Japan · Osaka · Universal Studios Japan

A Muggle’s Guide to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Japan

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I spent the whole day being a kid at the Universal Studios Japan last July 26, 2018 and I could say it’s the most magical birthday ever! Wandering around Hogsmeade and with Butterbeer flavored drink and a wand is every Harry Potter fans dream come true.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Get Tickets to WWoHP Japan
What time does Universal Studios Japan open?
When is the best time to visit USJ?
How To Spend the Day at WWoHP
⚡⚡ Plan and Organize Your Route Ahead
⚡⚡Wizarding World of Harry Potter Rides

⚡⚡Get a Wand and Perform ‘Wand Magic’
⚡⚡Eat at the Three Broomsticks & Hogs Head Inn
⚡⚡Shop for Souvenirs
What to Expect at WWoPH
How To Maximize Your Magical Experience
How To Bypass Long Lines
Reminders
How To Get to Universal Studios Japan

But first! TICKETS TO THE UNIVERSAL STUDIOS JAPAN!

You may opt to get it from the official Universal Studios Japan website, however it is written ONLY in Japanese, for step-by-step instructions click here. You may also get your tickets at any authorized dealers such as Klook, KKday and Voyagin. Based on my experience, Klook offer cheaper Universal Studios Japan tickets because they have better exchange rates.

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Studio Pass

Compare Price Here

Express Pass

Compare Price Here

Fast Track Pass

Compare Price Here

wizarding-world-of-harry-potter-japan-008Mr. Weasley’s Ford Anglia

What time does Universal Studios Japan open?

Universal Studios Japan usually opens between 8:30 AM and 9:30 AM and closes between 7:00 PM and 9:00 PM – opening hours are long on weekends and public holidays.

When is the best time to visit Universal Studios Japan?

According to the official Universal Studios calendar, best days to visit are Wednesdays and Thursdays as crows starts to surge in from Friday until Tuesday.

wizarding-world-of-harry-potter-japan-006Stone arch of Hogsmeade Village

How To Spend The Day at the
Wizarding World of Harry Potter
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Plan and Organize Your Route Ahead

Once you enter WWoHP, you will really be overwhelmed. If you’re a die-hard Harry Potter fan (like me, ehem), I’m sure you’ll feel goosebumps everywhere. You will really feel that you are in the movies.

Familiarize yourself with the attractions and prioritize what you want to see or do first. I suggest you start with popular attractions as lines tend to build up fast. Last 2019, I went back but I was not able to purchase an express pass so it took me 1 hour and 50 minutes on the queue of the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.

⚡ Get a Map – maps are available at the ticketing center, WWoHP Numbered Ticket Booth or you can head to the USJ website and download the map (Japanese only).

⚡ Suggested route

  • Start with Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
  • A tour of Hogwarts Castle
  • Flight of the Hippogriff
  • Eat at the Three Broomsticks
  • Buy your Butterbeer at Hog’s Head
  • Do your souvenir shopping starting at Ollivander’s, Honeydukes, Zonko’s, and etc.

Wizarding World of Harry Potter Rides

There are only 2 rides within the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Osaka, Japan.

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⚡ Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey – a 4D animated and fully immersive ride; you will be sitting in a cart that tilts back and forth. In front of you is a projector screen and animatronics that give you the impression of moving.

  • Warnings: Height requirement is 122 cm or taller, heart problems, motion sickness

⚡Flight of the Hippogriff – a kid-friendly roller coaster, no big drops or crazy twist and turns, no loops.

  • Warnings: Height requirement is 122 cm or taller

Get a Wand and Perform ‘Wand Magic’

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You can buy an Interactive Wand at stores in Hogsmeade and you’ll get a map, then look for bronze medallions embedded in the street that mark the various shop windows where you can cast spells. Once you’re there, just perform the correct spell and watch the magic come to life. And remember, it’s LeviOsa, not LeviosA!

⚡ About ‘Wand Magic’ 

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  • As far as I know there are 8 Wand Magic locations in WWoHP Japan.
  • Only Interactive Wands can perform ‘Wand Magic’.
  • Keep your wand movement steady when performing spells.
  • Can also perform non-verbal spells.

There are villagers roaming around Hogsmeade who will happily held you cast spells at the Wand Magic spots.

