How to Buy Universal Studios Japan USJ Osaka Online Tickets and Express Passes in 2018 and 2019

How to Buy Universal Studios Japan USJ Osaka Tickets and Express Pass

We were poorly organised when we visited Universal Studios Japan USJ in Osaka.  While I had done a lot of research on most of our planned destinations for some reason I did not spend much time on USJ – and we paid the price.  We did not buy our tickets in advance, we did not know that Express Passes existed until the day prior to our visit – by which time they had already sold out!  As a result while we did manage to have a good day out I definitely believe that we would have had a much better day at USJ if we had been better prepared.

To ensure that you have a much better day at Universal Studios Japan I have put together a comprehensive guide on everything you need to know, including where and how to buy the essential tickets prior to your visit you need to have a great experience.

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Contents

How to Buy Universal Studios Japan USJ Osaka Tickets and Express Pass (or Fast Pass)

Universal Studios Japan USJ Osaka Tickets and Express Pass (or Fast Pass) can be purchased from a range of options.  Many travel agents offer USJ tickets, and when you are in Japan you can purchase USJ tickets and Express Passes from Lawson convenience stores which are prolific around Japan.  You can also purchase your USJ tickets and Express Passes from your hotel on the day of entry – but note it is highly likely you may not be able to purchase an Express Pass from your hotel if they are already sold out.

In fact when we went to USJ we used the Lawson convenience store option, however, it was not a great option as we had difficulty using the ticket machine.  Looking back I would have much preferred to purchase our tickets online before we departed for Japan, in particular to ensure that we could purchase our Express Passes before they ran out.

There are two easy online options to pre-book both your entry tickets, Express Passes and special event passes online before you depart on your trip to Japan.

  • Voyagin is an online travel agency specialising in Japan, and the advantage of booking through Voyagin is that they regularly run coupon code discount deals which include Universal Studios Japan entry tickets and Express Passes, as well as special event tickets.
  • Klook is an online travel agency for many Asian countries.  The advantage of Klook is that they have an app which makes it easy to purchase and access your bookings on your smartphone while you are on the go, and in addition they operate a loyalty program where you receive discounts.  The more you book through Klook the more discounts you receive for follow on bookings!

We went to Universal Studios Osaka today, a brilliant day!! Two 40 y.o. adults who left adulting at the door. Cannot emphasise the value of the Express Pass, the longest it took us through any ride was 30 minutes, our day would have been wasted in huuuuge lines otherwise. If you love theme parks or love being a kid, highly recommended! – Jacquie B.

Below I will summarise all of the tickets and passes available and provide links for you to book through either Voyagin or Klook for each item.  Note that each provider has mostly the similar tickets and Express passes, however each have some unique items which can only be purchased through that provider.

Voyagin Universal Studios Japan Ticket and Express Pass Page

Voyagin has a very useful Universal Studios Japan page where you can enter the date you plan to visit and it will show you all of the Express Passes and Special Events still available for that date and assist you to purchase your items.  The best way to use this page is to then select the Express Pass or special event of interest, and once you have placed it into your shopping cart Voyagin then offers add ons including your entry pass and other available options.  Click here to check out the dedicated Voyagin USJ page.

Voyagin is currently running their the Halloween Sale until 31 October 2018 with the following coupon code discounts, note that this deal does not include discounts on Tokyo Disneyland, Tokyo Disneysea or Japan Rail Passes:

  • Spend $US 100, Save $US 7, use coupon code`SPOOKY7`
  • Spend $US 250, Save $US 20, use coupon code `SPOOKY20`
  • Spend $US 400, Save $US 30, use coupon code `SPOOKY30`

What is the Ticket Price for Universal Studios Japan USJ Osaka?

A USJ one day entry ticket provides standard access to USJ, with no skip the line options.  Pricing is the same every day.

Instant confirmation with electronic ticket which can be shown at the entry gate, with open date of entry for up to six months from purchase date.  Note that entry tickets are only valid for one entry – you cannot leave and then re-enter.

