Osaka Adventure: USJ -One Piece Pirate Restaurant

So it is apparently a tradition for me to go to USJ (Universal Studio Japan) every summer in Korea. Apparently this past summer was no different. Not much has changed since last year.

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An advertisement for the new One Piece film.

One thing I noticed is that there was a One Piece restaurant. Well two. One for the general public, and a sequel to Sanji’s restaurant from last year. For Sanji’s I wasn’t able to get a reservation this year, since I was unaware they were doing it again. Haha, so I went to the general one.

The general pirate restaurant was in the Jurassic Park part of the park. It was in the JP restaurant and just slightly decorated to fit the theme of the new One Piece film, stampede.

My favorite part, one piece flags and dinosaur bones.
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A sequel to Sailor Moon from last year and a Godzilla VS Evangelion movie? YES! PLEASE!

An anti-climatic end to my vacation and Osaka Adventure series. Hope you’re not to disappointed.

Peace!

 

Osaka Adventure: Cup Noodle Museum

One thing is found on my trip was that a cup noodle Museum exist near Osaka. I accidentally found an ad, but I managed to convince my friend to go.

So we hopped on the train and arrived 30 minutes later. We went right when it opened and it was still busy and crowded. Like other people had the same idea too.

Outside the Museum is a statue of the inventor standing on a cup noodle. It’s pretty cool, and I regret not learning his name. In the immortal words of Hiro Mashima, “Whoops!”

Since we didn’t have a reservation, one part of the Museum was closed off to us. It just an expanded upon experience of one of the parts of the Museum.

The Museum is split into two part, an exhibition showcasing the history of instant noodles, and a make your own cup noodle.

Look at this old school noodle making house.

Along one wall of the exhibit, it shows what cup noodles are currently in circulation, and what noodles were out in the past. It even showed the very first cup noodles!!!

Seriously. It went from the floor to the ceiling. The perfect chance to use the Panoramic feature of my iPhone and I didn’t use it. It’s tough being part of the 1% (I am really not part of it.)

The other side of the wall started from conception to execution.

We even got to see the inside of the cup of noodles!!!

Did you know it doesn’t touch the bottom? I didn’t until this trip. My mind is forever blown.

Instant cup noodles also went to space. Yay for the astronauts!

After exploring the exhibit, we got to make our own cup noodles. It’s fun and only cost 300 Yen.

Look how crowded this part was too, at 10 in the morning. That is when the museum opened!

First you buy your cup from a vending machine, because it is Japan.

Next you clean and sanitize your hands because you are a filthy animal. Don’t try to hide it. You know you don’t wash your hands when you leave the restroom. You disgust me.

Then we can decorate our cups. My friends and I got down to business.

Her cup came out better than mine. One Piece represent!!!

Finally comes the fun part. You put your noodles in your cup, choose a broth, and FOUR toppings. I got curry broth, my friend got tomato chili. She can handle spicy, I cannot.

The last part is really cool. They put the lid on it and then wrap it in a plastic bag. They put it into that machine on the far right of the picture. It applies heat to the bag and that how the cup gets shrink-wrapped. I enjoyed that part more than I should.

This is a model of the candle I bought from the gift shop. I haven’t set fire to it yet, so I am not sure how it smell. There is no indication on the box.

If you ever get the chance to visit, I recommend it. It’s a short amount of time spent at the place, but over all it is quite fun. You can make your own memories and have a delicious souvenir. However, you only have one month to eat it before it expires. So you better not save it.

Until next time,

Peace!

Osaka Adventure: One Piece Rally

So it seems going to Osaka has become a summer tradition since I’ve moved to Korea. I’ve gone each summer I have been in Korea. Talk about exciting. Not really, but I always find new fun stuff to do. To be completely honest, I mainly go for Universal Studios.

One thing my friend and I stumbled upon was a One Piece “stamp” rally inside the Yodobashi Umeda building.

Originally we went in to escape the heat and humidity. However we stumbled upon this due to a special promotion in honor of the One Piece stampede moving coming out this weekend.

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The goal of the event was to go around to different floors and scan a QR code that would reveal a letter. Once all letters were revealed you would be entered into a raffle to win a prize. I don’t live in Japan, so if I do win I won’t be able to claim the prize.