You can also purchase them at Dervish and Banges or the kiosks around WWoHP.

Eat at the Three Broomsticks & Hogs Head Inn

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Shop for Souvenirs

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⚡ Zonko’s Joke Shop –  Overflows with an assortment of unique novelty items and jokes, including the infamous Extendable Ears.
⚡ Honeydukes – A colorful sweetshop full of unique sweets like Bertie Bott’s Every-Flavour Beans and Chocolate Frogs
Ollivanders – Purchase replicas of the Harry Potter film characters’ wands, Collectible wand sets and more. Sadly, you wont be able to experience the “the wand chooses the wizard” moment as Ollivanders isn’t around and the shop is always full.
⚡ Wiseacre’s Wizarding Equipment – features a wide variety of wizarding equipment, including binoculars, magnifying glasses and compasses. They all sell Hogwarts robes and ties.
⚡ Owl Post and Owlery – Sells stationery and writing implements, Harry Potter stamps, and owl-related toys and gifts.
⚡ Dervish and Banges – You’ll find items such as Spectrespecs, Quidditch equipment, Hogwarts uniforms, and more.
⚡ Gladrags Wizardwear – the store features fashion items and clothes as well as accessories and jewelry that were mentioned in the Harry Potter series.
⚡ Filch’s Emporium of Confiscated Goods – the shop sells a variety of “confiscated” items such as the Marauders’ Map, Sirius Black’s Mugshot, Wizards Chess, Death Eater masks, the horcruxes, the Monster Book of Monsters and more.

Enjoy the Street Shows

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Please note that the schedule is subject to change, check the official USJ website for updates.

⚡ Wand Studies 12:30 / 13:30 / 16:30 / 17:30 / 18:30
⚡ Frog Choir 09:30 / 10:30 / 11:30 / 14:30 / 15:30
⚡ Triwizard Spirit Rally 10:00 / 11:00 / 12:00 / 13:00 / 14:00 / 15:00 / 16:00 / 17:00 / 18:00 / 19:00

Don’t Leave Just Yet!

Harry Potter night show doesn’t happen all year round but what I’m sure about is that they always have one throughout the Christmas and Halloween season.

Slytherin Pride 🐍

 

What to Expect at the Wizarding World of Harry Pottergolden-snitch-border-001

Long lines. Long lines everywhere

Just expect that every where you go and whatever you do there will be a long queue

  • Lines to enter every souvenir shops ✓
  • Lines to buy at those souvenir shops ✓
  • Lines to buy food at the counter ✓
  • Lines to be seated to eat the food bought ✓
  • Lines at rides ✓✓✓✓✓✓✓  (A lot of checks because the line was very looooooong!)
  • Lines to take photos with street performers ✓
  • Lines to buy butterbeer ✓
  • Lines to use the washrooms ✓

Items Are Expensive

Food and merchandise inside the park, not only in WWOHP, are very expensive. Fish & Chips alone already costs me ¥1750. The famous Butterbeer in a regular cup costs ¥600 and ¥1100 if you want it with a souvenir plastic beer mug.

A standard wand costs ¥4500 while a Magical (Interactive) Wand costs ¥4900. According to my cousin, she was able to use the Magical Wand she bought at WWoHP Japan to WWoHP Hollywood and Florida.

Mainly Use the Japanese Language

Most guests were actually locals and almost all of the staff are Japanese. Rides are

How To Maximize Your Magical Experiencegolden-snitch-border-001

 A good strategy is to visit Universal Studios Japan on off-season meaning, during one of the less crowded times of the year (cherry blossom and fall foliage seasons, Golden Week end of April to early May, and Bon Festival in mid-August).

⚡ Arriving early is the best way to avoid lines for at least the first hour in the morning. But as the day progresses, crowds get bigger and lines get longer. Also, arriving early will give you a chance at a good spot at the start of the line of the entrance so once the park opens, you can run to the WWoHP timed entry tickets, and get yourself an early time slot.

How To Bypass Long Linesgolden-snitch-border-001

Get a Universal Express Pass – What people say about the queues in USJ is not a joke. Buying an Express Pass saved me a lot of queue time literally sped through 4 attractions with little waiting time (3-8 minutes), You can use these vouchers for the more popular rides like Minion and Harry Potter. On my second time last year (2019), I was not able to get one and I was on queue for 1 hour and 50 minutes.

