Last Wednesday (January 18th, 2017), I was sent to Osaka (Thank you, Cebu Pacific Air, Universal Studios Japan, Hotel New Otani Osaka and JR West) to blog. It felt so surreal, it’s my first all-expense paid trip since I started blogging. I wasn’t expecting to check one (Osaka) off my travel bucket list for 2017 that fast. Thank you so much to everyone who has been part of this amazing journey. When I arrived, I couldn’t stop myself from smiling, laughing and feeling kilig (giddy) all at once. Thursday (January 19th, 2017) – I woke up to the royal view of Osaka Castle and Park from my luxurious room at Hotel New Otani Osaka. Tip: This area is also great for cherry blossoms viewing especially at Sakuranomiya station which is two stops away from Osakajokoen (the station closest to Hotel New Otani Osaka). We had a buffet breakfast at Satsuki, located at the lobby of the hotel. Next, via Nihon-kotsu shuttle bus, our group of bloggers and media people from Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and Australia headed to Universal Studios Japan.
We weren’t able to pass by the Universal City Walk since we used the entrance at the North Gate but I vividly remember walking around here, waiting for friends or family members to arrive. We usually eat at Friday’s, Starbucks or at the Takoyaki Museum (it’s worth checking btw).
Take an instax (or just thru your phone) with the Universal Globe as your background. At this time, each group were assigned to our own guide. We got Yamashita-san, a lovely Filipino/Japanese lady who can speak Filipino, English and Japanese. We were so lucky to have her as she offered to take all of my photos from this trip (at least the ones with me on it). I was actually worried that no one will take my photo prior so I thought I should bring my dad (he lives in Osaka) to take my photos (haha). Fortunately, USJ provided us an awesome guide.
Fun fact: USJ is on their 16th anniversary this year
For Potter heads like me, Wizarding World of Harry Potter (WWoHP) is enough reason to revisit Universal Studios Japan over and over again.
Trivia (about me lol): The year that WWoHP opened, I bought a year pass at USJ. It was around ¥12,000 and I’ve used it for 4 times. Ticket price right now starts at ¥7,400 for adults. You have to pay for extra if you want to get an express pass.
Wand Magic is a new activity that you can try around WWoHP. There are 6 spots to try magic but I only have time for one. I should go back this spring? Hahaha.
When WWoHP is still new, it usually takes 3 hours in line to experience this ride. We were so lucky to get a press pass that day, we don’t have to line up for any ride. Best experience ever!
Since we’re following a strict itinerary (I should show you so you’ll understand how hectic our schedule was), we only pass by Hogsmeade.. Hi and see you later, Wizarding World!
How cute is this Monster Hunter Cart! I feel like I’m part of the anime.
Hot honey citron (yuzu in Japanese) tea to give you some energy boost (it’s also perfect for the winter cold). You can also add some poppin’ candies to add more texture when you drink it. Hehe!
Go to the Universal Cool Japan 2017 area to check out the Monster Hunter Cart
Cinema 4D Store is a heaven for all the fans of Attack on Titan (like me), Godzilla, Detective Conan, Monster Hunter, etc.
USJ collaborated with these animes as part of their Universal Cool Japan 2017, where Japan’s entertainment brands are opt to captivate the world like never before.
For lunch, we went to Studio Stars Restaurant.
We had vegetable and chicken curry, salad, rice and Detective Conan’s soup (I’ll show it to you later). I also had ginger ale for drinks. Everything was so delicious!
(and feel happy about it? I don’t know why I’m laughing but I should look scared) Trivia (about me again): I watched and loved Attack on Titan both anime and movie. My friends are disgusted with it though. We also tried Wall of Rose sweet potato pie that could be bought at Attack on Titan Cart (also located at the Universal Cool Japan 2017 area), near this titan statue. I’ll update with a photo when I received it. By this time, my camera already died and I had to borrow my friend’s DSLR.
After this, we tried the Universal Cool Japan 2017 attractions such as Evangelion XR, Godzilla The Real 4-D, Attack on Titan The Real, Detective Conan The Escape, Monster Hunter The Real, etc. We are not allowed to take photos so I’ll just use the official photos and description.
You are not a guest, you are food.
That dreadful day when the wall came down is back again, in vivid detail.
And this time, you’ll be up against Colossus Titan and Armored Titan.
The “Attack on Titan” 4-D attraction features park-exclusive visuals, combined with the heavy breathing, booming footsteps, and powerful vibrations of approaching danger for a thrilling and realistic experience.
Take on the unimaginable sense of despair felt moments before becoming a Titan’s next meal.
Godzilla: The Real 4-D
Godzilla Vs. Me
Face off against the ultimate God of Destruction in this thrilling 4-D attraction.
