Universal Studios Japan—Asia’s first Universal Studios theme park—is second only to the Tokyo Disney Resort as Japan’s most visited amusement park. Beloved characters like Shrek, Hello Kitty, and Spiderman are in attendance, and a spectacular variety of rides, movie simulators, and parades keep all ages entertained.
To visit Universal Studios Japan, choose between a 1- or 2-day pass, both of which offer full access to the park’s eight zones—Hollywood, New York, San Francisco, Jurassic Park, Minion Park, Amity Village, Universal Wonderland, and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. If you’re coming from Tokyo, you can ensure a hassle-free experience by combining a Universal Studios ticket with round-trip transfers by bullet train from Tokyo and overnight accommodations in Osaka.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Universal Studios Japan is a fantastic attraction for families who want to give the kids a break from the temples and museums.
- Bring comfortable shoes and be prepared to do lots of walking.
- If you have a 1-day pass, plan your schedule carefully to ensure you don’t miss the shows, parades, and rides that most interest you.
- Express passes, Single Rider lines, and a Child Switch system are all available and can save hours of time waiting to go on rides.
- Universal Studios is wheelchair accessible, and many rides offer priority access to wheelchair users.
- On-site facilities include ATMs, coin lockers, and various restaurants, cafés, and gift shops.
How to Get There
Universal Studios Japan is located in west Osaka and is easy to reach by public transportation. The closest subway station is Universal City Station on the JR Yumesaki Line, from where it’s a fewer than a 5-minute walk to the entrance gate. Trains from Osaka Station run either direct to Universal City Station or with a change at Nishikujo Station. The closest international airport is Kansai Airport, which has direct links with Nishikujo Station.
When to Get There
Universal Studios Japan is open all year, and most attractions, shows, and parades remain open even in low season. The busiest times are the summer and Christmas holidays, when it can get unbearably crowded and lines can be up to three hours for popular rides. To avoid the crowds, choose a weekday visit outside of holiday periods and get there when the park opens.
Must-Do Experiences at Universal Studios Japan
Some of Universal Studios Japan’s most popular rides include the Flying Dinosaur, one of the world’s longest flying roller coasters; the award-winning Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey experience, the park’s newest attraction; and classics like the Amazing Adventures of Spiderman – The Ride 4K3D and Jurassic Park – The Ride. For younger kids, the Shrek 4-D and Sesame Street 4-D Movie Magic are unmissable, while nostalgic adults will want to peek into Snoopy Studios. And Hello Kitty Fashion Avenue offers plenty of selfie-worthy moments for lovers of the Japanese icon. Keep a lookout for the upcoming Super Nintendo World too, expected to open in 2020.