After many years of delays, Super Nintendo World is finally open at Universal Studios in Osaka. Mario fans can now get inside to experience their favourite video game characters up close and live the life of the platforming plumber.
There’s a lot to do and see in Super Nintendo World and it’s a good idea to have a plan of action ready for getting there and what to do when you arrive. In this article, we’ll explain everything you’ll need to know before setting foot in the park yourself.
Can I visit Super Nintendo World now?
Super Nintendo World opened its doors to the public in March 2021 after a short delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The park is currently open to visitors although there are a couple of health and safety measures in place that require guests to:
Wear a face mask at all times
Maintain a reasonable amount of social distancing
Sanitize their hands often
Guests will also have their temperatures taken when they first enter the park. However, there are no further restrictions beyond this at the moment.
How to get to Super Nintendo World
To get to Super Nintendo World you’ll need to visit Universal Studios Japan in Osaka. This is located in the Konohana-Ku neighbourhood of the city, to the north of the Aji River and just 5 minute’s walk away from Universal City JR Station.
If you’re already in Osaka, the park is only about 13 minutes away from Osaka Station by JR train. Alternatively, Universal Studios can be reached directly from Shin Osaka station if you’re aday-tripper arriving by Shinkansen.
Osaka Travel Blog – For first-timers heading to Osaka, this complete travel guide is all you need to plan your trip. It covers all the questions you might have about entering and exploring this wonderful city in Western Japan, and includes helpful tips on how you can make the most of your stay here. Whether you’re planning to stay over the course of a week and want to include day trips from the city centre, or you’ve only got a spare few day and need to max out your hours in the day, we’ve got the necessary information below for you to make the most of your visit.
Osaka Travel Blog – The Accommodation
One of the biggest questions that most travellers to new places ask is “Where is the best spot to stay?”.
Of course, the answer will vary for different types of travellers; some people thrive on the never-ending buzz of the crowds and actually prefer staying smack bang in the city so that the white noise of conversations never really drowns out; others will prefer staying at a location that’s relatively convenient on the outskirts of town so that they can get as much peace and quiet as possible, and don’t mind a little bit of extra traveling. Others still, will not care where they stay as long as it provides easy access to everything that they want to do.
We’ve curated a short but detailed list of areas of Osaka that you might want to familiarise yourself with, as they are some of the most popular destinations in Osaka. We’ve also recommended some highly rated accommodation in each area which might interest you also.
Pokéfuta are waiting for fans outside two of Japan’s best museums.
Tokyo’s Ueno Park is one of the city’s biggest tourism draws, and it’s actually several attractions in one. In addition to its shady cherry blossom tree-lined pathways and beautiful lotus pond, the park is home to multiple museums and a zoo, and now it’s added even more attractions with a pair of brand-new Pokémon manhole covers!
These are the first-ever Pokémon manhole covers, or Pokéfuta, as they’re called in Japanese, to be installed in central Tokyo, and none other than Pikachu himself was on-site for a special ceremony prior to their June 14 installation.
Appearing on the first of the two covers is Tyrunt, the Tyrannosaurus-like Pokémon who Trainers can resurrect from a fossil in the Pokémon. Appropriately, the Tyrunt Pokéfuta, which also features Wynaut, is found in Ueno Park near the entrance to the National Museum of Nature and Science, which has an impressive collection of dinosaur fossils itself.
▼ The Tyrunt/Wynaut Pokéfuta is found not far from the museum’s full-scale blue whale replica statue.
Meanwhile, Ueno’s other Pokémon manhole cover stars Baltoy, whose design is inspired by Japan’s traditional earthenware dogu figures from the late Jomon period (c. 1000 BC), and Bronzor, a mysterious steel/psychic-type found in tombs, according to Pokémon lore.
Because of Dogu and Bronzor’s connections to ancient civilizations, their Pokéfuta has been placed near the main gate of the park’s Tokyo National Museum, whose extensive collection of artistic antiquities includes dogu.
Best Sunflower Fields in Japan – You’ve seen pictures of the distinguished cherry blossoms of Japan. You’ve witnessed the distinct shibazakura of the Yamanashi region. You’ve experienced the remarkable sea of blue nemophila flowers at the Hitachi Seaside Park in Ibaraki.
But did you know Japan is also home to an abundance of sunflower fields as well?
The beautiful bright yellow flowers that are bound to put anyone in a good mood are super popular in Japan. In fact, there are many fields of sunflowers located all across the country. They start from the northern Hokkaido prefecture and go all the way down to the south-western Shikoku islands.
The 7 Best Sunflowers Fields in Japan
During summer, visiting one or more of these sunflower fields is one of the most popular activities to do. We’ve listed below some of the best spots to witness this beautiful seasonal attraction.
Akeno Sunflower Field, Yamanashi
Hokuryu Sunflower Village, Hokkaido
Zama Sunflower Festival, Kanagawa
Sakura Sunflower Garden, Chiba
Hill of Palette, Hokkaido
Kiyose Sunflower Festival, Tokyo
1. Akeno Sunflower Field, Yamanashi
The Akeno Sunflower Field is one of (if not the) most popular sunflower fields in all of Japan. It is because of the distinct Japanese Alps in the background of the fields. It is not every day that you get to witness sunflower fields that stretch into the distance with enormous mountains filling the background. Combine this with the sunny blue of Japan in summer and you’ve got yourself a winner.