The building had many floors (both stories and basements) that we had to search through.

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Franky and Brook were on the first floor next to the booth.

img_0240.jpgLuffy was on the eighth floor in the middle of the food court. You know, not Sanji, the chef. This one makes sense too.

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Ussop and Zoro were on the seventh floor.

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Sanji and Nami were on the sixth next to an elevator.

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Robin and Chopper were on the fifth floor. They were the hardest to find. They were by the escalators that were hidden out of the way and next to the Square Enid cafe pop up (the cafe is temporarily closed 😦 and closed the day before my trip).

All participants received a sticker. It looks nifty and I stuck it on my Laptop the moment I retired to Korea.

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I would like to see the movie but my vacation days didn’t line up the way I would have liked. Oh well. I’ll see it eventually, I hope.

It was nice spending a couple hours indoors in the nice industrial air conditioning. Making this rally worth it to my friend, and extra worth it to me. Plus the mall had many great shops and stores. If I had more money to spend I would have gone shopping and bout quite a few things.

All my post will just be highlights and things I thought that were cool during my trip.

Until next time,

Peace!

P.S. There were some nice Evangelion inspired glasses. If I didn’t fix my eyes…

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Update

Will update soon.

Been busy working and studying for certifications. I did have a small vacation last week and will post pieces of it soon. It will be under the title Osaka Adventure.

Haven’t you been to Osaka before? Yes. It’s kind of a summer tradition at this point. Haha

Peace!

Big T in Japan 2: Electric Boogaloo Day 4 – Universal Studios – One Piece Premiere Summer

The whole point of of my vacation was to go to Universal Studios Japan (USJ) was to see the One Piece Premiere Summer event. Now the friend I was supposed to see in Japan was sick with the flu, so things got shifted and moved around. We ended up going on a Thursday, the one day the main stage show wasn’t showing, talk about a bummer. More on this i just a little bit.

This trip was my second time to USJ. My first time was in February of 2015. I took many photos and did everything the park had to offer at that time. This time, not much has changed, but there were a few new things that were added and changed to the park. Since I was alone for most of the trip, up until the end at least, I had a chance to check things out.

First, the Jurassic Park area had a new ride. When I went there years ago they only had a water boat ride. Riding that in February wasn’t the brightest idea. This time around, they had an aerial ride. It was pretty fun, for the most part. The only thing I didn’t like about the ride was the people that sat next to me. I know you are supposed to scream on rides, but they were obnoxious about it. I don’t know how to explain it.

Then I checked out the Harry Potter world. Last time I went, the butter beer was warm and delicious. This time, it was cold and just tasted like cream soda. However, I did buy the souvenir mug it came in. That was kind of worth it. They also had a new stage show. The show was students prepping and showing off their magic as they prepared for another year at Hogwarts. They even had an audience participation section where kids were called up to stage (with wands they bought/brought) to preform magic for the crowd.

One of the things that excited me was the Sailor Moon event they had going on. There was a cool shop with various merchandise, even though all of it was SUPER EXPENSIVE. There was also a cool 4D event movie. That was pretty cool, for the most part. It starts with me (the audience) getting captured by the villain of the day and Usagi getting imprisoned. Right before our energy was to be stolen, we are rescued by the other Sailor Soldiers. Depending on where you are seating, one of the girls will fly over to you and ask if you are okay. The love of my life, Sailor Mars, saved my life. That was the greatest day of my life. When I am on my death bed, I will tell my kids about how being saved by Sailor Mars was the best thing that ever happened to me, not their birth. HA HA

Anyways, the girls free Usagi and she transforms into Sailor Moon with an awesome transformation sequence that can be found on YouTube. I might link it here later. I am not too sure yet. Then she and the girls fight and win. Or so it would seem. The villain transforms into a new powerful form. It is about to attack but Sailor Moon and the audience is saved by Tuxedo Mask. The monster attacks and Tuxedo Mask protects us with his body. Afterwards, he falls and lies on the ground, kinda forgotten for a while. Not important because he comes to and helps out later. He doesn’t lie on the ground forgotten like Uryu in the live action Bleach movie.

