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Universal Studios Japan: Complete Guide to Osaka's Huge Theme Park!

Universal Studios Japan: Complete Guide to Osaka's Huge Theme Park!

Date published: 1 August 2019
Last updated: 13 August 2019

Universal Studios Japan, a theme park based on movies and characters beloved around the world, boasts huge popularity with tourists both from Japan and overseas. The park's interior consists of nine different areas and is full of excitement and fun, with impressive attractions, rides with surprises and sensations you can't experience anywhere but Japan, and shows featuring popular characters.

Here we will do a deep dive into topics to help adults and kids alike enjoy a day at USJ!

What's "Universal Studios Japan"?

What's "Universal Studios Japan"?
Image provided by: Universal Studios Japan

Universal Studios Japan opened in 2001 in Konohana-ku, Osaka. The popular theme park, soon celebrating its 20-year anniversary, is a symbol of Osaka to this day. It's impossible to experience all the park has to offer in a single day, but there are two routes which will take you through the most unmissable rides and attractions:

1. New York ⇒ Minion Park ⇒ lunch at Happiness Cafe ⇒ Jurassic Park ⇒ The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

2. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter ⇒ lunch at The Three Broomsticks ⇒Jurassic Park ⇒ Minion Park ⇒ New York.

This article will take you through route number 1!

"Minion Park", a Big Hit Among International Guests

"Minion Park", a Big Hit Among International Guests
Despicable Me Minion Mayhem Ride. Image provided by: Universal Studios Japan
Freeze Ray Sliders. Image provided by: Universal Studios Japan

The "Minion Park", opened in 2017 as the world's largest such attraction, is an area themed on the "Despicable Me" movie series.

The area's most popular attraction is the "Minion Mayhem" ride, which takes guests on Beagle-shaped vehicles that move in sync with the 3-D images shown on a giant screen. In the home laboratory of Gru, the movies' protagonist, the Minions' mayhem takes place right before your eyes! "Freeze Ray Sliders" is a new attraction opened in June 2018. Board the ice-making machines and slip and slide at random over the ice. Watch as the Minions fire a giant ice gun!

Take an Adventure Through the World of Magic with Harry Potter!

Take an Adventure Through the World of Magic with Harry Potter!
Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. Image provided by: Universal Studios Japan

Within the park's "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter" area recreating the world of the enormously popular "Harry Potter" series, "Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey" has earned the distinction of being named the world's most popular attraction for five years running. You'll get goosebumps as you ride through the realistic world of the 3D images. Guests can experience a new dimension of excitement with the illusion that they've actually become the protagonists from the movies.

Don't forget to try Butter Beer just like in the movies at "The Three Broomsticks" restaurant within the area!

The Park is Full of Yet More Can't-Miss Attractions!

The Park is Full of Yet More Can't-Miss Attractions!
Hollywood Dream - The Ride. Image provided by: Universal Studios Japan
The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man - The Ride 4K3D. Image provided by: Universal Studios Japan

Aside from the two biggest spotlight attractions, the park is full of other recommended things to see and do! "Hollywood Dream - The Ride" is a popular attraction on which you can select your favorite music to listen to as the roller coaster takes you soaring through the sky with sensations of weightlessness and high speed.

Other popular attractions include "The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man - The Ride 4K3D" (New York), which pulls you in with impressive special effects, and "The Flying Dinosaur" (Jurassic Park), on which you can experience the thrills of the Jurassic Park world.

Make Even Lunch a Minions Affair!

Make Even Lunch a Minions Affair!
Minions Fried Chicken Plate. Image provided by: Universal Studios Japan

Not far from Minion Park, the "Happiness Cafe" in the San Francisco Area has Minion-themed lunch options! Aside from the pictured "Minions Fried Chicken Plate" (1890 yen, tax included), the "Minions Burger Plate" (1890 yen, tax included) and the "Keema Curry Plate" (1790 yen, tax included) are also popular.

