Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Travel: Japan 2014 Day 13 // Osaka // Universal Studio Japan


I have been to Universal Studio Japan seven years ago. However, as we are in Osaka, we couldn't miss the opportunity to go again - especially because of this:


They have opened the Wizarding World of Harry Potter! Good enough for me...; Well, as I don't think I will be going to the source anytime soon... .
But the queue at only around 8.50 a.m at the ticket booth was maaaddd... .


We applied for the timed entry ticket (without it, you cannot get into the Harry Potter section of USJ) at 9.00 a.m. and were allocated to get in from 11.30-12.30!!
You are free to spend as much time as you'd like inside the Wizarding World of Harry Potter section after you get in, but if you left, you wouldn't be able to get back in as you could only get one timed entry ticket per person.

familiar car? Ron must have driven it
How I wished those snow were real


And spent long hours inside we did -_- Mainly just queuing under baking hot sun.



Even to have lunch and buying souvenirs, we had to queue 0_0

Queue heading to Honeydukes confectionery shop and Zonko's Trick Shop


We had lunch at pretty much the only eatery there - The Three Broomstick. Eating during lunch hour here? Baaaaaaaddd idea. waited for 1 hour before we could actually get in and placed an order.




Had Pork Ribs Platter (JPY 2000) and Smoked Chicken Platter (JPY 1900). So so, we were hungry and this filled us up. But I think there are more better options outside the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.


And ordered Frozen Butterbeer (JPY 1200 with the mug that you can take home). Very butterscotch sweet and I was not a fan of it.


There are only pretty much two rides in USJ's Wizarding World of Harry Potter:
One is 'Harry Potter and The Forbidden Journey' - which apparently has won some award for best new attraction. I agree. The gruelling 1 1/2 hours queue was worth it after that ride. It is also located inside Hogwarts Castle; once you get inside the castle, the queue is a bit bearable. Although small, it is beautifully decorated trying to stay true to the movie and book - with the moving photographs of the four founders of Hogwarts, and the Fat Lady. (But where is the revolving stairs?!?!)

Second is 'Flight of The Hippogriff' - a very lame tame jet coaster ride. We timed it - only 50 seconds.




The rest of USJ that we explored. We didn't bother to visit all of them as we have pretty much covered everything when we came here (and Universal Studio in Singapore more or less has some similar rides) before, and in term of new attractions, nothing really exciting for us.










OK, one thing that I got sooo disappointed in - I saw this: !!!


There was not enough explanation/detail about the ticket that apparently has to be obtained separately to get into Biohazard (Resident Evil) attraction. So after getting out of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and we walked around the theme park, we saw that sign and quite a number of people already queuing up (with their entry ticket). Then the sign in front of the attraction notified that the ticket distribution for the day was already closed. Arrrghh!!!




We didn't wait around for the night parade, so we went out and had dinner at Universal City Walk.


First pit stop was at Mos Burger. Beats McDonalds anytime. Very good crispy Mos Chicken (JPY 250) and Salmon Rice Burger (JPY 400)


Then off to Takoyaki Museum and had a bit on confused-time choosing which stall to try... .



Finally settled on the stall that serves takoyaki coated with rice puffs. Actually quite nice and the rice puffs made them crispy. Mix Takoyaki costed JPY 750.


Quite an exhausting day (mainly because it was so freaking hot. *mentalnote* never go to theme parks in summer).
And what's up with a lot of Japanese ladies? In freaking hot summer days, they are still dressed full from neck to toe. I mean: scarves, long sleeve cardigan (or armless gloves), long pants and shoes. Then of course hat and umbrella (this I can understand).
I know this is to keep their skin from tanning. But I think it is a bit much... Aren't they baking inside?


  1. Hi!

    Could you please explain the timed entry ticket? I've been searching for info on this online but it seems to be very limited. Great photos and thanks!!

  2. Hello :) Thanks for dropping by. Here they are in summary form:
    1. For peak seasons (pretty much all the time -_-), you need to get a Timed Entry Ticket (I will treat this as TET from now on) to get into the Harry Potter (HP) section.
    2. If you but the Universal Express Fast pass 7 or 5, you will also get the TET. But if you don't buy the Pass 7 or 5, you need to get your TET A.S.A.P. at the TET ticket machines located by the JAWS attraction (check the map)
    3. You can choose from the most suitable time from the ticket machine (usually you will be given 3 timing options) to enter HP section and will be allocated one hour window to enter. (e.g. if you choose to enter at 11 a.m., you can enter anytime from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.)
    4. Even if you arrive at HP section's front gate one minute before the end of the TET (e.g. 11.59 a.m.), you can still enter. Once you enter, you cannot re-enter if you leave the HP section.
    5. Once you are inside the HP section, you can stay there for as long as you want. BUT again, remember, if you leave, you won't be able to re-enter.
    6. TET is limited, during peak seasons, pretty much all TETs are already exhausted by midday. (to illustrate, on the day I was there, there was no more TET distributed around 1 p.m.). So get them early.

