Things to Do!: USJ One Piece Premier Summer and Maiko Beach ♪♫Loose Ends of Summer♫♪

5:09 AM

You know, after I made that tiring post about all the random things I did throughout the summer, who would've thought I would end up doing a couple more summer-y things. Not I.

But before we continue on.
Is my new baby (the sweatshirt is my baby). I hope I can get a Sailor Mercury too but.. *sigh* I've been doing a bit of compulsive net shopping these days, so it's looking like a no.
FOR NOW. *maniacal laughter*

Universal Studios Japan One Piece Premiere Summer

First things FIRST. Obligatory pic with Princess Fiona from Shrek. There was a Shrek running around somewhere too, but I always hate pushing kids out of the way for my own photo op, so I just watch. @_@

Also, a little info on this event, the One Piece Premier Summer. It's been going on for the past 4 years, with this year being it's forth, and starting from next year, there will also be a Spring event (it's usually only for Summer).

During the OPPS event, parts of the USJ theme park become One Piece themed. For Example..

The formerly foreboding (and expensive) Jurassic Park Restaurant becomes.. well, a (n expensive) Jurassic Park Restaurant with a One Piece flag hanging right abouts the T-Rex.
There are a few more One Piece touches like the One Piece Soundtrack on repeat (still not used to Roronoa's singing..) and, of course, a One Piece menu. All the kitchen staff are dressed like pirate crew members (you'll find Marine members in the Marine-themed restaurant), and some of the character posters are even signed by the voice actors! ALSO, you can have a crew member do a KANPAI (cheers) with you. You know, to get you excited for your $17 chicken thigh and nachos set.

The chicken was covered in a mystery sauce, but it was GOOD!
Thank the gods the food was good. Unfortunately for us, there was also a typhoon that day, so the hall was packed with people, i.e. no vacant tables. The staff weren't really trying to hurry people along OR prevent people from snatching tables as they walked in (instead of after you get your food, as it's supposed to be), so if you do end up going, definitely get your table before you get your food. The food will be ready long before a table is. That's really the only negative thing I have to say about this event though. Everything after this will probably just be me gushing repeatedly.

You'll also find little monuments like this! Obviously erected for Whitebeard and Ace. I learned he was dead that day. ._. *SIGH* I will still buy all the Ace merchandise I can find though. :D
The area around the JAWS attraction was turned in MARINE territory. Pirates beware!! :DD We didn't eat anything from this area sadly, but there's always next year! >w<)
One of the more awesome things I've yet to experience is Sanji's Pirates Restaurant..!! I thought it was a walk-in spot as well, but it's reservation only. And despite having planned this trip almost a month in advance, there were no seats for our typhoon day..!! ;-; My friend and I have made a definite promise to go next year though. I just.. want to hear Sanji say Alyse-swaaaan once.. Maybe twice.
Also! I think it's a dinner show type arrangement, so that's something! I'm really easy to please though so long as I can see (read: touch) Sanji, I'm a happy camper. :D

But the real action takes place at night! With the actual show. I believe the 'Premier Show,' which has tickets separate from the park admission, is only once a day. Seats are reserved with tickets that can be purchased online or at the park, and they come in regular and 'special' with special seats being in the center of the show where the characters usually congregate. My friend and I have also made a pact to buy those special tickets next year. SO MANY PLANS. *grin*

The short story for this show takes place during the current series, so everyone has their new outfits AND new moves! I'm really only familiar with the moves from the One Piece Kaizoku Musou 2, but that had all the moves from this live action show, so even if you're not an intense OP fan, it's really neat to see great actors well... acting it out. I was actually quite blown away because they made those characters seem very real and interesting..!
Zoro appears!!
Now I tried my best to take photos of the show, but we were a bit far (and to the left) of a lot of the action, PLUS camera phones are definitely not good at the night photography so I apologize in advance for the quality. *sad panda* Also, I took about a bajillion photos, so I'll upload a majority of them to W♥K Tumblr to save blog space.
Usopp and Chopper!!
A blurry Kung-fu Point!!
One of my favorite things about the show as how they had 3 of Chopper's moves!! It was so cute to see tiny Chopper hobble across the floor, but extra cool to see monster Chopper kickin' butt!
That tiny person on top of that steel prop is Luffy. He never got close enough to our side of the stage for a nice photo...
Stalker zoom of Roronoa Zoro. I gave him a high-five..!! It was manly!! *swoon*
And then Smoker rode through! Chasing after the Mugiwara Pirates of course. That Smoker..!
Then they infiltrated a pop idol competition. Disguises were donned. Zoro has on a sparkly top hat while Chopper is wearing furoshiki. They also did a parody of Dance My Generation by GOLDEN BOMBER! I died. *dead*
THEN! Law pulled a body-snatcher (i.e. his special move Shambles) on the crew. Zoro ended up in Sanji's body, Chopper was in Franky's and I think Sanji was in Nami's. Shenanigans ensues.
Rengoku Onigiri!!!
And then Kuzan (Aokiji) showed up and was like 'Everyone, cool your tits' and they lived happily ever after. There's a bit more in there but KUZAN! Easily, my favorite One Piece character. I was not expecting him to show up so I freaked out like a 5-year-old when the speakers went 'ICE AGE.'

That's enough for now. I feel like I should add that I'm not a huge fan of the show.. but I'm a pretty decently-sized fan. At least I'm addicted to their merchandise. *kanyeshrug*

Maiko Beach

My very last summer activity was going to Maiko beach in Hyogo Prefecture. I was bothering my friends because I hadn't gone to the beach all summer, so Maha offered to take me to this lovely beach in Hyogo! Sooo much better than Nishikinohama in Osaka, I'm not really ashamed to say. The water was clear and cool! And even though it drizzled for the first hour or so, it eventually got warm enough for us to get in the water and swim! And get hit on by some guys from a nearby BBQ, all a good days worth of fun..!

Maiko beach sits right in front of Awaji Island, which is a popular spots for beaching and eating sushi! I do believe you have to take a bus OR car to Awaji Island though.

This is definitely going to be the spot for next summer..! I can't wait!!

Access Info:
Maiko Beach is accessible by the JR Tokai/Sanyo Line from Maiko Station or by the Sanyo/Hanshin trains at Maiko Park Station. If you're coming from Osaka City, you catch the JR at Osaka station. Unfortunately, the routes on JR can be a little confusing and in some cases, you might next to change trains at Sannomiya while in other cases you can stay on the same train. The Sanyo/Hanshin makes about as much sense, but it does look like it's a straight shot from Umeda (Hanshin) to Maiko Koen (Sanyo). I would definitely suggest double-checking with station staff or a friend even if you're unfamiliar with the trains. I've made the Ekitan smartphone application my BFF.

And that pretty much ends my summer! I've got a little link updating to do on this site, but hopefully I'll be adding things to the Things To Do tab. That's the plan at least. ;)


Here's a video of what goes on inside Sanji's Restaurant..!! It looks like all the Mugiwara Pirates amek an appearance..! Now I really wanna go ;o;
Dat Sanji.

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