TR- bert has a Spooktacular time with TPR in Japan!

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Re: TR- bert has a Spooktacular time with TPR in Japan!

Postby bert425 » Thu Jan 09, 2020 5:38 pm

Erik Johnson wrote:This music is pretty much what I remember from that day.



that didn't get into my head as much as the Parade song, or "Rat-Tat-Tat". . but how awesome that you caught the audio from the "candy float parade" that I got the pics from the other side of (with the Goth Hello Kitty).


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Re: TR- bert has a Spooktacular time with TPR in Japan!

Postby PKI Jizzman » Fri Jan 10, 2020 10:23 am

I think one of my favorite memories from the entire trip was in the line for Space Fantasy, taking in all of the costumes around us, and we see the some weird costume - it was either the Corn Cob guy or the Giant Lemon guy.

We pretty much played charades and both did our best with broken English and Japanese with this Japanese group behind us to figure out what the costume was, haha.

It was either the word 'Lemon' or 'Corn' that the group couldn't pronounce in English, but eventually we got it right and were all laughing hysterically. Do you remember if it was the lemon or corn costume? Either way the guy was too far away to get a picture so it was just a great moment that happened.
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Re: TR- bert has a Spooktacular time with TPR in Japan!

Postby bert425 » Fri Jan 10, 2020 11:11 am

wasn't it a group dressed as giant eyeballs . . . . big white glowing orbs over their heads. . which ended up being from some anime or something?

I didn't get a pic of them tho, as remember on Space Fantasy, the cubbies are outside the queue, so phone was locked up for this particular ride. . hence only the "buy the photo here" pic :)
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Re: TR- bert has a Spooktacular time with TPR in Japan!

Postby PKI Jizzman » Fri Jan 10, 2020 12:53 pm

bert425 wrote:wasn't it a group dressed as giant eyeballs . . . . big white glowing orbs over their heads. . which ended up being from some anime or something?

I didn't get a pic of them tho, as remember on Space Fantasy, the cubbies are outside the queue, so phone was locked up for this particular ride. . hence only the "buy the photo here" pic :)


Not that guy, I'm pretty sure now that it was a lemon costume, because the girls we were talking to had a hard time saying 'lemon' in English :lol: So many fun memories from the trip!
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Re: TR- bert has a Spooktacular time with TPR in Japan!

Postby bert425 » Sat Jan 11, 2020 5:59 pm

Waking up still kind of early (I think it was 8ish), I knew today was going to be an "inside day" - as the original plans for the day were impacted by Mother Nature, who had sent Typhoon Hagibis careening towards Japan.

it was a major storm, that was bigger than the entire Country. .so we (with plenty of warning/notice from Elissa) had loaded up with supplies for a day in the hotel.

The tentative itinerary had us going to Central Park today, but it had already been decided that it simply wasn't safe to even attempt that. And really who can complain? we had gotten a PERFECT day at Universal Studios Japan the prior day, with no Typhoon impact.

So today was a "relax" day, even tho there were some concerns about the storm. It looked to be turning Northwards as it approached Japan, and was going to impact the Tokyo area, more than it was going to impact us since we were in Osaka (more Southward part of the Country).

A quick peek outside the window showed a steady drizzle, but no real heavy rain. I checked the message group list from the folks I had been hanging with and saw that William had posted he was headed down shortly to breakfast if anyone wanted to meet up. . .so I got dressed, and headed down to meet some folks in the buffet.
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the Hotel had slipped these under the door to the room, and also had them posted thruout the Hotel.

it wasn't a surprise, and we hadn't planned to go to USJ today anyways, but was really nice they did that.
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down at Breakfast, William and I bumped into Luke and Trent who sat with us and we hung out eating and chatting.

We also saw Robb & Elissa, as well as Joey & Hanno at another table and popped by to say hello, while we were loading up on our breakfast choices.

at the time of this pic, we had pretty much finished eating (I believe Allison had also joined us), when Robb messaged the group that the Starbucks in Citywalk was open until 11am if anyone wanted coffee.

I REALLY wanted a White Chocolate Mocha, as am not a fan of Japanese Coffee (which is a little too bitter for my tastes), and since figured that if the Starbucks is open, maybe some of the other shops in Citywalk would be open - and I still wanted to pick up some small souvenirs for folks if I could find some.

The weather didnt' seem to be all that bad yet, so after checking that outside was just intermittent drizzle? William & I (joined by, I think, Tabatha & Allison), put on our TPR ponchos, and headed out to walk the block to Universal Citywalk and get some Starbucks.

we got a little moist, but it wasn't too bad, and in just a few moments, we were removing our ponchos (to not drip on the floor), of a fairly crowded Starbucks.

yep, a MASSIVE typhoon was bearing down on Japan, and the Starbucks in Citywalk was going to stay open - at least until 11am - to serve the folks that wanted coffee this morning. And still give the employees plenty of time to get home/to safety.

if anyone was *forced* to work this morning? You couldn't tell - as they were all smiles, and seemed genuinely happy to see us coming in for drinks/snacks.