    If there is anything you're not sure of, let me know ;)

    1. Hi!!

      Thanks for your quick response. :) Will definitely get this first thing in the morning! One more question, is there like a period where a TET is needed and a period where it isn't? For example, 9:00am to 10:00am and 7:00pm to 9:00pm aren't peak hours (just an example), so you don't need TET for them, just from 10:00am to 7:00pm. Or is it the entire day thing? Like if you don't get a TET, you can't enter AT ALL for the entire day?

    2. Hi :) Depends on when you go. I'd say during the low season or generally normal weekdays, you most probably will not need a TET at all to get into the HP section. The TET is only distributed if there are a lot of people visiting the park & (approximated) intending to get into HP section. So if a TET is not distributed/is not needed, you are free to get in and out of HP as much as your heart fancies.
      During weekends: definitely get TET a.s.a.p. During Japan holidays (check Google. When I went, it was still pretty much Obon holidays, so it was madness even on a weekday), even when it is weekdays, definitely get TET a.s.a.p.
      When I went, even the Universal Express Fast Book Pass were already sold out by 9 a.m.! When a TET is needed, it is a whole day thing. The park is packed until when it closes.
      By the way, HP section in USJ is very small - so try to get into this early in the morning, go on the rides, buy the souvenirs, etc, get out and enjoy the rest of the park for the rest of the day. The later you get into this, the more madness you will encounter. Avoid eating in this section during lunch time. Nightmare -_-

    3. And if you go around Halloween time (already available from now), check the Biohazard 2. You also need to get a ticket for this. Hope you can get in and share your experience ;)

    4. We will visit on a Friday in mid-October. Google and locals on TripAdvisor also tell me there won't be any holidays on that day (yay!). All the same, we will try to be there an hour before opening so that we could get our tickets quickly and head straight for the front of the line. I do hope we get good time slots for our TETs!

      I've been reading your other posts on your Japan trip too and I've found them to be really helpful, especially the ones on Osaka, Nara, and Kyoto. I'm in the process of finalizing my itinerary. Unfortunately, we only have 7 full days so now I'm agonizing over the many choices of places to visit! I still have to resign myself to the fact that I won't see everything. Haha! But your posts really gave me a lot of ideas for places to visit, especially restaurants to try. Looks like you guys enjoyed too so that's great. :D

      Thanks again for your advice and help!! :)

      (I posted this earlier but it seemed to have disappeared?)

    5. Hi Kai... no idea why your posting disappeared 0_o I was only notified of the one you just did. Glad the posts give you ideas :) Hope you have a great time in Japan.

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  3. Hi, nice post. Did you ride on the Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man or Jaws?

    When I was at USJ earlier this year, I rode Spider-Man, Jaws, Space Fantasy, Back to the Future, and also experienced Backdraft and Sesame Street 4-D Movie Magic.

    I do hope some of the attractions there would come to Universal Singapore (USS)! I do like that we have Revenge of the Mummy though, plus a daytime parade, though that definitely has room for improvement!

  4. Hi J, thanks for dropping by :) Yes, I rode the Spider-Man and Jaws' rides. I have also been to USS and loved the Mummy ride.
    These theme parks are expensive, but I guess we just couldn't help having a good time inside :)

  5. Hi I would like to ask. We will visit here on december and during weekdays is TET needed?

    1. Hi Annie. Best to assume that you will need the TETs, unless if the machines issuing the TETs are closed. Check the machines located just by the JAWS' ride for this (it will also be noted on the park's map). Have fun :)

    2. Thank you so much for the reply. Your post was really helpful. We decided to purchase the TET online. Do you have any suggestions on any good attractions in Osaka thay the whole family can enjoy?And any cheap but good shopping district or markets?

    3. That's great Annie. Does that mean you will obtain it from an agency prior visiting USJ? (I don't think USJ sells them online at their website).

      For shopping districts with market feels, you can't go wrong with Namba area. Step outside Namba station towards Dotonbori & Shinsaibashi, you'll be facing streets after streets of shopping (and most of them on proper path/undercover) and food stalls. At a leisurely pace, one day won't be enough exploring these streets.
      For massive shopping mall (apparently they also have great food courts which I didn't get to explore), go to Grand Front Osaka - a relatively new shipping mall opened in 2013.

      If you are tech geek or if your family members are interested in anime & games (from gundam robots to PS4. Xbox does not really have a wide market in Japan), walk from Namba station towards DenDenTown (Nipponbashi).

      For smaller kids, go to Kaiyukan aquarium (they also have the big ferris wheel just within walking distance) at Osaka Bay.

      Have fun with your trip :)

    4. Thank you so much for your reply. I was actually busy and so I was not able to check it.
      I realized that online tickets aren't available. We have no choice but to buy them at Universal Studios.
      I saw your other posts and it was very helpful. Also, I love your blog.😍
      We'll definitely visit these shopping districts especially that Dotonbori and Shinsaibashi is near at our hotel.
      Thank you so much!😊
      One more thing, in universal studios harry potter, when is the peak days?

    5. No problem. Hope your trip will be a great one. Harry Potter is massively popular in USJ, weekends will definitely be peak days. Try going on weekdays as per your plan, and just get a TET, in case they are still crowded anyway.

    6. Thank you so much for your replies. Were looking forward for our trip in osaka. Thanks for all the help and advice.

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