Universal Studios Japan

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!)

[us_iconbox icon=”fas|train” iconpos=”left” size=”100px” title=”Getting to Universal Studios Japan” title_tag=”h6″]

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!
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[us_iconbox icon=”fas|ticket-alt” iconpos=”left” size=”100px” title=”Universal Studios Japan tickets” title_tag=”h6″]The admission ticket includes park entrance and use of all attractions in the park. Guests aged 12 or over are considered adults, those who are aged 4 to 11 are children, and 65 or over are seniors.[/us_iconbox]
[us_pricing items=”%5B%7B%22title%22%3A%221-day%20studio%20pass%20%22%2C%22type%22%3A%22featured%22%2C%22price%22%3A%22%2466%20USD%22%2C%22substring%22%3A%22Adults%20(12%2B)%22%2C%22features%22%3A%22Price%20after%20tax%3A%5Cn%3Cb%3E7%2C900%20JPY%3C%2Fb%3E%20or%20%3Cb%3E%2471%20USD%3C%2Fb%3E%22%2C%22btn_color%22%3A%22light%22%2C%22btn_style%22%3A%22solid%22%2C%22btn_size%22%3A%2215px%22%2C%22btn_iconpos%22%3A%22left%22%7D%2C%7B%22title%22%3A%222-day%20studio%20pass%22%2C%22price%22%3A%22%24111%20USD%22%2C%22substring%22%3A%22Adults%20(12%2B)%22%2C%22features%22%3A%22Price%20after%20tax%3A%5Cn%3Cb%3E13%2C400%20JPY%3C%2Fb%3E%20or%20%3Cb%3E%24120%20USD%3C%2Fb%3E%22%2C%22btn_color%22%3A%22primary%22%2C%22btn_style%22%3A%22solid%22%2C%22btn_size%22%3A%2215px%22%2C%22btn_iconpos%22%3A%22left%22%7D%2C%7B%22title%22%3A%221-day%20studio%20pass%20%22%2C%22type%22%3A%22featured%22%2C%22price%22%3A%22%2445%20USD%22%2C%22substring%22%3A%22Kids%20(ages%204-11)%22%2C%22features%22%3A%22Price%20after%20tax%3A%5Cn%3Cb%3E7%2C900%20JPY%3C%2Fb%3E%20or%20%3Cb%3E%2449%20USD%3C%2Fb%3E%22%2C%22btn_color%22%3A%22primary%22%2C%22btn_style%22%3A%22solid%22%2C%22btn_size%22%3A%2215px%22%2C%22btn_iconpos%22%3A%22left%22%7D%2C%7B%22title%22%3A%222-day%20studio%20pass%22%2C%22price%22%3A%22%2475%20USD%22%2C%22substring%22%3A%22Kids%20(ages%204-11)%22%2C%22features%22%3A%22Price%20after%20tax%3A%20%5Cn%3Cb%3E9%2C000%20JPY%3C%2Fb%3E%20or%20%3Cb%3E%2481%20USD%3C%2Fb%3E%22%2C%22btn_color%22%3A%22primary%22%2C%22btn_style%22%3A%22solid%22%2C%22btn_size%22%3A%2215px%22%2C%22btn_iconpos%22%3A%22left%22%7D%5D”][us_message color=”yellow” icon=”fas|dollar-sign”]As per Japanese rule, the consumption tax is a flat 8% on all items.[/us_message]

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!

[us_iconbox icon=”fas|calendar-alt” iconpos=”left” size=”100px” title=”Best time to go to Universal Studios Japan” title_tag=”h6″]Lucky for us, Osaka can be visited all-year round because of its temperate weather. I visited during the low season (July) where Osaka is very hot and humid. Summer in Osaka is from June – August. Fall is also a good time to go to USJ (October and November) and Spring, from March to May. [/us_iconbox]
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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]

[us_iconbox icon=”fas|wifi” iconpos=”left” size=”100px” title=”WiFi at Universal Studios Japan” title_tag=”h6″]”USJ_Free_Wifi” is available under the canopy (near the entrance) for 15 minutes per period of use, up to three periods of use per day. In this trip, I needed live updates on Instagram so my ever reliable Tep Wireless was the best companion![/us_iconbox][us_separator thick=”3″ style=”dashed” color=”primary” type=”default”]

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!

