Ah. The magic continues.
I’m really lucky because our trip to Japan coincides with the opening of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal Studios Japan (USJ). I’m like YEY!! FINALLY! I will be able to go to Hogwarts, no need to go to the United States!
It is also due to this reason that I pushed through with an Osaka exit (we entered via Tokyo) for our trip.
Coming second to Tokyo Disneyland as the most visited theme park in Japan, USJ officials say that they expect an increase of 2 million tourists per year with this new attraction. That’s huge and it could be expected that most Asians will flock the park since this is the first branch of HP world outside USA.
We arrived four days after its opening day. While there, we noticed that visitors seem to prioritize HP before other Universal Studios attractions. HP has a 1.5 – 2 hours waiting time while others have an average of 20-30 minutes.
My sister said that attractions similar to Florida are also featured in Japan including: Flying Ford Anglia, Hogwarts Express train, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride, Flight of the Hippogriff ride, Honeyduke’s Sweets Shop, Gladrags Wizard Wear, Ollivander’s Wand Shop, Zonko’s Joke Shop, The Three Broomsticks restaurant, Wiseacre’s Wizarding Equipment, the Hogwarts castle and of course, Butterbeer carts!
What its Florida counterpart lacks are two features exclusive to Japan only: actual live owls and the Hogwarts’ Black Lake which shows the castle’s reflection.
Prior to entering the HP world, the staff required us to go to a ticketing office to get a standby ticket with time schedule.
Staff says that we should wait for our numbers to be flashed in the bulletin board in front Mel’s Diner as it will dictate our fate upon entrance to HP World. The ticket also says it does not guarantee entrance so we were nervous by this time. What if our numbers won’t get picked? The volume of people is massive. We waited patiently (actually went to other attractions first while waiting) and luckily it paid off.
Moving on, our first stop was the castle. The path leading to the Forbidden Journey ride was a journey in itself as the tour leads to halls with talking photos, Sorting Hat, Dumbledore’s office, Gryffindor common room, the Room of Requirement and thousands of floating candles. One of the highlights is the Defence Against the Dark Arts classroom which has Harry, Ron, and Hermione in it. The pals speak in Japanese though, so good luck if you don’t understand or speak Nihongo (FYI: we don’t.). Despite this, the park will still fill you with visual surprises!
Afterwards the forbidden ride, we tried the Butterbeer. There were two Butterbeer carts: one in the entrance and one near the Hippogriff ride. You have two options for the drink: cold and frozen. It’s a non-dairy and non-alcoholic drink which you may opt to buy in a regular cup (500 yen) or in a souvenir mug (1000 yen). It tastes like a butter ball candy turned into a cream soda with foam on top. I have a sweet tooth but this one’s sweetness level is above my standard.
The HP world is perfect, if only not for the language barrier. I wish they’d provide tourists with English audio guide to help cope with the interactions, especially since they expect a boost in tourist number.
Located in Osaka, USJ is surprisingly easy to access via train:
Osaka station > Nishikujo station > Universal City (15 minute ride)
Kansai International Airport > Nishikujo station > Universal City (1 hour ride)
Tickets are from 6,980 yen per adult and 4,880 yen per child (ages 4-11).
Damn, I love your blog -_- how do you do it? Is this your job or such? Just went through your entire blog hahaha I’m inggit.
Nope. This is a personal blog. I write about most of my travels, food expeditions, and movie reviews here. ☺️
I AM SUPER INGGIT! AS IN!!!!
Teka, baka naweweirdohan kana sakin ha, Hahaha Ganto talaga ko!
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Your blog is the first I found with a review about the HP Park! Would you suggest to buy a 2 day pass or a 1 day pass is enough? And about the wait ticket thing, so there is a chance your number won’t get called?! Scary!!
Hi! If your main concern is the HP Park, one day pass would suffice. Yeah it’s a bit scary but I think they just implement that to manage the volume of people wanting to get in. No worries though as long as you get there early, get your entrance ticket, I’m sure you could enter the HP world. 🙂
Thanks, Misstache! But in case we want to tour the whole of USJ, would you recommend to get the 2 day pass? 🙂
If money and time is not a problem, I’d say yes, especially if you love Hello Kitty, Snoopy, Spiderman, Back to the Future, Jurassic Park, etc. The rides are really fun! It’s just that.. The language barrier, the struggle is real. Hehe
Oh dear, must read some basics and learn a bit of their language then. hahaha! Thanks for the tip! Awesome blog! 🙂
Yeah that might help 😉 Thanks Ivy!
