What to expect at UNIVERSAL STUDIOS JAPAN
Who doesn’t want to maximize their time at a theme park?
Well, we spent over ¥170,000 (OVER 1700 USD!) to help you and your family make the MOST out of your time in Universal Studios Japan.
Tip – 1 Tickets
GET THE TICKETS ONLINE IN ADVANCE – I don’t know much about discount tickets, but if you know which day you’ll be going to Universal Studios Japan, just get the tickets online. To enter, we paid
¥5000 x 2 for our children = ¥10,000 (this is for children from 4-11).
¥7,400 x 2 for two adults = ¥14,800
TOTAL = ¥24,800
Tip -2 Express Tickets
But wait, there’s MORE
We also wanted to limit our waiting time, so we got Express Passes
What are Express Passes?
- You buy them in ADDITION to regular passes
- You can ride SPECIFIC rides without waiting in line
- There are SPECIFIC time slots for riding the rides
- You can choose from 3 rides, 4 rides, or 7 rides
- Prices start from ¥5000 for 3 rides, but the prices go UP during busy seasons (VERY DISAPPOINTING)
We got the Express Pass 4 ~Minion Ride~ tickets for ¥8000 per person, and what we got was THIS
13:00~ Enter Harry Potter Area
13:20~13:50 Forbidden Journey
16:40~17:10 Despicable Me Minion Mayhem
The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man OR Jurassic Park – The Ride (Choose 1)
JAWS or Terminator 2:3-D OR Backdraft (Choose 1)
It was our first time, so we had no idea what these rides were. For some of the rides (like Despicable Me Minion Mayhem), our youngest couldn’t ride it because of the height restrictions. It did say in VERY SMALL WRITING when we bought the tickets, but I honestly think they should be more clear about the rides, as most of us aren’t repeatedly going to Universal Studio Japan.
TOTAL we spent on Tickets = ¥56,800
Tip -3 Do your research on the Rides
If you are planning on buying the Express tickets, you should do you research on what you’re paying for. Especially because the Express Tickets cost MORE than the regular admission tickets! Also, there are rides that use a lot of 3D animation, and I’m not a big fan of 3D animation rides.
Let’s get started
First of all, meet your tour guide
This is Yamato
And this is Ryoma
Tip – 4 Eat your breakfast outside Universal Studios if you can
We wanted to enjoy the park as long as we could, so we skipped breakfast and hoped to get a quick bite once we got in. This was a big mistake because not only the food at almost ALL THEME PARKS ARE OVERPRICED AND NOT GOOD, the better ones were NOT OPEN early in the morning.
Beverly Hills Boulangerie was open from 9AM, so we went to quickly grab a bite. I have NEVER IN MY LIFE had a sandwich this bad. I beg you, please DO NOT get a sandwich here.
I strongly recommend getting a quick breakfast at your hotel or even grabbing something at a convenience store on your way here.
Aside from the worst sandwich ever, the sun was out, and the atmosphere was amazing
Jurassic Park the Ride
This ride was FUN! It’s a classic drop-in-the-water ride, but it was one of my favorite!
I don’t think we needed the Express Ticket for this one…
This one was where you go on a boat where you sail through the waters with the extremely hyper tour guide. Not a big fan of these kind of rides, but my kids seemed to like it!
Don’t forget to take lots of pictures!
Am I tall enough?
Tip – 5 – Don’t let the signs fool you!
For most of the rides, there are TWO height restrictions for
- With a supervisor
- Without a supervisor
For example, this one has a height restriction that you must be 122cm or taller WITHOUT A SUPERVISOR.
He was able to get on this ride because with a supervisor, you don’t need to be over 122 cm tall.
Souvenirs are overpriced, obviously
We spent about an extra ¥10,000 on these things. haha.
But at least everyone’s happy, right?
Tip 6 – Vegetarians, go to Azzurra di Capri
The only restaurant with a vegetarian menu is Azzurra di Capri. Although my family is NOT vegetarian, I thought you might want to know!
Here, we spent about ¥10,000 on lunch for four.
Apparently you can get some non-alcoholic ButterBeer at the Harry Potter World, but I’ll take the regular one 🙂
Tip – 7 You may need ENTRY TICKETS to enter the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Our Express Pass gave us an automatic pass to the Wizarding World fo Harry Potter, but it turns out that the day we went was not so packed, and we didn’t need the ticket. Pretty surprising for going on a Sunday.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter was our favorite spot
Although none of us have watched Harry Potter before, this area was very magical and exciting.
