When I was traveling in Osaka with a friend, we really wanted to have one day doing something completely different! We headed over to Universal Studios Japan in Osaka on Halloween day! In this post I’m sharing our fun day and information if you want to visit the park yourself!
I have to confess, I am not the biggest fan of themeparks as I don’t like rollercoasters…However, I’d never been to a Universal Studios Park before and this park also has the The Wizarding World of Harry Potter! I am a HUGE Harry Potter fan and was super excited about visiting this part of the Park. It was extra special as we went on Halloween, and most of the visitors were in costume. This really added to the atmosphere, and we had a great time recognizing all the costumes!
Tickets & costs: We bought our tickets the morning when we arrived at USJ (~ 10AM) and it was pretty busy already! We had some difficulty asking about the Express pass, and in the end decided we were getting it anyway. We only had one day, and didn’t want to spend the majority of the day waiting in lines. Tickets are not cheap, in total I spent €125 for the entry tickets + express pass. As food in the park is usually expensive, we bought a lot of snacks & sandwiches in the supermarket n the morning. With our tickets and bags full of snacks, drinks and sandwiches, we were ready to head into the park!
Attractions & Themes: This Universal Studios has several themes: Hollywood, New York (Spiderman!), San Francisco, Minion Park (opened yesterday), Jurassic park (LOVE this), Jaws and Harry Potter. We wandered through the stores first and headed over to Spiderman the 4K3D ride. The wait was 5 minutes (vs. 90 minutes without express pass) and it was my first time on a 4D ride. I won’t give any details away, except that it felt so real I actually had my eyes closed for a split second, it was so much fun!! P.S. 4K3D means 4K resolution + 3D…in other words, it feels as if you’re actually in that world, but you’re in a ride surrounded by 3D images on insane-high resolution screens.
After wandering around and trying some of the smaller rides we made our way to the Jurassic Park ride. I have been a Dino geek since I saw Jurassic Park when I was 7 years old. This ride is quite short but has a spectacular splashy ending! We saw a ton of people in cool costumes in this area, and luckily they were happy for me to take their picture.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: When you enter the park, you need to ask for a separate entry to the Harry Potter part of the park. It does not cost anything extra, but give you a specific time when you can enter The Wizarding World of HP. Our entry time was at 18.00, so we had the famous turkey leg at the lake (seriously, look it up!) before heading over. It was getting dark, so the park already had a much more spooky atmosphere to it.
We headed straight over to the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride, which is 4K3D as well. When you get there, you need to leave everything loose (bag/keys/etc.) in a locker and the chairs are the type they use in roller coasters. I starting doubting….I’m sure I had read this was a 3D ride right?? The waiting line takes you through a very realistic looking Hogwarts, including talking paintings. It even takes you along Dumbledore’s office…and then he started speaking Japanese! Being so used to hearing everything HP related in english, I had somehow forgotten for a second we were in Japan – I was already in Hogwarts in my mind!
As the lady was helping us get on the ride (it moves, so you have to hop on your chair), I have to admit was a little nervous, but extremely excited as well. GUYS, this was the most AMAZING, THRILLING, FUN ride I have EVER been on. I could happily just go on this ride all day. You don’t need to be a HP fan to love this ride…the quality of the immersion is unreal. We were hyped up for another two hours after the ride, it was so thrilling and exciting.
After getting some goodies at the HP store, we headed into Hogsmeade, the town next to the castle, for some Butterbeer (so sweet!) and window shopping. After a long day we headed back towards the subway and headed back towards our Airbnb and trusted neighborhood restaurant for a late dinner.
Would I recommend going to USJ when in Osaka? YES! We had a great day, walking around and looking at all the costumes, the rides, and the rides we went on were great! However, do budget it in, as it is an expensive day out…but one I’m sure you won’t forget soon!
- Getting there: Universal Studio Station on the JR Sakurajima line
- Cost adult normal ticket: 7,600 ¥ (kids 5,100 ¥)
- Cost standard express pass: 5,000 ¥
- Opening hours: 8:30 〜 21:00 (differs per date, so check the website!)
- Website: http://www.usj.co.jp/e/
Have you been to USJ in Osaka? Share your favorite ride with me below!