I wasn't hungry, since we had just eaten breakfast at the hotel, but man was that Venti White Chocolate Mocha gooooooood.

Warm drinks in hand, we headed back out into the Citywalk, and noted that the Convenience Store was open next to the Starbucks, as well as the McDonald's, and the Universal Studios Store (both levels). Score. . .so we headed across the open walkway in the drizzle, and we all did some browsing/shopping.

I ended up finding some unique Hello Kitty Mechanical Pencils for my friend, but no luck on a magnet for me as I didn't care for any of the ones available.

I believe the ladies bought some stuff, and so wanted to head back to the Hotel before the weather turned really bad. . but William and I decided to stay for a bit and roam the levels of the mostly deserted Citywalk.
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from the 2nd level, you can get a wonderful view of the really cool Gargoyle/clocks on the corner of one of the big Hotels in the Citywalk.

i thought these were very "Harry Potter-ish". . . so snapped a pic.

and you can see it was only just after 10am.
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Walking down to the end of the 2nd level closest to the Park (and the escalators weren't working. .but you know what a non-working escalator is called? Stairs).

the sitting Angel gargoyles over the hotel entrance on this side were lovely too, so snapped a pic of them.
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Leaning out over the 2nd floor balcony to get a good pic of the closed (and therefore deserted) USJ. . Hollywood Dream looks so sad when there's no movement on it.

in this pic you can really see the top of the Ferris wheel across the bay, as well as the bridge too. Luckily that's not quite as noticeable as when you're inside the park, but I continue to find the sight-line issues interesting.

Obviously, it's simply not that big a deal for USJ to disguise things outside the park, tho when in Wizarding World, you really can't see much of the rest of the park.
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I took the opportunity of the deserted Citywalk to take a potty break . . . and discovered little baby seats in the corner of every stall.

This really does put into perspective the oddness of the baby the man placed directly over the urinal at Toshimaen that we had seen, and which had seemed so odd to us. Since if making use of this child seat, the child would be looking directly at you while you're pooping.

(remember, these were in the men's room stalls - the Citywalk Men's restroom I went into had no urinal's and the little "warning" on the child seat says don't turn your back on the kiddo, so certainly not for holding the kiddo while you're peeing. LOL

I guess it's a cultural thing. .but I found it an interesting thing. . so took a picture of it.
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There are a few "forced perspective" photo ops - that seem to be really popular - set up underneath the stairwells at the Universal Citywalk.

Here's one on the 2nd floor, that was Despicable Me/Minion themed. . and seemed appropriate with the weather.

so here I am balancing with my Starbucks, and my bag of purchases from the Universal Store.

I enjoy very much how it looks like the Minion is peeking up my poncho.

hehehe
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it was still only a little after 10, but the rain had started to get a little more steady, so William went back down to the main level, planning to head back. But decided to walk thru the Citywalk to exit that way - as it's rare to see it so deserted, and thought it would make for some interesting pics.
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Right next to the McDonald's - that was starting to close up - is another Official Universal Studios Hotel.

as ours has Despicable Me / Minions stuff all over it, THIS one was covered in Sesame Street stuff. (with not a Minion in sight).

Cookie here seemed to be a photo-op where you lean on him, but since we were getting rained on I didn't want to pose and ask William to step out from under the overhang and into the rain just to get a pic of me.

So instead, I just took a picture of Cookie Monster. Besides, I had gotten a pic with the character yesterday in the park.
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there were a handful of people out in front of the park, taking pics. . since it was such a unique situation. So before heading back, William and I decided to also.

here's William - but I can't recall why he has his umbrella on the ground just looking at it while he's getting wet. Guess we were doing "artsy" pics. . LOL
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and here's me, but actually using William's umbrella - and using my body to block out the folks behind me, so I look like I'm there all alone :)

then it was time to head back to the Hotel, as the rain was really starting to come down.
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the stairs to go down to the street headed back to our hotel, were just to the right of the main entrance, so grabbed a few more pics, as we passed by the sign. . .
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Hogwarts, deserted, in the rain.
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we got a nice "wettening" as we headed back to the Hotel.

all I wanted to do was change into something dry, but of course, we had timed it that we got back right as housekeeping was tidying my room.

Grrrr. . so I went back down to the lobby, and stood out front (couldn't sit on anything, as my lower half was soaking wet - the poncho only covers so much acreage :p ).

