You cannot leave Osaka without visiting Universal Studios Japan. But with other tourists and locals thinking the same, the park will surely be crowded. In this blog post, I’ll be sharing my tips on how to maximize your day at Universal Studios Japan. If you are planning a trip to Japan, there are also several great Discover Japan tours available.
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How much is the Universal Studios Japan studio pass?
There are three different types of tickets, Ticket A, B and C. Ticket A is the cheapest and Ticket C is the most expensive. The tickets you are required to purchase will depend on which dates you will be visiting. If it is peak season, then ticket C is the one you need to purchase.
There is also a special ticket which is the 1.5 Day Pass. If you purchase this, you are able to enter the park at 3 P.M on the first day, and the whole day the following day. You can have more time to enjoy the rides and attractions with this ticket. If you purchase the 1.5 Day Pass, then you need to claim it at either the Kansai International Airport or Osaka City Air Terminal (OCAT).
Universal Studios Japan Express Pass
Express Pass is similar to the fast pass version of Disney parks. However, unlike the fast passes in Disney parks, express pass in Universal Studios is not free. They are also very expensive since it’s like buying another studio pass. But due to the popularity of Universal Studios Japan to both tourists and locals, the waiting time can go up to five hours on peak days. With the express pass, you can skip the long lines. You have a separate line only for express pass holders and you will also be prioritized.
Universal Studios Japan VIP Wristband
You can also choose to purchase the VIP wristband that allows you to enter the park 15 minutes earlier. You have special entry and a different queue found at the gift shop beside the main entrance. This is the more affordable alternative to the Express pass. You can enter the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and queue for the Forbidden Journey ride before the studio pass holder can enter the park.
You have to claim it at Harukas 300 the day before you visit Universal Studios Japan. Harukas 300 is the tallest building not only in Osaka but in Japan. It is also an observatory deck and you can see the view of Osaka from above.
When to visit Universal Studios Japan?
Universal Studios Japan is the fourth most popular theme park in the world. Any tourists who visit Osaka will definitely include Universal Studios Japan on their itinerary. Hence, weekends and holidays are peak season and wait time can go up to five hours. The holidays that you need to avoid are:
- Spring Break ( March 25 to around April 5 )
- Golden Week (April 29 – May 5)
- Summer ( July 20 to August 31 )
- New Year ( December 31 to January 5)
Wednesdays and Thursdays are generally the best days in the week to visit Universal Studios Japan since there will be fewer crowds. Most Japanese usually file for long weekends so Mondays and Fridays can be crowded too. We went on a Wednesday and there were not many crowds. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter does not even require a timed entry ticket which is to control the crowds inside the attraction.
How to get to Universal Studios Japan?
Unlike Disney parks or Universal Studios Singapore where you need to take a one hour train ride to reach the park, that is not the case with Universal Studios Japan. The park is located in the city center which makes it more accessible.
The easiest and most convenient way of transportation is to ride the train. The nearest train station is the Universal City Station on JR Yumesaki Line. Once you arrive at the station, it is just a walking distance from the park gates.
Universal Cool Japan
Every year there is a special event in the park called Universal Cool. 2019 marks the 5th anniversary of Universal Cool Japan. There are also new attractions such as the Detective Conan Mystery Restaurant, the Lupin VR Rollercoaster, and the restaurant. They also brought back the Detective Conan Escape Room from last year. I am a big fan of the anime Detective Conan and was so happy that they are also selling Detective Conan merchandise. I even bought the Detective Conan popcorn bucket.
Universal Cool Japan is divided into two, spring and summer. Detective Conan and Lupin attractions are part of the spring attractions. The summer attraction includes Sailor Moon, Attack on Titan and One piece. Even though I am a big fan of Detective Conan, I feel like the summer attractions are usually much better compared to the spring one. Since this is a limited-time attraction, expect long waiting times for their attractions.
Best Rides and Attractions in Universal Studios Japan
There are two Universal Studios Park in Asia, one in Singapore and another one here in Osaka. There is a lot of difference between the two parks and the main thing is that only the park in Osaka has the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Due to its popularity and small size, you need to have a timed entry ticket in order to enter this part of the park. This is to maintain the crowds that enter the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Another popular ride in Universal Studios Japan is the flying dinosaur which also features the world’s longest track and the farthest initial drop. If you love extreme rides, I highly suggest Flying Dinosaur. Japanese loves extreme rides so this ride has one of the longest waiting times.
The Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem ride is one of the newer attractions that’s why it also has a long waiting time. I am not really a fan of the minions so it’s not really my favorite but if you are a fan, I’m sure you’ll love this ride.
One of my favorite rides in Universal Studios Japan is The Amazing Adventure of Spider-Man The Ride: 4K3D. I’ve always loved Marvel movies so I really enjoy this ride. It also has a long waiting time but not as long as compared to Forbidden Journey and Flying Dinosaur.
One of the things that make Universal Studios Japan unique is that they included the Kawaii culture of Japan into this park. Kids and kids at heart will surely enjoy Universal Wonderland where you can meet cute characters such as Hello Kitty, Snoopy, and others. There was also an Easter celebration when we visited.
We went on this Hello Kitty’s Cupcake Dream ride in Universal Wonderland. It reminds me of the Mad Tea Party ride in Disney parks. Instead of teacups, we were sitting on Hello Kitty cupcakes.
Hello Kitty and Dear Daniel were roaming around Universal Wonderland when we went. They were happy to greet and take photos with guests. They were also dressed in Easter costumes
Universal Studios Japan Single Rider Lines
Universal Studios Japan also has single rider lines. Japanese like to be in a group so they usually do not go to the single rider line. To make most out of your trip to Universal Studios Japan, I highly suggest taking advantage of the single rider lines.
These are the rides that have single rider lines:
- Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
- The Amazing Adventure of Spider-Man The Ride: 4K3D
- The Flying Dinosaur
- Jurassic Park The Ride
- Hollywood Dream
- Space Fantasy – The Ride
There might only be 7 rides included in the single rider lines but these are popular rides with long wait times. You can queue at the single rider line with your family, you just won’t be seated together.
Where to eat in Universal Studios Japan?
Food is always a part of the theme park experience. Although food inside the park can be pricey, the experience makes it worth it too. I love eating at themed restaurants whenever in theme parks. The Three Broomsticks in Wizarding World of Harry Potter is one of the famous restaurants in the park. If you go to the balcony area, you can also have a beautiful view of the Hogwarts Castle
The iconic Mel’s drive-in is also a popular restaurant not only in Universal Studios Japan but in other Universal Studios park as well. I love the theme of this restaurant, it feels like you’ve been transported to another time.
Your Thoughts and Comments
Have you visited Universal Studios Japan? What did you like and dislike about it? Do you have any additional questions regarding the park? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
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