For mayhem with Minions, Harry Potter magic, thrills, spills and movie magic, Universal Studios Japan is a must-do on any trip to Japan! Read on for our top tips to make the most of your time there – which passes to buy, rides not to miss, shows to catch and other insider know-how.
The Studio Pass is your ticket to fun, giving you park entry and unlimited rides, while Universal Express Passes are essential add-ons to the Studio Pass that let you skip the line at the most popular attractions, maximizing your time at the park. Most Universal Express Passes also include a timed entry ticket to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ to guarantee entry on the day!
A 4-D ride on a perilous broomstick flight around Hogwarts, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey™ in 4K3D will leave your head spinning! Set in one of the park’s most popular areas The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™, with movie scene reproductions of incredible detail and scale, it’s little wonder you need a timed entry ticket to enter on busy days. For this reason we recommend booking one of the Universal Express Passes that include guaranteed entry—before they run out!Book Universal Express Passes
Perhaps the park’s most thrilling coaster, The Flying Dinosaur has you suspended face-down in midair as you swoop across the park, grasped in the talons of an out-of-control pteranodon! Extremely popular with thrill-seekers, this is another ride featured on a lot of Express Passes to help you cut straight to the action. Prepare for over 1100 meters of thrills as you’re flown upside and all around the world of Jurassic Park (You must be 132cm–198cm tall to ride).Book Universal Express Passes
As the name implies, Hollywood Dream The Ride – Backdrop is an intense, backward-facing rollercoaster that swirls you all around and upside down, with each twist and turn a new surprise for the riders! Hollywood Dream also has the unique feature of letting you choose the music that pumps out of the headrest stereo system, for personalized thrills on your ride.Book Universal Express Passes
Still fairly new (opened in 2017), the Minion Park is a must-see for anyone with even the slightest soft spot for cuteness. Catch the Minion Greeting and a photo-op, visit Delicious Me! The Cookie Kitchen, indulge in the abundance of goodies at the Minion Marketplace... And of course ride Despicable Me Minion Mayhem where you enter the heart of Gru’s laboratory to be recruited for his latest scheme—and be transformed into an actual Minion yourself! (You must be at least 122cm, or 102cm and accompanied by an adult to ride Minion Mayhem).Book Universal Express Passes
You’ve come all this way, don’t you want to make the most of your day? Well that’s why Universal Studios Japan released the Special Entry Wristband, only sold by selected online retailers. This handy little add-on has a couple of time-saving benefits to help you maximize your day:
Universal Studios Japan’s exact opening time changes daily, so if you want to be among the first to enter you’d normally want to arrive extra early, because you cannot be quite sure when to start lining up! Special Entry Wristband holders however have a twofold advantage which lets you avoid turning up mega early to wait in line. Just breeze along at the notified time and get in your special line, ready to rush in to your favorite rides and attractions!
Some hotels in Osaka offer free shuttle services to the park, but for the rest of us the various transport options offer an extra puzzle to solve.
Our recommendation, trains in Japan are clean, fast and efficient. From Namba Station ride the Hanshin Namba Line to Nishikujo, then transfer to JR Yumesaki Line (also known as JR Sakurajima Line) to Universal City Station. Universal Studios Japan is 5 minutes walk from the station. Duration: 25 minutes Cost: 360 yen Frequency: about every 15 minutes
A good option if you flew straight in, the buses go direct but run infrequently. From Kansai International Airport Duration: 35–75 minutes depending on traffic Cost: 1,550 yen Frequency: hourly From Itami Airport Duration: 45 minutes Cost: 930 yen Frequency: hourly
The ferry only departs from 9:30 am, so not the best way to get to the park, but a nice way to end the day if you leave before 8pm! The Captain Line runs between Universal City Port and Kaiyukan West Pier, and is free for holders of the Osaka Amazing Pass. Duration: 10 minutes Cost: 700 yen one way, 1,300 yen round trip Frequency: 1–2 ferries per hour
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* Tickets are only valid for guests of non-Japanese nationality * The information on Universal Studios Japan is as of January 1 2018, and subject to change without notice. * The contents or opening hours of the events, attractions, restaurants, and shops are subject to change or cancellation depending on the season, time or weather, without notice. * Depending on your height or medical condition, you may not be able to use some attractions. Please check the usage limitations in advance.