One of the four Universal Studios in the world is found here in Japan. USJ is located in the second largest city in the country, Osaka. This year, the amusement park celebrates its 15th anniversary, with an exciting theme: Reborn.
With the introduction of a brand new Minion area (yes!), new rollercoasters, and more 3D rides, the 15 year old park is the ultimate place for a fun-packed day.
Here are the fees for a 1 day studio pass.
Adults (12~) ￥7,000 / Children (4~11) ￥4,980 / Seniors (65~) ￥6,650
There are other passes such as a 2 day pass, and an express pass (you can choose which rides and shows you want to enter without waiting).
There are 5 official hotels in the City Walk, just outside the park gates, and another 20 partner hotels in proximity to USJ. If you want to make the most of the park and enjoy it until it closes, it would be best for you to stay at one of the official hotels. You can walk to the hotel, which will save you the time and energy of riding crowded trains. Also, I would definitely recommend these hotels if you have a 2 day pass. On the other hand, if you want to go sightseeing and eat local Osaka food too, then the partner hotels nearby would be fine.
When I went to USJ during Septmeber, I recognized almost immediately that many people were wearing minion costumes. The Minion movies were all great hits in Japan, but it was Halloween in USJ that day, which explained the surprising number of yellow minions roaming the park. Other people wore Spiderman costumes, or dressed up like zombies. I saw a few kids with Disney princess costumes, but let’s turn a blind eye to that.
Halloween themed things were seen all around the park. Raspberry flavored “blood” slurries and Chucky inspired churros were sold in carts. Also, many people lined up for horror movie attractions, like haunted houses.
The minion area had many food stalls, the game from Despicable Me where Agnes gets her fluffy unicorn (“it’s so fluffy!!!”), and gift shops filled with minion-themed clothing, candy, toys, and stationary. During the day, there were a few parades where the minions sprayed water trying to extinguish fire, but ending up spraying people.
As a huge Harry Potter fan, naturally the Harry Potter World was my favorite area. With a reserve ticket that you can get inside the park for free, we entered Hogsmeade at 6pm. We went straight to the ride, the Forbidden Journey and examined the Hogwarts castle while waiting in line. The ride changed to 3D last year, and we were given 3D glasses, like the goggles Harry had on for quidditch. We ate dinner at the Three Broomsticks. The terrace tables looked over the lake, and gave a great view of the Hogwarts castle and its reflection on the water. Because it was Halloween, Death Eaters roamed the street. We saw two of them while eating, but green fireworks summoned them (the dark mark?) and they both ran towards it.
Outside Harry Potter World, zombies were roaming the streets of USJ. They were quite frightening, and people would scream and run away from them. SWAT teams showed you the safe areas. Children would escape to these areas, including Harry Potter World and Universal Wonderland.
USJ is the perfect place to enjoy your day off school or work, and have fun like a child. The crew members are always friendly and fun! They even count money using the attraction names instead of the actual currency, like 500 “jaws.”