These 12 things are so much better than French chickens and jumping lords.
On the twelfth day of winter holidays, our dear friends, Fr. Universal Studios Japan (USJ) sent to us …
12 souvenir sales
Every time we visit USJ we will definitely drop by 1-up factory in the Super Nintendo World section and this year I was definitely not disappointed. In the photo below, you can see that there is a Christmas bow on the lantern. This is because the entire section has been decorated for the holidays.
▼ Princess decorations cannot be found in another castle
As you enter, you are immediately greeted by Nintendo’s festive clothing from Pompom crowns for 3,200 yen ($ 23) to Mario the snowman pillows for 4,000 yen ($ 29) or even three types of holiday sweaters for 6,700 yen ($ 48) each.
There is also a lot more inside, such as couples Mario snowman slippers for 2,800 yen ($ 20)…
…and Stockings with a Mario motif for 2,300 yen ($ 16).
You can also decorate your home with some Mario’s winter hand towels or invincibility star shaped cups with spoons stir hot cocoa with impunity.
▼ I’m kidding. Always be careful with hot cocoa.
And decorate your bags, keys or ears in this Mario Joyful Holidays season earrings, charmsand key rings.
There are certainly many things at USJ that you can take home with you this winter. In fact, on the eleventh day of the season, the USJ gives us …
11 more souvenir sales
We talked so much about the 1-Up Factory that we overlooked the fact that there are two gift shops at Super Nintendo World. The second is Mario Motors, located at the exit of Mario Kart attractions. They have most of the same Christmas goodies as well as some more Mario Kart oriented stuff.
You’re probably no more Mario Kart oriented than the whole thing plush Mario Kart for 3800 yen ($ 27). You can find them all over the store, including these Mario Kart stands shopping bags and socks.
It took me a minute to realize these were really tissue covers, which means you’ll have to make a little more wipe space than usual.
There are also other plush items such as question-block pillows, Bullet Bill Pillowsand the cool ones blue seashells for 4,000 yen ($ 29) which are Also available in red. There is also some Mario Kart jackets and sweatshirts available in various sizes.
The bullets have small holes inside so they can be used as a hand warmer, but I thought it looked more lousy as a plush glove.
And finally there were a lot of neat boxes of cookies, chocolates and other snacks, but my favorite was probably A box of crackers for 1,500 yen ($ 11).
And speaking of favorites, most agreed that banana peel plush weapon they were the star of the whole group, including real stars.
We are still only scratching the surface of what is available, but in the spirit of the numbered topic, let’s move on to the tenth day of the season in which USJ gives us …
Projection mapping in 10 minutes
From November 11 to January 9, after sunset, USJ organizes daily tree lighting and mapping in the central courtyard.
▼ Tree lighting
While Christmas music is playing in the area, the tree pulsates with different colors of light, and images of snow, bells, and cakes dance around the buildings.
The entire projection screen works for about 10 minutes, but when it’s finished, it just starts over again, so don’t worry about missing anything.
In fact, this huge tree is also the scene of what USJ gives us on the ninth day of the season …
Nine Minions Dancing A.
Who doesn’t like a bunch of minions dancing for entertainment, other than that one guy inside who doesn’t seem to be having a good time.
Minions are always prowling the park, but it’s an opportunity to catch them dressed up in unusual costumes like reindeer, trees and Santa.
It’s a celebration enough to get a little hungry, but luckily on the eighth day of the USJ season brings us …
Eight main menus Uh, items
Every time we eat dinner? Kinopio cafe we are never disappointed so we will definitely stop by again.
Not only is everything made and served in a Mario theme, but all eight items featured above, from Mario and Luigi burgers to Yoshi carbonara pasta and even Fish Bone Mouniere (“Fish Bone” is an enemy character from the game), are really meticulously prepared and it tastes amazing.
There is even a special Christmas dish served, but we’ll get to that a few days later. Earlier, on day 7 of the season, USJ sent us….
7 hanging ornaments
Sure, they’re not hanging yet, but they’ll be at your home after picking up one of these four packs of Super Mario-themed Christmas decorations for 3,900 yen ($ 28).
What’s more, this set of two decorations for 1700 yen ($ 12) is stuffed with chocolates!
There’s also this lovely plush Mario wreath for 3,500 yen ($ 25). And don’t get into my case that the wreath is not technically an ornament… It’s hard to make an article based on such a classic Christmas carol!
