The Ultimate USJ Guide And Tips To Planning A Magical Experience — Universal Studios Japan

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Newly up to date USJ Guide for these heading there in 2022!

If you’re travelling to Osaka, spending at the least a day at Universal Studios Japan is a should! Whether you’re a rollercoaster-loving particular person, couple, household with children, or Harry Potter fan, there’s one thing for everybody.

Minion Balloons - Osaka USJ Guide

We final visited USJ in 2017 and it’s been 5 years since we got here again! We’re glad to say that almost all of our beloved points of interest are nonetheless there like Minion Park and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

But we have been most wanting ahead to the most recent addition of Super Nintendo World — which has efficiently remodeled us into literal recreation characters.

Girl and Boy at Super Nintendo World Entrance - USJ Osaka Guide

To absolutely maximise your time, right here’s our complete USJ information to planning an ideal day on the theme park.

The downside with USJ is that it’s EXTREMELY common with each native Japanese and overseas vacationers. Plan your day wrongly and also you would possibly find yourself caught within the queues for hours as an alternative of having fun with the rides. It additionally doesn’t assist that the official Universal Studios Japan web site presents restricted info. Some stuff can solely be present in Japanese!

Universal Studios Globe - Osaka USJ Guide-3

To enable you out, I’ve break up this information into three principal sections: Pre-USJ Planning, USJ Day Guide, and Frequently Asked Questions. Pay shut consideration to Section One!

Note: Will strive updating this regularly so it ought to keep related!

See additionally: JR Pass Japan Budget Itinerary: 8 Days 9 Cities for underneath $1.1k incl. flights and lodging

Pre-USJ Planning

1) Buy your USJ tickets prematurely — Save money and time

Queues outside USJ - Osaka USJ Guide-4

Tickets could be purchased on the day itself on the entrance counter. But except you’re a BIG FAN of queuing, please save your self a while and purchase your USJ tickets beforehand. Don’t be one of many clueless vacationers caught within the queue lengthy after the park has opened.

There are a number of methods to get your tickets on-line, both by the official USJ ticketing web site or by way of authorised companions like Klook. We most well-liked the latter as the method was fuss-free and we have been issued an e-ticket immediately. We merely needed to scan the QR code on the automated entrance gantry. Talk about skipping the queues!

The better part although, is that the retail worth is actually the identical!
Single day studio cross at USJ ticketing sales space: ¥8400 or ~S$80
Single day studio cross by way of Klook: ~S$80

*Pro-tip: For those that need a bit extra time, there’s a brand new 1.5day USJ Pass. Start at 3PM on the primary day, and benefit from the park for all the second day.

2) Best time to go to – Wednesdays & Thursdays are greatest

Jurassic Park Sign - Osaka USJ Guide-21

If your journey schedule permits, attempt to plan your go to to USJ in the midst of the week. The weekends are normally notoriously crowded, with an inflow of Japanese vacationers.

According to park officers, the times close to the weekends will also be fairly packed as locals might take depart for an extended weekend, and faculties might ship college students on excursions to USJ.

Of course please keep away from holidays! Here’s an inventory of Japanese public holidays.

3) Decide whether or not you want the USJ Express Pass or USJ VIP Pass 

The Flying Dinosaur - Osaka USJ Guide-22

The Flying Dinosaur Ride

If you learn this information rigorously and comply with the guidelines from begin to finish, there’s a superb likelihood that you’ll not want the USJ Express Pass or USJ VIP Pass.

However, for those who’re travelling in a giant group or unable to keep away from the height days of the week, I undoubtedly counsel getting them to have extra time having fun with the park.

USJ Express Pass

Hogwarts Castle-USJ Guide Osaka

This mainly offers you the extremely coveted timed-entry ticket to Super Nintendo World and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (so that you don’t need to run throughout the park to gather your timed ticket on busy days). It means that you can skip the queues for sure rides relying on the sort of USJ Express Pass you get.

Something to notice is that the value of the USJ Express Pass ranges from ¥2000-¥10,800 relying on demand and provide — you should buy your USJ Express Passes right here.

Wand Magic at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter- Osaka USJ Guide-28

Unfortunately magic received’t enable you lower the queues. Only the USJ Express Pass can.

USJ VIP Pass

*Note: The USJ VIP Pass is at the moment unavailable on Klook.

The USJ VIP Wristband Pass is a less expensive and fascinating various to the Express Pass. Instead of gaining precedence entry to chose rides, you get to enter USJ half-hour to 1 hour sooner than the traditional crowd! This means you get to at the least hop on two rides earlier than the principle crowd streams in.

