How to Have an Amazing Day at Universal Studios Japan

Kansai Entertainment Theme park 2019.08.27
Love theme parks? Visiting Osaka? Sounds like you're due for a trip to Universal Studios Japan, aka USJ! Here's a short guide to the park. Before you arrive and start lining up for the park's fun attractions (including Spider-Man, Harry Potter, and Jaws!) let us give you all the details you need.
① How to Get to Universal Studios Japan
  • You'll be riding over on this orange JR train, but more often than not, it's covered with images of Universal Studios characters! Once you get to Universal-City Station, you and everyone else on the train will spill out onto the platform, as the crowd makes its way over to the park itself. From the station to the park it's just a few minutes walk through an area full of shops and restaurants.
② Getting Your Tickets
  • We got our Studio Passes! These are the basic tickets to the park, and they come in one and two day versions. If you're in a bit of a rush, or you don't want to get stuck in lines, you might want to get an Express Pass, which is an additional fee. Especially on busy days during school vacations, lines for popular rides can stretch into multiple hours (2+ hours for spider-man is considered average!), so skipping the long lines can be tempting.
  • The entrance to Universal Studios Japan! Behind us as we take this picture is the famous giant globe, a symbol of the park. When it's lit up at night, tons of people try their best to take a good picture in front of the sculpture.
  • You can buy your tickets in advance all over the city (or online), or you can line up to purchase them day-of. For all the details you can see USJ's official homepage, but for a basic outline of the tickets available:

    1. Studio Passes: basic entrance tickets, giving you free access to most attractions. Available online or at the park.

    1 Day: Adults - 7,400 yen | Children - 5,100 yen
    2 Day: Adults - 14,700 yen | Children - 10,000 yen

    2. Express Passes: tickets that give you priority access to certain rides, purchased on top of Studio Passes. These often sell out day-of, so are better purchased in advance, and come in different varieties. Prices sometimes change depending on the date.

    Universal Express Pass 3 (express access to 3 rides): 6,300 yen
    Universal Express Pass 4 (express access to 4 varying rides): 9,800 yen
    Universal Express Pass 7 (express access to 7 varying rides): 13,800 yen
  • This is a Universal Express Pass 7, with express tickets for seven of the park's attractions. Instead of waiting in line for hours, you can check out all of these popular rides in no time. Whether or not it's worth the price is up to you!
  • With the express pass you get to wait in the special express line, while everyone in the normal line looks on with longing eyes. Be careful with the tickets, they use QR codes to check each one!
③ Where to Start?? Some of USJ's Most Popular Attractions
  • Love rollercoasters? Then you absolutely must not miss Hollywood Dream! It's a classic USJ ride, and it holds up. You can choose the music you want to listen to as you fly through the air - each seat comes with individual speakers and a module to change songs.
  • Perhaps this cultural phenomenon is one we'll never quite understand, but the Jaws ride is absolutely beloved in Japan. Float through the water and get terrorized by animatronic sharks!
  • You might not see any dinosaurs here, but this is the Jurassic Park attraction! These days the Jurassic Park area of the park has been a little overtaken by the new Flying Dinosaur rollercoaster, but you can never replace the fun of a trip through this mini dinosaur safari! If you don't want to get absolutely soaked, try your best to sit towards the back of boat (and towards the middle). If you don't, you might end up like a certain English editor at JAPANKURU, who was completely drenched after a trip down the watery incline.
  • Fit in with the rest of the crowd wandering around USJ; grab a turkey leg to gnaw on! They're pretty huge, so you might be gnawing all the way out of the park.

    Universal Studios Japan is definitely a full day trip for most (unless you only want to go on one or two rides!), but during the rest of your trip to Osaka, don't forget to see Osaka Castle, shop till you drop in Shinsaibashi, and taste all of Osaka's culinary specialties, all over the city.


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