TIP: USJ releases a limited number of Express Passes per day and they do sell out rather quickly so be sure to buy yours 2-4 weeks in advance specially if you are visiting during peak season.

Remindersgolden-snitch-border-001

Get to Universal Studios Japan early, as in before-it-even-opens early. Leave now if you can. Walk directly to the Harry Potter theme park without stopping for anything once the park opens!

Bring a small backpack or none at all. You may bring your backpack and snacks into WWoPH area but most rides won’t allow it.

Free lockers are available for use during the rides but they’re fairly small so your bag might not fit inside plus the lines to use the lockers can be long and the area crowded.

wizarding-world-of-harry-potter-japan-007Hogwarts Express

How to Get to Universal Studios Japan
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By Train
Take the JR Yumesaki Line (also known as JR Sakurajima Line) to Universal City Station. USJ is just a 5mins walk from the station.

By Bus
Unless you are coming straight from the airport, I don’t recommend taking a bus. Busses from Kansai International Airport take 35-75mins (¥1550) depending on traffic.

By Ferry
If you bought the Osaka Amazing Pass (which is a great way to explore Osaka), you can take the Captain Line for free (normal price ¥700) from Kaiyukan West Pier (near Osaka Aquarium) to Universal City Port in 10minutes.

The downside is that the ferry service only starts running at 9:30 AM. It is a good alternative for getting away from USJ if you leave before 8 PM though!

Location

English name: Universal Studios Japan
Japanese name: ユニバーサル・スタジオ・ジャパン
English address: 2 Chome-1-33 Sakurajima, Konohana Ward, Osaka, 554-0031, Japan
Japanese address: 〒554-0031 大阪府大阪市此花区桜島2丁目1−33
Business hours: Opens between 8:30 AM and 9:30 AM and closes between 7:00 PM and 9:00 PM –  opening hours are long on weekends and public holidays
Phone: +81570200606
WebsiteThe Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Osaka
Nearest Station: Five minute walk from Universal City Station on the JR Sakurajima Line.

After all this time?

wizarding-world-of-harry-potter-japan-009Birthday at WWoHP, Cheers! 🍺

It has been 23 years since the first book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was released.  23 years and still, people love Harry Potter. Always.

Looking for a place to stay in Osaka? Click here to check available hotels nearby. and also compare the prices with Airbnb.

29 thoughts on “A Muggle’s Guide to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Japan

  1. I miss USJ!! And i enjoyed this part the most! The rides and even the food/drinks – the best! 😀✨ it’s truly a magical experience!

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  2. It feels like this place is so magical and what you can feel is the vibes when you used to watch the movie. At least now I have idea on what to see and do, and of course the know-hows about this place. I’ll see this place soon.

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  3. Another Japan post na kaiinggitan ko! HAHAHA Kasi naman yung cancelled Japan trip this year 😀 But anyways, hello Polly! I hope you’re doing well. If I’d be here, I’m definitely getting the interactive wand. I wonder if you can rent a wizard robe in there somewhere. I mean…that’d be more fun!

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  4. I love amusement parks. This is included on my bucketlist. Hopefully mapuntahan ko to with my kids. Super excited ako sa amusement parks when I went to SG yan ang 1st stop ko and maghapon ako nag stay dun.

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  5. I was so jealous when the other half went here last time with his family. I dream of going here, mostly for the Harry Potter experience and try the Butterbeer (and I’ll probably get the souvenir one as my only take home from that trip) 💙

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  6. Waaaaaah. I will definitely visit this when I go to japan in the future. Thank you for all of the insider tips and tricks! I feel like i would thoroughly enjoy myself there, expect of course if I spend too much time on lines and stuff. Huhu

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  7. I heard they are making another upgrade on their attractions. This Covid 19 gives them opportunity to make it happen, though it is sad that they don’t accept guests for the time being.

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  8. Feels like spending a whole day in this section of USJ wouldn’t be enough for a die-hard fan of Harry Potter (something that I am not, though).

    I still wanna see them in case I go to Japan.

    Like

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