Nara Park and Universal Studios Japan Day Trip from Osaka

Nara Park Deer
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We allotted Day 5 of this 6-day Japan trip for Universal Studios Japan and a morning visit to our deer friends who are freely roaming around Nara.

We started our day early to visit Nara Park before enjoying Universal Studios Japan.

Nara Deer Park
Still a bit scared to get too close to a wild deer at Nara Park. That’s a deer biscuit booth at 7 o’clock where we bought one handful at JPY150.

 

Fuku Hostel to Nara Park

Take the train from Kintetsu Nippombashi station to Kintetsu Nara station along the Kintetsu Nara line. No transfer, Travel time: 36 minites, Fare: JPY560 ~ Php280.

Nara Park
Walking around Nara Park.

Nara park is very near Kintetsu Nara station. It was a good walk from the station to the park as we got to have a glimpse of Nara and its vibe.

Nara Park Deer
Trying to feed the deer with the biscuits we bought.

 

It was amazing how the deer freely roam around the city, even on the roads where cars pass. Be careful with the deer though. Some of them get really aggressive especially when you have their food. 

Nara Park Deer
This one’s a very aggressive deer who snatched a tourist’s backpack, stole the deer biscuits inside, and desperately ate everything!

 

One of them bit my friend’s shirt and she was left with no choice but to throw all the deer biscuits to them to keep her shirt intact. Some of them have horns like Rudolph! 

Nara Park Deer
Bambi, the only deer I knew as a child. 🙂

 

Some of them on the other hand are tame especially when you don’t have food to offer. This makes them so adorable and cute but we had to make our way back to Osaka for Universal Studios Japan.

Nara Park Deer
So long, deer friend!

 

Nara Park to Universal Studios Japan

  1. Walk a few meters from Nara Park to Kintetsu Nara station. Take the train to Nishijuko station along the Kintetsu-Nara Line.
  1. Transfer to the JR Sakurajima Line at Nishijuko station for Universal City station. Travel time: 58 minutes. Total fare: JPY920 ~ Php460
Universal Studios Japan
At Universal Studios Japan!

Universal Studios for me means being taken to different dimensions where you can really feel like you are in the movies especially the 4D rides.

Must-rides for me: 

Universal Studios Japan Hogsmeade
Hogsmeade!

 

Prepare to queue for minutes to hours though. We had to queue as Single Riders to be able to ride faster. We were almost always on the same batch for each anyway. Otherwise, we just waited for each other on the attraction exit.

Universal Studios Japan
Minion Pizza and Butterbeer for lunch at USJ. We bought snacks as we walked around.

 

We did a 4D ride playing Quidditch, maneuvering against dementors, and flying around Hogwarts with Harry Potter.

We did another 4D ride on a vehicle against an enemy we had to fight and win with Spiderman.

Universal Studios Japan
Hogwarts Castle at night.

 

We rode a raft at Jurassic Park to get inside a factory where the dinosaurs have unfortunately gotten loose until the far end where a huge dinosaur opens his big mouth to devour us. And while we are cringing, some are screaming, at the thought of what it would be like inside that scary mouth, we then find out as we feel our raft pointing downward so steeply that we are already going down from around a 85-feet high waterfall to the water below where a big splash awaits us. 

Universal Studios Japan Jurassic Park
At the Jurassic Park area. People are screaming from a 25-meter waterfall drop raft ride at my 9 o’clock. Not seen here. 🙂

 

For the record, I just had my craziest ride ever so far at the Flying Dinosaur. I’ve ridden a number of roller coasters already but this was the first time I had to do the ride facing down “just like the Pteranodon” as we go “flying” spiralling through a DNA strand and do 360-degree turns a number of times. Crazy. 

The Flying Dinosaur Universal Studios Japan
The Flying Dinosaur at Universal Studios Japan. Still able to smile after a crazy ride.

 

We rode a boat to have the feel (and sound and see life-size replicas) of what it’s like in Jaws as you get surrounded by sharks and survive from them.

Of course, we watched a couple of shows and enjoyed the colors and fancies as we walked around USJ before calling leaving.

Unversal Studios Japan Sesame Street
I grew up with these Sesame Street characters on my childhood storybooks.

 

We had our cheapest dinner for this trip near Universal Studios Japan exit as we walked our way to Universal City station. We had wrapped rice with toppings for only JPY200~Php100. 

 

Universal City Station to Dotonbori, Osaka

  1. Take the Sakurajima line train to from Universal City station to Nishikujo station.
  2. Transfer to the Hanshin-Namba line at Nishikujo station for Kintetsu-Nippombashi station. Fare: JPY510 ~ Php255. Travel time: 31 minutes.
  3. Dotonbori is a short walking distance from Kintetsu-Nippombashi station.
Osaka Dotonbori Glico Man
Found the famous Glico Man as we walked around Dotonbori, Osaka.

 

We spontaneously walked around Dotonbori. We passed by Don Quijote Dotonbori branch which opens 24 hours daily and where prices are really, really low we found ourselves buying goods for our folks back home.

We had a full day today. We visited our deer friends in Nara and enjoyed Universal Studios Japan before ending our day by walking around Dotonbori in Osaka.

