Living in Japan 16: Universal Studios Japan

Living in Japan 16: Universal Studios Japan
Living in Japan 16: Universal Studios Japan

Yes, I know, it's been a while since I've written, and I don't have much of an excuse because I was on vacation. But as an explanation, I must say that in this period I was moving, arranging life, fixing my house, and only this week finally I had the internet installed in the new house. So I'm getting back into a rhythm now. Another thing that happened in that period was my trip to the Kansai region (by Kyoto and Osaka), where I lived previously for a year. I will do another posting on this trip, but today I will talk about a specific point of this trip: our passage through Universal Studios Japan.

For those who have not called the thing, Universal Studios is a network of amusement parks, whose main park is located in Orlando, in the United States, with thematic films and TV series, and that in recent years has taken a boom with the construction of the area wizarding World of Harry Potter. Such a boom also affected the Japanese version, located in Osaka, which won its own Hogwarts and Hogsmeade in 2014. I lived in Kyoto (neighboring city of Osaka) between 2012 and 2013, and it was a great shock for me to know that they would open this area the following year when I would have gone back to Brazil, and it happened to be one of my dreams to visit the park when possible. And the realization of this dream came in the summer of last year, when I, having returned to live in Japan, enjoyed a trip to my friends in Kyoto and dedicated a day to this wonder. However, in the previous opportunity I ended up not getting a time that I would like to the magic world, and so, when planning another trip to the region, I decided it was time to go there again. But not only that, the park has areas dedicated to temporary themes, and at the moment the theme is Cool Japan, with attractions stamping Shingeki in Kyojin, Evangelion, Monster Hunter, Resident Evil and Kyary Pamyu Pamyu.

A tip that you always hear when you ask the "veterans" of the park or search the Internet, is that if you want to take advantage of all the most popular attractions (which at the moment are those of the Harry Potter area, and those of Cool Japan), you must buy the Express pass, which gives you the right to stick to the queue, or rather, you use a priority queue to get the toys and so spend 20 minutes instead of 2 hours. However, as I always choose my dates well, to go on days that do not have much movement, never thought necessary.

What we did, however, was to arrive in advance. We were about 2 hours in line at the park door before opening. We watched the incredible gate opening ritual. A surprise was to see that the VIP ticket carriers have the right to enter the park about 20 minutes before the others. When we came in we finally had a plan. I ran to get the password to enter the world of Harry Potter while my friends queued up for the first toy, the roller coaster (which I do not question/Pedroso). For having gone right at the time of opening the park the passwords were not yet being distributed, and I ended up coming straight into Hogsmeade. The whole area is surrounded by trees that help in the immersion of that world, looking with the surroundings of the Forbidden Forest, you pass than by the Ford Anglia, and finally you come to the gates of Hogsmeade, where you are confronted with the platform of the Hogwarts Express and the Front stretches several shops and restaurants of the magical world of J.K. Rowling. The park mixes shops that actually stay in Hogsmeade, such as the Honeyduke, the three brooms, and the Boar's head, with others that in the books are in the Diagonal Alley, like the Ollivander and the Owl Emporium. Ollivander is one of the attractions, you take a queue to see a staging of the wand choice. The Ollivander chooses a person in the audience to experience the moment of being chosen by his wand. The two times I went, unfortunately, I was not chosen, but after the staging, we are taken to the store, where are sold the wands of each character, and wands with an original design, whose magical properties of wood are described, allowing You buy the one that best suits your personality. Other attractions include the flight of Hippogriff (a light but entertaining roller coaster, whose queue passes through the Hagrid's hut), the owl trainer, and the Hogwarts Castle (main attraction where, after going through some of the castle's scenery, such as the staircase, the Dumbledore's office, and the Gryffindor Tower, you embark on a 4d trip, with the right wind, heat and cold, and several other sensations that allow a true immersion in the fantasy. This time, one of my favorite souvenirs was to eat on the three brooms, which I was able to stay in the outside area, and due to the good weather, I could have a privileged view of the castle reflected in the Black Lake. A real overdose of emotion for any fan.

Apart from the Harry Potter universe, we were quite excited to see the attractions of Cool Japan. The queues were long but not as long as we had been informed. Shingeki no Kyojin and Evangelion share a 4d cinema, the Titans film being shown in the first half of the day, and the Angels in the other. There are still several points of photography, such as the cracked wall, the hall with the characters ' real-size dolls and the giant's hand. Already Monster Hunter has a varied display of costumes, weapons and statues of characters and monsters in real size, plus an area of fraternization for players, who can still download limited special items. The attraction of Resident Evil is a kind of "Haunted Mansion", but it is charged a value aside, and we end up not seeing. And the de Kyary Pamyu Pamyu also did not instigate us enough, despite the gigantic queue where you could hear hits like Pon pon Pon and Invader invader.

In my pass through the park in the summer I came to experience the attraction of Jurassic Park (which was closed this time, but I did not leave me a positive impression and I possibly would not repeat), that of Spiderman (similar to the castle of Hogwarts), the musical theater Starring classic monsters such as Beetlejuice and the Frankenstein Monster, and several one piece theme area (which were part of a temporary attraction, and therefore no longer exist).

And there is no way to talk about USJ, not to mention the dozens of stores of "goods" scattered all over the park (mainly at the exit of each attraction), which makes it an impossible task to get out of there without some shopping, if you are a big fan of some series. At the end of the day, I changed my one day ticket for a one-year ticket, which can be used countless times, because I already know that I will want to return several times to my dear Hogwarts.

What about you, huh? When are you coming to visit USJ? I just know that every time I go there, I come out with the thought of "What a perfect life would be if I could work in the Harry Potter area!" I leave you with a video that I recorded from a performance of the students of Beauxbatons and Durmstrang, presented by a bilingual Hermione Granger. Badly done. NOx

PS. My current obsession is my new home. At the beginning of the month, I left the college dorm and I'm living with my boyfriend in a house closer to the station. The first few weeks were to adapt to the new place and to the new life. But this week with the installation of our Internet and I have created shame in the face and decorated the house with my posters, I feel that we are finally cozy. It's so nice to have room to put a beautiful bookshelf of books, sleeves, and CDs. And even better with that flashing green light showing that we're connected.

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