Friday, January 29, 2016

My Dream School

Ever since The Wizarding World of Harry Potter opened in Universal Studios Japan, I've always wanted to visit. I had started to love the Japanese countryside but I wasn't keen on skipping Osaka. Nevermind I was going to a theme park alone-- this is Harry Potter we're talking about.

I arrived at USJ at around 8:30am and bought a ticket (JPY7200). I had wanted to get a Universal Express Pass that will allow me to shorten waiting times at the popular attractions there but they weren't available anymore. The park wasn't open until 9am but a sea of people was starting to gather at the entrance. It was crazy because it was a Wednesday and yet there's still so much people. I lined up and when the gates opened, young people started running towards The Wizarding World. Seriously, it was super intense! 

I read that Timed Entry Tickets are needed to enter The Wizarding World but because it was early in the morning, I didn't have to get one of those and I was able to go straight to The Wizarding World.

I went straight to the Hogwarts castle for The Harry Potter and The Forbidden Journey ride because I heard that the lines will be crazy long. It took barely 15 minutes for me to enter the castle. There's still a line inside the castle towards the ride but it's cool because you get to see the castle interiors while waiting. I started reading Harry Potter books when I was 11 years old so entering Hogwarts is practically a dream come true. 

The Mirror of Erised

The moving portraits

Dumbledore's office

The ride was really cool. I guess it's no wonder it's called the "world's best attraction". I'm not exactly fond of theme park rides but I really enjoyed The Forbidden Journey!

Now the thing I hadn't realize before coming there is that the attractions are going to be in Japanese lol. Can you imagine Professor Dumbledore speaking Nihongo? It's so weird! I really gotta go to the Universal Studios in Florida or in California someday.

I continued walking around, looking at the shops and merchandise. The park is rather small so it doesn't take a long time to see everything. 

Early Wednesday morning

A real owl inside the Owlery with its trainer

The ceiling of the Owlery

At 11am, I started feeling hungry and seeing as there's no line at Three Broomsticks yet, I took advantage. As expected, the food is ridiculously expensive but, again, this is Harry Potter we're talking about. Besides, it's not like I was going to pay for the food-- I was going to pay for the experience of eating inside Three Broomsticks! I got fish & chips and a butterbeer with a souvenir mug all for JPY2800. The fish & chips weren't particularly exceptional but it was alright. Butterbeer, however, was really good.

Afterwards, I walked and looked around more and watched the shows: the Hogwarts Frog Choir and the Triwizard Spirit Rally. Good thing the shows were spoken in both Japanese and English. At 2pm, I ran out of things to do and it was getting REALLY crowded. There are lines to get inside practically everything (even the shops). Eventually, I decided to go back to my hostel. I heard that The Wizarding World is even more beautiful at night but I couldn't really wait until sunset with nothing to do.

Yep, lots of people.

This is the train I rode going to USJ. It's a Harry Potter train. How fitting, right?

I went home with a Butterbeer plastic mug and a chocolate frog. Not a lot of souvenirs for me because last time I bought Harry Potter merchandise (a Time Turner), I felt like I just wasted my money for something that's just sitting on my shelf. Besides, I didn't have a lot of space in my luggage. Hurray for self-control!

It would have been more fun if my family or friends (who also love Harry Potter) were there with me. Nevertheless, I still enjoyed myself there! My 11-year old self resurfaced and was very delighted.

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