Click here to check out pricing and book through Voyagin Click here to check out pricing and book through Klook

USJ 1.5 Day Entry Ticket

The Universal Studios Japan 1.5 Day entry ticket provides standard access to USJ from 3pm on the first day, and for the full day on the second day with no skip the line options.

Instant electronic ticket confirmation is provided with an open date of entry for up to six months from purchase date.  Note that you must pick up a physical ticket from either Kansai Airport or JR Namba Station in Osaka.

Click here to check out pricing and book through Voyagin Click here to check out pricing and book through Klook

Universal Studios Japan™ Royal Studio Pass

Before you purchase any of the other tickets and passes for USJ I recommend you click on the below links to check out pricing and availability for the USJ Royal Pass.  The Royal Pass includes both your entry pass and a Royal Express Pass which includes timed entry  to Harry Potter World and skip the line entry to 14 major attractions, including timed use of 6 major rides, unlimited use of 8 rides and VIP access to shows.  Only 200 Royal Passes are available each day so get in early to get yours.

When you consider the pricing of the Royal Pass you should compare it against the purchase of both a USJ entry ticket plus the cost of an Express Pass.

You need to book your USJ Royal Pass at least two weeks prior to your visit, as the physical ticket and wristband must be picked up in Osaka, either at Kansai Airport or JR Namba Station

Click here to check out pricing and book through Voyagin Click here to check out pricing and book through Klook

Universal Studios Japan Express™ Pass 7 – Backdrop

The USJ Express Pass 7 – Backdrop must be purchased in conjunction with an entry ticket and includes timed skip the line access to the following seven ride options, and timed entry to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter:

  • Hollywood Dream – The Ride – Backdrop
  • Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey™ in 4K3D
  • Flight of the Hippogriff™
  • Despicable Me Minion Mayhem
  • The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man – The Ride 4K3D OR JAWS®
  • Hollywood Dream – The Ride OR Backdraft®
  • Jurassic Park – The Ride® OR Terminator 2:3-D®

Express Pass pricing varies depending on expected crowd levels – after you click through click on the specific date you plan to visit to see the price – avoid weekends and holiday periods to get the best price.  Only a limited number are available each day, and once they run out there are no more available so book early!

Click here to check out pricing and book through Voyagin Click here to check out pricing and book through Klook

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Universal Studios Japan Express™ Pass 7 – The Flying Dinosaur

The USJ Express Pass 7 – The Flying Dinosaur must be purchased in conjunction with an entry ticket and includes timed skip the line access to the following seven ride options, and timed entry to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter:

  • The Flying Dinosaur
  • Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey™ in 4K3D
  • Flight of the Hippogriff™
  • Despicable Me Minion Mayhem
  • The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man – The Ride 4K3D OR JAWS®
  • Hollywood Dream – The Ride OR Backdraft®
  • Jurassic Park – The Ride® OR Terminator 2:3-D®

Express Pass pricing varies depending on expected crowd levels – after you click through click on the specific date you plan to visit to see the price – avoid weekends and holiday periods to get the best price.  Only a limited number are available each day, and once they run out there are no more available so book early!

Click here to check out pricing and book through Voyagin Click here to check out pricing and book through Klook

Universal Studios Japan Express™ Pass 7 – Evangelion XR Ride

The USJ Express Pass 7 – Evangelion XR Ride must be purchased in conjunction with an entry ticket and includes timed skip the line access to the following seven ride options, and timed entry to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter:

  • Evangelion XR Ride
  • Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey™ in 4K3D
  • Flight of the Hippogriff™
  • Despicable Me Minion Mayhem
  • The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man – The Ride 4K3D OR JAWS®
  • Hollywood Dream – The Ride OR Backdraft®
  • Jurassic Park – The Ride® OR Terminator 2:3-D®

Express Pass pricing varies depending on expected crowd levels – after you click through click on the specific date you plan to visit to see the price – avoid weekends and holiday periods to get the best price.  Only a limited number are available each day, and once they run out there are no more available so book early!

