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Long before traveling to Japan I already knew I was going to visit Osaka and one of the best attractions for movie junkies like us – Universal Studios Japan! Universal Studios Japan ranked Japan’s best theme park two years in a row, for a good reason. Universal Studio opened its doors to the public in 2001 and was the first Universal theme park to operate within the Asian region.
Universal Studios Japan is not the typical cultural experience in Japan but after 20 days of traveling around the country and visiting more than 30 temples and shrines, it was time for something new! Universal Studio is an American themed park but having in mind it is operating in Osaka, it will be no surprise that everything that’s happening inside the park will be in Japanese and not in English. So, don’t worry, you won’t forget the fact you are in Japan!
How to get to it:
Universal Studios Japan is very easily accessible from Osaka city center. For example, if you are traveling from Namba Station it will take about 20 minutes and 2 lines (Hanshin-Namba Line & Sakurajima Line or Sen-Nichimae Line & Osaka Loop Line). Get out at Universal City Station and from here you will just have to follow the crowd for 5 minutes in order to get to the entrance gates of Universal Studios Japan.
There are three different Studio Passes for Universal Studio Japan: “1 Day Studio Pass”, “2 Day Studio Pass” and “1.5 Day Studio Pass”. No matter which one you want to buy, just buy your tickets online in advance unless you enjoy queuing to enter the park! Especially on weekends and holidays, tickets are often sold out at the park so buying the tickets online is still the best option! You can buy tickets online at the official Universal Studios Japan ticket website or at websites like Klook or Voyagin.
“1 Day Studio Pass” allows visiting the park for one day and costs about 7.400 Yen (62 €) for adults and 5.100 Yen (42 €) for children (4-11). But remember – once you have exited the park you cannot re-enter it!
“2 Day Studio Pass” allows visiting the park for two days and costs about 13.400 Yen (110 €) for adults, 9.000 Yen (75 €) for children (4-11). Again – once you have exited the park you cannot re-enter it on the same day.
“1.5 Day Studio Pass” allows visiting the park after 3 pm on day 1 and the whole day on day 2. The “1.5 Day Studio Pass” costs about 10.900 Yen (90 €) for adults. Again – once you have exited the park you cannot re-enter it on the same day.
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Universal Express Pass
“Universal Express Pass” is the option for those who don’t want to queue for attractions and are willing to pay more. We visited Universal Studios Japan during a weekday in June, which is both not the peak time to visit the park and that’s why we decided not to buy the “Universal Express Pass”. But on weekends and during holidays it is no exception to see 320-minute waiting time for the most popular rides such as “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey”, “The Flying Dinosaur” or “Hollywood Dream”. An Express pass allows you to use the Express Lane of an attraction once. You can buy “Universal Express Pass” online at the official Universal Studios Japan ticket website or at websites like Klook or Voyagin. Prices start at 4.200 Yen (35 €) and may vary depending on the day and season. Also good to know is that “Universal Express Passes” are limited and can be sold out very fast!
These are the most common types of Express passes:
“Express Pass 3”: Allows you to use Express Lanes for 3 rides
“Express Pass 4”: Allows you to use Express Lanes for 4 rides, incl. “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey”
“Express Pass 6”: Allows you to use Express Lanes for 6 rides, incl “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey”
“Express Pass 7”: Allows you to use Express Lanes for 7 rides, incl. “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey”, and “The Flying Dinosaur” or “Backdrop”
Park Overview and Attractions
Universal Studios Japan consists of various themed zones and the first one you will pass after entering is Hollywood! Some other themed zones are New York, Minion Park, Jurassic Park, San Francisco, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Amity Village, and Universal Wonderland.
This post is part of the series Japan Other posts in this series: Must Visit…
Attractions: incl. Rides
Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, Flight of the Hippogriff, The Flying Dinosaur, Hollywood Dream, Hollywood Dream Backdrop, Space Fantasy, Minions Mayhem, The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman, Jurassic World, Jaws, Snoopy and Hello Kitty, Universal Wonderland incl. Sesame Street, Minions Park, etc.
Sing on Tour, The Night Parade, Water Wolrd, Terminator, Backdraft, Universal Monsters, Shrek, Sesame Street, etc.
Tips for visiting Universal Studios Japan
- Buy your tickets online and in advance unless you enjoy queuing to enter the park!
- Download the Universal Studios Japan app. The app includes a map with GPS that shows your location in the park as well as how long you will have to wait for the park.
- Check park opening times online because they vary even within a week.
- Arrive as early as possible in order to get faster inside the park and to get the most out of your day!
- Bring some water and something to eat! Universal Studios Japan has many food options but they are really expensive.
- See at least one show!
- The best time to visit Universal Studios Japan is in the early morning or late afternoon during a non-holiday weekday. Avoid Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, and Holidays!
- If you visit the park on a weekend or public holiday, get an express pass for the popular rides!
- Try to do the rides “Flying Dinosaur”, “Hollywood Dream”, and “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” after entering the park. The waiting time could get longer than 300 minutes during peak times.
- Take advantage of the Single Rider lines: Space Fantasy, The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, Hollywood Dream, Harry Potter, and the Forbidden Journey, The Flying Dinosaur, Jurassic Park.
Ready to visit Japan? Start looking for your Japan accommodation now while it’s fresh in your mind.
Want stylish accommodation in Japan you can afford?. Find the cheapest prices for the best accommodations possible:
- Click here to search for hotels in Japan (Booking.com)
- Click here to search apartments in Japan (Airbnb + up to 40 € off)
- Click here to search hostels in Japan (Agoda)
If you are flying to Japan it is beneficial to use a flight comparison site to find the cheapest flights. I recommend and use Kiwi.com.
Rental Car in Japan
Rentalcars.com searches all the big car rental companies in Japan and finds the best price for you. This is probably the easiest way to rent a car in Japan and around the World.
If you are the type of person who prefers joining a tour, there are all kinds of guided tours around Japan including Mount Fuji.
Enjoy the day!
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Where to Stay in Osaka
As you would expect from a major Japanese city, Osaka has no shortage of options when it comes to accommodation. As always, I’d suggest you stay somewhere central, to make accessing all the attractions as easy as possible.
The best places to stay in Osaka are Namba and Umeda. However, my suggestion would be to stay near Namba Station. from Namba station it is an easy 5-minute walk to Dotonbori Arcade, plenty of shops, cafes, restaurants and street food options.
You can find alternative hotels in Dotonbori here.
You can find apartments in Osaka here (Airbnb + up to 41 € off).
Read more reviews and compare Osaka hotel prices here.
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Continue reading this series:
Osaka: Interesting And Little Known Facts About Osaka