Universal Studios Japan

A magical adventure in the Land of the Rising Sun



2-1-33 Sakurajima, Konohana-ku, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture 554-0031, Japan

GPS: 34.66625662824, 135.43306845952

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Universal Studios Japan (USJ) was the first Universal Studios theme park exported from the United States to Asia. Built in 2001 in Osaka Bay, today it is the second most visited theme park in Japan after the Tokyo Disney Resort, built in the Japanese capital a year earlier. Universal Studios Japan is a popular entertainment venue and can be reached in minutes by train from the downtown area of the large port city of Osaka (population over 2.5 million).

This leisure park houses a dozen different worlds and attractions based on American fantasy movies (Spider-Man, Terminator 2, Jaws, Jurassic Park, Shrek 4…). But what differentiates Universal Studios Japan from other parks of the same name in the United States is the integration of Japanese manga characters or J-pop singers in some of its attractions that are constantly animated. A nightly parade and regular shows take place every day in the ultra-clean and crowded aisles of Universal Studios Japan.

The most popular section of the park remains the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. It was an instant hit with the Japanese public from the moment it opened in 2014. Such is the success of Universal Studios Japan in the Land of the Rising Sun that the Wizarding World of Harry Potter attracts more visitors than Universal’s Islands of Adventure Park in Orlando, USA, with record-breaking visits of more than 10 million a year. In 2018, four time-limited attractions were added to the theme park’s already extensive offerings. They originated from the world of video games (Final Fantasy and Monster Hunter) or Japanese manga series (Detective Conan and Sailor Moon). These new features were the first steps in the significant expansion of the Universal Studios Japan park. Begun in 2017, they are based on the ultra-fast Attack on Titan roller coaster (Attack on Titan XR Ride) and the Lupin III show (Lupin the Third: The Live). Since 2020, the park dedicated to Hollywood productions took a new dimension when opening the Super Nintendo World section, an immersive and innovative universe based on the Japanese company Nintendo. It brings to life the unavoidable characters of Bowser, Goomba, Donkey Kong and of course Mario and Luigi by offering attractions on the theme of Mario Kart and Yoshi’s Adventures.

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  • The quality and diversity of the attractions (including the Hollywood Dream roller coaster, Universal Wonderland children’s rides, 3D and 4D animations…)
  • The Monster Hunter interactive attraction (Monster Hunter World: Iceborne XR Walk); Detective Conan: The Escape adventures; Attack on Titan XR Ride
  • The hit attractions of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Super Nintendo World
  • Daily nightly parade; Waterworld show
  • Atmosphere and décor worthy of an American movie set; myriad special effects; interactive environments using state-of-the-art technology
  • The impeccable cleanliness of the Universal Studios site much appreciated by Japanese visitors
  • Universal CityWalk Osaka’s shopping, hotel and entertainment area
  • The Osaka Takoyaki section (dedicated to local culinary specialties) located on the 4th floor of the mall
  • Easy access to the park: by train (Universal City Station) on the Sakurajima line (or JR Yumesaki), by bus (day and night), or by ferry via the Captain Line (connecting Universal Studios Japan to the Kaiyukan Aquarium)
  • The Wizarding World of Harry Potter section cost a whopping $442 million. This amount should be exceeded by the new entertainment area at Universal Studios Japan, entirely dedicated to the Super Nintendo universe.
  • Announced with great fanfare at the time of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the release of Super Nintendo World was postponed for several months because of the global coronavirus health crisis. This new themed world houses several levels of games and challenges whose goal is to collect as many virtual coins and stars as possible with the help of a connected bracelet in a competition between visitors.
  • Universal Studios plans to roll out the Super Nintendo World concept to its other parks in Hollywood, Orlando, and Singapore in future years.
  • Like most theme parks in Japan, it’s best to avoid weekends and choose a weekday outside of school vacations to visit Universal Studios Japan.
  • Arrive early in the morning, making sure you buy your ticket online, and start strategically with the most popular attractions at the other end of the park (for example, starting with the Wizarding World of Harry Potter or Super Nintendo World sections).
  • You will save valuable time in line (for a fee) if you purchase a Universal Express Pass.

Where to eat

  • Momi & Toy's...
    (delicious pancakes)
  • Endo Sushi
    (cheap sushi)
  • Okonomiyaki Kiji
    (Japanese omelets)

Where to go

  • Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan
    (one of the largest in the world)
  • Shi Tenno-ji
    (temple in a relaxing setting)
  • Dotonbori
    (a bustling place)

Where to stay

  • J-Hoppers Osaka Universal
    (strategic location)
  • Kaneyoshi Ryokan
    (Japanese-style hostel)
  • Hotel Universal Port
    (family friendly)