Click here to check out pricing and book through Voyagin

Universal Studios Japan Express™ Pass 4 – Standard

The USJ Express Pass 4 – Standard must be purchased in conjunction with an entry ticket and includes timed skip the line access to the following four ride options, and timed entry to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter:

  • Despicable Me Minion Mayhem
  • Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey™ in 4K3D
  • The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man: The Ride 4K3D; OR  Jurassic Park – The Ride®
  • JAWS®; OR Backdraft®; OR Terminator 2:3-D®

Express Pass pricing varies depending on expected crowd levels – after you click through click on the specific date you plan to visit to see the price – avoid weekends and holiday periods to get the best price.  Only a limited number are available each day, and once they run out there are no more available so book early!

Click here to check out pricing and book through Voyagin Click here to check out pricing and book through Klook

Universal Studios Japan Express™ Pass 4 – The Flying Dinosaur

The USJ Express Pass 4 – The Flying Dinosaur must be purchased in conjunction with an entry ticket and includes timed skip the line access to the following four ride options, and timed entry to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter:

  • The Flying Dinosaur
  • Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey™ in 4K3D
  • The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man: The Ride 4K3D; OR Hollywood Dream: The Ride
  • JAWS®; OR Backdraft®; OR Terminator 2:3-D®

Express Pass pricing varies depending on expected crowd levels – after you click through click on the specific date you plan to visit to see the price – avoid weekends and holiday periods to get the best price.  Only a limited number are available each day, and once they run out there are no more available so book early!

Click here to check out pricing and book through Voyagin Click here to check out pricing and book through Klook

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Universal Studios Japan Express™ Pass 4 – Evangelion XR Ride

The USJ Express Pass 4 – Evangelion XR Ride must be purchased in conjunction with an entry ticket and includes timed skip the line access to the following four ride options, and timed entry to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter:

  • Evangelion XR Ride
  • Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey™ in 4K3D
  • The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man: The Ride 4K3D; OR  Jurassic Park – The Ride®
  • JAWS®; OR Backdraft®; OR Terminator 2:3-D®

Express Pass pricing varies depending on expected crowd levels – after you click through click on the specific date you plan to visit to see the price – avoid weekends and holiday periods to get the best price.  Only a limited number are available each day, and once they run out there are no more available so book early!

Click here to check out pricing and book through Voyagin

Universal Studios Japan Express™ Pass 3 – Evangelion XR Ride

The USJ Express Pass 3 – Evangelion XR Ride must be purchased in conjunction with an entry ticket and includes timed skip the line access to the following three ride options, and does not include timed entry to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter:

  • Evangelion XR Ride
  • The Flying Dinosaur
  • Jurassic Park – The Ride® OR JAWS®; OR Backdraft®

Express Pass pricing varies depending on expected crowd levels – after you click through click on the specific date you plan to visit to see the price – avoid weekends and holiday periods to get the best price.  Only a limited number are available each day, and once they run out there are no more available so book early!

Click here to check out pricing and book through Voyagin Click here to check out pricing and book through Klook

Universal Studios Japan VIP Wristband: Fast-Track Park Entry

The Universal Studios Japan VIP Wristband: Fast-Track Park Entry Pass must be purchased in conjunction with an entry ticket and includes:

  • A Special Entry line to enter at the start of the day with minimum waiting
  • A secret web link to check the exact opening time on the day before
  • Entry to Harukas 300 Observatory, located in the highest skyscraper in Japan

You must visit the the 16th floor of the Abeno Harukas building to exchange your voucher for your Harukas 300 admission ticket and your Special Entry Wristband. The Special Entry Wristband also comes with a password to advise you of the entry time to the park.