Hi! Did you avail of the express pass or just the ordinary ticket? We’re going to USJ this November and I’m thinking if getting the express pass is a must to visit the Wizarding World? Thanks!
Hi Marvin! We’re on a budget then so we had ordinary tickets only. But if not, the express would be a much better option since the lines are really long. 🙂
I SHOULD NOT HAVE CLICKED THIS! Hahahaha. I’m travelling to Japan in a couple of weeks and now, I want to leave earlier. HARRY POTTERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.
Excuse the fangirl.
LOL it’s okay. I don’t have much photos anyway since we forgot our cameras in the locker prior to the Forbidden Journey ride. hahaha! I’m sure you’ll have fun there 🙂
Looks like I’m gonna spend a fortune here next year! I am so excited! Great post BTW 🙂
You’ll have fun there, Milet. That’s for sure. hehe thanks! 🙂
Wow! Stumbled upon your blog. Magkano ang entrance ng HP world in pesos? Planning to visit Japan by early next year!
Hi Mikeru! Almost 3k in pesos ang one day pass sa buong USJ, HP World included. 🙂
Hi, if we plan to visit both USJ and HP World, is 1 day enough? And how early do we have to go there to maximize the stay in the theme park? 🙂
Hi Camille! If you really want to visit the entire place, the earlier, the better. We arrived there at noontime and left at around 7 or 8pm. We find our sched okay since we only focused on the places we wanna visit; we just passed by on the rest of the theme park. 🙂
How long did you wait to get your tickets? 🙂 Thank you so much!
For the admission tickets? I think less than 5 minutes. The actual queue begins inside the theme park itself. 🙂
You mean no line for the admission tickets for both USJ and HP World? :O 🙂
For USJ, there is no line. For the HP World standby tickets, short queue but entrance to the park itself is a different case. Also please take note that we went there on a weekend, and during the first week of opening. But it all really depends on your ticket schedule. 😀
Alright! Thank you so muuuuch!!! 😀 😀 😀
Sure, no worries. I suggest you go straight to HP World to reserve your tickets before going anywhere. That way, you will be sure of your sched. 🙂
Hi! We’ll be traveling to Japan this January. Although your blog is really detailed and very much helpful, I just want to ask few pointers on how we can make our trip more enjoyable- I mean, I just want to know how did you go by purchasing the tickets? Did you bought them online? I’ve read few articles about the express pass, will it help us get in front of the line? Any thoughts? 🙂
Hello! Unlike in Universal Studios Singapore wherein we bought our tickets online, for USJ, we bought it on the entrance of the park. Also, I’ve checked their website and I didn’t see any offer of online selling. No worries though, no long queue in the ticketing booth.
As for the Express Pass, it will really help you save time. It’s not an assurance that you’ll get in front of the line but it’s more like a priority pass over the regular ticket holders. So it actually depends on how many people have the express pass. Usually, people just buy the regular pass so if you have spare money to shell out, I suggest for you to get the express pass. 🙂
Great! Thanks for the tip! This is noted. 🙂
Hi would you happen to know the prices for the souvenirs such as the wand and the scarf? Hehe planning my budget cos i’ll be going here in April!! SO. EXCITED!!!! Hehehe thanks!
Hi Blessie! If I remember it correctly, I think they are priced at 4k yen and above. Really pricey that’s why my only take home that day was the butter beer! haha 🙂 I’m sure you’ll have fun there 🙂
Great Blog! Do you know how to get express pass her in the philippines? I will be traveling by the end of march and I want to purchase in advance the tickets with express pass to avoid long lines.
Hi Carina! Their website doesn’t seem to state if they allow advance selling of tix unlike the one in Universal Studios Singapore. Maybe you could check some travel agencies if they could buy express passes for you. Otherwise, no choice but to buy it on location. Good luck! Let me know what happens 🙂
Wow! You’re one lucky girl.
My Bestie and I are planning to go there – it’s on our bucket list you see. Just want to ask how much was your budget for that trip? Thanks. 🙂
HI Imee, approximately around 75-100 USD per day. 🙂 you may check my travel guide here if you want: http://www.lemisstache.com/2014/09/06/travel-guide-tokyo-osaka-japan/
Hi! How much are the robes and magic wands? 😀
Hi Clara! I can’t remember exactly but I know those are really expensive.