10 Ways (Plus One) to Enjoy Universal Studios in Osaka, Japan

Recently, I, along with selected travel bloggers, were invited to pay a visit to the Osaka, Japan. This was in line with the Cebu Pacific-Universal Studios partnership. When I saw that the world-renowned Universal Studios in Osaka was on the itinerary for the entire second day, I didn’t think twice about accepting the offer. Just like that, I threw my hat over the wall and prepared myself for one of my most imaginative, wonder-filled adventure yet.

Universal Globe - Universal Studios in Osaka
Universal Globe – Universal Studios in Osaka

I woke up early in my second day in Osaka. After eating breakfast in our official accommodation, Rihga Royal Hotel (hotel info and rates), I made sure to bring with me my phone and trusty camera (they’re both fully charged, of course), and all my giggly, childish, traveler curiosity. Just imagine how much eagerness I had when we arrived at the famous universal globe for a short briefing.


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I experienced so much happiness in my trip to the Universal Studios in Osaka, Japan, and it’s very hard to put the feeling down into words. That is why I decided to organize my thoughts instead and listed the 10 ways I enjoyed Universal Studios in Osaka, and how you should enjoy it, too:

1. Arrive early to avoid the crowd

Universal Studios Japan, or simply abbreviated USJ, is a theme park that is famous to locals, tourists, adults, children, and those who are children at heart, like me. That is why arriving early to avoid the crowds is highly recommended.

Arrive early to avoid the crowd
Arrive early to avoid the crowd

Of course, USJ is way too big to get overcrowded, but the early bird gets the first worm, so the saying goes; or in this case, the early bird gets the best pictures, the best rides, and the best experience, first.

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2. Take souvenir photos at the Universal Globe… lots of them

souvenir photos at the Universal Globe
souvenir photos at the Universal Globe

The Universal Globe is the symbol of Universal Studios, its unmoving mascot, much like how Paris is symbolized by the Eiffel Tower and how New York is known with the Statue of Liberty. Going to Universal Studios without ever taking a picture with the Universal Globe would make one’s trip incomplete. I, for one, took as several sefies and group pictures that I could!

3. Visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is our first stop for the day, our first stop for half of the day, and the stop where I had the most fun.

Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Wizarding World of Harry Potter

The Wizarding World is a theme park that recreates certain places in the famous book and movie series Harry Potter. The theme park is one of the first of its kind and is the only Harry Potter theme park in the whole of Asia, which is why getting there firsthand felt very special.

Hogwarts Castle
Hogwarts Castle

I am not a potterhead, but I immensely enjoyed the theme park. Imagine how much more hardcore fans would flip out if they went to this theme park. The Hogsmeade Wizard Village is one of the places recreated in the theme park, where dark-colored wizard homes are lined with artificial snow, rustic shops, and well, wizards. Around the corner is a nifty store labelled Ollivander’s Wand Shop, where they actually sell magic wands. This leads us to the fourth item on this list…

4. Swing your own wand and perform actual wand magic

Ollivander’s Wand Shop sells two kinds of magic wands: souvenir wands that do not have magic, and actual magic wands. The second type of wand comes with a map, which contains the locations in the theme park where people can cast “spells”.

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The Magic Wand
The Magic Wand
perform actual wand magic
perform actual wand magic

Casting spells just require a little swing of a magic wand, and some magic words. Even adults like me did not take much time to believe that there is, indeed, a little magic in this world.

5. Be part of the Harry Potter universe in the Forbidden Journey Ride

The Harry Potter and The Forbidden Journey 4K 3D is an immersive ride that uses high-end 4K 3D technology to recreate certain scenes shown in the Harry Potter movies. It’s one of the most sought rides, but getting to it is no easy task. The ride itself is located in the recreated Hogwarts Castle, where we had to pass by dark labyrinthine corridors and get lost… in awe as we stared at the intricate details of the recreated wizard institution. Once again, I want to say that I’m not a Potter fan, but I am very impressed with the recreation.

Harry Potter Forbidden Journey Ride
Harry Potter Forbidden Journey Ride

We got our turn in the ride after a short while, and it was an experience like no other. I’ve seen some of the Harry Potter movies and I want to commend the theme park for its life-like recreation of the scenes. I felt like I was riding a broomstick as the young wizards flew across the sky, even though I was actually just sitting on a bench.

6. Get a helping of wizard food at Three Broomsticks

Surviving the “forbidden journey” we went through in Hogwarts left my tummy craving for food. A long journey should be rewarded with a full-course meal! That is why we headed to Three Broomsticks, an inn where wizards hang out. We had a plate of traditional wizard food and enjoyed the ambiance of the place while we waited for our meals to be cooked with magic.

View of Hogwarts Castle from Three Broomsticks Restaurant
View of Hogwarts Castle from Three Broomsticks Restaurant
Three Broomsticks Tavern
Three Broomsticks Tavern
Butter Beer
Butter Beer

I got some baby back ribs and a large cup of butter beer (which was surprisingly non-alcoholic!), and I ate happily with the view of Hogwarts reflected on the lake, reminiscing my long, forbidden journey in the castle.

