyoza and two big bowls of “Happiness ramen“, the signature dish of the place we visited. With our bellies full, we explored Namba and took lot of pictures, but were soon tired from all the standing up we had done in the first half of the day, so we went home and slept tightly.
~~~~~ To read about the 2nd part of the trip, click here! ~~~~~
Hola! He pensado que para que los que no habláis bien inglés, debería de escribir mis posts también en Español. Así de paso, no me olvido de la que se supone que es mi lengua materna ^^
Como mis posts son bastante largos y llevan muchas imágenes, lo que haré será un resumen de los contenidos. Para los que me conocen del cole, “resúmenes la Chini(c)” está de vuelta! 😀
Día 1: llegada y visita a Sakuranomiya
Me fui de viaje de fin de semana con Victor a Japón. Los dos hemos estado ahí varias veces, y esta era ya mi tercera visita en un año. Visitamos Osaka y Kyoto, que son dos ciudades que están muy cerca la una de la otra y son muy famosas entre los turistas. No era la primera vez que íbamos, así que nos hemos saltado algunos lugares turísticos.
El primer día a la llegada fuimos al parque Kema Sakuranomiya, que tiene unos 4.700 árboles de cerezo (Sakura en japonés). La primera quincena de Abril suele ser temporada de Sakura y los árboles florecen de blanco y rosa, muy bonito y romántico. Después de una corta visita, fuimos a la casa de una mujer taiwanesa que conocimos por airbnb, pues al fin y al cabo yo soy de origen taiwanés también. En la casa nos acogieron de maravilla, y había un grupo de hongkong que nos trataron como amigos de toda la vida.
Día 2: Universal Studios y Namba, Osaka.
El segundo día nos levantamos pronto para ir al parque de atracciones USJ, porque habíamos oído que las colas son tremendas. Como el parque abría a las 9, llegamos a las 8:30 y para nuestra sorpresa, el parque ya estaba abierto y las colas empezaban a formarse. Resulta que, como era temporada super alta, había mucha gente haciendo cola para entrar desde las 8, así que abrieron media hora antes!
En fin, entramos casi corriendo para ir a hacer cola en la atracción que más queríamos ver, y aunque llegamos antes de las 9, tuvimos que hacer cola por más de 50 minutos! Después fuimos corriendo otra vez a la atracción de Harry Potter y conseguimos una entrada para las 3 de la tarde (eran las 10 entonces). Por si no lo sabíais, en el Universal Studios de Japón han abierto un “Harry Potter world”, que es la principal atracción por la que todos se vuelven locos. Como teníamos que esperar hasta las 3, decidimos ir a otras atracciones… pero es que todas tenían colas! La única cuya cola era breve (10min) era “Hello Kitty cupcake”, así que fuimos para echarnos unas risas. La verdad es que salimos de ahí asustados! Demasiada “monería” incluso para mí, y muy rosa y alegre todo.
Después del parque de atracciones, aún nos quedaba tiempo (aunque no energía) para ir a Namba, que es el centro de la zona Sur de Osaka. Namba es famoso por sus luces de neones, tiendas de souvenirs raros, restaurantes y comida callejera. Para más info, miren las fotos! :p
– Mimi –
~~~~~ Para ver la 2ª parte del viaje, hagan click aquí! ~~~~~