Merry Christmas Eve to everyone on this day from Japan! I was really excited for this day cos we booked tickets to USJ (Universal Studios Japan) on Klook! We didn’t buy the Express pass because it was really too expensive as the prices were almost $150+ PER person during this festive period. That’s a top up on top of the studio pass itself, in other words..$200++ per person just for a day theme park. Crazy.
P.s read about Day 1 & Day 2 here:
- #mitsuekitravels | 19D18N Japan Travelogue 2022 (Day 1): Singapore-Taipei-Tokyo x Fish Ramen x Asakusa x Sensoji Temple x Tokyo SkyTree – 22 Dec 2022
- #mitsuekitravels | 19D18N Japan Travelogue 2022 (Day 2): Tokyo-Kanazawa-Osaka x Kuromon Market x Jiyuken Curry x Namba x Dotonburi x Umeda – 23 Dec 2022
Honestly, we were a little worried on the crowd situation during Xmas Eve but we took the advice of many people who shared their experience on the Japan discussion forum to go at least 2 hours before their opening time to try to get access into the Nintendo World at the very VERY least.
So here we were at 715am queuing at the gates to USJ with our breakfast onigiri and we were definitely not the only ones. Once the gates opened around 750am, it was a mad rush to Nintendo World to grab the timed entry tickets..
.. which in the end, we didn’t need to because it was open for walk ins this early in the morning. Woohoo!!
The first course of action was to purchase the Power Up band at the many kiosks around the theme park cos they really help to add an element to the theme park experience at Nintendo World. Remember to download the USJ app because the Nintendo World app is within the app itself to register your power up band.
But first, here’s sharing photos all around the theme park..which makes you feel as if you are transported into a real life Mario world!!
Ideally as I mentioned, you should get the power up band as this is an interactive and wearable game piece within the Nintendo Land itself. It involves jumping like Mario to get ‘coins’, playing mini games (both solo and co-op) to unlock the keys to get to Bowser’s castle to battle the boss with 12 people (co-op). Your score and coins are also tabulated daily in the app so you can see where you stand!
Of course, not forgetting the rides at Nintendo Land which we managed to get on all of them. There was a zero wait time at 8am when we were on Yoshi Adventure and barely anyone on the ride, however there was about 30mins+ wait for the other Mario Kart game which was really fun and interactive. The mister also bought the limited edition star popcorn bucket which you can only get at this land. It lights up at night too and makes as a lovely keepsake souvenir to store small items and as a night light!
Moving onto our first proper meal of the day – we had the Christmas lunch at Three Broomsticks at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Again, no timed entry tickets were needed to enter this world and we got in without a hitch, beyond a short queue to the restaurant for lunch.
The mister had the Christmas roast chicken lunch set which came with a half roast chicken, peas, greens, potatoes and a potato and leek soup. Definitely a very hearty meal. In my case, I had the quarter roast chicken with shepherd’s pie, corn cob and greens which didn’t look much but it was so so filling! Sitting outside also allows you a beautiful view of the Hogwarts castle at your backdrop .. minus the cold however as we were freezing! This meal cost around $22-26 per person but it was worth it for theme park food and the quality as well!
Next up, we were actually impressed that we could get into most of the rides we wanted including the Harry Potter ride, Jujutsu Kaisen 4D movie, Space Fantasy, The Amazing Spiderman, Jaws and even the Minion Mayhem without much of a super super long wait. The average wait time was around 30 mins+, except for the minions one which took almost an hour.
It’s my first time being able to finish almost all the rides at a theme park by 6pm so we spent the rest of the time checking out the Christmas light up, having a Chocolate pistachio apple pie as a snack, heading back to the Harry Potter world again to view it at night and then ending it off with a Haagen Dazs ice cream for the mister before we left USJ to head back to Umeda.
Having said that, the timing we reached Umeda was still rather early at 8 plus and we decided to go check out the One Piece Mugiwara Store, Pokémon Store, Nintendo Land store and etc, all of which were located at LV 13 of the Daimaru Umeda building. We also visited the basement stores of Daimaru to have a look see and there were so many things available on sale after 8pm!
Our final stop before we end off this blog post is to have a ramen dinner at a random ramen shop called Hakata Ramen Genkotsu nearby our hotel because the queue for Ichiran was crazy long and this man was hungry. The ramen and gyoza was alright but I knew I would have preferred Ichiran for sure. However, there’s always next time to try!
And that’s the end of this blog post for our Christmas Eve in Osaka, Japan! Stay tuned for tomorrow as we will be traveling out of Osaka for Christmas 🙂
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