Universal Studios Japan
My favorite childhood cartoon character on her Halloween outfit. Hello Kitty turned yellow! Yikes!

 

Excitement level is still high as we look forward to visit the iconic Arashiyama Bamboo Groves on Day 6!

 Tokyo-Osaka-Nara-Kyoto Itinerary: Day 6 of 6
 On Conversion: JPY1000 ~ Php500
 On Time Zone: GMT + 9 (Japan Time is 1 hour advanced compared to Philippine Time, e.g. 7 am in JP is 6 am in PH)
Day 5Nara Park, Univeral Studios Japan, Dotonbori, Osaka
6:00 AMEat free breakfast (5am PH time) at hostel
6:30 AMVisit Nara and the Deer Park.
 Fuku Hostel to Nara Park
 
Take the train from Kintetsu Nippombashi station to Kintetsu Nara station along the Kintetsu Nara line. No transfer, Travel time: 36 minutes, Fare: JPY560 ~ Php280.
 Nara Park is a short walk from Kintetsu Nara station.
8:30 AMGo back to Osaka Universal City station for Universal Studios (PHP3600 in Klook)
 Nara Park to Universal Studios Japan
 
1. Walk a few meters from Nara Park to Kintetsu Nara station. Take the train to Nishijuko station along the Kintetsu-Nara Line.
 
2. Transfer to the JR Sakurajima Line at Nishijuko station for Universal City station. Travel time: 58 minutes. Total fare: JPY920 ~ Php460. Use Suica/Pasmo card.
10:00 AMEnjoy Universal Studios. Ride, watch shows, stay until night time for parade and fireworks.
12:00 PMLunch (JPY1000 ~ PHP500). 
7:00 PMDinner. (JPY200~PHP100). There’s an amazingly cheap wrapped rice with toppings near USJ exit to Universal City station.
 Universal City Station to Dotonbori, Osaka
 
1. Take the Sakurajima line train to from Universal City station to Nishikujo station.
2. Transfer to the Hanshin-Namba line at Nishikujo station for Kintetsu-Nippombashi station. Fare: JPY510 ~ Php255. Travel time: 31 minutes.
3. Dotonbori is a short walking distance from Kintetsu-Nippombashi station.
 Visit Dotonbori. Buy discounted goods at Don Quijote. 
  
 Estimated Expenses each: PHP5300.00 
  • This excludes all other expenses not specified in this itinerary.
  • Expenses on food is also just an estimate and will vary depending on what and where you choose to eat.
  • Actual prices may also have changed.
  • Spend frugally!

Japan Trip Notes

We stayed for 6 days on a very tight budget.

Use Google to know which train to board at a real-time schedule by specifying your specific departure train station and your arrival train station on the search box, e.g. “Narita Airport station to Oshiage station” or “Kansai Airport station to Nankai Namba station”.

Use Google / Google Maps to navigate around by specifying your specific location and your desired destination on the search box, e.g. “Asakusabashi station to Hostel East57”, “Nankai Namba station to Fuku Yado Nagomi”, or “Hankyu Arashiyama station to Arashiyama Bamboo Groves”.

We already paid for our air fare, accommodation, admission tickets, and passes months before this trip with complete list below. Click each highlighted item to book or know the details.

 

Accommodation

3 nights in Tokyo at Hostel East57 Asaskusabahi

2 nights in Osaka at Fuku Yado – Fuku Hostel

 

Pocket Wifi

Unlimited 4G Wifi for 6 Days (Narita Airport Pick up, Kansai Airport Drop off)

 

Passes and Tickets

Tokyo Subway Pass

Hakone Pass

Tokyo Disneysea Admission Ticket

Universal Studios Japan Admission Ticket

 

Reloadable Smart Card 

Suica Card or Pasmo Card (Can be used across Tokyo, Osaka, Nara, and Kyoto)

 

Plane Tickets

Manila to Tokyo via Cebu Pacific

Tokyo to Osaka and Osaka to Manila via Jetstar

  • We only had to bring cash for our meals and fare around the Osaka-Nara-Kyoto region and very few parts in the East which were not covered by our passes. 
  • We had to stick to our budget as we only had so much. 
  • Our passes and loaded smart cards made us ride the trains and buses conveniently.
  • A pocket wifi is a necessity, it’s your life-saver as you go around Japan. 
  • You get to explore more of Japan if you get lost. 🙂

 

It was also quite fun despite being pretty time consuming trying to find out how to flush when you visit their toilet for the first time. 

Japan Toilet
You can play false flushing sounds to overlap some unwanted sounds that you make. 😉

I read and tried to understand all  these characters and drawings around 3 times (and experimented how they work) before giving up and looking elsewhere to find out how to flush. First-timer problems!

Japan Toilet
Flushing is as simple as hovering your hand on the sensor not on your seat but on the wall beside you or behind you. What a good laugh! 🙂
Japan Toilet
Seat cleaners are even available!
Travel Tips from a Frugal Traveler

8 Travel Tips from A Frugal Traveler

Keep these travel tips in mind to help you make the most of your travels.


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