Day 8: Universal Studios Japan and Nanba

Yesterday was the trip to Nanba (AKA Namba).  My friends and I met up around 1:00 at Izumichuo station, and we all rode it first to Universal Studios, then to Nanba.  The Universal Studios here is a theme park, but the only price for admission is the cost of train fare.  We just went to the shopping area and looked around.  The first store we went to was nothing but anime.  Unfortunately, it was all shonen anime stuff, largely One Piece with a bit of Naruto, Bleach, and Ao no Exorcist, and there wasn't anything there I was interested in.
Jump Shop's entrance
Waiting for everyone to arrive, outside Jump Shop.
Afterwards we went upstairs, some of the others had lunch (I ate before I left), and we looked around at more shops.  I didn't buy anything, but I saw some interesting stuff for sale, such as this giant Roadrunner and Wile E Coyote.
Only 168,000 Yen!
We had to see what Japan's version of the USA was.

The shop called "FUNNY" had a bunch of cowboy-themed clothing (very expensive).  A couple of us went in and looked at a t-shirt they had with Engrish text.  We read it, but it didn't make any sense.  There are a lot of things here with pretty good Engrish:
I'll do that.
Yes! Let's!!
Do signs that shape exist in California?
It is a theme park, so of course there's a roller coaster (jet coaster in Japan).  We didn't ride anything though.
Then on to Nanba.  This is Japan:
The main thing of note here is that the crosswalk is roughly 100 feet wide, and curves around the station along with the road.
The first stop in Nanba was karaoke.  That is expensive!  I wasn't happy when I saw how much it was.  Oh well.  To help make up for it, they had unlimited drinks during your stay (I had two cups of ginger ale), and a HUGE selection of songs.  I sang the opening of Clannad After Story (Toki wo Kizamu Uta), the ending of Angel Beats! (Brave Song), and a couple others, and I attempted (very poorly) Cirno's Perfect Math Class.
One of the first songs.
Filling up the queue.  The room wasn't actually anywhere near this bright.
Cha-La Head-Cha-La.  Of course.
After time ran out, everyone else was hungry and decided to go to a fancy buffet thingy.  All you can eat or drink within the time limit of two hours.  I didn't really want to go, especially because the cost was 3,000 yen.  I ended up going anyway because it was better than wandering around outside and getting lost for two hours.  That meal is probably the most expensive food I've ever eaten.
Near the start of the meal.
Hey, look, I'm in a picture!  My drink there is Calpis Water (or maybe Calpis Soda.  I had both, but the water was better).  I ended up having I think 5 cups of that stuff.  It's a slightly sweetened water.  I don't know what's in it, but it's really good.
I ate a ton while I was there.  Probably at least 5 or 6 plates of various foods:
Meatballs in some sort of sauce.  I wasn't particularly adventurous.  Still, it was really good.
The steak was amazing.  If there weren't so many other things to try, I probably would have had three or four of these.
I also ended up having some good fried chicken, different from the USA's; french fries (they came before anyone had a chance to order anything, so we all had some); two takoyaki balls, which were surprisingly good - octopus just tastes better in Japan; tamagoyaki (lit. fried egg, basically scrambled eggs, solidified); and I think a couple other things I'm forgetting.

As the meal wore on (and after many dishes had already been carried away empty).

Exploring the shopping district of Nanba at night.
More Nanba shopping
Eventually it was time to go home, and after another long ride back, I walked to my bike with my friend, then rode home.
I cross this road on my way to school every day.  It's never this empty during daylight hours.
Travel is prohibitively expensive in Japan.  Everything is.  I spent significantly more on this trip than I had throughout the entire rest of the week.  Even so, it was pretty fun.  I probably won't ever go to karaoke again though.  Better to just sing my own songs when I want to.

1 comment:

  1. Sorry life costs so much, particularly the fun parts. Go ahead and spend what you need to to make the trip what you want it to be.

    I like the signs. It reminds me of Argentina signs and T-shirts that people would have on. Misspelled Disney characters, phrases that didn't make any sense, it was great. Just don't go self medicationing yourself or forgetting to properly use your manner observations, that could really get you into trouble :)