Godzilla surfaces without warning in the city of Osaka, putting you in the center of an intense battle for survival!
4-D special effects, from jaw-dropping visuals to intense vibrations and wind pressure, bring the terror and destructive power of Godzilla to a whole new level.
Godzilla’s sheer immensity will leave you speechless!
Evangelion XR Ride
It’s all real.
A giant Angel appears in front of you, and your only chance of survival is to run!
Introducing the world’s first Evangelion ride attraction. XR technology brings the world of Evangelion to life with a full 360-degree panoramic view, perfectly synchronized with the powerful feeling of gravity only a ride like this can offer.
The grand scale and awe of this attraction will have you trembling in fear for the ultimate realistic thrill!
Detective Conan: The Escape
Fire Cord of DoomConan needs your help to crack the case.
- Event period: From January 13 (Fri) to May 28 (Sun) 2017 only.
The ultimate real escape game has arrived! Enter a world that’s exactly like the original story, and work with Conan and his friends to solve a mystery! All the participants of the lecture meeting hosted by the Osaka Prefectural Police have been wired with bombs! Defuse the bombs within the sixty-minute time limit and reveal the truth of the case! Real live characters appear before your very eyes, including Heiji, who performs amazing stunts. A spectacular live mystery event that is only possible at Universal Studios Japan. Get through a life-threatening situation with Conan, strengthen bonds, and experience an overwhelming sense of achievement.
Conan’s Tomato Chicken Chowder (did you get it?)
Monster Hunter: The Real
At last, the hunt is real.
The first ever Monster Hunter attraction where you can hunt life-sized monsters is finally here!
Roam the field with a hunter in search of beastly prey, towering nearly 100 feet high, or the new monster, generated in remarkable clarity on one of the world’s largest screens!
Universal Studios at night is an enough sight to see
And our final stop, back to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter for dinner at the Three Broomsticks!
Must-try: Cold butter beer
- Wizarding World of Harry Potter (WWoHP) in USJ is the closest wizarding world you can visit in Asia. The other one is in Orlando.
- Want to practice your magic but nowhere to go? Wand Magic is now an attraction at WWoHP.
- Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. Wanna hear Harry, Ron and Hermoine talk in Japanese? That’s a bonus. Haha!
- Want to experience the life of a Hogwarts student? Try dining at The Three Broomstick with butter beer. That would be perf.
- The all new Universal Cool Japan 2017 area. USJ made an initiative to collaborate with top anime brands in Japan so fans could enjoy. This is still a secret? (not sure) but there will be a Mario Bros. attraction this 2017. Ahh my childhood! I can’t wait to go back.
- Monster Hunter: The Real attraction. It’s interactive, you’ll feel like your playing the game yourself.
- Cinema 4D Store is a specialty souvenir store catering the Universal Cool Japan 2017 brands only. I badly need the Survey Corps (Attack on Titan) cape.
- Studio Stars Restaurant changes their menu so often. I had a vegetable and chicken curry this time. I wonder what will they serve next?
- Attack on Titan statue. Still remember iconic Jaws movie and it’s statue at Universal Studios? It’s similar to that.
- Attack on Titan: The Real attraction will leave you a feeling of being hunted by the titans. I loved it!
- Godzilla: The Real is kind of the same. You’ll definitely enjoy it if you’re a fan.
- Back to the Future is out. Evangelion is in. They already removed The Back to the Future attraction and replaced it to Evangelion. NEW!
- Detective Conan: The Escape is THE BEST ESCAPE GAME EVER. I swear! Once you tried it, you won’t like the others. HAHA! It’s actually my favourite attraction now.
- Conan’s soup is too cute. I’m sure fans of cute cafes like me will appreciate it.
- USJ at night is just beautiful! You should experience it during off peak season.
- Popcorn buckets in Minion, Evangelion, etc. form are available as a form of souvenir. Caramel popcorn at USJ is the bomb.
- There’s a takoyaki museum at Universal City Walk (pro-tip from yours truly).
This experience is definitely for keeps. From the bottom of my heart, thank you Cebu Pacific, Hotel New Otani Osaka, Universal Studios Japan, JR West and for all the people who made this trip possible.
Cebu Pacific, the largest airline in the Philippines, flies between Manila and Osaka five times weekly, with lowest year-round fares starting from PHP6,399. Cebu Pacific also flies from Manila to Tokyo (Narita), Nagoya and Fukuoka, as well as from Cebu to Tokyo (Narita). Book its trademark lowest fares now through http://bit.ly/CEBOsakaflights or (+632)7020888, or follow its Facebook or Twitter pages for the latest seat sales.