11 Great Reasons to Visit Universal Studios Japan (2024)

Universal Studios Japan was the 5th most visited theme park globally in 2019 (according to the AECOM’s Theme Index and Museum Index Reports). From epic seasonal events to world-class attractions, there’s plenty to experience that warrants more than one day to visit!

The Kansai region of Japan is popular with visitors with the historic cities of Kyoto, Nara, Hiroshima, Osaka, Kobe, and I could go on forever. While there’s an endless choice for activities, there’s a good chance you’d like to escape reality for a day and immerse yourself in the wonders that is Universal Studios Japan.

This year Universal Studios Japan opened the world’s first Super Nintendo World, which in itself is enough to book that flight without even looking at the price (when travel opens back up). I’ll give you all my reasons why I think you need to visit Universal Studios Japan.

Super Nintendo World

Super Nintendo World is one of the most anticipated theme park expansions in a long time (at least in my opinion). Universal Studios Japan is the first Universal Park to get such an area, which makes sense since Nintendo originated from Japan. With a flagship Mario Kart attraction, Yoshi ride, restaurants, and shops, this new area is a gamer fan’s dream come true.

As a lifelong Nintendo fan (I was 5-years-old when I got my first NES), words can’t explain how much this dream came true. When you visit, if you see a 35-year-old balling his eyes out, that’s probably me.

Super Nintendo World officially opened on March 18, 2021, after delays due to the global pandemic.

Step up your trip planning game and create the perfect itinerary with our comprehensive premium travel guide on Universal Studios Japan.

Wizarding World of Harry Potter

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The best version of Hogsmeade lives at Universal Studios Japan in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. From the impressive entrance leading up to the best reveal of Hogsmeade to the picturesque Black Lake in front of Hogwarts Castle. Similar to the other versions in Hollywood and Orlando, you’re able to get your Butterbeer fix and use your interactive wands.

While it doesn’t have Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure like Orlando, this version in Japan offers Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey (which has intensified effects) and Flight of the Hippogriff along with seasonal and year-round entertainment.

Protip: If you’re after Butterbeer, sneak into Hog’s Head to avoid the long lines at the outdoor wagons.

Universal Spectacle Night Parade -The Best of Hollywood-

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The best way to close out the day at Universal Studios Japan is with their nighttime parade. It features Transformers, Harry Potter, Minions, and even Jurassic Park. The best part is the projection mapping alongside the buildings as the parade moves down. Also, how can you not get excited about seeing the Hogwarts Express roll down the parade route?

Protip: Get the Express Pass for the best seats for the show or get a spot in front of the Terminator building (you’re able to watch it twice from here)

The Flying Dinosaur

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Hands-down my favourite roller coaster at any theme/amusem*nt park. It’s a flying coaster with the perfect mixture of extreme thrills and smile-inducing fun. Whenever I visit Universal Studios Japan, it’s the one thing I always have to experience. It’s not for the faint of heart, but if you want a thrill, then you won’t be sorry. You’ll have to get there early (or buy an Express Pass) to beat the long queue. The Flying Dinosaur has the most extended wait in the Park almost every day (even weekdays).

Protip: If you’re not using an Express Pass, use the Single Rider line FIRST THING in the morning to avoid long waits.

Space Fantasy

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The most insane indoor coaster I’ve ever ridden. While it’s not intense compared to most roller coasters, it’s pure fun and, without giving too much away, it reminds me of the unaired Pokemon episode outside of Japan. During Cool Japan and Halloween Horror Nights, this attraction becomes a themed overlay.

In the past, we’ve seen it overlayed with Attack on Titan, Final Fantasy, Doraemon, Evangelion, and Demon Slayer!

Protip: Use the Single Ride line, and if you’re worried about fitting, there’s a test seat at the entrance to the queue.

Seasonal Events

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Throughout the year, Universal Studios Japan offers a variety of seasonal events and limited-time events to add even more value to your day ticket! uniquThese events include Cool Japan, Halloween Horror Nights (yes, it’s not an extra cost like the US Parks!), Christmas, Easter, and Summer!

