Last week, we spent four days in Osaka, Japan with two of those at Universal Studios Japan. Theme parks wear me down, mostly mentally, and generally I’m good for one day. Don’t get me wrong, Universal Studios is very cool, the kids had a blast, but by the second day it felt like I was Teddy Kennedy’s drinking buddy after a weekend of carousing at Martha’s Vineyard. I was tired… Universal Studios Japan redefined expensive and almost made Disneyland seem cheaper, for the four of us to eat anywhere near Universal Studios or Universal City was about $300 a day. All in all, it was fun, and our kids had the time of their lives, for that alone I’d do it again. The next stop was the Osaka Castle, an iconic piece of Japan and because I’m a history geek who loves photography, locations like the Osaka Castle are usually the perfect storm. However, it would have been better if it had been an original castle, not a reconstruction, but you can’t have everything! Wow, with Hogwarts, that’s makes two fake castles in one week! I forgot to use my inside voice there… This five story castle sits in a large grounds of 15 acres that is mostly the rock foundation for the castle itself. While a reconstruction, it surely gives you the impression of how incredible the original structure must have been! If you’re worried about home invasion, nosey or noisy neighbors, or want to get your local HMO off of your back, I’d highly recommend this type of construction. Lastly, we ended up in Namba, the downtown area of Osaka that had everything from the most expensive shopping on planet Earth to mom-n-pop joints, very cool! Below are some photos from Universal Studios, life wouldn’t be complete without a plastic T-Rex… If we had more time left here in Japan, Osaka would deserve a second trip for sure!