[us_iconbox icon=”far|lightbulb” iconpos=”left” size=”52px” title=”What to expect in the One Piece Water Battle” title_tag=”h6″]You will be standing in front of a stage where the cast will have a skit in Japanese. You probably won’t understand anything but if you know the story, then you will be able to follow. You will engage in a fight with the cast (honestly, I didn’t know when the water fight will happen; I just followed everyone’s lead). As the name suggests, you’re going to be very very wet so make sure you cover yourself and/or have extra clothes. Keep your gadgets covered, too! You will get to interact with the One Piece characters so it’s really going to be fun![/us_iconbox]
[us_message color=”yellow” icon=”fas|check-square”]Fun Fact: There is a French restaurant that serves food items “cooked by” Sanji, chef of the Straw Hat Pirates. There is also a souvenir shop dedicated for One Piece Items![/us_message][us_separator thick=”3″ style=”dashed” color=”primary” type=”default”]

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!

[us_iconbox icon=”far|lightbulb” iconpos=”left” size=”52px” title=”What to expect in the Water Surprise Parade” title_tag=”h6″]The parade peeps have more top of the line water guns and the street posts where the parade is passing by are ejecting water, too! There is no way you’re going to be dry in this activity so get ready! You also need to make sure to be in a good spot when the show starts. It can get really packed![/us_iconbox]
[us_message color=”yellow” icon=”fas|check-square”]Fun Fact: Universal Studios Japan has not featured a day parade since the fantastic Reborn parade ended in March 2017.[/us_message][us_separator thick=”3″ style=”dashed” color=”primary” type=”default”]

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!

[us_iconbox icon=”far|lightbulb” iconpos=”left” size=”52px” title=”What to expect in the Minion Snow Fight” title_tag=”h6″]This is also a standing position (facing the stage) so make sure to secure a good spot before it starts. People of all ages will participate in the water fight, I even let the kids aim at me! [/us_iconbox]
[us_message color=”yellow” icon=”fas|check-square”]Fun Fact: The Minions’ language may sound like gibberish, but many of their phrases will be recognisable. “Banana” is banana (natch), Bapples is apples, para tú is rough Spanish meaning “for you” and “gelato” is ice cream. Each word in “minion-ese” translates to an actual word.[/us_message][us_separator thick=”3″ style=”dashed” color=”primary” type=”default”]

Highlight #4 – Minion Park

Universal Studios Japan

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!

[us_gallery ids=”18361,18362″ layout=”masonry” columns=”2″ indents=”1″ img_size=”us_600_0″][us_iconbox icon=”far|lightbulb” iconpos=”left” size=”52px” title=”What to expect in the Minion Park” title_tag=”h6″]There will be minions everywhere you look. Their voices are also echoing in the entire park singing songs that you won’t understand but is pleasant to the ear! There are also rides inside the park for kids and adults.[/us_iconbox]
[us_message color=”yellow” icon=”fas|check-square”]Fun Fact: I never watched the Minions Movie or Despicable Me. But I did watch it at my hotel after visiting USJ![/us_message][us_separator thick=”3″ style=”dashed” color=”primary” type=”default”]

Highlight #5 – The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Universal Studios Japan

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!

[us_iconbox icon=”far|lightbulb” iconpos=”left” size=”52px” title=”What to expect in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” title_tag=”h6″]

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!

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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!

[us_separator type=”default”][us_iconbox icon=”fab|pinterest” title=”Going to USJ soon?”]This guide can come handy! Hover the image on the left and pin it to Pinterest! [/us_iconbox]
[us_separator thick=”3″ style=”dashed” color=”primary” type=”default”][us_cta title=”Liked this article? Did it help?” btn_link=”url:https%3A%2F%2Fwww.paypal.com%2Fcgi-bin%2Fwebscr%3Fcmd%3D_s-xclick%26hosted_button_id%3D7R5AVNGH99CSU||target:%20_blank|rel:nofollow” btn_label=”Buy coffee for Trisha”]I take my time in creating the best content that will help you plan your travels smoothly. Money is also required in order to maintain this blog but I won’t ask for that! You can spare a dollar or two to my coffee fund, only if you think this blog is helpful![/us_cta][us_separator thick=”3″ style=”dashed” color=”primary” type=”default”]

Keep on exploring!

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Trisha is one of those people who left their comfortable life to travel the world and learn about life. Her style is to stay in one place she likes for 3 months (or more) to know what it feels like to eat, cook, speak, and sleep in another culture that isn’t hers. She'd like to believe she's not traditionally traveling but she just chooses to be somewhere else all the time. In no particular order, her favorite cities in the world are Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Hong Kong, Mexico City, and Tel Aviv.

Comments

  • August 7, 2018

    Fantastic! Looks like so much fun! Japan just do everything great!! <3 <3 <3

    reply

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