Click here to check out pricing and book through Voyagin Click here to check out pricing and book through Klook

USJ Special Event Passes and Offers

USJ also offers a range of special event passes and offers throughout each year.  Here are the current selection of options:

Universal Studios Japan™ Universal Surprise Halloween Express Pass

USJ always puts on a great Halloween show across October each year.  The Universal Studios Japan Surprise Halloween Express Pass must be purchased in conjunction with an entry ticket.  No entry for children aged 11 and below.  Primary students are required to be escorted by an adult at all times

Full Enjoyment Halloween Set includes single time skip the queue access to the following:

  • Cult of Chucky – Chucky’s Hospital Ward of Hell
  • The Survival – Deadman’s Forest 2
  • Silence in the Ghost Ship
  • Festa de Parade Special Area Access

Halloween Horror Night (Zekkyo) Set includes single time skip the queue access to the following:

  • Cult of Chucky – Chucky’s Hospital Ward of Hell
  • The Survival – Deadman’s Forest 2
  • Insidious: The Last Key
  • SADAKO
Click here to check out pricing and book through Voyagin Click here to check out pricing and book through Klook

Universal Studios Japan Countdown Party 2019

Say goodbye to 2018 and celebrate the new year with music and 3,000 vibrant fireworks burst all over the park!  The Universal Studios Japan Countdown Party 2019 pass provides a continuous 26 hours of access to USJ from 5pm on 31 December 2018 to 7pm on 1 January 2018 – with most rides running the whole night!

Your Party Pass includes exclusive access to the USJ countdown party from 7pm on 31 December 2018 to 2am on 1 January 2019, which includes music and awesome fireworks!

Only a limited number are available so get in early to book your Countdown Party passes!

Click here to check out pricing and book through Voyagin Click here to check out pricing and book through Klook

Universal Express™ Pass—Winter Special

Experience the Christmas season at Universal Studios Japan. The Universal Express™ Pass – Winter Special must be purchased in conjunction with an entry ticket and includes an admission ticket to The Gift of Angels III: The Voice of an Angel Special Viewing Area.  Available between 9 November 2018 to 6 January 2019.

Universal Express™ Pass Winter Special lets you skip the line at the following attractions:

  • Despicable Me Minion Mayhem Ride
  • Either The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man: The Ride 4K3D OR Jurassic Park: The Ride™
  • Either Terminator 2:3-D® OR Backdraft™
Click here to check out pricing and book through Voyagin

Universal Studios Japan™ & JR West Kansai Pass Bundle

Book a Universal Studios Japan and JR West Kansai Pass bundle, and visit the world-class theme park while exploring West Japan!  You can choose to book either a half day, 1 day or 1.5 day USJ entry pass.  Note that these passes need to be physically picked up at either Kansai Airport or JR Namba Station in Osaka.  This is a flexible open date voucher which is able to be redeemed up to 30 December 2018.

The JR West Kansai Pass includes a choice of either a 2, 3, 4 or 5-Day JR West Kansai Pass, or a Kansai Wide Area Pass.

  • The JR West Kansai Pass includes all JR West Buses; Local, Rapid, & Special Rapid trains; plus Kansai-Airport Express Haruka bullet train
  • The 5 day Kansai WIDE Area Pass also includes Sanyo Shinkansen, and the Haruka, Kuroshio, Thunderbird, Kounotori, Super Hakuto Express Trains
Click here to check out pricing for a half day entry pass and book through Klook Click here to check out pricing for a 1 day entry pass and book through Voyagin Click here to check out pricing for a 1.5 day entry pass and book through Klook

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Universal Studios Japan™ Night Parade Admission Ticket

The new USJ Night Parade will commence from 5 November 2018.  This ticket must be purchased in conjunction with an entry ticket and enables you to access the Special Viewing Area, where you can enjoy up-close 360° view of the show. If you don’t wish to purchase this ticket, you can still watch the Night Parade in other areas.

