Universal Studios Japan: The First in Asia
There are only four Universal Studios Theme parks in the entire world and one of the most popular is Japan. The Universal Studios Japan, or also known as USJ, was built in 2001 and is known to be the first theme park under the brand ever built in Asia, years before the Singapore theme park was built. The USJ is one of the most visited amusement parks in all of the countries with an estimated number of visitors to be 8 Million every year. On its first year, it has reached about 10.1 Million visitors, making it the world’s first theme park to reach the 10 Million mark in its opening year.
How to Go to Universal Studios Japan
There are different means of access to get to this particular theme park. Anyone can reach it by train or by bus. Since it is near Osaka bay, it can also be reached via Ferry. For those traveling by bus, there is a bus line directly connected with Kansai Airport and Itami airport. The Kansai Airport Bus usually takes about 75 minutes and costs roughly 1500 yen. The Itami Airport Bus usually takes 45 minutes and about 900 yen for a ride.
Anyone traveling by train will know that the nearest station would be the Universal City Station of the JR Yumesaki Line. For instance, from the Osaka Station, a direct train ride to the Universal City Station usually takes 15 minutes and costs about 180 yen.
Ferry service to the Universal Studios is called the “Captain Line” that connects the Osaka Aquarium to the Universal Studios taking about 1300 yen round trip or 700 yen one-way for a 10-minute ride.
Universal Studio Japan Rides and other Attractions
There is a total of five thrilling roller coasters in the entire amusement park which are considered to be among its most popular attractions. One of the most popular would be The Hollywood Dream Ride which was opened in 2007. This particular ride has a total of 1,200 meters in length and lasts approximately two-and-a-half minutes. It is USJ’s Second largest investment next only to the Amazing Adventures of Spider-man Ride. All its trains have built-in, onboard audio and lighting systems where each rider can choose to play any one of the five tracks during the ride.
Another one of its popular roller coasters would be The Flying Dinosaur which was only recently opened in 2016. It opened as the world’s longest flying roller coaster, where the riders are all in the prone position. This is a type of ride where the passengers are all in the sensations of flight as they are seated with their legs simply hanging in the air as if they are merely harnessed into the ride. It was built and designed by famous Swiss manufacturer Bolliger & Mabillard.
Another one of the park’s roller coasters would be the Flight of the Hippogriff. This is a junior roller coaster which is located in the section known as The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. This kind of ride has been modeled from the Universal Studios Hollywood and that of the Universal Studios Florida. Originally, it was known to be the Flying Unicorn but was then re-designed to fit the theme of the area.
The Universal Wonderland is known to be a section aimed to satisfy all children visitors, which was recently opened in 2012. This place is divided into a total of three zones – the snoopy studios, Sesame Street Fun Zone, and the Hello Kitty’s Fashion Avenue. These three have family friendly rides which are sure to be enjoyed by the young theme park visitors.
In the Snoopy Studios zone, the rides are the Snoopy’s Great Race and the Flying Snoopy. Then the Hello Kitty’s Fashion Avenue has the Hello Kitty’s Cupcake Dream and the Hello Kitty’s Ribbon Collection. The largest of the three is the Sesame Street Fun Zone which has a total of 17 attractions. The most popular out of these would be Moppy’s Balloon Trip, Bert and Earnie’s Wonder-The Sea, and the Ernie’s Ruber Duckie Race.
Personalities and Popular Characters
Just like any theme park, there are definitely mascots of popular characters meant to entertain guests. These characters have shows scheduled throughout the day which includes a night parade. Visitors can have photo opportunities for mascots such as Hello Kitty and Snoopy, as well as the puppets of Sesame Street.
Popular characters include Elmo, Bert and Ernie, Big Bird, and more from Sesame street. There are also minions scattered in the entire park. Finding Shrek and Princess Fiona might also be an enjoyable activity. Peanuts characters include Snoopy, Charlie Brown, and Lucy Van Pelt.
Popular Attractions in Universal Studios
Universal Studio Japan Godzilla
Just this year, the Universal Studios of Japan has announced and opened up a new 4D attraction with a Godzilla theme. The new ride boasts of very thrilling experience with absolutely realistic sensations. There are splashes of water, there are heat sensations from Godzilla’s breath and even smoke from destroyed buildings. Although this particular ride is new and quite exciting, it has a very limited run. It will only last until January until June of 2017.
Universal Studio Japan Harry Potter
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is sure to bring any guest on a magical adventure and magic is represented in every detail of the place. So popular is this section of the entire park that there are special timed entry tickets available for the area. Furthermore, the wait for the rides can last a painstaking 250-minutes, depending on the number of visitors in the area that day.
