Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Osaka-Nara-Kyoto-Kobe-Okayama-Hiroshima trip – 5 Oct 10

Today is one of the day which we can wake up a bit late at around 8am as the Universal Studios Japan opens at 10am.

We had bread for breakfast in our room before beginning our day. Breakfast is not included hence those at the pantry area are chargeable.
 Pantry corner
Another Chuo Hotel Group beside Hotel Chuo Selene - Hotel Chuo

I'm surprised that bicycles are commonly found here. I guessed that the locals ride bicycle from their home to the nearest train or subway stations as the stations can be quite a distance away.
Bicycles are a common sight

We walked to the nearest JR Shinimamiya train station to take a train to JR USJ station. We have to change train at JR Nishikujo station for the train bound for JR USJ.
A defunt roller coaster

Japanese are very courteous people and they would queue up orderly at the platform. I discovered that there is meaning for the circles and triangles on the platform. It gives an indication where the train doors will open. I'm not sure which represent the express, rapid and regular train.
Notice the circles and triangles?
Japanese queueing orderly for the train
The train to USJ is decorated with Seasame street cartoons

The trains are manually operated and there will be a driver at the front carriage and another staff at the back carriage to look out for passengers when the door is closing.
Shops along the street leading to USJ
Entrance of USJ

When we reached the ticket booths at 9.30am, it's already full of people queueing up to buy tickets. As we took the discount coupon at the Kansai airport travel desk counter yesterday, we only need to pay ¥5,500 ~ S$87 instead of the original price of ¥5,800. Each of us is also given an Express queue ticket which allows us to cut the normal queue.
Ticket booths
Admission tickets
Express pass
The famous Universal globe

After buying the tickets, we joined the long queue to enter USJ. We queued for about 15min before we can enter USJ. We split into 2 groups, CH, Fredrick and me in a group while his mom and relatives in another group.
Queueing to enter USJ
One of the street which is covered shelter
Pedestrian traffic light but who cares?
Pumpkin decorated confectionery

We planned our rides and the one ride that we took is The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man. It is one of the popular rides in USJ but luckily the queue was short when we were queueing. It's a 3D ride on a special moving vehicle and the duration of the ride is 5min. 
Spideman ride
Spideman socks and clogs
Ms Betty Boop

Next, we went to take the ride "Back to the Future". It's also a 3D ride on a special moving vehicle but I don't really enjoyed this ride as much as the Spiderman ride.
DeLorean car on display at Back to the Future

The next ride which we went to is Space Fantasy which is an indoor roller roaster. The queue was not short and we spent about 15min queuing. This is a new ride and CH enjoyed it the most that we came back to take a 2nd ride in the evening.
Space Fantasy

We had our lunch at Studio Star Restaurant inside USJ. There are 3 variety of set meals on display today. Each set consist of a main, salad, bread or rice and cost ¥1,490 ~ S$23. It's so expensive! Everything is freaking expensive in Japan.
 3 choices of set lunch
Ebi prawn set lunch

After our lunch, we went for Shrek 4D adventure ride. I enjoyed this ride as the chair rocks when Shrek is running and there is water spraying on us too. Next we went for Backdraft show. It's depicts the terror of a burning warehouse. We were also shocked by the fire which suddenly blast in front of us.

Then we went for the Water World show. Luckily, we didnt sat at the front rows as those people were drench from the water splashing on them.
Water World show
Those seating infront beware of the water splash

After the show, we went for Jaws ride which we queue for an hour. Even though it was indicated in the map that there is a likelihood that visitors may get wet, we didnt get wet even though we bought our poncho along. 
Poncho vending machines selling at ¥350 ~ S$5.50 each
Displaying the waiting time for rides and shows
Magical land

We did took a ride on Magical Oz-Go-Round since the queue was short. This ride is the least exciting ride. >_<"
Magical Oz-Go-Round
Beautiful daisies

We make used of our express pass when queuing for Hollywood Dream roller coaster ride as the queue was quite long. We have to keep our belongings in a locker which cost ¥100 ~ S$1.50. The roller coaster ride was not very exciting except for the part where it decelerate steeply.
Hollywood dream roller coaster

I wanted to take the Jurassic Park ride but CH & Fredrick are not keen hence in the end, we took the Back to the Future ride again.

Then we waited for the Magical Starlight Parade which starts at 6.40pm. The parade lasted for about 1/2hr and we left USJ after the parade.
Night parade
Lightings at night

We took train from JR USJ to JR Nishikujo and change train to JR Osaka. Most of the visitors left after the parade hence the train is a bit cramp.

We reached JR Osaka station and start to look for Naniwa Gyoza Stadium but to our disappointment, it's no longer around. We had problem searching for the place and ask around for help. Even though the Japanese have limited command of English, they tried their best to help us. In the end, we had our dinner at one of the cafe at Osaka station.
It look so real!
Bar counter table due to space constraint

I ordered omlette curry rice which cost ¥700 ~ S$11. The meal is so expensive and yet the food is salty. I wondered why Japanese food are so salty? Ice water, pickles and condiments are free of charge and available on the table.
Omlette curry rice

After our dinner, we walked to Umeda Sky building 梅田スカイビル which is about 15min walk from JR Osaka sation Central Exit on the north side. Umeda Sky building stood at 173m tall and is the 7th tallest building in Osaka. It is famous for the 2 long escalator leading to the roof top atrium at the centre. Those with acrophobia may get cold feet when taking the escalator.
 Bottom view of Umeda sky building
Long escalator leading to the ticket counter

The sky garden is open from 10.30am - 10.30pm. Admission is ¥700 ~ S$11.
Admission ticket
 I like the glittering floor
Does it resemble the shooting stars?

There is a padlock wall where lovers can attach their engraved lock to it. Each padlock cost ¥1,000 ~ S$16 which is so expensive, I rather bring my own lock there. =p
 Lover locks
Lover's chair without my lover
 Night view of Osaka
Counter selling padlock
You can declare your love here too

We left Umeda sky building and walked back to JR Osaka station to catch a train back to the hotel.

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