Click here to check out pricing and book through Klook

Universal Studios Japan™ JPY5,000 Shopping Coupon

Provides a 5,000 Yen shopping voucher for use within USJ (does not include food stores) – which you can purchase at a discounted price of 4750 Yen or equivalent until 6 January 2019.  You can purchase an unlimited number of vouchers.  Note that you must redeem your vouchers before entering the USJ park at Studio Gifts East outside the park

Click here to check out pricing and book through Klook

Other Universal Studios Japan USJ Osaka Passes – including Annual Pass and Birthday Pass

There are an additional range of passes which can be purchased through the USJ official website, including the Annual Pass and Birthday Pass – note that this section of the website is in Japanese so you will need to use Google translate to read these pages in English or other languages.  Most of these other pass options require you to be a resident of Japan, and the passes cannot be delivered overseas or to a hotel.

For overseas visitors to Japan the best option to purchase online tickets to USJ is via the Voyagin website.

How to Buy Discount and Cheap Universal Studios Japan USJ Osaka Tickets

Universal Studios Japan USJ Osaka has really locked down the ticket sales options, and there are no viable options to purchase discount or cheap tickets.  If you do find a discounted price advertised then treat it with care as you may be refused entry at the gate.

How to Get Wizarding World of Harry Potter USJ Japan Timed Entry Tickets

If you are visiting Universal Studios Japan USJ Osaka and do not have an Express Pass which includes a Timed Entry Ticket to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter then you will need to take action early to ensure that you are able to visit the Harry Potter section of the park.

If you arrive at USJ early, you should be able to walk straight into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter straight away, until they reach the maximum number of people permitted in this section of the park.  When we visited this is what we did – we arrived early and went straight into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  Once you are inside you can stay as long as you like.

If you are too late to directly enter the Wizarding World of Harry Potter you can obtain a free Timed Entry Ticket from Central Park which is right beside the JAWS section of USJ.  You can then go and enjoy the rest of the park, and then come back to the entrance at your appointed time.

If you have an Express Pass which includes a Timed Entry Ticket then plan to arrive at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at your appointed time.

Note that if the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is at maximum crowd capacity you may still need to wait until enough people leave before you will be able to enter.

Hogwarts School in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter USJ, with the reflection over Black Lake
Hogwarts School in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter USJ, with the reflection over Black Lake

Guide to Universal Studios Japan USJ Theme Park in Osaka Japan

Where is Universal Studios Japan USJ?

A key point is that Universal Studios Japan USJ is NOT in Tokyo!  USJ is located in the outskirts of the city of Osaka, which is located at a distance of 315 miles or 500km west of Tokyo.

What is the Address for Universal Studios Japan USJ?

The address for Universal Studios Japan USJ is 2 Chome-1-3-3 Sakurajima, Konohana Ward, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture 554-0031, Japan

What Are the Universal Studios Japan USJ Osaka Rides?

The Universal Studios Japan USJ theme park has a combination of rides and shows, as well as special events throughout the year.

The major rides in Universal Studios Japan USJ are as follows:

  • Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
  • Flight of the Hippogriff
  • Despicable Me Minion Mayhem
  • The Flying Dinosaur
  • The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man – The Ride
  • JAWS
  • Hollywood Dream – The Ride
  • Hollywood Dream – Backdrop
  • Backdraft
  • Jurassic Park – The Ride
  • Terminator 2:3-D
  • Evangelion XR Ride

The Universal Studios Japan USJ Osaka Wizarding World of Harry Potter

A major attraction at the Universal Studios Japan USJ theme park is the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  The Harry Potter section, complete with an amazing Hogwarts Castle, is a separate area within USJ.  The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is themed throughout the area and has two major rides, four regular shows and many themed eateries and stores.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter requires a separate Timed Entry Ticket, as the number of visitors is restricted.  If you get there just after USJ opens you should be able to walk straight in.  However if you are arriving later you can get your Timed Entry Ticket either as part of your Express Pass, or alternatively you can walk to the entrance near JAWS where there are ticket machines which will issue you with a Timed Entry Ticket.  You can then explore the rest of the park and return for your allocated timeslot.