Jon was hanging out front too - getting some air I think, or maybe taking pics of the storm, so he and i chatted for 15/20 minutes, and then I headed back up to the room to see if Housekeeping was done.

he was just finishing up, so I headed into the room for a warm shower and to change into dry clothes.

the whole room reeked of Bun, Shumai, and Gyoza - LOL. . so I guess he had peeked into the fridge to see what I had in there.

I got a ping from Allison (or maybe Zach) saying that some folks were going to hanging out in Zach/Alex's room, and could I bring by the leftovers?

I said sure, decided to skip the hot shower, and instead just change to dry shorts, grabbed the boxes of leftovers (re-stinking up the room the moment i opened the mini-fridge) and headed down the hall to Zach/Alex's room.
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I didn't get into the Peanut Butter, Jelly, Banana's or Bread, but I did open up some of the "panda cookies" i had bought as Typhoon Supplies on arrival day at the small grocery store.

look how cute!

they tasted kinda like Hydrox cookies. the cookies themselves, not the creme.

they were ok. .but look how cute!

side 1
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side 2

so the panda is cute on one side, and screaming that you're about to eat him on the other side.

for some reason, I didn't think to take any pictures as I hung out for most of the afternoon with Zach,Alex,Allison,William & Jon in Zach/Alex's room.. as we munched on leftovers from 555, drank Sake that Alex had bought, and just had a fun time hanging out.

Actually..I think I DO know the reason I didn't take any pics. . . we downloaded a few games and spent a couple of hours playing them - on our phones! So that's why I didn't use it for pics.

I still have a couple of them on my phone, so a quick check reveals that we played Ellen's game: "Psych!" and "Evil Apples". . i know we tried to play a space game too, but it just wasn't' working very well as we couldn't get it to load past the download screens, so gave up on it.

but the two we did play were a lot of fun, and there was lots of laughter and giggles - tho some of that may have been due to the Sake.

at some point, both Allison and William used the teapot in the room to make their UFO Yakisoba Noodles we had all made at Yomiuriland. (I saved mine until after I got home, and they were decent).
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The timestamp shows it as 1:24 in the afternoon. Here's what the Typhoon path projected , and what the weather in Japan looked like today.

we're the Blue dot, that's Osaka.

so you can see we were getting rain, some heavy in the afternoon, but the Typhoon path was gonna miss us for the most part as it had sharply turned North East.


We hung out in the Hotel playing games and visiting until I think ~5pm, and by then the storms seemed to have blown thru, and it had just gotten. . . "moist" outside.

The rain seemed to have completely stopped, so with a bit of Cabin Fever, we decided to head over to the Citywalk to see if anything was going on.
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of course, we had to stop at the photo-op to take pics for those that hadn't been with us earlier when William/I came across it.
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Such a great pic. . .LOL
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it was pretty deserted, but there were more people out and about than had been earlier in the day (Pre-Typhoon Hagibis landfall).

and a few thing had started opening up. . oh, not most things to be certain, but a few places had opened up - such as the McDonald's again, and it looked like TGI Fridays had opened up.

so we headed upstairs to see what else might be open.
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as is this one.. . posing on the "stairs' reaching for Bananas.

Alex must have taken this pic, as he's not in it, but it was William's request that we pose, so he could get a picture.

Behind us is the sadly (but understandably) close Takoyaki food court.
the neon was on for it tho. Cute little Octopi in headbands.

After walking thru the 2nd and 3rd floors, we were about to give in and just head back over to TGI Fridays, since they have a bar. . . to continue the drinking.

When we stumbled across the Hard Rock Cafe, which was open too. . and had plenty of seating due to USJ being closed today.
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they weren't crowded but did still have all the Halloween Decorations up.

Such as KISS pumpkins at the bar.
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I'm a huge KISS fan, of course I took pics of KISS Jack-O-Lanterns.
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look how happy we all are. .. I can't recall if we were buzzed, or just happy that they were open, and all in costume too! Yep the waiters were dressed up!

nobody was really hungry (especially when Elissa pinged the group message thread and said she had a few extra discount coupons for the dinner buffet at the hotel if anyone wanted them, they were up for grabs. A quick discussion, got consensus and we told her we were drinking at Hard Rock, but if were still up for grabs we'd come get them in a bit).

so we ended up not really getting food as we were going to eat buffet dinner at the Hotel - at least I think most of us didn't get food, a couple of folks may have eaten something here.
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and here come the drinks.

LOOK.

HOW.

HAPPY.
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yep. . even my milkshake was alcoholic. . and the bartender was pouring strong too.. at least mine was.
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one of the Waiters was Picachu!
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and the bartender was Waldo
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headed back to the stairs by the front entrance of Universal Japan to head back to our hotel. . it was incredibly spooky and quiet . . . and so cool.

