Why You Should Visit Universal Studios Japan In Osaka
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Why You Should Visit Universal Studios Japan In Osaka

I’ve just returned from an incredible trip to Osaka where I was immersed in magic, movies and manga at Universal Studios Japan. If you’re a fan of that famous wizard or avidly read Japanese comics, Universal Studios Japan brings them to life in ways you could never imagine.

Why You Should Visit Universal Studios Japan In Osaka

You don’t have to be a massive Potter-head to be thoroughly enchanted by The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™. A spell is cast as you walk through the enchanted forest and find yourself in such a realistic Hogsmeade™ you’ll have to blink twice. No detail is spared, from the steaming Hogwarts™ Express bursting through the entrance, to the rolled up scrolls and fancy looking cakes in shop windows.

Why You Should Visit Universal Studios Japan In Osaka

Why You Should Visit Universal Studios Japan In Osaka

Why You Should Visit Universal Studios Japan In Osaka

(Photograph Provider: Universal Studios Japan)

Drawing gasps from everyone who glanced at it is the imposing Hogwarts™ Castle. Only at Universal Studios Japan is the castle surrounded by the Black Lake, which provides a perfect mirror image. Inside the castle is the Wizarding World’s most spell-binding ride –Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey™. The paintings come to life as you make your way towards the bookcase that will transform into a broomstick when you don the glasses on this spectacular 4K3D attraction. If you’re afraid of heights you might want to close your eyes as the ride whizzes you high over Hogwarts™ and then plunges deep into the underworld. Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey™ has won multiple awards and is rightfully one of the park’s most popular attractions. I was lucky enough to ride it twice (the queue towards the end of the day said 30 minutes but took only 10) and discovered new visuals that made me gasp each time.

Why You Should Visit Universal Studios Japan In Osaka

Elsewhere in the Wizarding World you can practise Wand Magic, sip a hot Butterbeer™ and little ones can learn to ride a Hippogriff™. Every inch of the studio has been thoughtfully crafted, from the creepy old toilets to the beef roasts at the Three Broomsticks™ Restaurant. In short: it’s a magical immersive experience.

Why You Should Visit Universal Studios Japan In Osaka

Why You Should Visit Universal Studios Japan In Osaka

At Universal Cool Japan 2017 you can immerse yourself in popular Japanese movies and manga. You don’t need to understand the language to be thrilled by these brand new rides where you’ll be chased by the likes of human-eating giants! The stand out ride for me was Evangelion XR, which uses 360 virtual reality technology and the power of gravity to make you think you really are being pursued by giant angels. At Godzilla: The Real 4-D you’ll watch the God Of Destruction tear through Osaka and you’ll find yourself wanting to duck from the ‘blood’ that spurts into your face during Attack On Titan: The Real.

Why You Should Visit Universal Studios Japan In Osaka

(Photograph Provider: Universal Studios Japan)

Why You Should Visit Universal Studios Japan In Osaka

For those who like a more hands on experience you can play the part of Detective Conan in a real life escape game*. There is a lengthy performance at the start and finish of the game that non-Japanese speakers won’t understand but all the puzzles you have to complete are on an iPad in English so you can still work your way around the challenges within the 1-hour deadline.

*Additional fees apply

Read also: 25 epic things to do in Tokyo

Why You Should Visit Universal Studios Japan In Osaka

To match these brand new Cool Japan attractions the park has created snacks including a pork bun that looks like Godzilla’s paw and a crackling hot honey and yuzu drink as seen in Monster Hunter. There are also souvenirs to match all the major rides including snowy owl and Godzilla hats, which other visitors pulled off with more aplomb than I could!

Why You Should Visit Universal Studios Japan In Osaka

I’d recommend at least 2 days to explore the whole of the park. I was incredibly lucky to experience the Harry Potter and Cool Japan attractions as part of a press day but I went back the very next day to explore further on my own. My top 2 rides in the rest of park (if I had to pick just 2) would be the Jurassic Park themed The Flying Dinosaur, where your soar around a rollercoaster dangling on your front, and The Amazing Adventures Of Spiderman, a 4K3D ride so realistic I thought I was about to plunge to my death in NYC!

Why You Should Visit Universal Studios Japan In Osaka

Why You Should Visit Universal Studios Japan In Osaka

Planning Your Visit

To shorten your wait time at some of the parks more popular attractions you can buy a Universal Express Pass for 3, 4 or 7 rides.

A 1 day Studio Pass costs 7,400yen for adults and 4,980yen for kids.

Read this great article by Pretraveller for a comprehensive guide to buying Universal Studios Japan USJ Osaka Online Tickets And Express Passes In 2018.

Why You Should Visit Universal Studios Japan In Osaka

Why You Should Visit Universal Studios Japan In Osaka

It’s easy to reach the park by public transport as the Osaka Loop line runs directly to Universal City, taking about 30 minutes from the centre of the city. There are a number of restaurants just outside the park at Universal Citywalk Osaka where you can grab the likes of a Mos Burger or MOMI&TOY’S crepe on the way home.

I stayed at Hotel New Otani, an elegant hotel with views of Osaka Castle.

Find out more in my 48 hour guide to Osaka.

Why you should visit Universal Studios Japan in OsakaDisclosure: I was invited to visit Universal Studios Japan as a guest of the park. All opinions and squealing are my own.

Read next:

48 hour guide to Osaka

5 things you need to know before visiting Japan

Japan Bucket List: Places and experiences not to be missed

25 epic things to do in Tokyo

Japan’s best kept secret: Wakayama Travel Guide

2 Comments

  • Reply
    Camila @ AdventitiousViolet
    January 31, 2017 at 6:19 pm

    I’m a huge Potter fan so I can’t wait to go to Japan to go to the Universal Studios! These photos make me even more excited! 😀

    • Reply
      Jayne Gorman
      February 1, 2017 at 12:35 am

      You will love it! I’m dying to re-watch the films now I feel like I have actually been to Hogwarts haha

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