A magical world awaits at Universal Studios Japan!
*Updated 4 March 2019.
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!
Purchase the right ticket for your dates at USJ
Studio Passes to USJ are now split into three different types:
- Ticket A
- Ticket B
- Ticket C
Listed from the cheapest to the most expesnisve, the different types of tickets correspond to specific dates at which you can enter USJ.
Be sure to check the official Studio Pass Price Calendar before you buy your tickets, to ensure that you're holding the correct ticket for you park entry!
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!
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.
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.
Universal Cool Japan 2019 celebrates five years of Cool Japan from January 18 to August 25. There's a new Lupin the Third XR Ride, a Detective Conan restaurant mystery experience, limited edition USJ food items and more!
With the USJ VIP 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.
*Do note the VIP Wristband has to be collected from HARUKAS 300 the day before your intended Universal Studios Japan visit.
3. 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.
Stop by the Wizarding World of Harry Potter for some Butterbeer! Pick from three varieties: hot, cold or frozen (available only 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! The Minion Pizza, topped with corn and grilled sausage, is a surprisngly delicious Western option with a Japanese twist.
For more USJ must-eats, check out our USJ food guide here!
4. 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! USJ Express Passes will help you to make the most of your trip to Universal Studios Japan.
5. 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 the USJ Express Pass!
With so many different Express Passes available, things can get confusing. We've broken down the different types of Express Passes available on Klook so you know which one's for you.
Universal Studios Japan Royal Studio Pass
For true USJ fans, The USJ Royal Studio 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!
Klook Tip: 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.* Book at least 14 days* prior to your expected date of entry to ensure that your physical ticket and wristband will be valid on the day you're headed to USJ.
For the time-designated attractions, you have to visit them at a specific time, depending on your Royal Studio Pass time. Click here for a full breakdown of the Royal Express Pass timed attractions. *Note that from Jan 18 2019, the Evangelion XR Ride will be changed to the Lupin the 3rd Car Chase XR Ride.
6. 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!
7. 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.
8. What is Timed Entry?
During peak periods you will need a Timed Entry Ticketin 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 a timed entry access to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
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!
9. What’s in the Minion Park?
Between the New York and Jurassic Park zones lies Minion Park. This Minion town features attractions like the Despicable Me Minion Mayhem 4D ride, Minion-themed eateries, playlands, and designated photo op areas.
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!
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.
10. 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!).
11. 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
12. 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
13. 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.