Wednesday, June 3, 2015

A Magical Day (Part 1)

Hi! It's me again, back from another adventure from the Land of the Rising Sun (Japan). I recently had the most magical day of my life in none other than The Wizarding World of Harry Potter located in Universal Studios Japan (USJ).

Ever since I came back here for work, my bosses have been asking me which place in Japan I would most want to visit. They asked me that before I even got my visa in Manila, and they asked me again during the company dinners here in Tachikawa. My answer has always been the same: Harry Potter World.

Hogwarts Castle
I've already visited a lot of the tourists spots in Tokyo 3 years ago with Divina, so my only goal this time was to experience the magic of Harry Potter World. I was a little worried because the budget for this adventure is too high! The ticket costs ¥7200/day for one adult and the transportation costs around ¥30,000 (shinkansen ticket is expensive). I also had to factor in food and souvenirs, and I was almost sure that I will not be able to do this adventure this time.

Then Shachou came to the rescue! With a little nudge from Goto-san, he promised to shoulder the transportation costs for me and Rina-san (who will accompany me for the day). We just had to pay for the ticket and the hotel, which are cheaper compared to the fare. So were able to have the most wonderful and magical day in USJ!

USJ is located in Osaka, at least 5 hours away from Tachikawa, Tokyo. We had to ride trains and had to transfer train lines at least 6 times: from the office to Tachikawa, then to Hachioji, transfer to Shin-Yokohama, shinkansen ride to Shin-Osaka, then train again to Osaka and finally to Universal City. Wew! I was able to ride my first shinkansen (bullet train). It looks like an elongated airplane, and the windows are similar as well.

Shinkansen to Tokyo
Riding the shinkansen feels like an riding an airplane. It's so fast I half expect to lift off any moment! The view from the small windows are quite blurry and almost distorted because of the speed. There are so many differences from riding a normal train (densha) and a bullet train; for one, no one rides the shinkansen standing up - the distance between stations are too far, so you have to seat down. Cars 1-3 are non-reserved seating and the rest of the cars have dedicated seating plan. You can also eat inside the train, as in full meal kind of eating and not just snacks. The seating arrangement is also similar to airplanes with rows of chairs facing the front.

general lighting
seating arrangement
The ride took about 2 1/2 hours which is faster than if you would drive (6 hours). We then went on to transfer into other trains until we finally arrived in Universal City and checked into Hotel Keihan. We left the Tachikawa office around 6pm and arrive in the hotel around 11pm.We already had dinner inside the shinkansen, so we stopped by a convenience store to buy breakfast for the next day. Finally, we watched Harry Potter 7.5 before drifting off to sleep.

headboard design
twin bed room (with Rina-san)
watching HP 7 part 1
ceiling design (glows in the dark)
So, that's that for the first part. I have a lot to tell you (and this post is getting too long) so,  I have to cut my story (not unlike Harry Potter 7). I will share the wonderful day we had in USJ in the next part. See you!

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