There are special attractions in the place such as the Expecto Patronum Night Show. There are rides such as the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey which is a fun ride which is great for anyone trying to find a thrilling experience. The most popular ride would be the Flight of the Hippogriff which is a roller coaster ride themed as if Hagrid is training everyone the proper ways to approach and ride a Hippogriff. It will take its riders to different parts of the wizarding world from home to Australium! The best part of the experience would definitely be a cool, sweet, non-alcoholic mug of butterbeer – a favorite of adults and children alike.
The Universal Jump Summer KD
What is special about the Universal Studios Japan is the fact that unlike Disneyland, they are not limited to just a specific set of characters. The USJ can make any featured attraction based on almost any fictional characters. As Japan is considered the home of manga and anime, it was only apt that USJ created a few featured (yet limited) attractions based on popular series. These include One Piece, Attack on Titan, Evangelion, and more. This is known as the Universal Jump Summer event.
Universal Studio Japan Death Note
One popular attraction from the Universal Jump Summer event would be the Death Note themed activities. In particular, the USJ has developed a psychological or supernatural thriller game known as the Death Note the Escape. This is an “escape game” where groups of people would be teaming up to help the main character to solve mysteries so that they could “escape” the room where they are in.
Universal Studio Japan One Piece
Although there are no rides specifically created for One Piece, the Universal Studios Japan has provided live-action performances featuring famous characters from the series. This is known to be the One Piece Premier Show 2016, yes the entire crew might be present! Other than the show, there are also souvenir shops in the section that will allow its visitors to buy novelty items from the franchise.
Universal Studio Japan Attack on Titan and Universal Studio Japan Evangelion
Unlike other manga featured in USJ, Attack on Titan has offered up an exhibit of life-sized models of the characters. Visitors could take pictures with these and pretend that they too are part of the series. Other than that there is a 4D attraction with an Attack on Titan theme.
Universal Studio Japan Travel Tips
Universal Studio Japan Ticket
The USJ tickets can be purchased both online and at the booths near the entrance of the theme park. For non-annual pass holders, it might be a great idea to purchase tickets online to avoid the long, time-consuming queues at the entrance gates. Other than the booths near the entrance, there are also partner hotels that sell tickets at a reduced price. There are also selected convenience stores as well as JR Ticket Counters that sell tickets.
One thing to bear in mind would be the price. For children aged 4 to 11 years of age, the ticket costs about 5,100 yen. For Senior citizens beyond the age of 65 years, the cost of the ticket is about 6,800 yen. Then for adult visitors between the ages of 12 and 65, the ticket costs about 7,600 yen. All passes, regardless of price, include unlimited rides valid for one day.
Timed Entry Tickets
The hard part about visiting USJ is the fact that there are certain areas which are a bit more restricted for use. For instance, getting into the Harry Potter Attraction Areas will require what is called the Timed Entry Ticket. This is a type of special ticket sold to anyone wishing to go to Harry Potter-themed area of the park because all the rides can get very exhaustingly long lines. To remedy this, they have provided an additional special ticket for this area which could also be purchased at the entrances.
Universal Studio Japan Express Pass (Expressreg)
With tens of thousands of visitors on a daily basis, all rides are sure to have very long lines. For those who wish to skip these lines, and enjoy the rides over and over again, there are express passes available. There are tickets available for four rides costing at a highest of 8,100 yen and also available for seven rides costing about 13,200 yen at the highest. Just like regular tickets, these are valid only for one day.
Universal Studio Japan Hours
What is most attractive about the Universal Studios Japan is that it has no closing days, however certain rides are scheduled to be closed on certain days for maintenance and safety checks. The opening hours of the rides would be about 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM. However, for those who wish to avoid all the queues in the train ride to and from the park, it might be a good idea to go to and also leave the place a bit earlier. The peak of visitors is usually during the Spring season between the months of Apr and March. Then the low seasons are usually during the rainy days of June and July.
Universal Studio Japan Map
Universal Studios Japan originally has a total of eight sections which includes New York, San Francisco, Waterworld, Jurassic Park, Amity Village, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Hollywood, and Universal Wonderland. This totals to an area of 39 hectares. However, with its 16 years long service, it has now expanded to a total of 12 sections through the addition of Minion Park, Super Nintendo World, Universal Studios Lagoon, and Minion Park. The park is also quite inclusive that in all sections there are areas intended for ease of use for persons with disability.
How to Get Exciting Discounts
There are special, official USJ partners that sell discounted tickets throughout the Japan and even online. One way is through Voyagin, which is a partner travel website of USJ. They sell tickets at a much smaller price. If you happen to know a friend with Japanese speaking skills, going to a Kinken shop might be a good idea. They sell tickets for as low as 6,500 yen. Discounted tickets are also available in Lawson Stores all over the country, but the problem with this is that the tickets are available only for a specific date and are not flexible.