Opened in March 2001 in the Osaka Bay Area, Universal Studios Japan (USJ) was the first theme park under the Universal Studios brand to be built in Asia. This theme park occupies an area of 39 hectares and is the most visited amusement park in Japan after Tokyo Disney Resort.
Universal Studios Japan currently has eight sections: Hollywood, New York, San Francisco, Jurassic Park, Waterworld, Amity Village, Universal Wonderland and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Visitors are able to enjoy many amusement rides, ranging from child-friendly carousels to thrilling roller coasters and simulators based on popular movies such as Spiderman, Back to the Future, Terminator 2 and Jurassic Park.
In addition to rides, the theme park offers many opportunities to take pictures with popular characters’ mascots such as Snoopy, Hello Kitty and the puppets of Sesame Street. There are also various shows put on every day, including a night parade featuring illuminated floats that are paraded through the streets.
Just outside the park’s gates is Universal Citywalk Osaka, a shopping mall with multiple official Universal hotels and many restaurants and shops, including stores selling Universal Studios merchandise and Osaka souvenirs. Furthermore, the Osaka Takoyaki Museum, which is essentially a collection of several popular vendors of the local dish gathered under one roof, is located on the mall’s fourth floor.
The entrance gate of the Universal Studios Japan is located a five minute walk from Universal City Station on the JR Yumesaki Line (also referred to as JR Sakurajima Line). From Osaka Station, there are several direct trains per hour (15 minutes, 180 yen) and many more connections that require an easy transfer at Nishikujo Station. From Kansai Airport, take a JR airport rapid to Nishikujo Station and transfer to the JR Yumesaki Line to Universal City Station (75 minutes, 1190 yen).
Universal Studios Japan is connected by bus to Kansai Airport (35-75 minutes, 1550 yen, about 1 bus/hour) and Itami Airport (45 minutes, 930 yen, about 1 bus/hour). Some overnight buses from other cities across Japan also stop at the Universal Studios Japan.
A ferry service named “Captain Line” connects the Universal Studios Japan with the Osaka Aquarium (10 minutes, 700 yen one way, 1300 yen roundtrip, 1-2 ferries per hour). A combination ticket for the aquarium and the ferry ride can be purchased for 2700 yen (one way) or 3300 yen (roundtrip).
7,600 yen (12-64 years old)
5,100 yen (4-11 years old)
6,830 yen (65 years or older)
Express Passes, that allow holders to skip lines for selected rides, are available for four rides (between 4,500 and 8,100 yen depending on the day) or seven rides (between 6,900 and 13,200 yen depending on the day) on the day of the visit at the entrance gate and inside the park. Express Passes may sell out on busy days.
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