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Universal Studios Japan USJ Osaka with kids

Universal Studios Japan Tips – Osaka with Kids

We visited Universal Studios Japan in Osaka during Halloween month and loved it! Now added to our list of TOP Theme Parks in Japan and Osaka with Kids Itinerary here are our TIPS to enjoy your visit.

While you’re in Osaka purchase the Osaka Amazing Pass via Voyagin or Klook! (trusted partners). It includes unlimited rides on subway, tramway, and bus systems within Osaka, including entry to up to 50 attractions!

  1. Check the USJ Crowd Calendar to determine the best/least crowded day to go. Note the calendar is in Japanese. See our explanation in English below. Best to avoid Weekends and Holidays
  2. Buy Tickets online via Voyagin! or Klook! (trusted partners), on the official Universal Studios Website (in Japanese), most Japanese convenience stores and partner Hotels and travel agencies. The lines to purchase tickets are LONG. Save time and purchase online.
  3.  Check height requirements for attractions, and attraction closures.
  4.  If visiting on a weekend/holiday purchase the separate EXPRESS PASS. USJ is extremely busy with wait times up to 4 hours for some rides. Explanation below.
  5.  Map out attractions and plan your visit.

Universal Studios Japan USJ Osaka with kids Universal Studios Japan USJ Osaka with kids

TIPS ON THE DAY

  1. Download USJ Alert (in English) for ride wait times and map display of each attraction or the official Universal Studios Japan app (in Japanese) for wait times, show times and coupons.
  2. If driving you can park at the USJ Parking spot here. 3100 JPY Monday – Friday or 3600 JPY on Weekends and Holidays.
  3. Pack Bottled water & healthy snacks – We packed fruit & nuts. In the summer freeze water overnight in plastic bottles to drink cold all day.
  4. Use the bathrooms right before you enter the park – these bathrooms are empty and will save your time later.
  5. Strollers – Are available for FREE if your little one needs to sleep and to help carry items around. Also if you have a stroller remember to tie a balloon or easy to identify item to your stroller. There are many so make it easy to find yours.
  6. Take a Blanket or plastic sheet – You will want to find a good spot for the parades and save some space. If you don’t have a blanket or sheet people will sit on top of you. Get your space 1-2 hours before the parade.
  7. Sunscreen, handy wipes, tissue paper and instant heat pads to keep warm (kairo – available in convenience stores between Nov – Mar).
  8. Pack activities for kids. Pick up some fun games at the 100 yen shop (e.g. Bubbles, Kendama, Rubix Cube, Books, crosswords, etc).
  9. Take your Camera and phone back-up chargers.
  10. Jacket / Rain Ponchos and spare clothes in case of accidents.
  11. Bandaids and antiseptic – Lots of running and tumbling so better safe than sorry. Easier to have your supplies than to have to wait in line at the first aid station.
  12. Pen to write name and phone number on your child’s arm in case they get lost.
  13. Download or print out a USJ Studio map. 

Universal Studios Japan USJ Osaka with kids

ATTRACTION CLOSURES for 2019

* The schedule is subject to change without notice.

AttractionClosure
Back draftAugust 27, 2019-November 4, 2019
Space fantasy the rideSeptember 2, 2019-November 6, 2019
Shrek 4-D AdventureSeptember 6, 2019-November 4, 2019
Water worldDecember 7, 2019-December 21, 2019

* Full list of Attraction closures: https://www.usj.co.jp/e/attraction/#rehab

USJ CROWD CALENDAR

* English Translation below

USJ Crowd Calendar

USJ Crowd Calendar (ユニバーサル・スタジオ・ジャパン 混雑予想) English translations BELOW are in PINK. TIP If you can, visit USJ on a weekday (Tuesday – Friday). Weekends, Holidays and Seasonal Months are extremely crowded.

USJ Crowd Calendar for the Month of October (10月)

Universal Studios Japan Crowd Calendar

Each number is color coded by the number of visitors expected at the park. Lighter colors = fewer people, darker colors = crowded / reaching capacity. USJ Crowd Key below.

