Travel Thread


#2302

It will be ■■■■■■■ down and/or stinking ■■■■■■■ hot.

Cairns/Port Douglas is awful in summertime. Winter, well that’s different…


#2303

Just had an amazing day at Universal studios Japan, Osaka.

Kids went apedroppings for all the Harry Potter stuff.

Even with light drizzle most of the day, crowds were pretty immense, but we followed some of the ‘hacks’ we found online.

Best theme park I’ve been to by far.


#2304

Will be in Osaka at the start of next month - how would you rate Universal Studios for a 5 year-old (bearing in mind that we’ll also be going to Disneyland in Tokyo the preceding week)?


#2305

Hard to say.

My kids are 8&10, and they loved it, without taking advantage of the rides for younger kids (snoopy land) or the extreme rides.

It probably wouldn’t be too bad, but as a parent I’d be getting bored, or want to split up so the adults could ride some things.

Getting there early is an absolute must, purchase tickets online and scan at the gate. (This would also be true for Disney, which we might go to before we leave)

We are probably going to do the aquarium tomorrow, which might be better suited to families.


#2306

Thanks for this info, but damn! We can deal with the heat, but the rain could put a dampener on our time. Does it rain during the day or usually afternoon/early evening? Or not so predictable?


#2307

Summer is the wet/cyclone season so it rains regularly. Usually its heavier at night but get plenty during the day too. Plenty of sunny days too; I guess you just gotta check the forecast and hope for the best.

The temp is usaully low to mid 30s which isnt too bad, but the humidity is brutal. That’s what we mean by ‘hot’.


#2308

any PD locals we spoke to in july said we came at the perfect time and that december onward is unbearable.


#2309

Took my boy there when he was 5 & the following year when he was 6. He loved the joint - both times (especially the Harry Potter World).

Word of warning, though. There are gazillions of Chinese tourists there & the waiting times for attractions can be horrific. 2-3 hours in some cases. Best bet is to buy one of the fast pass options (in advance), so that you don’t have to waste time standing around all day. Kinda like a priority access pass.


#2310

Cheers JR & THT! All things being equal we’ll get to Osaka US on either a Friday or Monday - will that reduce the crowd much (if at all)?

The other thing we’re considering is Legoland in Nagoya - worth a trip?

None of these places (Disney, US, Legoland) are my bag at all - I’ll likely be bored silly since I’m just not a “rides kinda person” - it’ll be purely for the benefit of our 5 year-old.


#2311

Weekends are supposed to be the worst.

Having never been to Japan before, I am blown away by the sheer number of people EVERYWHERE.

Mornings are pretty chilled, but evening peak hour it’s pretty insane.

Everyone’s nice and accommodating though, and they Japanese love to line up very orderly, so it’s ok.


#2312

Yeah, it’s pretty full-on!

I’ve been to Tokyo previously, but never to Osaka and Kyoto. The sheer volume of people is pretty eye-opening, though a couple of previous trips to Hong Kong (which was equally mind-blowing initially) softened the impact somewhat.

One thing which amused me no end in Tokyo last time (given how orderly the Japanese generally are getting on/off trains). We were unfortunate enough to be caught on a Yamanote Loop train during peak hour. At one particular station the carriage had filled to (what I thought was) critical mass. I figured they couldn’t possibly fit anyone else on and would be best just closing the doors. But no…
The dozen or so passengers remaining on the platform suddenly turned their backs to the carriage doors, formed what I would call a “backwards rugby scrum” and forced their way into the carriage. Insane stuff!!! It was orderly chaos…


#2313

We went on Wed/Thurs & it was packed. Weekends are worse, but there will still be stacks of people there, so it won’t really matter. Definitely organise your passes online & pay that little extra for the fast pass option.

Has only opened in recent years. Have never been there, but I have heard that it is good. Have taken my boy to Tokyo’s Legoland several times, but it is tiny & indoors. Nagoya’s new theme park style Legoland is worth checking out for your child’s enjoyment.


#2314

Yeah, they seriously crush as many people as they can on the trains. The Yamanote Line trains arrive every 3 minutes, so I’ve never understood it. Just catch the next one. Lol.

Thx fck I drive everyday. :laughing: Did the trains for 5-6 years, but eventually bit the bullet & bought a car.


#2315

The Express Pass at USJ, added about $50+ to each ticket, and wouldn’t do much for younger kids rides. It was worth it for us though.

It was quite frankly the best family day out, my son must’ve thanked me 20-30 times. It DID help that he randomly got picked out to be part of the wand shop’s selection process in that he got to interact with some wizard guy and all manner of ‘magical’ things happened in the shop, before a wand ‘chose’ him. (Of course we then had to Puchase the wand) But his wheels were just spinning.

The rest of our trip has basically been eating, getting in trains and going to Lego stores.


#2316

I took my son to USJ when he was 4 or 5, mainly we hung out in the little kids section for rides, but just walking around can provide younger kids with excitement. He loved the Minion parade at the time, the characters walking around, and the sites around Harry Potter.

USJ and Disneyland are different with combatting long lines. At USJ, save heaps by going in the single person line. You may not be seated next to your partner, but you can have a go in 5-10 minutes as opposed to 1-2 hours.

Disneyland has the time reservation thing. You sprint to your ride, get the ticket and it tells you what time you’ll be admitted to the ride, maybe in a couple of hours. Run and get more (there’s a limit iirc, then do walk around stuff till your time comes.

If I chose one for a young kid, Disney has more characters a little kid would know, but USJ is more fun for adults? It’s hard to pick.

Osaka’s aquarium is excellent. Actually my son’s first grade class went there yesterday for an excursion!


#2317

Apparently they dropped all their prices recently cos not enough people were going. I’ve never been though.


#2318

Fun fact: the guitarist, Jughead, from punk band Screeching Weasel was a wand shop wizard guy for a while when he lived here. I have other friends who’ve worked in the Harry Potter section in the past too!


#2319

Bingo!


#2320

We went to USJ with our 8 year old in April this year and he loved it. Went on all the rides (The Flying Dinosaur tested him a bit) however I imagine with a 5 year old you will be a little restricted. The Harry Potter area is amazing and I am sure he/she will love that. If you get a wand (which I am sure you will), get one of the ones that you can use in the areas to cast the spells as it is great fun I am sure he/she will love that (my 8 year old did).

Pretty much all the tips as already mentioned. From memory Wednesday and Thursday are the quietest days by rule. Jump on a couple of websites to check out any additional tips. Make sure you get there a little bit early as we found it was a bit quieter early on. You might want to do the Harry Potter area first too before the big crowd numbers arrive (and you can always go back).


#2321

Not sure if this is just a Japan thing, but if your traveling and have a rubbish global roaming plan (I think mine is $10pd for 200mb) get yourself a “Pocket WiFi” which is a little WiFi hotspot that you take everywhere with you.

Mostly hotels had them for free, or you could rent at the airport and return on departure.

Also, a big one for us traveling with kids was having Netflix on mobile device. Ordinarily I wouldn’t condone Thisbe sort of thing, but it’s helped break up the trip for them, and helped when the local tv or inflight entertainment isn’t in English. You can download a fair bit to your device as well.