C That means it’s all included with your studio’s pass (some unique attractions are extra, however). Cool Japan and Halloween Horror Nights include unique attraction overlays during the events. Again, this doesn’t cost you extra (except a couple of experiences). The best thing about Halloween Horror Nights is it happens every evening during the event, unlike the US parks, where it’s select evenings.

Protip: Express Pass for seasonal attractions makes the day much smoother because these attractions usually have the highest waits in the Park.

Over-the-top Popcorn Buckets

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Popcorn buckets are a specialty at Universal Studios Japan. You’ll find them all around the Park, and they’re constantly changing that it’s hard to keep up! Endless Minions-themed buckets and seasonal buckets (they’ve done a talking Chocobo in the past!) are a sure way to separate you from your money.

Protip: Wash out your bucket, and it doubles as a cute bag.

Cute & Delicious Snacks

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When it comes to food, Osaka takes it seriously. In turn, Universal Studios Japan appeals to the food culture with not only delicious but cute food. Snoopy and Hello Kitty steamed buns, Final Fantasy-themed churros, and even a Jaws roll cake. There’s plenty of options for snacks while you’re at the Park.

Protip: Get the classic Jaw roll cake from Amity Landing Restaurant.


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The beloved JAWS attraction still terrorizes visitors to Amity Village at Universal Studios Japan. This version of JAWS is the last surviving version at a Universal Park, so best ride it while you can! Even if you don’t understand the Japanese dialogue, it still holds up.

Protip: Single Rider line, enough said.

Unique Merchandise

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Your wallet takes a hit any time you walk into any of the shops. Harry Potter, Sesame Street, Hello Kitty, Minions, and Peanuts are some of the franchises you’ll find on the shelves.

Protip: Take advantage of tax-free shopping to save some money when you spend ¥5,000 or more.

Easy to fit into your itinerary

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You’re travelling to the Kansai area in the middle of Japan. Take a break from all the gorgeous sites and spend one or 2-days at Universal Studios Japan. It’s an accessible park to squeeze into your itinerary.

Protip: Visit between Tuesday and Friday for the lowest crowds.

Universal Studios Japan is one of my favourite theme parks to visit anytime during the year. Chances are, if you’re visiting Japan, you’re off to Kyoto and Osaka, so make a stop at Universal. While the Park is quite busy on most days, you’ll have a wonderful time. When you visit, make sure to have a frozen Butterbeer for me.

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More on Universal Studios Japan

Universal Studios Japan Guidebook

Are you planning a trip to Universal Studios Japan? If so, you need our digital guidebook! Our guidebook is the most comprehensive resource available, covering everything you need to know about the park, including Super Nintendo World, Express Pass, hotels, restaurants, attractions, shows, seasonal events, and more! With our guidebook, you’ll be an expert on Universal Studios Japan before you even set foot in the park. You’ll know what to expect, where to go, and what to do. You’ll also be able to avoid the crowds and make the most of your time at the park.


Book Your Flight

I use Google Flights & Momodo to find affordable flights. Another great way is to sign up for Scott’s Cheap Flights to get notifications of cheap fares, which happens often in Japan. You’ll sometimes stumble on cheap flights to Kansai International Airport.

Buy Your Shinkansen Tickets (Bullet Train)

Getting around Japan by the world-renown bullet train, known as the Shinkansen, is incredibly fast, reliable, and affordable for visitors. You can travel from Tokyo to Osaka in just over 2 hours. Get the JR Rail Pass to save a ton of money on the bullet train for your trip.

Book Your Hotel

Universal Studios Japan has affordable accommodations that are steps away from the Park with easy access to Osaka. I recommend checking prices through Booking.com followed by the hotels directly. Sometimes you’re able to score some incredible deals. Here’s a short list of hotels at Universal Studios Japan I recommend.

