Monday, May 15, 2017

Japan 2017: How to Have a Wonderful Time at Universal Studios Japan

Universal Studios Japan (USJ) is one of the three major theme parks in Japan (Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea are the other two).  This theme park is one of our to-visit attractions when we were planning our itinerary simply because I am a Harry Potter fan and USJ is where the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is.  

We spent quite a lot of time in the so-called Harry Potter land and I enjoyed so much, as planned.  But we also enjoyed a lot in the other USJ attractions too.  (PS: Do wait for my blog post about The Wizarding World of Harry Potter). 

Most attractions at Universal Studios Japan are catered for the young adults.   As we have our little boy with us, we can only ride only few attractions, but that didn’t hinder us to enjoy the park as a whole.  Here are some tips on how to have a wonderful day at Universal Studios Japan.

Buy Tickets Before Your Visit.  Buying tickets before your visit will save you a lot of time.  We bought our tickets at the Kansai Tourist Information Center.  We were issued a printed paper with QR Code.  This saves us a lot of time since we didn’t fall in line during our actual visit.

PS: If you are aiming to use the USJ ticket as a souvenir, and you don’t want to wait in line on the day of your visit, you can buy your tickets beforehand. 

Come Early. Japanese loves their theme parks.  Most of them have annual passes, so even though we already have USJ park tickets before our actual visit, we still waited for 30 minutes before we were able to enter the park itself.  And we were there even before USJ opened!  So make sure to come early.

This is one part of the entrance and before the park opens. 

Get Free Timed-Entry Tickets.   Waiting in line for most attractions will take up a lot of your time.  We waited for more than 120 minutes before we were able to ride The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman.  It was such a great ride that it was worth the wait.  But if you are not a fan of waiting, you can buy the Express Pass.  USJ offers Express Passes for certain attractions at a cost.  It is quite pricey.  Good thing some attractions offer free timed-entry tickets.  If you are in a budget, make sure to get one.  This will save you time instead of waiting in line.  We were able to secure two Timed-Entry tickets during our visit.

Buy USJ Express Pass.  USJ offers Express Passes.  This will be your ticket to not waiting so long in line.  This comes at a cost and is quite pricey.  We didn’t avail this since most of the attractions included in the Express Passes are extreme attractions that Neo is not allowed to ride during our visit.  If you are (1) very conscious about the time, (2) you don’t want to wait in line, (3) you want to maximize your USJ visit, and (4) you have extra budget, I strongly suggest you get an Express Pass.

Watch the Parade.  One of our regrets during our Hong Kong Disneyland visit was not watching the parade.  We forgot to check the schedule.  So we made sure to check the Park Schedule of USJ during our visit.  Universal Studios Japan is celebrating its 15th year anniversary and most of the parade floats are focused on it.  The parade was jolly and most of the characters are part of the parade. 

Check the Schedule of Character Appearances.  Various Universal Studios characters are scheduled to appear inside USJ.  Make sure to catch them.  You wouldn’t want to miss a chance to have a souvenir photograph with them.

This little boy wants to have his picture taken with Stuart, Kevin, and Bob. 


Bring Food and Drinking Bottle.  As such with other theme parks, food and drinks are quite pricey at USJ.  There are no park rules prohibiting bringing of food but just to be safe, bring snacks only.  Bring a drinking bottle.  Drinking fountains are available in a lot of areas in USJ. 

Spidey bun.

Try The Extreme Rides and The Kiddie Rides.  The only “extreme” ride we were able to try is The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman, because they allow Neo to ride too.  It was honestly one of the best theme park attractions I ever rode.  Most of the attractions we tried are kid-friendly since we have Neo with us – and I won’t say these rides were any less of fun.  But we will surely go back here just to enjoy the extreme rides.

He drives, we watch.  
Soon to open Minion area.

Dress Up.  When Japanese visit their theme parks, they make sure to dress for it.  They wore matching outfits and costumes.  They have complete accessories.  So when you visit, make sure to try dressing up like them.  We had fun checking out the different boys in Minion costumes, the girls in their Hello Kitty and Snoopy headbands, and the little kids in their Sesame outfits!

Enjoy!  Oh we enjoyed every bit of our Universal Studios Japan visit.  We tried not to feel bad about not being able to ride as much attractions.  We made sure to go check out every little area of the entire theme park. 

He won in a game! J

So when you plan your Universal Studios Japan visit, make sure to take note of these tips.  It’ll make your visit a more exciting one. J


  1. Ganda ng Universal Studios, parang mas maganda yata to sa Universal studios SG. I'm basing it on the photos I've seen online. I've never been to either of them. lol. I wonder if Nate will be able to appreciate it at his age now kung sakaling pumunta kami, given that he's not watched most of these movies.

    1. We haven't been to USS, pero as per websites USJ is a lot bigger - so maybe mas madaming attractions and everything.

  2. I'm not a fan of Harry Potter but I also want to see this if ever we will visit USJ. We're not really fun of rides so okay lang din sa min kahit di masakyan as long as we can watch different parades and try different activities. Mas malaki ba ito kaysa sa Universal Studio ng SG?

    1. According to some websites, USJ is 5x bigger than USS.

  3. Whoa! I think we should have 2day pass if we visit just like we did at HK Disney! Well, even 2days wasn't enough for us catching up characters and enjoying the rides. We've been to Universal Studios in Singapore and only had 2 rides because my son was only 4yrs old then. We've been planning to go to Japan soon, I think 8 or 10days stay is recommended?

    1. If you will be traveling to one region alone, I think 8-10 days is more than enough :)

  4. Your boy is so cute. In almost all his photos with the heroes and characters, he held their hands. This shows he is such a caring and loving boy. I bet as well he enjoyed every scenery and ride. I agree, most rides cater to young adults. I remember when we went to Singapore Universal Studios, we werent able to try all the rides because of the long line and wait.

    1. Thanks, Momi Berlin. I think Neo is scared na umalis ung character na hindi pa tapos ung picture kaya nya hinawakan, haha :D

  5. I can't wait to bring my girls here too :)) been itching to travel with them, but I felt that they are too young pa so we are delaying it for now. Looks like your little boy had fun :)


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