So, this is the part I had problems with. It turned into a marketing/product placement video. Sailor Moon can only save us, defeat the villain, and save the day ONLY if she uses her new and most powerful weapon: The Universal (Studios) Moon Rod. So if people have bought it, they can hold it up and turn on its lights when Sailor Moon does and make a world saving combo attack. Overall, the 4D movie was fun to watch, just not the end part. When the movie ends, the Sailor Soldiers and Tuxedo Mask places the audience back at USJ and say to have a fun day at the park. Eh, not the worst thing I ever experienced. Still, worth checking out.

So those were the highlights of the non One Piece part of my visit. Now comes the rest.

Like I mentioned, the whole point of going to USJ this time around was for the One Piece Premiere summer. Other than the merchandise shop, and countless kiosks, there were four key events: A stage show, which I was unable to participate in, a water show, a pirate versus marines water gun fight, which didn’t appeal to me, and Sanji’s Pirates Restaurant. I only went to two of these events, so that is what I will write about.

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he water stage show was interesting. I only saw the last half of it. Actually, it is kind of funny. I just stumbled upon it and I didn’t see it advertised on the website. The basis of the show was…….. is a good question. My Japanese isn’t good and I was far away to hear anything clearly. The actors didn’t talk themselves, they just mouthed what the pre-recorded Japanese Voice Actors said. The show was basically the Strawhat Pirates fighting the Marines. There was quite a lot of water being thrown around, and I did get soaked. I even have it on video. It was fun, but I think it made me kind of sick. Also, I loved how they put make up on the muscles to high light how ripped all the actors are. Kind of made me feel ashamed of my body. Although, I will work on it in my path to ninja series.

The main event was Sanji’s Pirates Restaurant. It was fine dinning and a show. For the meal, we were severed a 3 course meal, appetizer, main course, and dessert, where Sanji will come and “bless the food” in a matter of speaking. For the appetizer, there was a salad and a white sauce off to the side. If you are a girl, like my friend is, he would quickly draw a heart. However, if you are a boy, like me, he were scratch out the sauce. There not a better way to describe it. There was no blessing during the main course due to the show. The dessert was a mousse-like thing. It had half a candy heart on top. The girls got the other half added by Sanji. Us boys got Sanji pulling out the heart piece and throwing it on the plate in disgust. It was pretty cool.

The show part was interesting as well, even if I didn’t understand it at first. It start with Bartolomeo gushing over Sanji’s cooking. Sanji was prepping a wedding cake for some reason. Like I keep saying, my Japanese ability is pretty substandard. Then Buggy and Cabaji coming to steal the cake. Sanji tells them it’s a wedding cake and there needs to be a wedding. So Buggy kidnaps a girl from the audience (during out showing it was my friend) as an excuse to get the cake. Luffy and Zoro (who entered from the back of the restaurant as a play off of his poor sense of direction) show up to save the day. There is a stage fight and the Strawhats end up winning. It was pretty interesting to watch considering we didn’t know there was going to be a show.

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verall, it was a good day. I can’t wait until the next time I can go back to USJ!

Peace!

Big T in Japan 2: Electric Boogaloo Day 2 – Part 1, ¡DIO Mio!

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While waiting to meet up with my friend, I saw this advertisement above an arcade. All I saw was Dio from Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure. The advertisement was kind of sexy. I am not going to lie about that. I noticed that advertisement said it was on the 3rd floor. So when my friend came, we went into the arcade to find this. Both of us were not sure what the advertisement said. Kanji is not my strong suit. Kanji isn’t anyone’s strong suit.

Up on the third floor we found the counter. We staked it out for a few minutes, hoping to see people to get an idea of what to do. The two of us were too scared to go up and talk to the woman behind the counter, at least at first. I am not confident in my Japanese speaking ability, and my friend didn’t want to do all the speaking on the trip. I do not blame her.

After psyching myself up, I learned that this small pop-up event was a bland maze. When it was our turn to go through, we were told to pick an ending: Dio or Jotaro. It was a tough choice. I wanted to pick Jotaro because he is the hero, but I also wanted to pick Dio since the event was named after him. So like any logical person I flipped a coin. The host lady was surprised at the course of action. We ended up going the Jotaro route.

