Going to USJ can be tricky sometimes especially for tourist. Let’s put aside all of the opinions you might have read already and take our tips and tricks or you can gather it all with a grain of salt.
1. BUY THE TICKET ONLINE / IN ADVANCE!
1 day Studio pass (they also have 2 days pass). Ticket price in their official website might be various depends on the season, so does other online agent. We bought ours via Klook with a cheaper deal and its trusted! You can print the voucher or simply save it on your phone as long as the QR code is readable. This is really saving so much time rather than to buy it on the spot (which you might take about an hour or more just to buy the ticket!! Those who don’t have credit card, just please borrow your parents or friends! Seriously!) If you have the ticket then you can directly go to the entrance gate.
Universal Express Pass 4. After well digged to USJ website, we decided to buy express 4 (also via Klook). We went for Universal Express pass 4 standard where we rode Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey™ in 4K3D, Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, Hollywood Dream – The Ride (or you can choose The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man – The Ride 4K3D), and JAWS® (or you can choose Terminator 2:3-D®or Backdraft®) without any queuing! But we truly advise you, if you have more budget better to go for pass 7!! SERIOUSLY….THIS UNIVERSAL EXPRESS IS WORTH MORE THAN ITS PRICE!!!!
PS : In other blogs some might said better to arrived before the park open. We ourself arrived at 11AM at Universal City station and took a casual walk then entered the entrance gate at 11.20AM. The thing that save times really for us is to prepare every tickets needed in advance! If you decided to arrived earlier, perhaps you can enjoy your breakfast while waiting. And no re-entering allowed once you exit the park!!
2. KNOW WHAT YOU WANT TO DO!
Queuing time. The reason we bought express pass is because queuing for the rides can be extremely takes time. Some even can queue for 3 hours for Harry Potter 4K3D ride! Normally, their park operation hours is from 9AM to 9PM and keep in mind they have a reason why they offer 2 days pass. So yes, express pass is a way to go in any season you go. Be sure to check their calendar first to get the exact schedule of the day! Even tough we bought the Express Pass 4, we queued for “The Flying Dinosours” ride for 2 hours as fifth ride. According to Exa’s japanese friend, it can queue for 4 hours on high season. WHAT(?) We are so lucky, she said…
Rides mapping. Well, if those words exist! Wear your most comfortable shoes to strolling and playing around one of four Universal Studios theme park that exist in Osaka for 54 ha (108 acres) big. You can ask the maps for free from the staff, because normally they bring extra map on their bag/pocket for you or download the maps on your mobile phone to be handy. Pay attention with what you are about to ride and the time schedule especially when you buy express pass. Save your energy to scream for the rides, ay?!
Don’t easily get distracted nor lulled. Yes, while entering the park you’ll be surrounded by insta-worthy spots and eyes wide open by the super kawai stores. Guys, stores are open until 8.30PM! You can do shopping after you break a leg in every rides you dream of! For sightseeing and pictures also as it best about the time when the sun is set (might be around 4.30PM-6.30PM).
3. ORGANIZING WHAT TO BRING!
Camera. Although we brought our GoPro, we did not use it really. Exa just so happy with his Sony A7 mark ii and his two favorite lens 28mm f.2 & 85mm f 1.8 (not to forget his Joby Gorilla Pod as well, very useful). You don’t have to worry about your valuable items while going to enjoy the rides. They do have free lockers to keep your things save (inside the rides area).
Apparel. Make sure you check the weather forecast. Sure thing the store sells cute hat, umbrella, and raincoat but if you want to save some bucks, better to bring your own right? In some rides you can also get wet, be mind of extra clothes to bring.
Food and beverage? Do they allow us to bring outside F&B? They do have rules for certain things. We did bring 1 water bottle of 2L and luckily they did not check our bag (some got the bag checked tho!) Cafe and restaurant can be pricey inside the park and portion also just so-so yet they do have tap-water so you can bring an empty bottle. But this tap-water only available in some places inside the queuing lines and near toilet. Those that vending machine offers is about 30-40 yen higher than from street vending machine. Still OK!
4. LET’S PLAY!
Free stickers. Not so many people know that we can actually get USJ special stickers throughout the park. Just look our for staff members with a fancy pack/small bag and ask them nicely (no matter how old you are). And if you mentioned it’s your birthday, you may also get some small treats!
Street entertainment. Beside a free USJ map you can also ask for time schedule for non-rides attractions. Go back after sun goes down to Harry Potter’ town is always a good idea! Looks so fairy, butterbeer stalls still available, and just don’t miss the Expecto Patronum’ show! We didn’t manage to see the Minion’s parade 🙁
The Flying Dinosaurs. Dear you, adrenaline rush’ hunter! By far, this is Exa and Feli’s favorite ride in our quarter century of life! We went queued for 2.5hours (since our express 4 did not include this, but yet it worth our wait!!!) THIS IS JUST A MUST TO GO DUDE!!! THE BEST!!!
Kiddies rides. There’s an area called Universal Wonderland which kids friendly yet you twenty something can also reminisce your childhood, take some snaps, or ask your boyfriend to buy you that cute-girly-things kind of souvenirs!
Say nothing more and just go to Universal Studio Japan! I’m afraid I spoiled it too much here. You better dig it deeper by bring yourself to USJ Osaka! You are please to drop a question or sharing your story in the column bellow!