For the past weeks, I talked about how I spent roughly ₱40,000 for this Japan trip, how we enjoyed Tokyo for 5 days & how we managed to squeeze as much as we can in our brief 1.5 days in Kyoto. Now, it’s down to the last part of this series; our final 2.5 days in Osaka. I will give you a detailed recap on what we did & where we went in our last days in Japan.
Let me tell you that the primary reason we dropped by Osaka is to visit Universal Studios Japan, especially The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. We kind of relaxed a bit in this part of the trip; there was no pressure to go to this place or that.
The Japan crew at Universal Studios Japan 😃
Day 1 (Day 0.5)
After getting the our bags at Backpackers Hostel K’s House Kyoto, we walked to the JR Kyoto Station & took the 29-minute train to Osaka Station. We then transferred to the local Midosuji Line to Namba Station where our Airbnb apartment is near.
Inside Namba Parks Shopping Centre
We dropped our stuff & settled for a while. After an hour of rest, we walked around the nearby Namba Parks. It is a commercial complex with an 8-level garden with waterfalls, ponds, etc. It also has very interesting interiors. After walking around the complex, we then walked our way to Dōtonbori via the Shinsaibashi shopping street. I think it was a 1.5 km walk from Namba Parks. We didn’t mind walking because the weather was nice.
Colorful Dōtonbori at night (with the famous Glico Man)
We braved the crowd & took photos with the famous Glico Man. We also checked out the shops & restaurants within the shopping area. We stopped by a local tempura shop to have dinner before we walked back to the apartment.
We only had one planned for this day & it was the main reason we stopped by Osaka before going home – to visit Universal Studios Japan. Ticket purchases were only available on site during our visit (unlike Tokyo Disney Sea, where we booked our tickets online). Each entry park ticket costs ¥7,400 per person (₱2,886 that time).
Upon entering the theme park, we immediately went to the ‘timed-entry’ ticketing booths for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter to get our scheduled entry passes. Yes, you’ve read that right, you need to secure your entry passes for you to go to the Harry Potter World. They regulate the entry of the guests every 20 minutes. Slots fill up really fast so make sure to get yours as soon as you enter the park.
USJ Park Ticket & Harry Potter World Timed-Entry Pass
We planned to get in there around sunset, but there were no longer passes available so we took the latest – 3:20 pm. We walked around the park & tried as many rides as we can while waiting for our turn. We had our lunch in SAWS Restaurant inside the Sharks Village. We also checked out the goodies in the specialty shops nearby & watched the daily parade of stars.
Saw Flying Ford Anglia before entering the theme park
At exactly 3:20 pm, we entered The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. It was a bit of a walk from the USJ theme park; but the long walk was worth it. The Hogwarts Express welcomed us to the park. We walked to Hogsmeade afterwards. We were lucky the butterbeer pop-up shop in just opened. I got a glass of iced butterbeer worth ¥700.
Iced butterbeer!!! 😋
We walked to the Hogwarts Castle & waited for the sun to set. The castle was beyond beautiful during sunset. We went inside the castle, saw some moving & talking people in the frames (just like the ones in the movie), a hologram of Dumbledore, Harry, Hermione & Ron & other familiar sightings from the movie.
The Hogwarts Castle before sunset
Sunset from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
After a long day at USJ, we decided to go back to Shinsaibashi to have dinner. We also dropped by Daiso (the ¥108 shop) to get some goodies before heading back to the apartment.
It was our last day in Japan. It was also a Sunday, so Junelle & I decided to hear mass in Sacra Familia Catholic Church in Umeda. Majo wasn’t able to join us because she could barely walk due to fatigue. We attended the 9:00 Sunday English mass.
Had a nice stroll at the Osaka Castle Park
After mass, we decided to have a quick look at the Osaka Castle. We took the subway to Osaka Business Park Station then walked through to the Osaka Castle Park. Due to limited time, we were not able to go inside the castle. We had to rush back to the apartment to get our things.
Outside Osaka Castle
After fixing our bags, we went out to have lunch in a nearby ramen restaurant. We had a short walk around Namba Parks again; then tried the famous okonomiyaki (pan-fried food with batter, cabbage & a variety of toppings & ingredients) on our way back. We got our luggage & went straight to Kansai International Airport for our flight back to Manila. The flight left Osaka a little late, but we landed at Ninoy Aquino International Airport on schedule.
That pretty much sums up the short stay we had in Osaka. Before we left Japan, I made a promise to myself that I will go back to this beautiful country as soon as possible to explore more. That promise materialized after a year where I went back to Japan for 13 days & explored 7 cities. I will tell you more about that recent trip in the upcoming blog posts.
I hope you had fun reading through the 3 parts of our October 2015 Japan trip. Make sure to also check out how I managed to spend less than ₱40,000 for this 9-day trip. If you have any questions, feel free to comment below or send me an email to email@example.com. Alternatively, you can also send me a message on Facebook or ask me on Instagram or Twitter.
Arigatou gozaimasu (ありがとうございます) 🇯🇵 & have a nice day! 😃
PS. Thanks again to Junelle for allowing me to use some of her photos.