  • The Park Front Hotel at Universal Studios Japan – You’re directly in front of the Park gates and have instant access to Universal CityWalk Osaka. The rooms are gorgeous, with restaurants and even a Lawson (Japanese convenience store).
  • The Singulari HOTEL & SKYSPA – Attached to the train station is a fantastic hotel for those who want a comfortable, clean, and stylish place to sleep. After a long day at Universal Studios Japan, the rooftop sento (public bath) is excellent for unwinding and relaxing.
  • Hotel Universal Port – This is an excellent hotel for the Minion fan in your family, only a 5-minute walk from Universal Studios Japan. It also boasts the largest breakfast buffet in Japan, a must during your visit.

Buy Your Tickets & Express Pass

In advance, save time and stress by buying your tickets and Express Pass for Universal Studios Japan.

Stay Connected

Universal Studios Japan only offers free Wi-Fi at the entrance to the Park. That’s not enough to stay connected and share your day with everyone back home to give them FOMO on Instagram. Here’s how you can stay connected while travelling in Japan.

  • Pocket Wi-Fi – If you’re travelling with a group or have multiple devices, this is your best and most affordable way to stay connected to the internet. Pick up and drop off at the airport. Easy.
  • Japan SIM Card – If you have an unlocked phone and need a Japanese phone number, this is the best and easiest way.

Get Yourself Travel Insurance

While travelling aboard, having travel insurance protects you against injury, cancellations, illness, and other things you can never predict. Whenever I travel, I always budget for travel insurance to protect myself. I’ve used it, and I’m so glad I had it. My recommended companies are SafteyWing and World Nomads for travel insurance.

Learn More about Universal Studios Japan

Don’t forget to study our in-depth destination guide on Universal Studios Japan for more information on this beautiful park in Osaka.

Some links may be affiliate links to services I recommend. Buying services through these links at no extra cost to you help support TDR Explorer. Please read our full disclosure for more details.

11 Great Reasons to Visit Universal Studios Japan (2024)


11 Great Reasons to Visit Universal Studios Japan? ›

Universal Studios Japan offers world-class entertainment such as authentic attractions and shows, based not only on Hollywood blockbusters but also popular entertainment brands, and a variety of seasonal events entertaining its guests to the fullest.

Why should I visit Universal Studios Japan? ›

Universal Studios Japan offers world-class entertainment such as authentic attractions and shows, based not only on Hollywood blockbusters but also popular entertainment brands, and a variety of seasonal events entertaining its guests to the fullest.

What is unique about Universal Studios Japan? ›

Universal Studios Japan is the first Universal Park to get such an area, which makes sense since Nintendo originated from Japan. With a flagship Mario Kart attraction, Yoshi ride, restaurants, and shops, this new area is a gamer fan's dream come true.

Is it worth it to go to Universal Studio Japan? ›

Universal Studios Japan is crowded and expensive (if you purchase an Express Pass), but we still think it's well worth visiting. It's a fun day out in Osaka with the magical Harry Potter World, immersive Super Nintendo World, and some seriously thrilling rollercoasters and unique 3D simulators.

Why should people go to Universal Studios? ›

Universal Studios is worth visiting as adults or with teens and children aged roughly 5+. There are a number of thrill rides in each of the Universal Studios parks, and themed areas including Jurassic Park & The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Would you like to visit Japan and why? ›

The Country Offers Pristine Natural Scenery. One of the first things that will encourage you to visit Japan is its natural beauty. People often think Japan is all about technological advancements and busy streets, but it can impress you with its nature and pristine beauty.

What is the most popular tourist spot in Japan Why? ›

1. Mount Fuji. Mount Fuji is one of Japan's most famous tourist attractions and arguably one of the most impressive. The highest peak in Japan, Mount Fuji reaches 3776m above sea level.

How long should I spend at Universal Studios Japan? ›

If you have the Express Pass, you can easily get everything done in a single day. I recommend buying the Express Pass to maximize your one day at the park (it's doable without, but more on that later). I'd only recommend two days (or 1.5 days) if you are visiting during a busy period.

