Before I start typing my day in Universal Studio Japan, I would like to say that I have been reading a lot of blog posts before I visit this time round. This is my 2nd time to USJ but previously there wasn’t The Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme.
Talking about the new theme area that opened in mid-2014 has caused huge excitement.
All my friends were posting on Facebook about the ways and mean to access it or should I say the best way or guide to access it? I read that too, trying to study a way that could save time and better way without hassle.
A new theme park, Super Nintendo World was opened in 2021. Causing a new rave about it, lots of new fun games and attractions. There are also new event themes within a certain time period eg. Doraemon XR Ride: Nobita’s Sky Utopia, JUJUTSU KAISEN: The Real 4-D, SPY x FAMILY Secret Mission.
I have tried to consolidate and summarise some of the important information here. However, it might still be quite tedious and confusing for 1 timer who is going into the theme park.
Before getting the ticket
Most commonly what we know would be joining a tour group, they will settle it for you. For the recent increase in free and easy travellers, they will get to the ticketing booth themselves in Japan, purchase online or go down to the local travel agencies who sell the tickets.
Here are some of the questions you might need to ask yourself first.
- Know what are the main attraction you want to visit
- Do you need an express pass? If yes, what are the attractions or rides that you must visit
- Express pass will have an entry time slot for Super Nintendo world and harry porter (latest attraction eg. Doraemon or ju-jitsu Kaisen)
- If you do not have an express pass you will need to get the e-ticket time slot where you need to do it on the date after entering. Sometimes it is too crowded the attraction will not give out a time slot. On the day of our visit, the harry porter attraction does not give out time slot entry tickets.
- Purchase your express pass at the official website will give you the benefit to choose the time slot you want. As the Japan website are quite strict with credit card purchase they do not allow foreign credit card to purchase a ticket, thus, you might also need some help from your friends or try other methods. I heard that some credit cards did go through so I am not really sure about it however, you can try your luck.
Where to purchase your ticket?
Universal Studio Japan Pass
Type of Universal Studios Japan Express Pass
Express Pass 4 (Do note that there are different types of express passes)
Official Website (Express pass available)
The express pass comes in differently. I got my ticket from the USJ Japan site and I can choose to get a QR or ticket form, which in this case I requested for a digital ticket.
Express tickets bought with 3rd party vendors eg. KLOOK, KKdays etc., cannot choose the time slot as it will be given to you at random.
*Not applicable for separately ticketed special events, such as Countdown Party Pass or operating hours unless stated otherwise on the pass.*
1-Day Studio Pass
Adults(12+) ticket from:
￥8,600 per ticket
Children (4~11) ticket from:
￥5,600 per ticket
Seniors(65+) ticket from:
1.5 Day Studio Pass
Valid from 3:00 pm on the first day for two consecutive days
Adults(12+) ticket from:
¥13,100 per ticket
Children(4~11) ticket from:
¥8,600 per ticket
2-Day Studio Pass
Two consecutive days for admission
Adults(12+) ticket from:
¥16,300 per ticket
Children(4~11) ticket from:
Ticket bought (2014)
We got the time slot for 11:30 – 12:00 for entry to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Once you are in you can stay inside as long as you want but no re-entry is allowed.
Express 5 passes were used to their fullest as we could jump the queue where normal queue would take up to 145 mins but we took 45 mins or even lesser.
Ticket bought (2023)
Depends on the peak categories in A B C
Ticket purchases online will be given a direct-in QR code sent to you by the respective 3rd party vendors.
How to get there?
Osaka Loop Line
The crowd was early in the morning before the opening of the theme park.
Tips before getting in:
1. Get to the theme park an 1 hour before opening
2. Get your ticket or QR code ready
3. Long queue would be formed at the ticketing area as some locals would like to purchase the ticket at the counter, so if you have already purchased the ticket move to the front where the entrance is to enter
4. Take note of the time slot given to you. Try to be there early but not too early as they might not let you in yet. And this Depends on the crowd. We were asked to wait until the exactly given time slot at the Doraemon ride.
5. All rides without an express pass would be around 120-230 minutes, especially the very famous ride eg. The backdrop, flying dinosaur, Doraemon
March 2023- 2 Apr 2023
Check the schedule here.
Business hours may be changed without notice. Please check again before visiting.
Also, there is a possibility of starting admission earlier than the park opening time on that day.
Express pass or not?
This depends on what you are looking for if you are only interested in 2-3 theme parks and not interested to ride any of the attractions then it might not be worth buying the express pass. However, if your main purpose is to get into the Super Nintendo World or Harry Porter World and some of the limited-time period attractions I would recommend getting the Express pass.