The USJ VIP Wristband Pass comes with Harukas 300 Observatory ticket, which implies you get to see Osaka from excessive above on prime of moving into USJ early. You’d get a secret password to be used on a particular hyperlink so as to acquire the assembly time for the particular entry. Quite cool eh?

*Pro-tip: Try to reach sooner than the designated time so that you could be on the entrance of the Special Entry queue.

4) Decide in your route — Gaming, Adventure, Harry Potter, or Cute?

Hogsmeade- USJ Guide Osaka

For those that didn’t get the USJ Express Passes, listed here are 4 attainable USJ itineraries or experience routes you possibly can comply with to maximise your time on the park.

I’ve break up them by pursuits so even when the park is packed, at the least you get to expertise the issues you’re most concerned about! I’ve excluded the much less fascinating points of interest that are typically misplaced in translation.

Minion Park Cherie- Osaka USJ Guide-6

For the routes beneath, prioritise the primary three rides earlier than slowing right down to discover the decor. If you’re quick, it’s best to have the ability to end the primary two rides with minimal queuing and the third with a reasonably quick queue time.

Gaming Route
For all Super Mario players on the market.

Gamer Route - USJ Osaka Guide

Start:
– Mario Kart: Koopa’s Challenge
– Yoshi’s Adventure
– Explore Super Nintendo World
– The Flying Dinosaur
– Despicable Me Minion Mayhem
– Hollywood Dream The Ride: Backdrop
– Jaws
– Harry Potter and The Forbidden Journey

Adventure Route
For the joys seekers who love rollercoasters.

Adventure Route - USJ Osaka Guide

Start:
– Hollywood Dream The Ride: Backdrop
– The Flying Dinosaur
– Jurassic Park: The Ride
– Despicable Me Minion Mayhem
– Mario Kart: Koopa’s Challenge
– Jaws
– Harry Potter and The Forbidden Journey

Harry Potter Fan Route
Expecto a grand welcome at Hogwarts fortress.

Harry Potter Route - USJ Osaka Guide

Start:
– Harry Potter and The Forbidden Journey
– Explore The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
– The Flying Dinosaur
– Jurassic Park: The Ride
– Despicable Me Minion Mayhem
– Explore Hollywood Zone
– Jaws
– Explore Super Nintendo World

Cute Stuff Route
For those that love the Minions, Hello Kitty, Snoopy or Sesame road.

Cute Route - USJ Osaka Guide

Start:
– Despicable Me Minion Mayhem
– Explore Minion Park
– The Flying Dinosaur
– Explore Super Nintendo World
– Explore Hollywood Zone
– Hello Kitty Fashion Avenue & Snoopy Studios (you possibly can come right here anytime as queues are typically quick)
– Jaws
– Explore The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Hogwarts expecto patronum Night Show - Osaka USJ Guide-35

Fireworks above Hogwarts Castle

Alternatively, you possibly can plan your personal route utilizing the USJ Park Map. Check out the Shows & Attractions Timetable too and also you would possibly simply have the ability to catch Hogwarts mild up with fireworks at evening!

*Pro-tip: The numerous photograph factors clear up close to showtimes and in direction of the night. So don’t waste time queuing for them within the first half of the day if the road is lengthy.

5) Where to remain close to Universal Studios Japan

The Park Front Hotel Night View - Places to stay USJ

Photo credit score: Klook

If you wish to get to USJ early and simply, it’s best to remain close to the park. There are a few official lodges simply exterior the park, reminiscent of The Park Front Hotel which boasts a stunning evening view of the park.

J Hoppers Universal Osaka - Osaka USJ Guide

For these on a finances like us, you can even take into account staying at J-Hoppers Osaka Universal Hostel, which is simply one JR cease (Ajikawaguchi Station) or a 15mins stroll away.

It’s a extremely stunning hostel, low-cost, and tremendous handy for attending to and away from USJ. Especially liked the pleasant employees and film screenings each evening!

USJ Day Guide

6) Arrive earlier than the gates open 1hr forward

Flying Fort Anglia - Osaka USJ Guide-24

Try to not crash something in your solution to USJ.

If you didn’t get the USJ VIP Wristband Pass, do strive arriving about an hour earlier than the gates open. Even then, anticipate a small queue in entrance of you. The Japanese college students are fairly hardcore relating to queueing! Slightly bit like Singaporeans. 😛

Universal Studios Japan’s opening hours differ, so examine the official web site for calendar timings.

Hogwarts Express Train Conductor- Osaka USJ Guide-19

Too unhealthy the Hogwarts Express can’t take you straight into USJ.

Directions to Universal Studios Japan:

By Train
Take the JR Yumesaki Line (often known as JR Sakurajima Line) to Universal City Station. USJ is only a 5mins stroll from the station.