USJ Crowd KEY

Universal Studios Japan Crowd Calendar

Plan to visit on yellow or lighter colored days. Note we visited on a yellow day and the Minion Mayhem attraction already had a 160 min wait by 10am!

USJ Express Pass

What is the USJ Express Pass? The Universal Studios Express Pass is a separate ticket that shortens your wait times at attractions. Tickets can be purchased on the day at the park, but are available only while supplies last.

USJ gives the option of selecting a variety of 3, 4 and 7 attraction Express Passes (some examples below). Select the one with your favorite rides. * Please remember to check for attraction closures.

Express Pass NumberAttractions Offered
USJ Express Pass 3The Flying Dinosaur, Space Fantasy, Jurassic Park/Jaws
USJ Express Pass 4Minion, The Forbidden Journey, Spiderman/Jurassic Park, Jaws/Backdraft
USJ Express Pass 4Minion, Sing on Tour, Spiderman/Jurassic Park, Harry Potter entry and Forbidden Journey Ride
USJ Express Pass 7Minion, The Forbidden Journey, Hippogryph, Space Fantasy, Spiderman/Jaws, Hollywood Dream/Backdraft, Jurassic Park/Terminator
USJ Express Pass 7Minion, The Forbidden Journey, Hippogryph, Sing on Tour, Spiderman/Jaws, Hollywood Dream/Backdraft, Jurassic Park/Terminator

We purchased the Express Pass 4 with the Minion, Sing on Tour, Spiderman/Jurassic Park, Harry Potter entry and Forbidden Journey Ride. Some attractions are time-designated, please visit them at the time printed on the ticket. Highly recommend as some attractions had over 160min wait times. We visited attractions with shorter wait times or shopped in the souvenir shops between attractions.

USJ Express Pass 4

Universal Studios Japan USJ

Download USJ Alert (in English) for ride wait times and map display of each attraction or the official Universal Studios Japan app (in Japanese) for wait times, show times and coupons.

USJ app wait time USJ attraction wait time

Universal Studios Japan USJ Osaka with kids Universal Studios Japan USJ Osaka with kids  Universal Studios Japan USJ Osaka with kids Universal Studios Japan USJ Osaka with kids

GETTING THERE

By Train

From Tokyo Station take the Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen to Shin Osaka Station. From Shin Osaka Station take the Tokaido Sanyo Line to Osaka Station. Then take the Osaka Loop Line to Nishikujo Station. From Nishikujo Station take the Sakurajima Line to Universal City Station. Walk to USJ (Duration: 3 hours 9 minutes. Fare: 14,720 yen)

From Osaka Station take the Osaka Loop Line Local towards Sakurajima to Universal City Station (Fare: 180 JPY)

From Osaka Namba Station take the Sen-Nichimae Line to Tamagawa Station. Walk to Noda Station (3 minutes) then take the Osaka Loop Line Local towards Sakurajima to Universal City Station (Fare: 390 JPY)

From Kansai International Airport take the Kansai Airport Rapid Service to Nishikujo Station, and then transfer to the JR Sakurajima Line (Duration: 1 hour and 20 minutes. Fare: 1,190 yen).

From Osaka Itami Airport take the Osaka Monorail to Hotarugaike Station and transfer to the Hankyu Takarazuka Line. Take a train bound for Hankyu Osaka-Umeda Station. At Umeda transfer to Osaka Station and catch a train bound for Universal City (Duration: 42 minutes. Fare: 600 yen).

PLACES TO STAY

The Park Front Hotel at Universal Studios Japan – Located opposite the park’s main gate, it is the closest hotel to the complex.

Hotel Kintetsu Universal City – The entrance to UNIVERSAL STUDIOS JAPAN right in front of the hotel.

Hotel Universal Port – A 4-minute walk to the park

Check the USJ website for a full list of hotels near Universal Studios Japan.

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