Last month, my boyfriend and I took a trip to Osaka to celebrate my birthday. It was our first time going to Osaka, but we both knew a trip to Universal Studios had to be made. Coming from L.A., Universal Studios wasn’t a new thing for us. However, the one in Osaka has something the one in California doesn’t… The Wizarding World of Harry Potter!!! The boyfriend and I are pretty big fans, so we knew we had to experience the magic firsthand.
While we mostly went to check out the Harry Potter area, we still wanted to peruse the rest of the park as well. If there’s anything we learned after visiting Tokyo Disneyland, it’s that Japanese theme parks know how to make food both cute and delicious. We were super eager to get our grub on.
Our first stop was the Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man ride, which was insanely cool! It was an interesting combination of 3D and animatronics. After that we checked out the gift shop. If you’re any kind of fan, I guarantee, you will find a thing or five to buy. I went for this cute little cell charm of Spider-Man on top of a takoyaki ball and a box of Spider-Man ramen. It doesn’t get much more Japanese than that.
Our first snack stop was at the “Amazing Hot Dogs” stand right outside the gift shop. Here you can find the deliciously adorable Spiderman steamed buns. There are 2 to choose from, original Spiderman or Black Spiderman. We got one of each. The Black Spiderman came with a pizza filling, while the original Spiderman came with Chinese filling. I guess the best description for this filling would be similar to chow mien or japchae. The original was my favourite, super flavourful! The pizza one wasn’t bad either though, my boyfriend liked that one best.
Next, we moved through Minions Plaza, where we caught part of a minions parade and browsed through the gift shop. I got to cuddle the white unicorn, it was so fluffy I could die! Once I got that out of my system it was on to the Back to the Future ride. We were quite full at this point, but we did return later in the evening for the Minion steamed pork bun. It came in a cute box where you could make the eyelid open and close. As for the flavour… super tasty and savoury! The boyfriend and I both really really enjoyed this one.
One of my favourite sections of the park was the seasonal “Christmas Happiness Market.” I love the holiday season, the festivities and decorations, but most of all I love the food! This area was mostly food carts and the boyfriend and I happily skipped from one to another. There were so many things to try, but we were a bit on a time crunch because of our time slot to enter The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. So we tried the Christmas Churritos, Winter Special Christmas Baked Apple and Trick Drink Mango Tea. The churro was chocolate, drizzled in white chocolate and topped off with rainbow sprinkles. It was a bit stale and way too sugary for my taste. The baked apple, on the other hand, was like apple pie without the crust. It was soft, not overly cinnamony and practically melted in my mouth. The mango tea was also quite good. It was a sweetened milk tea with bits of mango in it, topped off with whipped cream and a gingerbread man. The cups were really cute too and varied between Santa, Rudolph and Frosty. I think this was my favourite of the three.
Part of their christmas decor also included a 36-meter tall Christmas tree. It’s held the record for the world’s most illuminated tree in the Guinness book for five years in a row, using the highest number of lights (374,280 lights). If that doesn’t put you in the Christmas spirit, I don’t know what will.
Combing through the rest of Universal was pretty fun. Universal Wonderland is pretty cute, filled with the random assortment of Hello Kitty, Snoopy and Sesame Street Characters. Unfortunately, unless you have kids there’s not a whole lot to do there. The rest of the park was littered with photo zones that were well organized with happy and enthusiastic staff members ready to take your picture. It was really hard to not want to buy every photo we took, especially since the staff members were so incredibly nice.
If you plan on visiting, I highly recommend buying your tickets in advance. You can only do this on the Japanese website, but I found a blog that has a step-by-step guide in English and it was super helpful! You can check it out HERE. I recommend purchasing their Express Pass online as well, as they only sell a certain amount per day and they sell out quick. There are 3 to choose from: Express Pass 3, 5, or 7. The number represents the amount of rides you can use your pass for. I went for Express Pass 5, which was more than enough. We flew through the lines and got to enjoy the rest of the park! Plus we got to pick our time slot for Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. Definitely worth the money!
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