Monday, January 9, 2017

Life List Item #14: Visit Universal Studios

When I added this item to my list I had no idea it would involve Japan. As things would turn out it did. My friend Mari and I took an amazing trip to Universal Studios Japan, in Osaka, where I had the time of my life.

After the three hour train ride from Kanazawa to Osaka we were getting off the in Universal City. After purchasing the ticket we began taking in the surroundings. I should say I  took in the surroundings as a first time visitor, for Mari she has seen this all before. I was beaming with joy. My surroundings make me feel as if I was back home! All the street signs were recognizable and even the American mail box got a squeal out of me.

Each area of Universal is set up to look like a different U.S. city. As we traversed through the different areas I got to see Hollywood, San Francisco, New York, Amity Island, Jurassic Park, and of course the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. As this attraction is the most popular it requires a timed entry ticket, so our first priority was to head to the ticket machine to get one. It didn't cost any extra, it is just a way to bring people into this area at a staggered rate.

We rode for Forbidden Journey 3D ride which took us through the world of Harry Potter from the Great Hall to the Quidditch Pitch and through the Forbidden Forest feeling as if we were riding on a broomstick just feet behind Harry and Ron. We felt fire as a dragon breathed in our faces and felt as if we were going to crash when our broom took a nosedive to catch the golden snitch. Before we boarded the ride the line took us through different parts of the castle where we got to see Dumbledore's Office, the Gryffindor Common Room, and the talking paintings. These were absolutely amazing because they looked so real. They were speaking Japanese, so I didn't know what they were saying!

Being in each tiny city is like actually being in the real place. Everything down to the trash receptacles, the street signs, and the smallest details bring you into a pocket of a world so far away. The music playing in each area helps to create the surrounding experience, like you are really there.

The whole day could not have been better.  The weather was mild,  the company was great, and all the sights, sounds, tastes, and feelings did not disappoint. I loved absolutely every second of my experience at Universal Studios Japan.