Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Universal Studios and Kyoto

Monday, was Universal Studios day! You may be saying, "Why go to Universal Studios when there is one in California?" Well, I must say that in living in so cal for 25 years I have never been to Universal Studios. This is my chance! :) We found our subway, the right one, the first time :) and made it to find that while there is a Universal City Walk in Osaka there is also a Golden Spoon! (yes, again!!!) We had a little morning snack then waited in the ticket line FOR EVER!
When we made it inside we went first to the Hollywood Dream Rider roller coaster. Alison was a little scared but with the help of some rockin music, she survived with flying colors! We made our way around the park, rode some crazy rides....everything from 3D spiderman to "head banging" Back to the Future (literally head banging....I was on the side by the door and every move I knocked my head on the side of the car!!! ouch!) We also got to go see the Japanese Wicked show! It was a good thing I knew the story because most of it was in Japanese, though they sang many of the songs in English with Japanese subtitles on the side screens. It was great! Alison caught some video of the song Popular, with her camera hiding near her sweatshirt.
There was a store front called "Adrienne's Pet Shop" haha Alison found a really special Hello Kitty hat!
After leaving the park, which by the way, they don't allow anyone but season pass holders to re-enter the park (strange!) we headed to City Walk to have dinner at Bubba Gumps...WAY too much food, but yummy!
By the end of the day we were exhausted, to say the least! We went back to our hotel and crashed...getting all ready for our super adventurous last day!
Alison and I decided to take a trip out to Kyoto (about a 45 minute train to the main station). We had our handy dandy city map of Kyoto and we found our final destination, the Golden Pavilion. One problem, it was pretty much nowhere near a local subway station. We made it to Kyoto and were standing in the station, tons of people all around, and we thought....and looked at the map....and thought some more...and finally decided to find someone and point to the nearest station to the temple, then when we arrived there we would find someone else and point to the temple. Might sound confusing, it was at first, but it ended up being an incredibly successful trip!
The Golden Pavilion
Beautiful scenery!
Alison and I (still standing)
After leaving the Golden Pavilion, Alison talked me into going to another temple, Ryoanji Temple, that ended up being about a 20 minute walk down the street. The weather was beautiful with a fabulous breeze...all in all, a nice walk!
We had the pleasure of taking our shoes off, yet again, before entering the temple, to find these people chillin, staring at the rocks. Really kinda creepy!
The decorations and surrounding scenery at nearly every place we visited was incredible!
Finally, we made a stop at the Nijo Castle in Kyoto. The castle was built in the 1600's as the official residence of the first Shogun, ruler of the country. The decoration and detail in the castle was amazing! We weren't allowed to take pictures inside, so sorry. The floors in the castle are "Nightingale Floors," meaning they squeak! It was kinda fun walking around with no shoes on hearing the floors creak.

The Osaka/Kyoto trip was amazing and Alison and I are more than proud of how we got around town without ever really getting lost. Then, when we arrived back in Okinawa on Wednesday we landed 30 minutes apart from my mom's flight! She's in Okinawa, so fun! We're having a blast and I'll be posting pictures from all our adventures soon!

1 comment:

  1. How have you never been to Universal Studios in CA?!?!? I'm flabbergasted! ;-)