Marvelous Fun Day in Universal Studios Japan (USJ)

18361387_10155540345879123_548484515_nI have been to Universal Studios in Singapore but I still wishes to visit the one in Osaka. Nevertheless, USJ is much more attractive because it has Harry Potter theme. Being a fans of Harry Potter movies, I wished to travel to the Harry Potter’s wizarding world.

Direction: From Osaka-Namba Station, take Hashin Line to Nishikujo Station. Then change line to JR Yumesaki Line to Universal City Station (¥360/ RM14.40).

Instead of having the theme part decoration on the train, the train to Universal City Station is just any ordinary train in Japan. Universal City Station is not the last stop for Yumesaki Line. Although on weekday, it’s kind of pack with visitors heading to the theme park as well as office workers for the morning rush.

How to Purchase Studio Day Pass (Admission Ticket)?

  1. Purchase from the ticket booth on visit day.
  2. Book online and print the e-ticket with QR code.
  3. Purchase advance ticket from Kansai Information Center/ Travel Agency/ USJ partner hotel.

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What is Universal Express Pass?

Unlike Studio Pass, Universal Express Pass is an optional pass. It is a pass that grants shorter waiting time for designated rides. When considering whether to get the express pass or not is depends on the purpose of your visit to USJ. So choose carefully the type of express pass that you wishes to purchase. If you’re a patient visitor or does not has specific attractions to visit, opting out the pass is alright because the price of this pass is not cheap though. The types of passes offers may changes. Visit the USJ website for more updated information.

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Visit the website for more information: https://www.usj.co.jp/e/ticket/express_pass.html

What is Time Entry Ticket?

Some attractions may get crowded over time. In order to control the crowd, the park will issue the time entry tickets. The time entry ticket is a reservation numbered ticket system. Visitors are only allowed to enter the specific area or rides on designated time printed on the ticket. This tickets can be obtained free of charge or some already included in the Express Pass. In USJ, a time entry ticket is applicable for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and certain rides in Universal Wonderland. Take notes that the time entry ticket may not needed during off peak time.

Refer here for how to get the time entry ticket.

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Ticketing booths

IMG_3255We decided to depart from our Osaka home at 8.00 am since we already bought our ticket via online back at hometown. When we reached the theme park, it was already crowded with people. The rides had started and we can even heard some scream from the roller coaster. With the printed e-tickets on hands, we just proceeded to the entrance gates. Although there are long queue, but we managed to get in the park in short time due to efficiency of the staff. No security checking was performed, so it save up some time in the queue. Remember to get the day schedule table before scanning your tickets and obtain the park map from their staffs.

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Pass 9.30 am ……. just in time to start having fun here

Our mission for the day was simple. We bought the Universal Express Pass 4 – Standard in hope to enter The Wizarding World of Harry Potter without the hassle to get the time entry ticket. Our express pass covers four attractions namely 1) Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, 2) The Amazing Adventures of Spider Man or Jurassic Park – the rides, 3) JAWS or Terminator 2: 3-D and 4) Backdraft. Our pass was bought before the opening of Minions park. The new package for Express 4 – Standard has included the Despicable Me Minion Mayhem ride (Starting from Apr 21, 2017). Since we can only enter the Harry Potter attraction at 11.00 am, we planned to cover the Amazing Spider Man Adventures and Backdraft first.

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The Amazing Adventures of Spider Man – The Ride 4K3D is a 5 minuets ride that take us into the world of Spider Man adventures. With the special effect and 4K3D technology, the comic world seem so real. No wonder it is the award winning ride in the world. Backdraft is a show depicted how fire scene is film in a movie. The whole show takes about 20 minutes so it is just nice to fill up the waiting time to enter The Wizarding World of Harry Potter .

Tick! Tick! Tick! Dong…..it’s 11.00 am… time to enter….OOH YES!!!

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Poster courtesy of USJ

 

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Hogsmeade……location for restaurants and souvenir shops
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Main entrance to Hogwarts Castle

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride is in the Hogwarts Castle. With our express pass, we proceed to the fast lane entrance and manage to enjoy the ride in short time. We actually did not expect the ride to be so ‘adventurous’. It is not a ‘gentle’ ride as this time we’re seated in a row of four seats with our legs hanging in the air. At some moment we felt like falling out from our seat due to unexpected and drastic changes in movement. The feeling is like riding an indoor roller coaster but visually we can see Harry Potter guiding us throughout the whole ride. Although it is just a 5 minutes ride, but in my heart I was begging it to finished faster …….hahaha.. I think I’m too old for such adventure. Our head were spinning when we finished the ride. Anyhow, both rides at the Spider Man and Harry Potter I gave them a thumb up as the feeling is so real. We felt like we were actually entering into their worlds.

