Week in photos #24 – Osaka and Kyoto

This post is late :(, I had planned for it to be up earlier but WordPress wasn’t having any of that. *Photo heavy post!*

Week 24 – April 13th to 19th.

The week was mostly quiet for me, as I was preparing for Osaka and Kyoto on the weekend.

I did introduce Gelatoni to the rest of my desk mascots on Monday though. 

Back in January when I went to the wedding in Tokushima, I also won tickets to go to Universal Studio in Osaka (yeah, I know ..at a wedding?!).

The tickets had to be used within a certain time period thus Ksk and I tried to organise our trip to specifically to avoid the school holidays and the weekend. So we both took the Friday off and traveled to Osaka on Thursday evening via Shinkansen (the bullet train). I do like travelling on the shinkansen, it’s usually relaxing and  always feels like an adventure :D.  Travelling on the shinkansen means Ekibento (train station lunchbox) …which neither of us got, haha.

We had great difficulty booking hotels in both Osaka and Kyoto, everywhere seemed to be booked. We sort of ended up with one lovely hotel and one not so lovely. Ah, luck of the draw I guess. This is the nicer one of the two.

Heading to USJ (Universal Studio Japan)  

  

Both of us have been to USJ before (4 for me and 14 years for Ksk), but I won tickets and I really wanted to go to Hogwarts. So I was really excited about visiting that. Ksk didn’t care soo much, he falls asleep in the movies, haha.

Overall, I was hugely disappointed. The park is just horrifically disorganised and I couldn’t help but constantly compare it to Disney, since Disney is really well organised and just well, magical.

You can’t get fast passes at USJ, you have to buy them before hand (for pretty much the same price as the park ticket) , we had heard there were free limited tickets available but obviously, were given away first come, first served basis. So we went to get one of those tickets for the wizarding world of Harry Potter, thinking it would allow us on one ride via the express line. Ehh no, completely different, the ticket is ONLY for getting in to the area. Hence why we had to queue for nearly 2 hours for one of the ride. The whole area is really amazingly made (even Ksk was impressed) but you couldn’t do anything. Seriously, nothing. At Disney, if a ride is too busy, you can eat or shop or visit a quieter ride. Not at USJ, there were queues for food, Butterbeer and pretty much every shop. I had expected there to be queues but I think USJ made them worse by forcing everyone into the area and putting pressure on people. If you could freely go between that part of the park and the rest, I don’t think it would be quite as insane.

Basically, I’m glad I won the tickets as I would not buy them. Save your money and go to Disney.


  

Disappointed Harry Potter queuing faces. Since the wait was about 2 hours.  

Despite the queues I did manage to get a butterbeer, which unsurprisingly tasted like creme soda.

It just so happened that Ellie was at USJ the same day, so after the disappointment of Hogwarts, I met with her to catch up after  something like 3 years :O. Forgot to take a photo, doh!

   After USJ, we grabbed a quick snack from the Osaka Takoyaki museum (octopus balls), which isn’t really a museum, it’s more like a collection of 6 famous tako yaki shops from Osaka and a little shop selling Tako yaki goods.We visited two of the shops and picked up, Age dama dashi tako yaki (left) , Negi ponzu(I think) and finally tempura ponzu. I really like ponzu.

The museum was pretty fun, I’d recommend it, if you’re in the area or really like tako yaki.

Before zipping off to Kyoto on Friday evening, we popped into Ksk’s friend’s bar for the best Mojito I’ve ever had and an innovative Pimm’s cocktail.      

Hello Kyoto! We arrived at our hotel at about midnight on Friday night, checked in and promptly fell asleep.

Saturday, after a late start (we overslept!) we took the bus  to Arashiyama. I had only been to Kyoto once before but I hadn’t been to the bamboo grove which was one of the place in Kyoyo that I really wanted to visit.

Buses in Kyoto are surprisingly efficient and easy to use.       

For lunch, we had chilled udon with yuba (tofu skin), which Kyoto is famous for. I don’t really rate Yuba, doesn’t taste of much to me.

We took the bus back to the city centre for some omiyage (souvenir) shopping and found this cute pancake shop selling scones and kinako pancakes.

  

We headed home in the evening on the shinkansen, were Ksk gave me the smallest wine glass ever. The shop staff had given him a shot glass for me to drink my wine, so funny!  

And how was your week?

Thank you for reading,
   Alanna

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One Comment

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  1. Such a shame USJ didn’t live up to expectations. It looks so busy!

    I love the photos afterwards though, looked like you had a good time nevertheless 🙂 I love your face in the picture with your shot glass of wine!

    Dannie x

    Like

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