Hogsmeade Village in Wizarding World of Harry Potter USJ
Hogsmeade Village in Wizarding World of Harry Potter USJ

What are the Universal Studios Japan USJ Osaka Opening Hours?

The Universal Studios Japan USJ Osaka opening hours change every day, so it is important to check their schedule.  The schedule typically advises an 8.30am opening time, and closing times which can vary from 7.30pm to 9pm.  USJ typically has longer opening hours on weekends and public holidays.  The rides usually close at 6.30pm.

Note that the exact opening time for each day can be different from that listed on the calendar.  When we visited USJ the website said that it was going to open at 8.30am, we arrived early at 7.30 am and the gates were already open and rides operating.

If you want to know the exact opening time of USJ for your visit the only option is to purchase a VIP Pass in conjunction with your park entry ticket and Express Pass.  If you purchase the VIP pass you will receive an email the afternoon before your visit with a link to the secret web page which advises the specific opening time for the following day.  Note that the VIP pass is packaged with a ticket to the Harukas 300 Observatory and the VIP Wristband can only be collected from the Harukas 300 Observatory.

What is the Universal Studios Japan USJ Osaka Schedule?

Universal Studios Japan USJ Osaka has both a daily and a seasonal schedule.  On a daily basis there is a major parade which is usually held at approximately 2.30pm.  In the evenings there are a variety of shows and experiences being conducted – a visit to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is recommended in the evening.  Note that fireworks are only held in the evening on special occasions, not every day.

When we visited USJ it was Halloween Horror month and the zombies came out at dusk – the acting and costumes were amazing and everyone was having a great time!  If you check out this link, and then click on ‘Stage Shows and Street Shows’ you will see the upcoming seasonal events to help you plan your visit to USJ.

In June and July the park changes theme and during this period most of the shows and parades are not on.  Therefore if you are planning to visit during this period check the schedule carefully and also confirm which rides are operating.

Hagrid's Hut in Wizarding World of Harry Potter USJ
Hagrid’s Hut in Wizarding World of Harry Potter USJ

Universal Studios Japan USJ Osaka Crowd Calendar

It is important to understand how big a crowd is likely to be at Universal Studios Japan USJ Osaka as it will make a big difference to whether you will need to purchase an Express Pass.  If you can plan your itinerary to visit USJ on a lower crowd day you will save a lot of money!  An overall principle to plan your visit to USJ is that Wednesdays and Thursdays have the smallest crowds.

The crowd calendar at this link provides an indication of expected crowd levels for each day.  The site is in Japanese, however you can use Google Translate as shown in the image below (click the icon in the red circle) to make the information meaningful in English.

Universal Studios Japan USJ Crowd Calendar
Universal Studios Japan USJ Crowd Calendar

It is important to understand the size of the crowd when planning your visit to USJ.  We visited during a peak time and were too late to get an Express Pass.  We arrived very early and went straight to the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride – we were able to get on after a wait of around 20 minutes (by the way it was a great ride!).  We then waited around one hour to go on the Flight of the Hippogriff ride, and after we exited the ride we could see that the queue for the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride now had a 4-5 hour wait…

If you are going to USJ on a mid to high crowd day it will be very worthwhile to purchase an Express Pass, otherwise you will be in long queues all day or miss out on rides. (yes, we need to go back to have a do-over of our USJ visit!)

How to Get to Universal Studios Japan USJ in Osaka

How to Get from Tokyo to Universal Studios Japan USJ in Osaka

How Far is Universal Studios Japan USJ in Osaka from Tokyo

USJ is located in the outskirts of the city of Osaka, which is located at a distance of 315 miles or 500km west of Tokyo

Tokyo to Universal Studios Japan USJ in Osaka Train Time

Total train travel time on the bullet train or Shinkansen and other local trains from Tokyo Station to Universal Station is between 3:10 to 3:30 hours one way.  The bullet train section of the trip has a travel time of approximately 2:30 hours.

