After knocking out the previous night, I was up early this morning. The sun rises at around 5am so even though it was really early, I didn’t really feel like it was when I woke up at around 6am. The plan was to have sushi for breakfast at Endo Sushi, which many reviews online claimed to be good.
This was another elusive place again and I really wished I printed a better map. To get here, I took the subway on the Sennichi line to Tamagawa station and had to walk for 15 minutes. It’s quite a risk to take given that I’ve not been to Japan before and had no mobile internet or compass (or even a proper, useful map) to guide me along. As anticipated, we got lost. When I was about to give up, I tried to search for Wi-Fi and lucky me, there was! I managed to search for directions on Google maps and realised that we have been going the opposite way.
Another word of advice is that when you search about a place, do print out what the shop front looks like as it can really help you identify if you are at the right place.
After what seemed like forever, we managed to find Endo Sushi. They are located near a wholesale market, which looks like their equivalent of Pasir Panjang Wholesale Centre in Singapore.
Endo Sushi operates from 5:00am and the early opening time makes it a good choice for breakfast.
This is their menu for now. All plates of 5 sushi costs ¥1000 ($12.50) and miso soup with clams cost ¥400 ($5).
All sets come with toro (fatty tuna) and although best grade ingredients wasn’t used here, it was still a steal. In Singapore you could probably only get 1 piece of toro sushi for that price.
Endo Sushi ゑんどう寿司
Osaka-shi Fukushima-ku Noda 1-1-86
5:00am – 2:00pm (Closed on Sundays and Public Holidays)
Walking back is always easier. It took a 10 minutes’ walk to get us to Noda JR station, where we boarded the train to Universal City.
1 day passes to Universal Studios Japan costs ¥6600 ($82.40) and a 4 rides express pass cost additional ¥2300 ($28.75)
When I was there at 10:30am, there were lines for the tickets, so I guess it’s a good idea to buy it somewhere else in advance, to save 20 minutes of your life.
The park was a lot bigger than Singapore’s and given the non-humid weather, it was more fun. It was really hot that day but generally still bearable.
The only downside of this park for foreigners is that all shows and rides are delivered in Japanese. There’s no English translation at all. If you have not been to Universal Studios in another country before, and it’s your first time experiencing these rides or shows, you may not understand what’s going on.
In red are the attractions I visited.
★★★★★ – Must try
★★★★ – Should try
★★★ – Not bad
★★ – Once is enough
★ – A waste of time
- The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man [it was closed until July!]
- Terminator 2:3-D – [★★]
- Shrek’s 4-D Adventure [watched this in Singapore!]
- Universal Monsters Live Rock and Roll Show [watched this in Singapore!]
- Sesame Street 4-D Movie Magic – this is catered for kids but it was still quite interesting since I knew Sesame Street as a kid too. The 4D effect was quite cool. They had this cookie smell when it was the cookie monster’s turn to appear. [★★★★]
- Hollywood Dream – The Ride – This is the roller coaster of the park; the reason why some people are even here. I tried to escape from this but was made to go on it. It was scary and everyone was screaming mad. The specialty of this ride over other roller coasters is that it blasts really up beat songs while you are screaming away. The dips and turns are scary and will make you scream your lungs out. It isn’t my first time on a roller coaster (the last time was pretty long ago) and I think it’s one of the better ones around. The normal queue was around 1 hour but I used my express pass for it and was sent to my doom within 5 minutes. [★★★★★]
- Space Fantasy – The Ride – this is an indoor roller coaster, and the car spins 360 degrees while you move. The queue for this was around 15 minutes only so I queued for it. I had no clue what this was about until I went on the ride and I was taken for a ride indeed. I always preferred indoor roller coasters and this was a good one, with very nice effects, but it wasn’t that scary. [★★★★★]
- Back to the Future – The Ride – this was stimulator ride. The effects were quite realistic at certain points. [★★★]
- Backdraft - this was a special effects show and it was quite cool. [★★★★]
- Jurassic Park: The Ride – this ride was longer than the one we have in Singapore and was sort of like the one in USA. Getting splashed is inevitable so do come prepared with a poncho. [★★★★]
- The Flying Snoopy – this was a small roller coaster for kids and it was quite a waste of time. There was a queue of about 25 minutes but the ride only lasted like 10 seconds (not sure actually, but it sure felt like). [★]
- Waterworld: A Live Sea War Spectacular [watched this in Singapore!]
- Jaws – this ride was a boat ride with a fake shark lurking around the waters. It wasn’t as fun as Jurassic Park.[★★★]
This is the Hollywood : The Ride roller coaster. They have the backdrop version too using the same track, which comes at a more infrequent frequency, hence a longer queue. The express tickets can’t be used for that version though and I didn’t try it.
With the express passes, we didn’t need to queue more than 30 minutes for anything. I was out of the park by 4:30pm.
Sakurajima, Konohana Ward, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture 2-1-33
From Universal City we took the JR line to Nanba. It was a mistake, because the JR station was actually quite far from the main train or subway station, which was were we wanted to go to! After a long walk and getting lost, we managed to find Ippudo Ramen!
Unlike Ippudo in Singapore or New York, this Ippudo outlet was very simple looking and very much like any other ramen stall.
Gyoza – 10 for ¥400 ($5)
Akamaru Ramen – ¥800 ($10)
Shiromaru Ramen – ¥750 ($9.38)
Tamago – ¥80 ($1)
I had the Akamaru Ramen with egg, which comes additional. I normally order this in Singapore and I love it. In this Osaka Nanba outlet, it was even better! Somehow the broth was better and it costs half of Singapore’s. Among all the ramen I’ve tried in Osaka, Ippudo is my favourite and I highly recommend trying it. The gyozas served here was better than many others I’ve had in my life and is worth a try.