By Bus
Unless you’re coming straight from the airport, I don’t suggest taking a bus. Busses from Kansai International Airport take 35-75 minutes (¥1600) relying on visitors.

By Ferry
If you obtain the Osaka Amazing Pass (which is an effective way to discover Osaka), you possibly can take the “Captain Line” without spending a dime (regular worth ¥800) from Kaiyukan West Pier (close to Osaka Aquarium) to Universal City Port in 10 minutes.

The draw back is that the ferry service solely begins operating at 9:30AM. It is an effective various for getting away from USJ for those who depart earlier than 8PM although!

7) Get some meals from Lawson & deliver a bottle

Lawson - Osaka USJ Guide

While meals inside USJ isn’t insanely costly, it isn’t precisely finances. If you want to stretch your greenback for the lovable desserts as an alternative of the principle meals.

There’s a Lawson comfort retailer simply exterior Universal City Station and is a good place to get some breakfast. Technically you aren’t allowed to deliver exterior meals into the park, however it’s simple to sneak an onigiri or two in your jacket. On the 2 events we have been there, our baggage acquired checked as soon as, however they didn’t examine our pockets.

Do additionally deliver a water bottle as there are water coolers across the park. It can get fairly costly to purchase drinks consistently for hydration!

If you’re recreation and don’t thoughts getting moist taking the Jurassic Park: The Ride, deliver alongside your personal disposable poncho. It’s less expensive than getting it inside USJ.

8) Grab a free timed entry ticket for common points of interest

Hand Holding Super Nintendo World Ticket - USJ Osaka Guide

We extremely suggest getting a timed entry ticket for points of interest you’d wanna catch, particularly when it’s crowded and queues are lengthy.

Some areas, reminiscent of Super Nintendo World, additionally received’t let you enter except you have got an entry ticket so it’s greatest to examine beforehand!

By getting a timed ticket, you’re assured of an entry time into the themed zone. Note that the timed ticket is simply legitimate as soon as, and isn’t relevant for re-entry. While it states that you’ve an hour to discover the realm, fortunately there isn’t anybody to chase you out as soon as you’re inside.

Central Park for Timed Ticket to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter- Osaka USJ Guide-5

Previously, we’d need to queue at a ticketing web site inside USJ at Central Park to acquire our timed ticket, however now you possibly can simply do it on the official USJ app. The better part? It’s completely free.

Choose your time slots properly although and also you would possibly catch spectacular exhibits just like the Expecto Patronum Night Show at Hogwarts Castle at evening.

*Pro-tip: The view on the restaurant 3 Broomsticks is one of the best, so try to get a butterbeer there to benefit from the present. Head inside half-hour earlier than the present because the employees will block the aspect entrance when the present is about to begin.

*Note: The Expecto Patronum Night Show is at the moment not accessible however preserve a lookout on the present schedule for upcoming ones.

9) Stick to the plan however be versatile

Rides & Shows Timetable Board - Osaka USJ Guide-16

If you adopted level 4, it’s best to have a recreation plan in thoughts earlier than coming into the park.

While it’s good to stay to the plan, preserve an eye fixed out for the digital signboards that present the queue occasions across the park or simply examine the official USJ app. You by no means know as a well-liked attraction would possibly change into accessible for no matter purpose!

10) Queue at Single Rider Lanes

Jurassic Park The Ride - Osaka USJ Guide-23

Jurassic Park: The Ride

Jaws The Ride - Osaka USJ Guide-17

Jaws

Unless you actually need to take the experience with your pals or household, at all times queue at Single Rider Lanes if the ready time is lengthy. The Japanese desire sticking collectively, so the Single Rider Lanes are typically emptier and transfer so much sooner.

Who is aware of, you would possibly simply make a brand new pal with a stranger screaming your lungs out collectively.

11) Don’t be shy ask for stickers

Despicable Me Minion Mayhem Ride- Osaka USJ Guide-31

Minion stickers in entrance of the Despicable Me Minion Mayhem Ride.

USJ Stickers - Osaka USJ Guide-38

Souvenirs and merchandise from USJ could be fairly dear. If you need one thing small as a memento, do ask the pleasant employees for stickers! They’ll be very happy to oblige.

In case they will’t perceive your English, do this with a BIG SMILE:

すみません。ステッカーがありますか?
Sumimasen. Sutekkā ga arimasu ka?
(Translation: Excuse me, do you have got stickers?)

*Pro-tip: The Minion stickers can solely be obtained in Minion Park!

Minion Park Soft Toy- Osaka USJ Guide-10

Alternatively you possibly can go window buying within the merchandise outlets.

12) Stick to the centre in Theatre Shows

For one of the best seats in the home, attempt to shuffle your solution to the center of the ready room when watching Theatre Shows. The employees will usher company from left to proper. By standing within the center, you’ll find yourself near the centre of the stage for a greater expertise!