You can catch a bullet train or Shinkansen from Tokyo Station to either Shin-Osaka Station or Osaka Station, and then change trains (potentially 2 or 3 times) before arriving at Universal City Station, which is the station which adjoins Universal Studios Japan USJ.

Use the Hyperdia website or Google Maps (see map below) to determine the bullet train or Shinkansen schedule and route options.  Add in your departure station (eg. Tokyo Station) and your arrival station (Universal City Station).

Tokyo to Universal Studios Japan USJ in Osaka Shinkansen Train Price

Typical trip price from Tokyo to Universal City Station is 14,500 to 15,500 yen, which includes a reserved seat on the bullet train or Shinkansen train.  If you have a Suica card or ICOCA card you can use these cards for local Osaka travel and local Tokyo travel, and only need to purchase the bullet train or Shainkansen train ticket.

Use the Hyperdia website or Google Maps (see map below) to determine the bullet train or Shinkansen price options.  If you have a Japan Rail pass you may be able to use your JR Pass for all parts of the trip.  Note that not all bullet trains or Shinkansen are covered by the JR pass so ensure you check before booking.

How to Get from Osaka Station to Universal Studios Japan USJ Train Station

People typically arrive in Osaka at either Shin-Osaka Station, Osaka Station, Namba Station, Nishikujo Station, Nipponbashi Station or Shinsaibashi Station.

From each of these stations you can use the Hyperdia website or Google Maps (see map below) to determine the train schedule and route options.  Add in your departure station (eg. Osaka Station) and your arrival station (Universal City Station).  You should expect to have to change trains 2-3 times to enable your arrival at Universal City Station.  You can use an ICOCA card to tap on and off each train.

USJ has a good graphic which shows the specific trains and travelling time required to get from the Osaka / Kyoto region to Universal City Station – go to the lower section of the webpage to see the better picture.

All the train stations are well labelled in English and easy to navigate with the help of the online tools.

How to Get from Kansai Osaka Airport to Universal Studios Japan USJ

There are three main options to get from Kansai Osaka Airport to Universal Studios Japan USJ.  if you are arriving for the first time in Japan and have luggage I recommend either the Airport Limousine Bus or private transfer option – with these options you will quickly arrive at your hotel and not have to immediately try to learn the Japan train system.

The transfer options are as follows:

    • Catch the train from Kansai International Airport Station to Universal City station. You can expect the trip to take approximately 60 minutes and you will need to catch three different trains – which may be a challenge if you have all of your luggage with you.  You can pre-purchase your train ticket from Kansai Airport-Namba through this link, and also pre-purchase your ICOCA train card which will enable you to catch intracity trains and buses around Japan.  Your ICOCA card will enable you to use public transport in Osaka, Kyoto, Tokyo and many other locations.

  • You can use the Airport Limousine Bus Transfer service from Kansai Osaka Airport. To get to Universal Studios Japan you need to use the Nanko/ Tenpozan (Kaiyukan)/ Universal Studios Japan® route which will take approximately 1:10 hours. This bus has no reservations required, and you pay in cash upon boarding.  You can purchase a one way ticket for 1,550 yen for an adult and 780 Yen for a child, or pay 2,700 yen for a round trip ticket.
  • You can pre-book a private airport transfer from Kansai Osaka Airport to your hotel for up to 8 people per vehicle.

If you will be arriving in Kansai Osaka Airport I recommend that you pre-order a Wifi Router and a mobile phone or cell phone sim card which can be picked up at the terminal after you arrive.

If you are proceeding direct to USJ after arrival at Kansai Osaka Airport please be aware that large size coin lockers are only available outside the park entrance, so store your luggage in these lockers before you enter.

How to Get from Kyoto to Universal Studios Japan USJ

Use the Hyperdia website or Google Maps (see map below) to determine the train schedule and price options to get from Kyoto to Universal Studios Japan in Osaka.  If you have a Japan Rail Pass you may be able to use your JR Pass for all parts of the trip.