Top 7 Attractions and Ride (Update: 2023) *NOT IN SEQUENCE*
- Hollywood Dream – The Ride
- Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey™
- The Flying Dinosaur
- The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man 4K3D – The Ride
- Yoshi’s Adventure™
- Mario Kart: Koopa’s Challenge™
- Doraemon XR Ride: Nobita’s Sky Utopia (Feb. 23 – Sunday, Sep. 3, 2023) NEW
Without Express Pass
Express pass or single rider
90-120 Minutes (*Depending on rides)
Reached the theme park
On that day, we reached around 09:45 and it was already crowded with mostly locals we got in the park at around 10:00 the queue was really fast as most of the visitors have already pre-purchase their tickets online and most locals now just have to show their QR code on mobile phone for entry.
Our first stop was to wander around the theme park as nothing much changed from the previous time I was there, so we went over to take photos with the characters and huge Christmas tree because it was the Christmas season, with no snow except for rain quite fun though even though it looks gloomy.
We got to the theme park an hour before its opening. Which was around 8 am but the queue and the number of people getting to the theme park were out of my expectation I even experience the morning rush hour squeeze in the train getting here, which was rare I would say. Not squeezed by the working adult but by high school students or younger, an interesting experience.
If you have your pass and/or express with you and you are not queuing to purchase the express pass at the counter please move forward to the entrance. Where you can enter the theme park right away.
The latest version of the app is required to get Timed Entry etickets
Entered the theme park
Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey™
Butterbeer Experience (2014)
We bought ourselves 1 to try, and my comment on the “butterbeer” tasted bad, not sure if the cold beverage taste the same.
For photo purposes.
Butterbeer Experience (2023)
From my previous experience of drinking hot butterbeer, I would not recommend anyone to try that cause it does not taste good.
As for the normal “cold” Butterbeer tasted much better and was quite delicious. There is an increase of 100~150 JPY for all the items from the previous time I was here.
We requested for the drink and mug to be separated so that we do not need to wash the mug.
Ride Experience (2014)
Harry Potter and the forbidden journey ride, the queue was so long and the waiting time is around 145mins.
There is a Locker room where you can put your valuables it and is free of charge. Follow the instruction given to you by the Staff at the entrance they will be there to assist you.
There was a slight technical fault during the ride when the machine stopped moving and we waited for a minute or so to be back in the flying experience with harry potter, but that doesn’t damper our mood I think it was fun.
Ride Experience (2023)
Without an express pass, the wait would be 180 minutes.
I do not have much recall of the ride previously as it was some years back. However, I do remember that the ride was quite fun and it was still the same. Maybe because is my second time there I felt that I am more relaxed even though the place is crowded with people.
Doraemon XR Ride: Nobita’s Sky Utopia
Thursday, Feb. 23 – Sunday, Sep. 3, 2023
Doraemon Limited Time Pop-up Snack Cart
Get the Doraemon Fruit Jellied Dessert with Mug (1,300 JPY) and bring the mug home at the Studio Stars Restaurant.
The Paradapia tour is a VR Game indoor roller coaster, which was quite interesting however, might make you feel giddy if the VR google was not properly worn.
Super Nintendo World
Interested to know more about the Super Nintendo world I have made a separate page just for it.
JUJUTSU KAISEN: The Real 4-D
Friday, Sept. 16, 2022 – Sunday, July 2, 2023
Hollywood Dream – The Ride
My last ride of the day before we end our day in USJ. Thanks to it I drank quite a lot of rainwater and got hit by it, as I was so lucky to be in the first row.
The waiting time for the ride is 180-230 minutes as I did not purchase the express pass that includes this ride, sadly, I did not have a chance to sit on it.
NO LIMIT! Parade
Event Period: Wednesday, Mar. 1, 2023 –
Notice: The event period is subject to change.
We were very lucky to be able to see the full performance as we do not need to rush for any of the scheduled rides. Love the No Limit! Parade song as it was so addicting and fun, as we were all dancing to it.
Items to purchase
1. The Mario super star popcorn bucket (limited stock per day 1 bucket per person)
2. Nintendo Watch so that you can earn coins and keys to fight the big boss
3. Mario mushroom drink bucket
4. Minion popcorn bucket (Singapore have it too)
5. Doraemon dessert you can top up with a fee and bring the cup home
One of the most important things that you might need if you are buying lots of goodies.
Large lockers are outside of the theme park which I would not recommend using, however, if it is required then you will need to ask the crew member to assist you.
There are a lot of lockers available at the entrance so if you are interested you can get one of them, however, do note that it’s for one-time usage. So place whatever you do not need until the end of the day inside the locker important items please carry with you.
Do you know?
There is a tax-free office at the entrance of the Theme park if you have purchased more than 5,500 Yen you are eligible for the tax-free. There are items that are not eligible for tax-free so if you are not sure just hand your whole purchased item to the staff in charge they are very friendly and professional to assist you with that.