How long should you spend in Universal Studios Japan? ›

Universal Studios Japan has been going strong since 2001 and it's been expanded multiple times since its first inauguration. They say to check out every single ride and attraction, you need at least three days.

Is the Jaws ride still at Universal Studios Japan? ›

There's one place in the world, however, where you can still ride it, and that is Universal Studios Japan, a.k.a. USJ.

How expensive is Universal Japan? ›

Ticket types and prices

1-day adult pass, 8,600 yen. 2-day adult pass, 16,300 yen. 1-day child pass, 5,600 yen. 2-day child pass, 10,600 yen.

Is one day at Universal Studios Japan enough? ›

For most people, one day is enough for USJ in Osaka. If you get there early, you can make a full day of it. If you are planning to go during a busy period, for example, Halloween, you will probably want to buy an Express Pass, however, to minimize wait times for the rides and attractions.

What is the best age to take to Universal Studios? ›

So, what is the best age for Universal Studios? The short answer, is between 7-8 years old and up. The reason being is there are not as many rides with no height restrictions as you might find at Disney's Magic Kingdom.

What makes universal special? ›

In addition to delicious food, thrilling rides and great spots for kids to explore, Universal Orlando has some unique rides and experiences you'll only find at Universal Studios Florida, Universal's Islands of Adventure and Universal's Volcano Bay Water Park.

Is Universal easier than Disney? ›

It's skip-the-line system (Universal Express Pass) is much more expensive and much less complicated than Disney's Genie+ / Lightning Lane system. It generally has lower crowds, and the smaller ride lineups make the parks a little easier to tackle once you know how to get on the heavy hitters (hint: arrive early).

What is the best month to go to Japan? ›

The best time to visit Japan is between March and May and between September and November as it's both warm and dry between these periods. However, the joys of springtime and the iconic blooming of the cherry blossoms in Japan are no secret, which means you'll be sharing the space with plenty of other travellers.

What is Japan famous for? ›

Japan is known for everything from onsen hot springs and kabuki baths (dating to the 6th and 16th centuries, respectively) to all-night neon-lit dance parties, anime, and sushi boat restaurants, all of which are decidedly more modern.

What visitors should see or do in Japan? ›

The top 10 places to visit in Japan
  • Tokyo. Best for contemporary culture. ...
  • Kyoto. Best for traditional experiences. ...
  • Naoshima. Best for architecture. ...
  • Mt Fuji. Best for views and pilgrimages. ...
  • Hiroshima. Best for being reflective. ...
  • Yakushima. Best for forest bathing. ...
  • Koya-san. Best for exploring temples. ...
  • Okinawa and the Southern Islands.

What is the No 1 tourist destination in Japan? ›

1. Tokyo. Tokyo, the capital, is by far one of the most popular travel destinations in Japan. There is so much to see and do, you could spend a week just exploring its city centers of Shinjuku, Shibuya, Ikebukuro, Ueno, and Ginza.

What attracts people to visit Japan? ›

Rich Culture: Japan is renowned for its ancient traditions, arts, and customs. Visitors can explore historical landmarks such as Kyoto's temples, experience traditional tea ceremonies, witness geisha performances, and discover the beauty of Japanese gardens.

What is Japan's most beautiful place? ›

Mt Fuji, Yamanashi

Japan's crown jewel and arguably the most beautiful place in the country, Mt Fuji is a must for any visitor. There are plenty of places to see the grand mountain, but the views from Arakurayama Sengen Park, which boasts the majestic Chureito Pagoda, and from Lake Kawaguchi best capture its beauty.

What does Universal Studios Japan have? ›

Purchase USJ Studio Pass

Universal Studios Japan currently has ten sections: Hollywood, New York, San Francisco, Jurassic Park, Waterworld, Amity Village, Universal Wonderland, Minion Park, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Super Nintendo World.