We met up with Elissa and got the discount coupons, and headed up to the Buffet - where we bumped into Luke & Trent . .and we all sat together and enjoyed a really amazing dinner buffet that had *tons* of fresh Sushi, as well as lots of other Japanese cuisine, that I ate way too much of, considering how full I had been before starting.

but it was all really good food, including the desert bar, and the crab legs. that we had a discount on it made it all the better too.

not sure why I didn't take any pics that came out decent of the dinner - they were ALL blurry - but I blame the strong alcohol in the mudslide shake I'd had at Hard Rock. . LOL.
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after a great meal, and feeling stuffed, I just really wanted to take a shower, and sleep off the day. So we all headed back upstairs to the rooms, passing this Halloween display near the elevators.

I'd assume these statues are always there, and they put them in costume for Halloween.

the middle is Marilyn, and the right is (I believe) Judy Garland . . tho it could also be Audrey Hepburn.

who is that on the left? Clark Gable? the Mustache looks wrong for him.

I'm amazed THIS pic came out clear. . LOL

I really don't recall the rest of the night here. It couldn't have been must past 8:30 at night, or at the latest 9. . and I assume I took a shower, called Spouse, and hung out in the room. But I don't remember anything else about this night, and don't have any more pictures, so must have charged in phone to charge.

We did have an early-ish day the next day, even tho it was really a "free day" as long as we ended up in Nagoya by the end of the day. But with luggage transfer to Nagoya (meaning Luggage had to be in the lobby by 8am) we had to have everything packed up and ready to put luggage downstairs. Elissa had confirmed that the Luggage Transfer was still on track, even with damage from the storm in parts of Japan.

so in all likelyhood? I packed up everything, maybe visited a bit with my TPR "neighbors" in the rooms near me, and then turned in.

I would know the typhoon had made CNN in the USA this night too, as my phone started going off with texts and FB messages in the middle of this night .. friends who'd seen it and worried about me. It was my fault for not turning off the sound, but I was worried if I turned off the sound, the alarm wouldn't sound (hey, I'm new to using my phone for alarm). After the 3rd ping, I went ahead and logged into Facebook - at 3:30am - and posted I was fine, that Osaka just got some heavy rain in places, but we weren't really impacted by Typhoon Hagibis - and that I loved everyone, but stop texting me!

and then back to bed.
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Re: TR- bert has a Spooktacular time with TPR in Japan!

Postby Canobie Coaster » Sat Jan 11, 2020 9:23 pm

Great report! I'm glad you guys didn't let the rain ruin your day.
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Re: TR- bert has a Spooktacular time with TPR in Japan!

Postby bert425 » Mon Jan 13, 2020 8:01 am

Canobie Coaster wrote:Great report! I'm glad you guys didn't let the rain ruin your day.


thanks, Canobie.

I mean, it's really a case of: This is what's happening, and you can either be upset about it, or you can just accept it and enjoy the company you're with.

Getting upset would do nothing. And the company on the trip were all fantastic people. So yeah, just count it as a "relax" day and enjoy the company.

I think most everyone was hanging out with folks doing some sort of visiting on this day, so I believe everyone had a good day - even tho there was a Typhoon coming outside!
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Re: TR- bert has a Spooktacular time with TPR in Japan!

Postby PKI Jizzman » Mon Jan 13, 2020 4:02 pm

I'm still upset we weren't able to play Space Team :lol: Probably was because every single person was on the wifi at once.

It's never a good thing to have a typhoon as part of your trip, but it ended up being not so bad thanks to attention/planning/caring from Robb and Elissa. Being able to do laundry for that day saved me for the rest of the trip and I'm glad we were able to go outside ..and remaining dry! We did all the right things to prep for a natural disaster day and we were ready had it been worse. In the end we just had a fun, productive, laugh filled day!
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Re: TR- bert has a Spooktacular time with TPR in Japan!

Postby SharkTums » Mon Jan 13, 2020 7:27 pm

If there's any country I would want to be in after a large natural disaster it's Japan! I've now been there for a major earthquake and a major typhoon and both times was super impressed with how the people handle everything.

Also, we had a great group on this trip and everyone understood that sometimes, you just can't control the weather! =)

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Re: TR- bert has a Spooktacular time with TPR in Japan!

Postby bert425 » Wed Jan 15, 2020 4:04 pm

^ agreed (and ^^ agreed) :)

sorry for the delay in report. . I've been sick all week, and just haven't had the energy to get back to it.

but I believe next update will be up by weekend.. and should be Himeji Castle, Osaka Pride Festival, Dotonbori, and train to Nagoya.. . . I have a lot of pics to sort thru for those.

but I will say, that this was the day AFTER a massive typhoon hit Japan..and you could not even tell it had affected anything at any of the stops I made that day.
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