Anyway, on the sixth day of winter at USJ they give us …
Six people posing
Not just any people … Okay, these kids are just people … Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure they’re wonderful kids and all, but … Jesus, I mean, some Mario characters, including Mario and Luigi, are available to take a photo of yourself with.
This time, I also found that when Mario and Luigi talk, their lips move. This is impressive in terms of mascot technology.
Moving on, on the fifth day of the season, USJ gives us …
Five Miiiiiission Noooots
OK, you are probably asking yourself like I am; “What the hell is Mission Note?” But it’s actually pretty neat. By befriending USJ in the Japanese Line messaging app, you can access mission notes that are Five missions you can complete while hanging out in the park.
Missions are only in Japanese, but at USJ there is no shortage of incredibly cheerful staff with decent English skills that can probably help.
They are like puzzle quizzes. For example, the mission we did was to read a few sentences describing the Hollywood section and find out which one is not correct. It’s not just fun, because if you complete missions you’ll enter a competition to win a free one-day park pass or other USJ gadget.
This is something you can do while enjoying everything else that USJ has to offer, such as what it gives on the fourth day …
4-D Jujutsu Kaisen
There are also 24h shows Jujutsu Kaisen True 4-D which is a short original episode of the anime series in which a gang from Tokyo Prefectural Jujutsu High School investigates the opening of a shady campus in Osaka.
Like other Universal Studios 3D movies, the visuals are top notch and pop right in the face. Also, since it’s 4-D, you can expect the ground to tremble beneath you and feel the curse drooling on your face from time to time.
After drying ourselves with a towel, we went on the third day of vacation when USJ gave us …
A three-part dinner
As we mentioned earlier, Kinopio’s Cafe has special limited editions for the season, so we tried them all. First he was Super Star Hot Yuzu Lemonade for 650 yen ($ 4.65).
A star-decorated drink may frighten some with the mention of a very sour yuzu fruit. But with a generous batch of cream, it’s like drinking a glass of warm lemon meringue cake.
We had the main course Chef’s Special Baked Hamburger Steak and Mashed Potatoes 2,600 yen ($ 19) tree, served with rice or bread.
This nicely seasoned Salisbury steak is topped with a soft-boiled egg and white sauce, all covered with a layer of rich cheese.
And yes, that little green tree on the side is actually made of mashed potatoes!
This is also just the beginning. The garland with a white drizzle is actually cheese, and under the tree is a tart filled with pasta and spinach gifts.
There was a dessert Log cake with a special chef’s cut for 900 yen ($ 6.44). To say this “chocolate cake” is a huge understatement. There are so many different types of chocolate wrapped in this cake that I’m not sure if I even noticed them all.
There is also some cherries inside and small mushrooms with hard sugar on top.
All in all, this is quite an expensive meal that you can probably expect at an amusement park. But unlike places that cost ten bucks for a lame hot dog, the food at USJ is exceptionally high-quality and actually feels worth the gourmet prices.
With full bellies we went to the second day of vacation where USJ gave us …
Two stars on the pines
Sure, the tree usually comes last, but we all want to overturn expectations. So we have a cute tree crowned with an invincibility star, as well as two snowmen Mario and Luigi to pose for photos with.
The second tree is at the Mario Motors gift shop and could even be yours for 23,000 yen ($ 165).
We are left with only the first day of the holiday season in which USJ gives us …
One Monster Hunter in XR
Sure there is only one but real reason this attraction it is mentioned here because it is one of the most fun things I have ever done at USJ. I’ve done VR before and thought it was funny, but I never really see the potential that people like Mark Zuckerberg see.
Everything changed that day. Saying something “makes you feel like you are in the game” sounds clichéd, but that’s it really makes you feel like in Monster hunter game. Guests get into teams of four and choose one of several characters, armor and weapons.
They then all don VR helmets, hand sensors, and portable backpack computers that look like Ghostbuster proton packs. Then you immerse yourself in the game and when you walk in reality you walk in virtual reality. I hit monsters with a hammer that I held in my real hands, with which I also collected herbs, metals and deer along the way.
▼ It’s me!
Some parts were tricky, like climbing and using a hook with a rope, but even if you’re hopeless as I was at one point, you’ll just move to the next place to keep moving. When they were all finished, we all looked visibly tired as we had just embarked on a journey and fought giant beasts. We also received a QR code that allowed us to access our results.
▼ I took second place and PK Sanjun was third
As you can see, there is a holiday season going on at Universal Studios in Japan, and that is what I could squeeze into the “12 days” format. So go out and see it all while you can, because everything is only there for a limited time!
Photos © SoraNews24
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