The "Minions Kids Plate" (990 yen, tax included, for children up to 11 years old) and the Dessert & Drink Bar Set (870 yen), which includes both a cream puff and a drink, are more recommended choices. There are a sweets factory and a toy stare inside the Minion Area too!

A Lunch to Savor the World of USJ

A Lunch to Savor the World of USJ
Great Feast. Image provided by: Universal Studios Japan

"The Three Broomsticks" is a restaurant recreation of the old pub and inn in Hogsmead as it appears in the "Harry Potter" movie series. Guests can enjoy traditional English fare surrounded by the atmosphere of the movies. The massive Great Feast is a traditional English platter meal meant to be shared among a group, containing a garden salad, rotisserie smoked chicken, pork ribs, and more. You can also savor roast beef, pork ribs, fish and chips, and many other dishes.

Don't Miss the Shows and Parades

Don't Miss the Shows and Parades
WaterWorld. Image provided by: Universal Studios Japan
Universal Spectacle Night Parade. Image provided by: Universal Studios Japan

"WaterWorld" is a popular attraction show that recreates the world of the dystopian future action adventure movie "Waterworld". Guests can enjoy an action show packed with illusions and thrills as 9-meter long giant water planes dives make 13-meter high dives and swoop down right at you.

Harry Potter, Transformers, Jurassic World, and Minions floats make appearances in the Universal Studios Night Spectacle Parade. The walls change in time with the floats' movements via projection mapping. Along with music and light performances, the magnificent parade brings together four different story worlds.

※Refer to the official website for show and parade schedules.

Don't Forget Exclusive Park Souvenirs

Don't Forget Exclusive Park Souvenirs
Assorted cookie set (2 tins) 1,600 yen. Sold at the California Confectionary and other stores. Image provided by: Universal Studios Japan
Banana pillow 4,800 yen. Sold at the Fun Store and other stores. Image provided by : Universal Studios Japan

Part of the fun of the park is picking out souvenirs. In particular, goods based on the popular Minions deserve a look. You'll find so many cute Minion items unique to USJ, including candies and stuffed toys, you'll have a hard time choosing just one.

Minion goods can be acquired at both shops within the Minion Park such as the Fun Store and also San Francisco Candies (located in the San Francisco Area)! In addition, goods purchased at stores within the park are eligible for tax exemption (some items excluded, and a minimum purchase amount may apply).

Tricks to Enjoy the Park Efficiently

By purchasing your park ticket ahead of time via the online ticket store, you can receive a "1-Day Studio Pass" ticket with a QR code for direct entry into the park, allowing you to bypass the ticket booth. Just show your QR code to enter the park through the gates directly.

The "Universal Express Pass" is another useful ticket which shortens the time you wait in line, so that you can enjoy applicable attractions as a priority guest. These passes can be purchased on the official website, via Lawson Ticket sales, Yahoo! Ticket sales, as well as at partner hotels (limited to overnight guests). The "Universal Express Pass" may be sold out during same-day sales, so buying your pass ahead of time guarantees the chance to purchase one. The official app within which you can check attraction wait times is another recommended tool!

TM & © Universal Studios. TM & © 2019 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved. HARRY POTTER characters, names and related indicia are © & ™ Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Harry Potter Publishing Rights © JKR. (s19)  TM & © Universal Studios.  © 2019 MARVEL  ©

  • Universal Studios Japan
    ユニバーサル・スタジオ・ジャパン
    • Address 2 -1-33 Sakurajima, Konohana-ku, Osaka
    • Nearest Station 3-minute walk from JR Yume-saki Line Universal City Station
    • Phone Number 0570-20-0606

    Hours of Operation: See official website
    Scheduled Closings: None
    Official Website: https://www.usj.co.jp/ (available in English, Korean, Chinese)
    *The contents and prices of food menus and items for sale are subject to change without notice. Please also note the possibility that some items may be out of stock.

Text by:WEST PLAN

*This information is from the time of this article's publication.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.

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