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Insider Tips And Secrets To Get The Most Out Of A Day At Universal Studios Japan!

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Beatrice Lee

Klook Travel Curator

A magical world awaits at Universal Studios Japan!


*Updated 6 June 2017.

You can’t visit Osaka and NOT visit Universal Studios Japan, but with so many other like-minded tourists and locals thinking the same, planning a trip to one of Japan’s favourite theme parks can prove to be quite the nightmare!

The Klook Team recently had the chance to visit this amazing place and here are some insider tips and tricks of our own!

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USJ opens at different times every day!

1. What time does Universal Studios Japan open?

Universal Studios Japan’s opening hours vary a lot between seasons so it’s best to check the official website for the most up to date information. Alternatively, you can purchase the Universal Studios Japan VIP Wristband for insider information on park opening hours and front of line admission for certain rides!

USJ VIP Wristband

With this wristband, you’ll receive an email a day before alerting you of the opening times so you are among the first to enter the park through the VIP line. Additionally, you also get access to view Osaka’s skyline from the tallest building in Japan, HARUKAS 300.

Universal Studios Japan typically opens between 8:30am and 9:30am and closes between 7:00pm and 9:00pm with longer opening hours on weekends and public holidays.

*Do note the VIP Wristband has to be collected from HARUKAS 300 the day before your intended Universal Studios Japan visit.

2. When is the best time to visit Universal Studios Japan?

Wednesdays and Thursdays are the best days to visit as crowds start to stream in from Friday till Tuesday.

While Universal Studios Japan sees huge traffic throughout the year, we think the best time to visit is during the Universal Cool Japan season which happens usually during the first half of the year. For those who haven’t heard of Universal Cool Japan, it’s when the park themes up with Japanese entertainment brands to bring you some of the most exciting attractions like Sailor Moon, Final Fantasy and Detective Conan!

3. What time is the last ride?

Rides typically close at 6.30pm, though shows and experiences like Ollivander’s run till approximately 7pm.

4. Can I bring food from outside into the park?

Nope! Stringent bag checks are conducted at the entrance of Universal Studios Japan and all prohibited items will not be allowed on park grounds.

Universal Studios Japan is definitely not short on food options including this delicious food platter from The Three Broomsticks and Butterbeer which tastes every bit as delicious as it sounds.

Pick from three varieties: hot, cold or frozen (available in Summer). The hot version came with a hint of ginger and was much sweeter than the cold version.

Klook Pro-Tip: There are two Butterbeer carts in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – skip the one closer to the entrance and head for the less crowded one nearer to The Flight of the Hippogriff instead for significantly shorter waiting times!

If you’re looking for something Japanese,head to the Happiness Cafe for some delicious Minion Japanese curry Omurice, that is almost too cute to eat! They also have Minion burgers if you’re looking for a Western option.

Without an Express Pass, prepare to wait 2 hours for your ride.

5. How long do I need to wait at each attraction?

Waiting times vary from five minutes to a whopping two hours, so be prepared to wait especially for more popular rides like The Flying Dinosaur and Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey™ in 4K3D.

Can’t wait? No worries! Express Passes will help you to make the most of your trip to Universal Studios Japan.

6. How do I get my hands on Express Passes?

Don’t push your patience to its limits, jump to the front of the lines with an Express Pass!

With so many different Express Passes available things can get quite complicated, so we've broken down the different types of Express Passes available on Klook so you know which one's for you.

Universal Express® Pass 4 - Standard

Inclusive of fast-track entry to:

  • A: Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey™ in 4K3D
  • B: Despicable Me Minion Mayhem
  • C: The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man The Ride 4K3D OR Hollywood Dream The Ride
  • D: JAWS® OR Terminator 2:3-D® OR Backdraft®

A & B are time-designated, meaning you will have to visit within the time printed on your pass.

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Universal Express® Pass 4 - The Flying Dinosaur

Inclusive of fast-track entry to:

  • A: Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey™ in 4K3D
  • B: The Flying Dinosaur
  • C: The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man The Ride 4K3D OR Jurassic Park The Ride®
  • D: JAWS® OR Terminator 2:3-D® OR Backdraft®

A & B are time-designated, meaning you will have to visit within the time printed on your pass.

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Universal Express® Pass 4 - Minion Ride

Inclusive of fast-track entry to:

  • A: Despicable Me Minion Mayhem
  • B: Space Fantasy - The Ride
  • C: The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man - The Ride 4K3D OR Backdraft®
  • D: JAWS® OR Terminator 2:3-D®

A & B are time-designated, meaning you will have to visit within the time printed on your pass.

