I never liked theme parks but Universal Studios Japan was maximum awesome!
Look, this is my first theme park post as I never really had interest in writing about them or sharing my experience but you have to know about Universal Studios Japan!!!! I won’t do a long intro so let’s get to the chase – see how I spent one full day in USJ Osaka (and why you should visit, too!)
Now, this is a bit tricky as I really found Japan trains challenging in terms of transfer. The main point you have to bear in mind is reaching Osaka Station. Once you are there, you need to go to Nishikujo Station and transfer to the Sakurajima Line to Universal City Station. I know it sounds a bit complicated but your keywords are: Nishikujo, Sakurajima line and Universal City.
If you don’t have the Japan Rail ticket, you can purchase a Kansai Area JR 3-day pass that will take you around the Kansai area for unlimited rides. Kyoto is also considered to be part of Kansai so it’s a sweet deal!
1-day passes are also available for Seniors (aged 65 and above). The ticket costs 6,575 yen (7,100 yen with tax) = $59 USD.
I must warn you that lines at Universal Studios Japan can be pretty long with an average wait time of 15 minutes. If this is something you don’t want to do, you can purchase an Express Pass which will entitle you to skip the lines. This costs 12,521 JPY ($112.61 USD) when purchased at Kkday but At USJ, they also have a ‘singles line’ which allows individuals without companions to speed through the rides even without the Express Pass. I’m not sure if you will go explore USJ by yourself but it’s good to know that you can!
If you are inside USJ for a full day (let’s say from 9am – 9pm, you will need at least two big meals and food in USJ are quite expensive. Of course, if you are a hardcore fan of these movies/shows (like One Piece’s Utage Restaurant), it’s really worth trying but if you are on a tight budget, there is a Lawson convenience store by the park gate where you can purchase cheap Japanese food.
Below are the restaurants inside USJ. Feel free to explore them to see what you are going to experience in terms of food.[/us_iconbox]
Highlight # 1 – One Piece Water Battle
Remember the cartoon show, One Piece? If you’re a Monkey D. Luffy fan, this is for you! There will be a stage show by the cast which involves a hardcore water fight with the straw hat crew. Plastic ponchos (or raincoats) are sold in the area so if you didn’t come prepared, you can buy this at Universal Studios Japan.
If you really are a Luffy fan, you might want to check out the One Piece Premiere Show which runs from July 6 – September 30, 2018. They only have this every summer so don’t miss it if you’re in USJ on these dates!
Highlight #2 – Water Surprise Parade
The Water Surprise Parade is a day parade including famous icons like Snoopy, Hello Kitty and of course, the all-time favourite: Minions!!!! It’s very similar to One Piece Water Battle. The only difference here is that the parade is moving. You will still get very wet so keep your ponchos handy!
Highlight #3 – Minion Snow Fight
After a very wet party from the first 2 attractions, we headed to the Minion Snow Fight where I thought I will not be wet but still did!!! They had machine-gun-like poles that were ejecting snow all over the place. The singing spree is also in Japanese but you will dance to how the minions sing. It was really good!
Highlight #4 – Minion Park
There was one goal in visiting the Minion Park: pop-a-nana!!!!! We had popcorns in minion tubs that come in different costumes. I was torn between the Hawaiian Minion and King Minion (literally with a cape and a crown!) but in the end, Hawaiian won!
Highlight #5 – The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
My favourite (and I bet, everyone’s, too)!!!! It looked exactly like how I read it when I was 12 – a cobblestoned shopping area for the wizarding world. I felt like a Hogwarts student purchasing the necessary supplies for the first day of school.
Butter beers at the Leaky Cauldron (order the frozen one!), Owls from Eeylops Owl Emporium, wands from Ollivanders, books from Flourish and Blotts and the great firebolt displayed at the window of the Quality Quidditch Supplies — Diagon Alley is completely hidden from the Muggle world and in here, at Universal Studios Japan, everyone’s a wizard. The magic is real!
Everything Harry Potter. The stores (as in Diagon Alley) are selling wands, robes, and even Firebolts! Make sure to order Butter Beers at the Three Broomsticks Restaurant. Their outdoor area has the castle view.
Indoors, you will see photos moving though there were no confusing staircases. The Fat Lady guarding the doors of Gryffindor was present, too! You must not miss the Harry Potter’s Forbidden Journey because THIS IS THE BEST RIDE you’ll ever experience in any theme parks in the world! I wanted to do it over and over![/us_iconbox][us_message color=”yellow” icon=”fas|check-square”]Fun Fact: Harry Potter almost came to Disney World! Reportedly, Disney pitched a wand shooter attraction with an exit gift shop and a magical creatures petting to be built at the Magic Kingdom, on the former site of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. J.K. Rowling and Warner Bros. didn’t like the idea so it did not push through. .[/us_message][us_separator thick=”3″ style=”dashed” color=”primary” type=”default”]
Highlight #6 – Universal Spectacle Night Parade
Normally, I’d skip parades to avoid the cramp of people going out of theme parks and take the train at the same time but I tell you what – this parade is worth staying for!!!! In this parade, you will get to see everyone again, from Harry Potter to Minions, even Jurassic Park and Transformers!!!! Watch the video above and you’ll see what I mean!
Have you been to Universal Studios Japan?
What was your favourite ride? Did you like the food? How was your experience in general? I’d like to hear your thoughts! Please leave your ideas and suggestions (that may not be in this post) in the comment box below!