Despite living in this country well over five years, I have only ridden the Shinkansen once. The very first time I rode the bullet train was last year in October when I went for a short trip to Osaka with my friends to go to Universal Studios Japan. I have been to Osaka many times in the past but have always taken either a bus or a plane. Therefore, riding the bullet train was an exciting experience.
The entire trip was very quick, about two hours, and we passed time playing games and just chatting with one another. I took this trip with my close friend Sophia and two of her workmates, Chelsea and Shanna. This was the first time I had met them in person as all of our previous engagements had been online. They were very kind and despite this trip being Shanna’s extended birthday celebration, she was very welcoming and invited me to join them.
Before I really get into our trip, I should begin by saying that the three girls I was traveling with all work at Tokyo Disneyland as face characters. Meaning, each and every single one of them are princesses. Therefore, I was obviously the odd one out with my purple and green hair and tattoos. In addition, they are all ridiculously thin, so I had a bit of a complex during this trip. Despite this, they were all wonderful and we had a lot of fun.
The fist day we arrived we did a bit of shopping and just stayed in our hotel relaxing. The hotel my friend chose was outside the theme park. We had dinner at a restaurant called Bubba Gump. They serve American style seafood dishes, and it apparently is popular with foreign workers at Universal Studios as my friends were mistaken for performers and given a discount. Honestly, I find that most foreign performers for theme parks have a very similar look to them, so it really is no surprise. They all have this cookie cutter look about them.
We rode almost every ride at the theme park and enjoyed the Halloween decorations during the daytime. We also spent a lot of time at the new Nintendo World and the Harry Potter area. Sophia is British so she had a lot of fun playing up the accent and just being silly as per usual. In the evening, we did have to do a bit of avoiding. Unfortunately, Sophia is very easily scared and had no desire to even look at the costumed performers for Halloween. During this season, Universal comes out in full force and dresses up actors in zombie makeup and horrifying costumes. She cannot handle it, so we ran interference to make sure she did not have to see anything too scary while we left the park early in the evening.
We took the Shinkansen back home later that night and arrived back in Tokyo exhausted. As they live around Maihama and I live in Gyotoku, we decided to catch a late dinner at Jonathan’s and then call it a night. Overall, I had a lot of fun with them, and I am glad I took the trip. I do wish we had more time to do more touristy things while in Osaka, but I plan to do that myself sometime in the spring next year.
engagement (noun) – an arrangement to do something at a particular time
complex (noun) – a set of beliefs or fears, which may not be conscious, that can make somebody very unhappy or cause a mental illness
cookie cutter (adjective) – exactly the same as others in the same situation
play up (verb) – to emphasize or exaggerate
run interference (verb) – to intervene on someone’s behalf in order to distract or protect them