This last trip to Japan, I traveled with nerds. Harry Potter nerds, that is. Myself quite possibly the biggest nerd of them all—or not. It’s a never-ending competition with these three.
Anyway. I really had no idea I would be going to Japan this year—I thought I’d take a year off and cross off other countries in my bucket list, but when an opportunity to travel with my sister and two friends came up, I was the first to say “Book the goddamn ticket.” Yep, apparently when it comes to my favorite country in Asia, I will say “yes” almost immediately.
Three of us had already been to Japan a few times, but as it was my friend T’s first time, our five-day itinerary was a compromise of the old and the new—the most crucial part being a visit to Universal Studios in Osaka, which recently opened The Wizarding World of Harry Potter last July. Being full-on Potter freaks/geeks, we didn’t waste any time and opted to visit the theme park the day after we arrived.
It was, as expected, quite packed. We were lucky to have made it in time to buy the Express ticket for the 3 p.m. Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride, which uses 4K imaging technology to take you into Harry’s world. Apart from the adrenaline-pumping Hollywood Dream roller coaster ride, this very brief sojourn to Harry’s world was definitely the highlight of our visit to the park. The ride is right inside iconic Hogwarts Castle—the interiors of which really sought to recreate scenes from the movie, from the grand staircase with its wall lined with talking portraits, to Dumbledore’s office and the common room of Gryffindor Tower. The only catch? Everything—including the 3D videos showing Harry, Hermione and Ron deep in conversation—was in Japanese. It was purely for our visual pleasure :P
I didn’t have my camera or phone on me while inside Hogwarts, but here are some snaps from Hogsmeade:
Yep, this Potter fan was definitely a happy camper. Especially after we ended the day with a cup of Butterbeer…which is really just sugar disguised as non-alcoholic beer, but to us it tasted like magic anyway. Haha.