Day 48 of my Kyushu Pilgrimage found me walking down the Kikuchi River in Kumamoto from Yamaga to Tamana. As normal I stopped in at every shrine I passed on the way, on the look out for art, stories etc. Usually I would post about each shrine, with details of the kami there enshrined, history, features, etc but these posts do not seem to interest many people, so instead I will just post some
Tokyo’s subway system is world famous — just a mention of the JR Yamanote Line is enough to make anyone who has visited Japan smile wistfully as the jingles play in their memories.
But while the Yamanote Line may be one of Tokyo’s more popular lines, we decided to check out a lesser known train line: the Shibayama Line.
The Shibayama Line doesn’t boast any great attractions or particularly scenic views, but it’s interesting because it is the shortest train line in all of Japan, and may even be the shortest train line in the entire world. At just 2.2 kilometers (1.4 miles) long, the Shibayama Line consists of only two stations — Higashi-Narita and Shibayama-Chiyoda.
▼ No, really. It’s just two stations.
The line is connected to the Keisei Electric Railway, and the first station Higashi-Narita can be accessed by a five minute train ride from the Keisei-Narita station.
So that’s what we did. And as we got off the train, we couldn’t help but be struck by the weird atmosphere in the station…
▼ It was completely empty.
Despite the recent state of emergency in Tokyo, trains are still usually jam packed, but Higashi-Narita felt like no one had been here in years. It was a very strange atmosphere.
As we made our way up the escalator to the ticket gates, the unnerving atmosphere just got even more intense.
Where to ski in Japan – We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: Japan is a skier’s and a snowboarder’s dream.
This country that’s known for its globally popular gastronomical delights, world-class floral displays, accommodation experiences both traditional and new-age, and a multitude of attractions that are at polar opposite ends of the scale (such as castles that are hundreds of years old versus spectacular contemporary digital art museums) is also home to, as some might consider, the best pow in the world.
Pow, short for powder, is essentially natural snowfall that is as soft as, well, powder. The phenomenon of ‘chasing powder’ around the globe is a real thing, and it’s an adventure that many snowboarders and skiers embark on the moment they get the hang of the sport.
It’s a craving, it’s an addiction – more powder you experience, the more you want to consume.
Not only does it hurt less when you fall (therefore people often go ham on Japanese slopes and try all these different tricks they wouldn’t normally try), but the idea of gunning it down the mountain whilst the softest of snowflakes land on your face is simply magical. The euphoria of experiencing powder cannot be replicated, and in Japan, it’s almost everywhere you look.
Where to Ski in Japan Spot #1 – Hakuba 47
A list of the best ski slopes in Japan is not complete without mentioning Hakuba 47, the premiere destination on Honshu that almost every snowboarder and skier will come across when looking for the best place to shred the mountains. It’s actually one of the largest …continue reading
Whenever I ask any of my Japanese friends how many seasons there are in this country, they invariably tell me four. Shiki (四季), the four seasons, are magical aspects of Japan that you won’t quite experience anywhere else—or so they would like you to believe, but I don’t buy it.
Unpleasant and pleasant
Every time I bring it up, the conversation goes like this:
“What about tsuyu (梅雨), the rainy season,” I ask. “What’s that?”
“Summer, huh? You know, I find tsuyu to be so uniquely different that it deserves to be called a season all by itself.”
“Okay, smart aleck, there are five seasons then.”
“Well, then how about all the sekki (節気), or the 24 terms in the traditional lunisolar calendar?”
You know it won’t last because the rainy season—cloudy skies, torrential rainfall and unflagging humidity—is lurking just around the corner.
Sekki is the traditional way of expressing seasons in Japan. There are 24 sekki, including rikka (立夏, the first day of summer) in early May, shoman (小満, lit. “a little full” as in growing, waxing) in late May and boshu (芒種, lit. bearded grain) in early June.
The 24 sekki can be further divided into three for a total of 72 shijijūni ko (七十二侯) that last for about five days each. These subseasons include mugi no toki itaru (麦秋至), or “the time for wheat has come,” which lasts from May 31 to June 5, and kamakiri shozu (“the mantis is born”) from June 6 to June 10.
Photographer captures the mountain’s peak just as it must have inspired Hokusai.
What makes Mt. Fuji so captivatingly majestic isn’t just its size, but its permeance in cultural significance. In addition to being one of Japan’s most popular sightseeing destinations in the present day, Japan’s tallest mountain has been inspiring poets and artists for centuries.
For example, the painting above, Fine Wind, Clear Morning was created by ukiyo-e woodblock print master Hokusai almost 200 years ago. There’s something profound in looking at Mt. Fuji today and realizing that it’s the same mountain one of history’s greatest artists was inspired by…especially when you see that sometimes the real-life Mt. Fuji really does look that strikingly beautiful.
While bicycling in Shizuoka Prefecture, Japanese Twitter user @pikasisu stopped pedaling long enough to take this photo, sharing it with a reverent “It’s like an ukiyo-e,” and with the perfectly visible curves sloping up to the peak, where streaks of starkly defined lingering snow look like deliberate aesthetic flourishes left by a painter, it’s hard to argue.