Waking up to a cold Osaka morning, we checked out of our hostel a little before 8am. It wasn’t originally part of our plan, but we decided to take a glimpse of Osaka Castle before going to Universal Studios.
The sad part of today was the rain. And the cold weather. Sigh. It always rains whenever I visit a foreign country!
Google maps led us to the grounds of Osaka Castle. But we didn’t explore as we were too tired and hungry, and freezing in the rain (Google maps seem to not know where the shortcuts are; or I pointed it at the wrong direction so it led through the longer route). In front of the moat surrounding the bridge, we saw this place where you can rent kimono for 500yen. A bit pricey, but it’s a tourist spot and this is the first time we encountered such opportunity. We can’t let it pass!
The Kuya there who was assisting us was very good looking. ❤ And he’s actually one of the few people who can speak fluent English. He even asked if we were from Australia. My hair looks Australian, but I definitely don’t! HAHA. My broken Japanese led him to ask me if I can understand it, and I told him I just learned from watching Japanese Dramas and variety shows, and a little bit of music. He said I was pretty smart for learning it that way. Pogi points para kay Kuya! HAHA. I wasn’t able to take a picture of him though, because I was too busy thinking about where the toilet was that I got shy when we went back to take a photo of the place.
Shout-out: If you’re reading this, know that I left my heart in Osaka! (Note: this was our catch-phrase during the trip whenever we see adorable people; Read: Cute guys who can speak English).
From Osaka Castle, we battled the rain back to the station and went on our way to Universal Studios. The rain was pouring and it was freezing cold!
We arrived at Universal Studios Japan before 12nn, and the sadder part of today was the rain was still pouring! We also couldn’t find a vacant locker at the station so we had to carry our overnight bags and pasalubong bags so we had to haul our already heavy coats and belongings to some 10 minutes of walking in the rain before reaching the park gates.
Thank goodness we found another locker room outside the park gates. I had no intentions of bringing my heavy bag inside the park grounds. Much more in this heavy down pour.
We went through the gates without much hassle, and at last! I am inside the Universal Studios Japan! I am not really into theme parks, but I wanted to go into the newly opened Wizarding World of Harry Potter, being Potter fan that I am. It was totally my childhood!
After taking a few pictures of the ever-present mascots, we went directly to WWHP to pick up our timed-entry tickets. Take note that it was not at the WWHP entrance. It’s at a different location, at Central Park, about 2 minutes of walk from the gates. I was expecting a late entrance to the park, but blame the heavy rain, we can actually enter at 12:30pm. But we chose the 2:30pm timeslot because we wanted to eat first. We asked around for gohan meals, because it would be our first meal of the day. Heck, I was already having problems with my stomach by this day so I had to start eating properly and on-time. I don’t want a hospital episode in a foreign country!
After lunch, we went around a few more times to take pictures before entering the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The saddest part of the day was that the rain was still pouring so it was very hard to take pictures with my DSLR. I had to keep my gloves on, my umbrella and hat over my head, and avoid soaking my phone and camera in the rain.
As I wasn’t fond of rides, we only took photos and videos of the park! I was smiling ear-to-ear from when we entered through the forest until the Hogwarts castle. The heavy rain cannot and will not dampen my mood! Although it sucked that I cannot take any decent pictures without risking a bleeding nose because of the cold temperature.
A little after 4pm, the rain subsided and guest started pouring in. We were scheduled to return to Tokyo at 5pm so that we can catch the shinkansen and reach our hotel before 11pm. We missed the lighting of the castle, I think they started lighting it when we were almost past the gates of the theme park but as the castle was hidden, we can’t see it anymore. Sigh. I will probably return just for that, though. Then I will be prepared from the cold weather!