11 tips for your first visit to Universal Studios Japan

Want to feel like you’re a kid again? Well, who doesn’t really. It’s so nice to step into Universal Studios Japan and immediately be transported back to being 12 again, with no worries in the world besides deciding which ride to ride first! USJ (Universal Studios Japan) is one of the most popular theme parks in the world, and I understand why. It’s got a great mix of rides {thrill-seeking and a little more tame}, amazing foods and just a truly fun vibe. On our recent trip to Osaka to visit USJ, I noted down some tips to share with you guys for when you next visit.


1. Check the park opening hours

Universal Studios Japan has quite flexible opening hours, which I found a little bit surprising. So it’s always good to check what time they’re opening on the day you’re visiting. Generally they open between 8:30am and 9:30am, and close between 7pm and 9pm. You want to make sure you can maximise your time at the park. You can check out the opening hours here.

2. Stay right near Universal Studios, Japan

We stayed at the Parkfront Hotel, which happens to be right at the gates of Universal Studios Japan. I found accommodation to be really affordable in Osaka, so it was great to be able to stay right near the park and be there as soon as it opened. Plus the fun vibe of the park is excellent to be around.

3. Grab an Universal Japan Express Pass

I am impatient and I want to jam pack as much fun as I can into a day where possible, so I think express passes are worth the investment. What does an express pass do? It means you can enter rides quicker {they have separate lines for express pass holders} and you’re also guaranteed a spot for the parade too. You can read more about express passes here.

4. Take advantage of the single rider lines

There are lines especially for people who are riding alone, or happy to sit alone. It just means they pop you in where they have a spare seat and you don’t have to wait in the normal lines. Genius, right? It’s great for when you’re traveling as a duo, or if one person wants to ride something and the rest of the crew aren’t keen {or are too scared!}.

5. Make time to ride Jaws

Jaws is one of the most popular rides at USJ, and a must for everyone. While it doesn’t have dips and twists, it certainly has the drama and is done SO well. It would be totally fine for kids, but you might want to tell the kids that it’s all pretend. I really loved this one, and would highly recommend it.

6. Get terrified on Jurassic Park – The Ride

I actually watched this ride on YouTube before we went to the park, and STILL I was scared and shocked. It’s such a brilliant ride, and you might get wet, but it’s all worth it. You’ll feel like you’re actually at Jurassic Park and that dinosaurs actually still exist.

7. Feel like a child again in the colour-filled Universal Wonderland

Even if you’re not traveling with younger kids, you should still stop in and see the amazing colour of Universal Wonderland. You’ll find Hello Kitty and Sesame Street and feel like you’ve stepped back into your childhood.

8. Make time for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

This has to be the most popular section of the park, and I totally get it. It’s like you’re smack-bang in the movie. The rides are popular, and everything is so beautiful, that I’d probably head here first so not to miss out at all. The Forbidden Journey Ride is mind-blowing, and unmissable. I would be making my way there first, for sure!

9. Get magical!

There are opportunities to make magic in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Sometimes in can take a little bit of practice to get your magic right, which it felt like it took me way long {my magic needs work!}. There are a few spots around Hogsmeade, so keep your eye out.

10. Bring a backpack for your belongings

There are lockers are most rides to pop your belongings so you don’t have worry about them. A small backpack can keep everything in the one place. You might like to also pack a light poncho for the wet rides {ahem, Jurassic Park I’m looking at you!}.

11. Get Minion crazy at Minion Park

Like, seriously, get ready for it. It’s EVERYTHING, and then some. There are so many Minion-shaped snacks, and music playing. It’s THE best. We loved the Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem ride and trust us, it’s quite the ride. Make sure you try a Minion Ice Cream Sandwich. They’re the best!