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Universal Express® Pass 7 - Standard

Inclusive of fast-track entry to:

  • A: Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey™ in 4K3D
  • B: Flight of the Hippogriff™
  • C: Despicable Me Minion Mayhem
  • D: Space Fantasy The Ride
  • E: The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man The Ride 4K3D OR JAWS®
  • F: Hollywood Dream The Ride OR Backdraft®
  • G: Jurassic Park The Ride® OR Terminator 2:3-D®

A, B, C, D are time-designated, meaning you will have to visit within the time printed on your pass.

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Universal Express® Pass 7 - Backdrop

Inclusive of fast-track entry to:

  • A: Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey™ in 4K3D
  • B: Flight of the Hippogriff™
  • C: Despicable Me Minion Mayhem
  • D: Hollywood Dream The Ride
  • E: The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man The Ride 4K3D OR JAWS®
  • F: Hollywood Dream The Ride OR Backdraft®
  • G: Jurassic Park The Ride® OR Terminator 2:3-D®

A, B, C, D are time-designated, meaning you will have to visit within the time printed on your pass.

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Universal Express® Pass 7 - The Flying Dinosaur

Inclusive of fast-track entry to:

  • A: The Flying Dinosaur
  • B: Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey™ in 4K3D
  • C: Flight of the Hippogriff™
  • D: Despicable Me Minion Mayhem
  • E: The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man The Ride 4K3D OR JAWS®
  • F: Hollywood Dream The Ride OR Backdraft®
  • G: Jurassic Park The Ride® OR Terminator 2:3-D®

A, B, C, D are time-designated, meaning you will have to visit within the time printed on your pass.

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Universal Studios Japan Royal Express Pass

For true USJ fans, The Royal Express Pass is the stuff of your dreams! Enjoy guaranteed timed entry to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, fast-track entry to six popular attractions, UNLIMITED queue jumps for other classic rides and prime seating for WaterWorld and Universal Monsters Live Rock And Roll Show!

There are only 200 Royal Studio Passes available each day, so you'll have to be quick to secure yours for the ultimate USJ experience.

Royal Studio Pass (10:00am)

  • 10:00am entry to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter area
  • 10:20am-10:50am Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey in 4K3D
  • 10:50am-11:20am Flight of the Hippogriff
  • 11:50am-1:20pm Hollywood Dream The Ride
  • 1:50pm-2:20pm The Flying Dinosaur
  • 3:50pm-4:20pm Despicable Me Minion Mayhem

Royal Studio Pass (11:00am)

  • 11:00am entry to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter area
  • 11:20am-11:50am Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey in 4K3D
  • 11:50am-12:20pm Flight of the Hippogriff
  • 1:50pm-2:20pm Hollywood Dream The Ride
  • 2:50pm-3:20pm The Flying Dinosaur
  • 4:50pm-5:20pm Despicable Me Minion Mayhem

Royal Studio Pass (12:00pm)

  • 12:00 entry to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter area
  • 12:20pm-12:50pm Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey in 4K3D
  • 12:50pm-1:20pm Flight of the Hippogriff
  • 2:50pm-3:20pm Hollywood Dream The Ride
  • 3:50pm-4:20pm The Flying Dinosaur
  • 5:50pm-6:20pm Despicable Me Minion Mayhem

Royal Studio Pass (2:00pm)

  • 2:00pm entry to to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter area
  • 2:20pm-2:50pm Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey in 4K3D
  • 2:50pm-3:20pm Flight of the Hippogriff
  • 4:50pm-5:20pm Hollywood Dream The Ride
  • 5:50pm-6:20pm The Flying Dinosaur
  • 7:50pm-8:20pm Despicable Me Minion Mayhem

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7. When are the parades and special performances?

Head to the Guest Services Center at the entrance and pick up a brochure with the show and parade times of the week! This will help you plan your visit in the park, ensuring that you don’t miss out on the exciting shows whilst on the rides.

You’ll be wanting to stay till the the end of the night to catch Universal Studios Japan’s “Universal Spectacle Night Parade - Best of Hollywood”. Check out where the best seats of the house are as well as how to score these seats in our Night Parade guide!

8. Where can I buy tickets online?

Tickets can be purchased at the Universal Studios ticket booths near the park entrance, partner hotels or via official partners like Klook. You can also purchase the Express Pass here on Klook, even if you have already purchased your own tickets.

Re-entry is restricted – once you leave, there’s no going back in.

Note: Only purchase your Universal Studios Japan tickets from an official partner. Tickets purchased from external sources that are not official partners of the park may be denied.

8. Where can I buy tickets online?

Tickets can be purchased at the Universal Studios ticket booths near the park entrance, partner hotels or via official partners like Klook. You can also purchase the Express Pass here on Klook, even if you have already purchased your own tickets.

Re-entry is restricted – once you leave, there’s no going back in.