You can NEVER get them to smile at the same time
Tip 8 – Forbidden Journey in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter has a height restriction of over 122 cm (Even with a supervisor) Know this before buying the Express 4 Pass
So, it turns out that my youngest can’t get on this one, so I went on the Flight of the Hippogriff with him, which turned out to be great!
Flight of the Hippogriff
By now you probably know I like rides like this one over shows, parades, and 3D/4D animations. This one was fun!!
Tip 9 – Have extra time for snacks
Snacks are so popular, especially popcorn. You should have extra time for snacks because there will be a long queue. This is probably a no brainer, but time management is pretty important especially if you have the Express Passes.
We spent about ¥3,000 on snacks and drinks
Since our Express Pass for the minions rides was only effective from 4PM, we came to the Minion Area last. BUT
Tip – 9 – If you’re NOT getting the express pass, you should come to the Minions Area earlier.
Apparently, this is one of the most popular areas (aside from Harry Potter). My personal opinion is, I didn’t love the rides that much. But you might.
I don’t know if we were lucky, but we could ride two of the rides without waiting so much. (One with express pass) This Minion Mayhem ride mad me REALLY DIZZY. If you are not a fan of the 360 degrees projection with moving carts, this is NOT FOR YOU!
Nighttime is Magical
We absolutely LOVED the park at night
I usually don’t buy souvenirs, but my kids really wanted these minion bubbles, so I gave in.
We spent about ¥6,000 on souvenirs.
Tip 10 – Book a room near Universal Studios the night AFTER you spend the day at the park (If you can)
If you have the choice spending a night in Osaka, plan your stay so that it will be the NIGHT you spend the day at Universal Studios Japan. We were exhausted, (to the point where I wanted to cry), but we had to walk to the train station, ride multiple trains, get on the Shinkansen (bullet train), and get back to Tokyo. On top of that we had our luggages. I literally thought that I might die from a heart attack. If you spend the whole day at the park, you will be tired AF. You DO NOT want to plan long trips afterwards. We always book a room at Disney Land
This was my VERY FIRST TIME at Universal Studios Japan, and it was so much fun. I still have absolutely no idea if this is worth the money. Why I say this is because of the ridiculous ticket and transportation fees.
Here’s a breakdown of how much we spent.
¥56,800 (Ticket to Universal Studios Japan including Express Tickets)
¥29,000 (Food, Snacks and Souvenirs)
Total of ¥170,800
(NOT INCLUDING HOTEL)
I don’t regret buying the express tickets, because if we didn’t have them, we would be spending most of our time waiting, and would have ridden MUCH LESS rides. Time is precious. BUT if you ask me if I’d do this again, I would rather go to Disney Land / Sea since it is so much closer to home.
If I ignore the cost, I really liked Universal Studios Japan, despite the overpriced food (and everything else). It is a magical place, and you will DEFINITELY have the best time, especially with kids close to my sons’ ages.
I will definitely go back if I am close to Osaka by any chance, but I have to say I won’t go back JUST to go to Universal Studios Japan. Honestly, I think I can go somewhere outside the country with a little extra topped on our budget at Universal Studios.
I thought Universal Studios Japan was NOT BABY FRIENDLY. Although there are well equipped nursing rooms, the rides are mostly for kids over 4, and I would say Disney Land is much suitable for children younger than 4 years old.
Anyways, these are the 10 tips that I thought was important, and since this is only my first time, I may have missed a few. Please write in the comments if you have more tips to share!
Name: Universal Studios Japan
Phone #: 0570-200-606
Universal City Station, Yumesaki Line
Closed on : Please see above link
General Fees :
Studio Pass (Regular)
Adult (12 and over) – ¥7,200
Children (4-11) – ¥5,100
Seniors – ¥6,700
Please make sure to check the exact prices, as it changes quite often.
Budget (How much we spent) : ￥85,800 (2 Adults, 2 Children (6 and 4) inc. tickets, express passes, food, and snacks
Diaper Changing Space : Yes
Nursing Room : Yes
Stroller Friendly?: 5/5
Baby Friendly?: 2/5
Toddler Friendly?: 2/5
Child Friendly?: 3/5
Family Friendly?: 4/5
Foreign Language Assistance?: English, Chinese, Korean, but not ALL staffs are multi-lingual.
*This post was NOT sponsored by Universal Studios Japan
*Please leave a comment if you have questions, comments, or updates.