When we visited USJ we did a day trip from Kyoto with an early start.  It was a very long day, but avoided us having to move to another accommodation option.  The train travel time from Kyoto Station to Universal City station is approximately 45-55 minutes, and requires you to use 3 or 4 trains to get there.  We found this option to be reasonably easy to get around.

Hotels Near Universal Studios Japan USJ in Osaka

Booking.com is a great website to check out to find the most cost effective accommodation option for accommodation near Universal Studios Japan USJ in Osaka. It is a good booking option as it enables you to cancel most bookings if required without penalty.  Here are my picks for the best accommodation options near Universal Studios Japan USJ Osaka:

  • For hotel style accommodation for up to four people with great facilities including free Wi-Fi in all rooms and air conditioning as well as being right outside the entrance to USJ, I recommend The Park Front Hotel. Check out the latest prices and more details.
  • For larger families with up to five people I recommend the Hotel Keihan Universal Tower which has great facilities including free Wi-Fi, parking, and a spa on the 31st floor with city views, which is only 300m from the entrance to USJ. Check out the latest prices and more details.

Cheap Hotels Near Universal Studios Japan USJ in Osaka

  • For families, couples and solo travellers looking for cheap hotel options near Universal Studios Japan USJ try J-Hoppers Osaka Universal hostel which has bunk bed rooms and family rooms for up to 8 people with shared bathroom facilities and is a short 500m walk from the USJ entrance. Check here for the latest prices and more details.

Booking.com

How to Buy Universal Studios Japan USJ Osaka Online Tickets and Express Pass

Universal Studios Japan USJ Hotel Packages and Tours

When preparing this article I researched options for Universal Studios Japan USJ Hotel Packages and Tours and was disappointed to see that the options available did not maximise the amount of time you would get in USJ.

There are two day and three day bullet train packages available from Tokyo to USJ, however I believe that you would be better off independently researching and booking your bullet train tickets, your hotel and your USJ tickets.

Osaka Universal Studios Japan USJ Recommended Itinerary

If you are going to buy both Universal Studios Japan USJ park entry tickets and Express Passes, you are going to want to make the most of your money, which means having one full day in USJ.

Osaka Universal Studios Japan USJ Itinerary Day 1

To achieve this goal the recommended Osaka itinerary is to arrive the day prior to your USJ visit and plan to visit some local attractions including the the Harukas 300 Observatory – you can pre-purchase a Universal Studios Japan USJ Osaka VIP Wristband + HARUKAS 300 Observatory Pass from the Voyagin website in addition to the standard entry ticket and your Express Pass.  The wristband can only be collected from the Harukas 300 Observatory, and will enable you to be notified of the exact opening time for USJ the following day, and also provides VIP priority entry to the park.

Osaka Universal Studios Japan USJ Itinerary Day 2

On your second day plan to visit Universal Studios Japan USJ from entry until you are either exhausted or when the park closes.  Ensure that you have accommodation booked in Osaka for this night so you can make the most of your day in USJ.

Osaka Universal Studios Japan USJ Itinerary Day 3

On your third day plan for a later start, and either have another day exploring Osaka or plan to travel to your next destination.

Other Osaka Attractions

Other attractions you may be interested in visiting in Osaka on either Day 1 or Day 3 include the following.  You can also check out a great guide which has been put together by Wanderlust Storytellers about a great range of day trips from Osaka!

You may also like:

Wrap Up

Hopefully the information in this article will enable you to have a much better visit to Universal Studios Japan USJ than we achieved!  This is the article I wished I could find back when we were trying to make our USJ arrangements at the last minute which should enable readers to have a great visit to USJ.  Thanks for making it this far – I know it is a massive article but obviously there is a lot of information to get through to enable you to make the most of your visit to USJ.

Disclaimer:  This article contains affiliate links.  If you book after clicking on one of these links then we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Check out our Japan Travel Planning Facebook Group – you are welcome to join and it is a great resource to enable you to ask questions about your upcoming trip to Japan!

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