Note: Only purchase your Universal Studios Japan tickets from an official partner. Tickets purchased from external sources that are not official partners of the park may be denied.

9. What is Timed Entry?

During peak periods you will need a Timed Entry Ticket in order to enter the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. You’ll be able to obtain this ticket before your visit, or on the day of admission.

Purchasing an Express Pass beforehand will give you access to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. includes the timed entry ticket (except for Express Pass 4 – Flying Dinosaur). To get the Timed Entry tickets on-site, proceed to the ticketing site at Central Park inside Universal Studios and get it for free.

The ticketing site is located next to Jaws, the big shark statue (see map). The machine requires you choose a desired time of entrance. Get your ticket and make your way to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter once the chosen time comes. Remember that this ticket can only be used at designated times and once you miss your slot, the ticket cannot be re-issued.

To ensure you have the best chances of getting in, make sure to go to the ticket machines as soon as you enter the park!

Klook Pro-Tip: Purchase the USJ VIP Wristband as an add-on and be one of the first few in line for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter!

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10. What’s in the Minion Park?

Between the New York and Jurassic Park themed lands, sits Universal Studios Japan’s latest addition, the Minion Park. Recently opened in April, the park features attractions like the Despicable Me Minion Mayhem 4D ride, Minion-themed eateries, goods stores, playlands, and designated photo op areas.

Being the newest and largest Minion Park in the world, it’s incredibly popular with visitors. It’s absolute Minion mayhem at the park, so best is to head there as soon as the park gates open if you want to beat the crowd! You can also purchase the USJ VIP wristband to make sure you’re one of the first ones in.

The Minion-themed snacks and tidbits will also have you catching Minion fever! You can find giant Minion-inspired cookies and banana-flavored popcorn that comes in the cutest Minion popcorn bucket to fill not only your tummy, but also all of your heart’s Minion desires.

Photo Credits: Left, Right.

11. When are the fireworks?

Universal Studios Japan only has fireworks on special occasions such as New Year’s Eve or Christmas Day. There aren’t any fireworks on regular park opening days, but visiting The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in the evening is highly recommended.

In the darkness, the street looks even more magical with soft lighting from the shops and animated objects moving about in the windows. Plus, the view of Hogwarts Castle at night beats fireworks on any given day!

P.S. Have you discovered the new Wand Magic locations in the park? Ask a Wand Assistant for help in learning new spells!

Klook Pro-Tip: The best picture you’ll get of Hogwarts Castle isn’t in front of it but from the outdoor courtyard of The Three Broomsticks where you’ll be able to capture the castle together with its reflection on the Black Lake (the only one in the world!).

12. Where can I get USJ special stickers?

This may not be a very well-known fact but you can actually get free special stickers throughout the park! Souvenirs can get pretty pricey, so these stickers are great as mementos. Look out for staff members and if you ask them nicely, they will most likely give them to you. Not all staff members carry the stickers with them though, so try to find the ones with a fanny pack. Also, if it’s your birthday, you get a special sticker as well!

Photo Credit: Source

13. How do I get there?

Some hotels in Osaka provide shuttle services to Universal Studios Japan, so it’s always a good idea to check

By Bus: From Kansai Airport: Duration: 35-75 minutes Cost: 1550 yen Frequency: hourly

From Itami Airport Duration: 45 minutes Cost: 930 yen Frequency: hourly

By Train: From Namba The theme park is a 5-minute walk from Universal City Station (JR Yumesaki Line). Hanshin Namba Line to Nishikujo (4th stop) then transfer to JR Yumesaki Line and get off at Universal City Station Duration: 25 minutes Cost: 360 yen Frequency: ~1 train per 15 minutes

By Ferry Captain Line transfers people to and from Universal Studios Japan and Osaka Aquarium Duration: 10 minutes Cost: 700 yen one way, 1300 yen round trip Frequency: 1-2 ferries per hour

Enjoy unlimited train rides, food discounts and free entry to 30 attractions in Osaka with the Osaka Amazing Pass! Don’t forget to pick up some WiFi and share all your memories with your loved ones!

14. Are there family friendly facilities?

If you’re bringing the whole family out for a day at Universal Studios Japan, don’t fret! Apart from stroller and wheelchair rentals, there are also changing rooms and lockers for all your needs.

Your Universal Studios Japan adventure starts here


Universal Studios Japan 1 Day E-Ticket

Enjoy instant confirmation when you Klook your open-dated Universal Studios Japan entry ticket!

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USJ VIP Wristband + Harukas 300 Observatory Pass

Be one of the first few into Universal Studios Japan and visit the tallest building in Japan!

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Universal Studios Japan Ticket (1.5 Day Pass)

Want to spend more time at Universal Studios Japan? Klook a 1.5 day pass! Enter after 3pm on day 1 and go all out on day 2!

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