Which Universal Studios is more popular? ›

If you want to revolve the entire vacation around theme parks, then Universal Orlando is probably your best bet. However, if you consider visiting a theme park as only part of a larger itinerary, then Universal Studios Hollywood may be a better option.

Do they speak English at Universal Studios Japan? ›

Staff in Universal Studios Studios Japan speak a little bit of English. They can help and direct you around the park if you find the directions in the USJ map confusing. But don't worry too much because the map that will be provided will be in English.

How many rides are at Universal Studios Japan? ›

It's no secret that Universal Studios Japan is one of the coolest places in Japan. Jam-packed with over 60 rip-roaring, heart-racing, movie-themed attractions, this iconic theme park in Osaka can't be missed if you're heading to Japan.

What is the least busy day at Universal Studios Japan? ›

Avoid visiting the park during the weekend; you will spend most of the time waiting in line, and that's not fun. Friday, Saturdays, Sundays, and any holidays are insanely crowded. Monday is a popular time for school trips. The best days are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

What should I wear to USJ? ›

Wear comfy clothes and shoes and take a backpack. Wear sun-screen, take a hat (take it off during the rides), snacks or rice-balls (to munch in secret) and a light water-proof poncho (for the Jurassic Park ride). Personally, I wouldn't worry about water as there are drinking fountains everywhere.

What is the best day of the week to go to Universal Japan? ›

The best days to visit are Wednesdays and Thursdays. Most tourists are aware that weekends are jam-packed, but few know that Japanese schools organise excursions to Universal Studios Japan on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Is outside food allowed in USJ? ›

* Food may be eaten at the picnic area before entering the park. Please see the Service Guide for more information. * Guests with dietary restrictions may bring food into the park after speaking with a crew member.

Why did Universal get rid of Jaws? ›

Jaws® Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water, a giant fin sliced through the waves and you were suddenly face to face with three tons of Great White fury—Jaws®. The big beast left the park in 2012 to make room for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ – Diagon Alley™.

Why did the Jaws ride shut down? ›

In 2012, the attraction was removed from the Florida theme park to make room for the second phase of expansion for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The former entrance to Jaws at Universal Studios Florida, which was a popular photo spot in the park.

Does Universal Studios Japan serve shark meat? ›

Universal Parks News Today on Twitter: "They serve actual shark nuggets at Universal Studios Japan https://t.co/Z1yHBedNWj" / Twitter.

Which is better Universal or Disney Japan? ›

And the winner is Tokyo Disney Parks! With not just 1 but 2 theme parks in one, it's hard not to love the Tokyo Disney Parks as they provide a wholesome experience for different types of travellers. That said, with amazing rides, attractions and shows at both USJ and Tokyo Disney parks, it's really a tough call.

How much does the bullet train cost from Tokyo to Osaka? ›

The most economical way of using the Shinkansen bullet trains is with a JR Pass as the individual tickets are relatively expensive. The travel between Tokyo and Osaka, a one-way ticket costs around 14,500 yen on a Nozomi train or 13,500 yen on a Hikari train.

Which is better Disneyland Japan or Universal Studios Japan? ›

Families with younger children might prefer Tokyo Disneyland, while those with older children or teenagers might prefer Tokyo Disney Sea or Universal Studios Japan. Harry Potter fans should not miss Universal Studios Japan, while Disney fans will love Tokyo Disney.

What are the busiest days at Universal Studios Japan? ›

Public holidays and weekends are the most crowded times. Make sure to plan your visit on a weekday for a wholesome experience. The ticket lines at the gate are almost always long. Book your Universal Studios Japan Tickets beforehand as early as possible.

What is the best month to go to Universal Studios Japan? ›

Avoid especially visiting the park close to 24-25 July, when the Tenjin Matsuri, a much attended festival in Osaka, takes place and in mid-August (the “Bon” festival time throughout Japan). October to December would probably be the best time to visit the park, with mild temperatures and moderate crowds.