7. Join the ReBooooooorn Parade

We headed out for a quiet stroll and sightseeing after lunch. We chanced upon the Re-Booooooorn Parade (yes, it has that much Os). The ReBooooooorn Parade is a celebration that marks the 15th anniversary of USJ.

Reborn Party
Reborn Party
Float at Reborn Parade
Float at Reborn Parade
Hello Kitty at Reborn Parade
Hello Kitty at Reborn Parade
Reborn Parade
Reborn Parade

It is a musical, colorful, lively street festival that showcases a lot of familiar cartoon characters, costumed people and colorful floats that spurted confetti, foam and bubbles. The energy of the onlookers around us were so contagious; I ended up singing and dancing along the music as well. I felt that the inner child in me was Re-Booooooorn!

8. Try the Matcha Churros from Re-Booooooorn Market

There were several food stalls around and we wanted to try out their food. Most of my companions tried this huge slice of barbecued turkey leg wrapped in an oversized bacon. Since I was craving for something sweet, I tried out this amazing Matcha Churos from one of the stalls. It’s a chocolate-flavored churro sprinkled with matcha (green tea) powder and sugar. It was very good and it gave me all the carbs I needed to pump me up for the next item on this list…

9. Fly through the sky in the Jurassic Park Flying Dinosaur Ride

The Jurassic Park Flying Dinosaur Ride is one of the most recently opened rides in USJ. Spotting it in the area was not so hard. It stood out… literally. It’s known as the longest and highest flying roller coaster in the world, at around 1,200 meters long, and with the first drop standing proudly at nearly 40 meters above ground.

The Flying Dinosaur
The Flying Dinosaur

I was actually wondering myself why I did not try the ride, which recreated the experience of being flown away by a Pteranodon dinosaur, the “rulers of the skies”, from the Jurassic Park movie according to my colleague. But whatever reason I had for not trying the adrenaline pumping, screamingly high and extreme ride, I’m at least sure that I haven’t had as much fun as I did.

10. Fly through the sky again, but this time with Spider-man

Another ride that utilizes the 4K 3D technology is the Amazing World of Spiderman ride. Just like the Forbidden Journey ride, it is immersive and recreates, well, the amazing world of none other than our favorite red webby superhero, Spiderman.

The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man
The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man

The rapid turns and movements on the ride made me feel as if I was gliding through the nighttime air, hanging and swinging on one string of web to the other on the skyscrapers of New York City.

Going on an adventure to the different worlds inside Universal Studios Japan is one my most unforgettable experiences as an adult that is a child at heart. I got to take lots of pictures, tried different kinds of food, got into at least three different worlds from three different movies, went on two 4K 3D journeys, danced to my heart’s content, and experience a little sort of magic. That is why before leaving, I stopped by one of the stalls to do one extra thing:

11. Buy Souvenirs

Souvenir Shops inside Universal Studios Japan
Souvenir Shops inside Universal Studios Japan

Buying souvenirs has been a habit of mine ever since I started traveling. Collecting these little bits of trinkets reminds me of all the experience I had in the places that I’ve been to. The photographs in my smartphone and camera can go a long way, of course, but having a small, tangible souvenir is something else altogether. That’s why you should not forget to buy yourself some souvenirs, too.

Universal Studios Japan Ticket Prices (as of 2016)

Type Adults[Aged 12 or over] Children[Ages 4 to 11] Seniors[Aged 65 or over]
1 DAY Studio Pass 6,852 yen(7,400 yen with tax) 4,612 yen(4,980 yen with tax) 6,158 yen(6,650 yen with tax)
2 DAY Studio Pass 11,528 yen(12,450 yen with tax) 7,797 yen(8,420 yen with tax)

Where to buy Tickets for Universal Studios Japan

Before you arrive in Japan, Make sure to buy your one-day theme-park pass from Klook.com. By booking a Universal Express® Pass, you can enjoy fast track access to USJ’s most popular attractions. Get your guaranteed Universal Studios Japan ticket with travel booking service from Klook – an authorized reseller of USJ. Click here to avail discounted Universal Studios Japan Ticket (1 Day Pass).

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Melo Villaral in Universal Studios in Osaka Japan
Melo Villareal in Universal Studios in Osaka Japan

Travelling time to Universal Studios Japan

Travelling time to Universal Studios Japan
Travelling time to Universal Studios Japan

Flights from Manila to Osaka, Japan

Planning to visit Universal Studios in Osaka in Japan?. Cebu Pacific, the largest airline in the Philippines, flies between Manila and Osaka five times weekly, with lowest year-round fares starting from PHP6,399. Cebu Pacific also flies from Manila to Tokyo (Narita), Nagoya and Fukuoka, as well as from Cebu to Tokyo (Narita). Book its trademark lowest fares now through http://bit.ly/CEBOsakaflights or (+632) 7020888, or follow its Facebook or Twitter pages for the latest seat sales.

Also Read: Universal Studios in Singapore

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