Are you a muggle who’s always dreamed of visiting the magical world of Harry Potter? Whether you’re ready to embark on a thrilling ride through Hogwarts Castle or sip butterbeer in the streets of Hogsmeade, we’ve got all the tips and tricks to ensure your visit is one for the books. From getting tickets to navigating the park, here’s everything you need to know about experiencing The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal Studios Japan. So grab your wand and get ready for an adventure like no other!
- Get Tickets to Wizarding World of Harry Potter/Universal Studios Japan
- What time does Universal Studios Japan open?
- When is the best time to visit Universal Studios Japan?
- How To Spend The Day at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
- What to Expect at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
- How To Maximize Your Magical Experience
- How To Bypass Long Lines
- How to Get to Universal Studios Japan
Get Tickets to Wizarding World of Harry Potter/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.
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.
How To Spend The Day at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
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).
- 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.
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’
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’
- 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
Shop for Souvenirs
- 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
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!
Watch The Nighttime Lights At Hogwarts™ Castle
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.
What to Expect at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
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 Experience
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 Lines
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.
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.
How to Get to Universal Studios Japan
Take the JR Yumesaki Line (also known as JR Sakurajima Line) to Universal City Station. USJ is just a 5mins walk from the station.
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.
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!
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
Website: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Osaka
Nearest Station: Five minute walk from Universal City Station on the JR Sakurajima Line.
After all this time?
Birthday 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.