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Butterbeer
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Hot or Cold Butterbeer with three choices of cups…
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Sipping a cup of cold Butterbeer to cure my nausea (¥1,100/ RM44)

After a brief break, we headed to Three Broom Sticks for lunch….

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Three Broom Sticks…..

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Chicken & Rib Platter (¥1,950/RM 78)

Amusement park food is not cheap. We three ordered the chicken and rib platter since we can tried both meat. Unlike other food that we had in other theme park before, this meal is consider good. The roasted chicken was a bit not well cooked but the pork rib was yummy.

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Gorgeous view of the Hogwarts Castle at the backyard of the restaurant

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We visited the remaining souvenirs shops and Castle Walk after lunch.

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Hogwarts Castle Walk…..not crowded….just nice
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Prepare for the long.. long… queue for the HP and the Forbidden Journey Ride

On the way to the Castle walk, the path is divided into two: Turn left for Castle Walk while turn right for Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride. As you can see from the above picture, the line is crazy long.

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Harry Potter, Ron & Hermoine are talking in Japanese…..sound so special

Besides the Harry Potter and the Forbidden journey ride, there is another ride called Flight of the Hippogriff. We did not tried on this ride after the nausea we experienced from the earlier ride.

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Flight of the Hippogriff

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Car models…

WWOHP park was not very big. We were actually touring the same area back and forth few times. After spending 2.5 hours there, we moved on to explore the other theme park area. Ooh ya.. we still have one last quota for fast lane entrance with our express pass. We chose Terminator 2: 3-D over JAWS as we did not want to get wet. The Terminator 2 is a 3-D show and I’m very impressed with the 3-D effects. It was so entertaining but we fell asleep halfway due to tiredness. Felt so sorry for the show.

Check list for Universal Express Pass 4 – Standard :

√ HARRY POTTER AND THE FORBIDDEN JOURNEY

√ THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF SPIDERMAN

√ BACKDRAFT

√ TERMINATOR 2: 3-D

Done… we had fully utilized our express pass. Now we leisurely roamed around the other attractions. We managed to be in time for the minions appearance. The kids were so excited with their appearance.

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It’s looking at my camera…haha

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Minions Park opening in two more weeks….sigh!!!

USJ organized different events over the period of times. During our visit, the Universal Cool Japan 2017 was going on. There were XR-rides, 4-D shows and other activities going on in conjunction with the events.

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Photo courtesy of USJ

 

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Information board for show time and waiting time

We made our last stop at Universal Wonderland which was meant more for kids.

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We arrived just in time for The Charlie Brown and Snoopy appearance….Sing! Sing! Sing!…..

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Sakura tree in the middle of the park
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Easter Day is around the corner…

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‘Baby Car’ please park here…Sign of kids’ presence at this place
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Bye bye USJ.. till we meet again!

About 5.30 pm we left USJ for dinner at Kura Sushi ….. our first sushi meal in Japan. The Kura Sushi that we visited was located one station away from Namba Station (Midosuji Line). It is a conveyor belt sushi restaurant which served 100 yen sushi per plate.

Kura Sushi Namba

Direction: From Namba Station take subway to Daikokucho (1-2 mins).

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Kura Sushi across the road from exit 2

The Kura Sushi restaurant is located on the 2nd floor above the parking lot. We arrived during peak hour for dinner. We get our queue numbered from the machine and waited about less than 1 hour to be seated. Just like any conveyor belt sushi restaurant, everything is self-service. But as I mentioned before, Japan is a country full of proper instructions display for guidance. First make your own green tea and then select your food from the conveyor belt.

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If you did not find anything that you like on the conveyor belt, there is a touch screen monitor for ordering sushi and other food such as noodles, snacks and dessert.

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Touch screen monitor for ordering food

The sushi that we ordered will be delivered by tray through another conveyor belt located above the normal conveyor belt.

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Beep! Beep! Beep! Our sushi have just arrived…

 

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Empty the tray and the tray will be sent back to the kitchen

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Not all sushi price is ¥100. Only the blue color plates are priced ¥100… Once done eating, drop the plates into the designated compartment. For every 5 plates, we’re entitled to trigger the games shown on the monitor. The gift is the Gashapon, capsule toys. We won on our first try but subsequently we end up losing till the end. This is a gimmick to attract diner to help them to collect the plates.

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Dropping plate compartment

 

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The games will run automatically… just wait for the result

 

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The dining experience here is very wonderful. We get to eat cheap sushi and able to play games while enjoying eating. Our total bill = ¥2,160/ RM86.40 for three person.

NEXT POST: Last day in Osaka….more amazing places to come..

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