Thursday, August 21, 2014

Vacation Days 4 and 5: Trains and USJ

There's really not much to say about the day of trains. We saved a lot of money by taking the normal trains from Fukuoka to Osaka instead of the bullet train. Remember on the bullet train it took about 5 hours from Shizuoka to Fukuouka. It took 12 hours from Fukuoka to Osaka, and after that is still 5.5 more hours by normal train another day. Why do this? We saved lots of money. There's a special ticket you can buy during school breaks that allows you to ride JR train lines for 5 days for about a hundred bucks. You can also share it with someone. Since we needed 2 days a piece, we each paid about 50...and I could sell the remaining day for money back. The bullet train down alone was 200. Yay money saving! So we rode trains and got to our hostel/hotel in the evening (we weren't staying long, so we stayed somewhere cheaper).

The next day was the big event! USJ! Harry Potter! One Piece! It was time to party. We awoke and jumped on the train for the short ride to USJ! (We made sure our hotel was nice and convenient so we didn't have to get up too early) This time, we knew where the McDonald's was and got ourselves a hearty breakfast to prepare for our adventurous day. We were still ready to roll before the park opened, but we figured we might as well just head over anyway. And it was a good thing we did, because soon after they were letting people in. We were confused but we weren't going to question it; we just followed the people towards Harry Potter. We were even more confused when we saw people running (actually flat out running) towards it. Why? It wasn't going anywhere!

Well, after we followed the people, we found out why. Because it is new and crowded, there was a timed entry system set in place for Harry Potter area. You were allowed one ticket per day, and they will run out if you don't get a ticket soon enough---especially since this was the most traveled week of the year in Japan. This is also why they opened the park early. Luckily our tickets were for 9:10, so it's not like we had to wait very long. Actually, as we sat waiting for our time to enter the workers saw us and waved us through anyway (what was the point of the timed entry then? I don't even know whatever) so that was cool.

Happy Potter world in USJ is....identical to Harry Potter world (pre-Diagon Alley) in Florida! Yay! We made our way over to the awesome castle ride immediately and it was awesome. Then it also let you out into the most crowded gift shop ever. We were considering coming back to buy things later, but it was a good thing we didn't because there was a huge line to get into the store. Gah. 

Then! We feasted on butterbeer! And I made a stupid mistake. I wanted to take a picture of my butterbeer with the castle in the background, and so I dropped my bag like a foot off the ground to the ground, and there was a mug in there--that I remembered as soon as I heard the clink! of shattering glass. (One horrible thing about USJ: they refuse to give you a plastic bag with handles unless you pay them money for it, so we were stuck with crappy paper horrible bags all day) So I had to go back to the store. Luckily (luckily) they let me cut the line and the lady at the cash register was super nice (and also a Gryffindor) and I didn't have to pay for a replacement. Good job Me.

Anyway! We decided it was a good time for some food...well, it was a good time to get in the line for food. They said it was going to take a bit over an hour, but luckily since we opted to eat at the outside seating it went faster. And they had some nice food. Beef! Pastry! Oh it was so good. Very happy campers. 

And then we...didn't really want to do anything else. We fought our way into some stores before lunch, but it was so crowded and overpriced we didn't really want anything else. And the main gift/candy store had a wait that was literally 3 hours. Longer than the rides. Absolutely not. Jeez Japan.

So after exiting that area we ran into another problem: we wanted to ride Backdrop, the awesome coaster that goes backwards. However, it appeared that because it was crowded that day they also sold timed release tickets for that as well. No one ever told us this, so we were right pissed. But luckily we could ride single rider (the whole time we never saw anyone really go through the real line so what was the stupid point of the tickets but whatever) later that day so that was...acceptable. At the time we just rode forward instead, but still. Gr.

The other main event of the day was of course, One Piece! USJ's One Piece Summer Event! Lots of One Piece goods! The main event was that night, but during the day there was a small water street show with Luffy and Usopp that was really cute (and I was actually allowed to film part of it). The Marines were looking for Luffy, and Usopp (and the kids in the audience) were trying to distract them and everyone was shooting water guns and it was really cute. We were also literally inches away from getting soaked with a fire hose so that was lucky. 

And that night! The main show! This time we had forgotten to read / translate the plot summary teaser before hand, so extra Japanese practice! If you don't know what One Piece is, feel free to skip the next paragraph:

So the timeline of this show was set as an additional island they stopped at before Dressrosa, so the gang was still with Law and Caesar. An island famous for fireworks was taken over by the Deluxe Marines, who apparently have some big names working for them (such as Hordy, Boa Hancock, Kid, Crocodile, I can't even name them all). SO of course the Straw Hats stop there (despite Law's protests) and have to defeat them. It was super confused until it was revealed that the right hand man of the leader of the DX Marines (who was a plasma user) had some ability that enabled him to make copies of people and use their abilities (including Law) so all of these big players were fakes of the real people. But they still needed to be defeated, and Luffy was up to the task using Grizzly Magnum (which was pretty cleverly demonstrated I might add) to defeat the leader. Also heavily featured was shirtless! and breakdancing Sanji throughout the show. It was a very good time haha. I wish I remembered more, but I should have wrote this when we got back instead of a month later in September. -____-

And then afterwards we made a bit stop at the Jump Shop because goods and had just enough money to make it home the next day...which was Obon, so no rest was needed as we arrived home, geared up in yukata and headed out to the festival! THEN I slept very well that night.

All in all an excellent, excellent vacation :D


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