When we entered, the first room was a TV. It played a three minute video explaining the plot of the maze. Basically, we had to go through the maze and find something. The next area was a blind maze. It was pitch black and we had to navigate our way through. There were nooks and crannies that had various voice recording that auto played. The quality wasn’t good and noise was quite loud, so it was hard to understand. We also found a severed hand (plastic) with blood (paint) writing on the wall that said “turn back” or “don’t look back.” Like I said, Kanji isn’t my strong suit. We got to the end and there was a projection of Dio on the screen. It was him in the bed, like in the advertisement and the cut out outside the maze. As Dio spoke it slowly zoomed in and moved to his face. Dio was offering my friend and I immortality if we helped him out. Since we picked the Jotaro route, an image of Jotaro popped out and defeated Dio and saved us. The sheer audacity of the ending made my friend and I burst out laughing so we didn’t hear everything. After we finished the maze, and all parts, we received a post card with Jotaro on it (picture to come later). Overall, it was mildly enjoyable, but not worth the ticket price. However, I love cheesy experiences like this.

Outside the maze, as we were waiting, there was these cut outs of Dio and Jotaro. They looked pretty cool. I love how sexy the look. There was also a couch with a Dio blanket covering it. The blanket was for sale along with a few other merchandise at the end of the maze. Although the quality of the blanket was rather poor, and not worth the 10,000 Yen ticket price. I did want it because of how it looked but was not going to drop that much money on it. Although, I did consider it at different points of the trip. Don’t judge me.

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Sexy Dio Blanket in waiting area, not worth it.

Peace!

Big T in Japan 2: Electric Boogaloo – Day 1 Themed Shopping

Note: Currently on vacation will edit and format once it’s finished. Just posting for now.

So I got a week vacation from my school and decided, a bit strong-armed too, to go to Japan. Now, I wanted to go to Tokyo. I never been and it’s a place most nerds like me should go when on this side of the world. However, my friend wanted me to meet up with her in Osaka cause it is more convenient for her. I would have raised a fuss, but she came to visit me for winter vacation back in February.

So here I am back in Osaka. Not without any complications mind you. I was first in Osaka back in February of 2015. No problems then. This time around, I got hit with a delayed plane (yay typhoon season), a hard to find hotel, and got on the wrong train due to color blindness and ended up in a different city, drastically far away from my destination. None of that is important right now. What is important is that I didn’t habe much time to go out and explore or have fun. I am only in Japan for five days this time around so one is ready wasted. So I quickly hit up a few stops before the stores closed for the day.

My first brief stop was to the Pokemon Center located around Osaka Station. Quite different than the last time I was here, that’s for sure.

It still has various merchandise, all Pokemon related, for sell. My pictures only show a small, small fraction of it. They also had an area where people can play the card game and another area where people can play Pokemon Tekken (fix name here) outside of an arcade. This time was a bummer since they were not giving away any special Pokemon or items for the games. It was hard not spend money. There was a lot of stuff I wanted. Maybe if I have money left over at the end of the vacation.

As I was leaving the Pokemom Center and heading down the escalator, I saw a special collab betwen the store Tokyu Hands, which I have never even heard of, and Boku no/My Hero Academia. They had various character stands posted and also selling various merchandise. Again, tempting to spend money, but I was able to resist. I didn’t look around the store too much to see what was being sold, but I did see some mugs that had the characters painted on in a really cool way. Maybe I’ll go back and pick one up.

Now what was the most surprising was this jem.

The Jump Store. I have heard mamy a tales about this store but never actually seen one in Japan. Like ever. Well….maybe one around Universal Studios.

Bascially, like everything else I posted, this store sells various merchandise for various Jump/Shonen Jump titles, including but not Limited to, One Piece, Bleach, Naruto, Dragon Ball, Yu Yu Hakusho, etc. I will definately go bacl and spend money. Everyone knows One Piece is my weakness. Maybe I’ll break out thd ol’ credit card. No. Be responsible Thomas.

Not bad for a first day that was short on time. I do hope I can visit these places again and update this post with more info.

Peace!