13) Arrive early for common road exhibits & parades

Minion Parade - Osaka USJ Guide-32

Minion Parade.

Wand Magic Show - Osaka USJ Guide-25

Harry Potter Wand Magic Show.

If you’re concerned about catching any of the parades, plan to reach at the least half-hour earlier than the beginning of the present to get a great view. We needed to catch the Minion Parade and Harry Potter Expecto Patronum Night Show twice as a result of our spots have been so unhealthy.

14) Explore your environment

Minion Park Graffiti - Osaka USJ Guide-12
Minion Toilet - Osaka USJ Guide-33

A go to to Universal Studios Japan isn’t solely concerning the rides. It’s concerning the ambiance and vibe too! Lots of consideration has really been put into the decor so keep in mind to discover your environment.

We particularly liked the “Bank of Evil” in Minion Park the place you possibly can withdraw cash from “someone else’s” checking account.

Minion Park Bank of Evil - Osaka USJ Guide-13

You may also hear Moaning Myrtle crying within the women rest room inside The Wizarding World of Harry Potter!

Do share with us different enjoyable particulars you uncovered within the feedback beneath. 🙂

15) Dinner at Universal City Walk

Udon - Osaka USJ Guide-37
Udon place at Universal City Walk - Osaka USJ Guide-36

If you don’t wish to eat in USJ, there are many eating places for all budgets simply exterior at Universal City Walk. The park closes between 7-9PM relying on the day, so you possibly can simply finish the day with a meal after maximising your time within the park.

We had dinner at Udon Kineya Mugimaru on the primary ground, which serves hearty and low-cost udon.

Frequently Asked Questions for USJ

Are the rides and exhibits in English?

Unfortunately, virtually all of the rides and points of interest are in Japanese. It’s a bit odd listening to Harry Potter in Japanese although. However, the Despicable Me Minion Mayhem experience has English subtitles!

Afro Minion - Osaka USJ Guide-20

Banana? Minion speak might be simpler to grasp than the exhibits.

Should I purchase a 1 day or 2 day USJ Studio Pass?

Personally I’ll get the 1 day USJ Studio Pass as a result of I want to spend extra time exploring different components of the Kansai area. But for those who prefer to take issues sluggish, it’s additionally high-quality to get a 2 day USJ Studio Pass.

Read additionally: 8-Day Japan Itinerary: 9 Cities in Kansai for Under S$900

Can I re-enter the park after heading exterior for lunch?

You won’t be allowed to re-enter the park. I’m positive you probably have a real “emergency”, the employees will have the ability to make particular preparations although.

*Pro-tip: We counsel grabbing breakfast from Lawson earlier than coming into the park, munch on snacks for lunch, and have dinner at Universal City Walk.

Minion Bun-USJ Guide Osaka

Minion bao.

Turkey Leg - Osaka USJ Guide-34

Turkey Leg.

What if I want to vary my USJ Ticket dates?

Unfortunately, your USJ tickets and specific passes are legitimate solely on the required date so make sure to plan your itinerary properly to keep away from any cancellations!

What are your favorite points of interest in USJ?

Super Nintendo World View - USJ Osaka Guide

Without a doubt, Super Nintendo World, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Minion Park, and Hollywood Dream Backdrop the experience!

We love Super Nintendo World and Harry Potter a lot that we even purchased wristbands and wands at Ollivanders to work together with completely different zones throughout the areas.

Girl with Mario Wristband - USJ Osaka Guide

Minion Park then again was only a bunch of cuteness. Be positive to hold round for the Minion Parade and photo-taking ops. Hollywood Dream Backdrop is solely one of the best experience within the park.

What snacks ought to I strive in USJ?

Super Mario Pancake Sandwich - USJ Osaka Guide

Mario’s Cap Strawberry Shortcake and Luigi’s Cap No-Bake Grape Cheesecake.

Mario’s/Lugi’s Cap Pancake Sandwich, Minion Cookies at Minion Park (although it’s too cute to eat), and frozen Butterbeer at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter!

Minion Cookie - Osaka USJ Guide-8

Minion Cookies.

Butterbeer at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter- Osaka USJ Guide-27

Butterbeer! Sadly it’s non-alcoholic.

Yummm, possibly it’s time to ebook your tickets to Universal Studios Japan now 😉

Read additionally: Universal Cool Japan 2018: 4 New Attractions at Universal Studios Japan To Relive Your Childhood Nostalgia

Minion Park Photo - Osaka USJ Guide-30

Hope you discovered our final USJ information and ideas for planning a magical expertise helpful. Do share with us your ideas and expertise within the feedback part beneath!


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