How early should you get to Universal Studios Japan? ›

Get to Universal Studios Japan an hour before the gates open to beat the crowds. However, be prepared for a small queue, as Japanese students are known for being dedicated queue-goers! Once inside, go straight to the popular rides you want to go on first before the lines get longer later in the day.

Which Universal Park is better for Harry Potter? ›

If you are really into thrill rides, I would recommend Hogsmeade. But for my family and me, Diagon Alley is the clear winner! If you can only visit one park and want to feel immersed in the world of Harry Potter, you must visit Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida.

Which is more kid friendly Universal Studios or Island of Adventure? ›

If you are contemplating Islands of Adventure or Universal Studios for adults, then you would consider Islands of Adventure more. However, if you want fun for the whole family, Universal Studios is perfect for slightly more shows and kid-friendly attractions (especially for those under 5 years-old).

Can you bring food into Universal Studios? ›

Visitors may bring into Universal Studios Hollywood bottled water (maximum 2 liters), small snacks, any food required for medical purposes and medically-indicated nutritional supplements, any food required for special dietary needs, baby food/baby formula and soft-sided insulated bags no larger than 8.5” wide x 6” high ...

Why do people love Universal Studios? ›

Universal has better thrill rides, and the park highlights more modern and mature movie franchises. Universal Studios is smaller, but that's actually a plus because it's much more manageable.

Why should people visit Universal Studios? ›

Explore the most immersive theme park lands ever created, spread across two theme parks, to see locations from the hit films and beloved books brought to life. Diagon Alley and the village of Hogsmeade are so dense and filled with things to do that you could easily spend multiple days exploring just these lands.

Is Universal good for adults? ›

Universal Studios Hollywood is fun for kids, but even more fun for adults. Imagine soaring over lands you've only seen on screen. And letting loose with some of your favorite characters on some incredible rides.

Who gets more visitors Disney or Universal? ›

2022 World's Most-Visited Theme Parks
2022 Rank2019 RankResort
11Walt Disney World Resort
22Disneyland Resort
35Universal Studios Japan
43Tokyo Disney Resort
6 more rows
Jun 14, 2023

How many rides does Universal Studios have? ›

How many rides are at Universal Studios Orlando? There are 48 rides currently at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida.

Does Universal get as crowded as Disney? ›

2 – Is Disney or Universal More Crowded? Once again, the short answer is that Disney would technically be considered more crowded than Universal. Disney World's Magic Kingdom tends to be the most crowded of all Orlando Parks, no matter the time of year you visit.

How popular is Universal Studios Japan? ›

Universal Studios Japan is known to host upwards of 14 million visitors every year, many of whom flock to the massively popular Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Super Nintendo World. California's very own Universal Studios Hollywood recently opened America's first Super Nintendo World back in February.

What are the attractions in Universal Studio Japan? ›

Should I go to Osaka or Tokyo? ›

If you want to be at the heart of everything, Tokyo can be your best bet. But, if you want to enjoy a lower cost of living and friendlier neighbors, Osaka can be the better choice. Both cities have something unique to offer, and living in either city can be a fantastic experience.

Which country has best Universal Studios? ›

Universal Studios Hollywood, United States

Universal Parks & Resorts now has several theme park resorts around the world, but Universal Studios Hollywood was the first, and the studio tour lives on as one of its most iconic attractions.

Is Universal cheaper then Disney? ›

Universal Prices. Another very popular question we receive is, is Disney or Universal Cheaper? And as a general rule of thumb, Universal is cheaper than Disney in almost every category, from tickets to theme park food, and the most noticeable being hotel rooms.

How many rides are at Universal Japan? ›

It's no secret that Universal Studios Japan is one of the coolest places in Japan. Jam-packed with over 60 rip-roaring, heart-racing, movie-themed attractions, this iconic theme park in Osaka can't be missed if you're heading to Japan.

Where is Harry Potter world in Japan? ›

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ will reproduce the world from the Harry Potter™ stories, bringing it to life on a phenomenal scale at Universal Studios Japan.

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