Mitaka Round One/Harajuku Part Two

Today was to be the day for us to head to the Studio Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, Japan. We started our morning normal and collected all our things and headed out into the wild Japanese sea of people. Finding the best JR train route to Mitaka, we easily maneuvered our way to the new town, now becoming pros of the railways and subways. We took a beautiful walk along a canal until we arrived at the Studio Ghibli Museum, filled with anticipation.


Once we got to the gate, we quickly noticed the lack of people and found a sign at the gate that stated they were closed on Tuesdays. Doh! Turns out we bought our tickets for Monday and well… we failed to update our itinerary…. Ahhhh!! Can’t have a trip with out some swift change of events.

We gathered our wits and headed back to our AirBnB where we started game planning how we were going to go see the Museum the next day.  The new plan cost more than the original, but it included some places we did not have on our itinerary to visit…Whew crisis adverted!

Studio Ghibli museum from the outside… We’ll back for you tomorrow.

Since we were back in Shibuya earlier than expected we decided to go on a mission where we walked two miles one way to Harajuku for the Sailor Moon Makeup store and the One Piece Official store, it was a night of bright lights and massive landmark fashion department headquarters!

Tokyo is embracing the Akira / Olympic 2020 connection strongly

Plenty more pictures below from our urban adventure, next up is ACTUALLY going to the Studio Ghibli museum, along with a few other sites around the city such as Hotel Gajoen Tokyo and the Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum!

Nara, Nara, Nara

Nara, so far is number one on our list for this trip.  We highly recommend anyone traveling to Japan staying in Kyoto or Osaka to make sure this is on your itinerary.

Nara was Japan’s first established Capital in year 710.  As Buddhism grew and posed a threat to the government the Capital was then moved to Kyoto, which we visited the day prior.  Because of the extensive history we knew this had to be on our list to visit, plus deer.

Oh, Hai!

We visited Nara on our own via a recommended site seeing path we obtained from the information center near the Nara JR station. First we walked through the downtown area where you could see their love for the deer that roam free throughout the town.

The next stop was Kofuku-ji Buddhist Temple we went to had an epic spire near Nara Deer Park…oh and deer were there too.  These ones were docile compared to the ones at the park, so we bought some wafers and fed them.

Then Kyndra made the mistake of feeding the ones at the park…

The deer were literally all over the city, so you will most likely see them from time to time throughout our Shinto Shrine and Buddhist temple excursion.

Next we walked to Todaiji Temple also known as “The Great Eastern Temple”.  This was an incredibly enlightening moment for the both of us.  The pictures do not depict enough how massive the Daibutsuden was that housed a 15 meter bronze statue of a seated Daibutsu (Buddha).  It was absolutely breathtaking.


From Todaiji we walked the hills of Nara to the Shinto Shrine Kasuga Taisha.  Most famous for its hundreds of stone lanterns donated by worshipers that lead the path throughout the park.

Oh and what do you know, more deer.  The deer are believed to be messengers from the Shinto Gods and that is why they are considered sacred.

After soaking in the beauty of Nara we headed towards the station to go home, when we spotted an owl cafe that was nearly unoccupied!!  It was on our list of things to do in Japan, so it must of been destiny we stumbled upon Wata Wata Owl Cafe in Nara!

Upon entry we were greeted by an English speaking caretaker who introduced us to the owls and the process of interacting with them.  We were able to pick one to take pictures with of the many different species they cared for.  It was a hard decision but we went with Yuki and Yuri the barn owls because they had an adorable love story and just look how kawaii they are!

They love each other and hated to be separated!

Well guys, might have rambled a bit again, but Nara is definitely a tough day to beat.  We saw some of the most amazing sights in Japan and got to pet freaking owls at an owl cafe!


Universal Studios Japan

Universal Osaka was a full day of fulfilling our child hood dreams including, but not limited to; Terminator, Harry Potter, Sailor Moon, Final Fantasy, Jurassic Park and Minions…lots and lots of Minions from Despicable Me. Did I mention lines? Yeah, those too.


This was Acea’s first time attending any Universal Studio and being a movie buff he was super excited. I myself, on the other hand, was super excited for the Harry Potter portion of the amusement park.  So graciously Acea, let us go there first for lunch.

Chow time!

We just wondered around a bit in the Harry Potter zone, taking in some little live shows they had going on and just absorbing the atmosphere. It was great.

The lines were extremely long and we only had a day pass so we opted to just marvel at things, buy at Honeydukes and eat some lunch at the Three Broomsticks before heading to our next area….Jurassic Park.

Yo dawg, we heard you like lines so we put a line in your line for your line.

Jurassic Park ride was amazing, and definitely worth the wait – if nothing else for drop picture was a true beauty to witness. After Jurassic Park we visited the insanely crowded massive Minion portion of the park to buy our nephew’s some souvenirs. This minion craze is no joke, I know they’re popular in the States and it’s clearly translated over here as well…. They knew what they were doing when they designed those little guys, and they’re doing what they intended – selling boat loads of merchandise.

After Minion Park, I got to fulfill a child hood dream of becoming a Sailor Scout! (be prepared this picture is horrible)

Moon Make-Up Activate!

We went on one last final ride before we would be leaving the park, jumping on the Terminator 2-3D ride. It was a funny realization when we got through the line and quickly discovered the whole story-based ride would be in Japanese, something to obviously be expected but it just slipped our mind. Luckily, the not so complex story-line was easy enough to follow.

Acea then got to shop and visit with some of his Shonen Jump buddies…. One Piece, Dragon Ball, and Hunter X Hunter… YES! He even purchased the newest issue of Shonen Jump, while he can’t actually read it – it’s a nice souvenir and it even has the newest issue of One Piece inside which was actually a very pivotal issue.

Newest issue of Shonen Jump…. Plus foot.

After the Shonen Jump shop it was time to go home, we were exhausted…time to sleep it off before Kyoto. Look below for more pictures and the like.

Panoramic shot of the park