Osaka, not so far from Kyoto, is home to the theme park Universal Studios Japan. Universal Studios Japan (USJ) has attractions that can be enjoyed by both adults and children, a parade of characters that are popular around the world, and many great souvenirs. We will tell you how to make a day trip to Universal Studios Japan from Kyoto.
What is USJ?
Universal Studios Japan (USJ), the representative theme park in Osaka and Kansai, is one of only four Universal Parks & Resorts in the world. It is a popular tourist destination with the second largest number of visitors annually after Tokyo Disney Resort. We will show you the charm of Kansai’s largest theme park USJ, which is visited by many people both from Japan and overseas!
Things you should try at USJ
Many characters loved by kids
There are over 30 characters at Universal Studios Japan. There is a wide variety of characters from those popular all over the world to those born in Japan!
Typical examples include Snoopy, Hello Kitty, Elmo, and Minions. There are also attractions designed with each character as a motif, so children are delighted! You can ride on spinning cupcakes with a Hello Kitty motif or drive bumper cars with an Elmo motif, among others. If you are lucky, you can even meet your favorite characters!
Experience the world of movies at the Jaws attraction
There are many popular attractions in Universal Studios Japan, but the Jaws attractions have been popular among adults and children since the opening. This is a horrible boat tour that is attacked by a huge cannibal shark. The tour is led by an energetic guide and you will feel like you are on a real boat tour!
From the popular novels – Harry Potter World
Since opening at Universal Studios Japan in 2014, one of the most popular areas is the “Wizarding World of Harry Potter” area. It is very much like what you see in the Harry Potter movies and includes many attractions and shops as well as the iconic Hogwarts Castle. Cast spells with magic wands, dare to try the fearful souvenir “Hundred Beans”, and spend your time in a magical world.
There is an area for smaller kids, too!
If your child is small and full-fledged rides such as roller coasters are a bit too fast, go to “Universal Wonderland”! This is a family area based on the concept of a city where world-famous characters such as Elmo, Snoopy and Hello Kitty live. There are more than 30 entertainment areas for children and adults can enjoy it too.
Parades for every season
At Universal Studios Japan, you can enjoy different parades, depending on the season. Halloween and Christmas are popular times every year, but summer events are especially popular. In 2019, an event called “Extra Cool Summer” was held. During the performance, the entire area around it, all 360-degrees, would get wet. With attractions using water, both adults and children get wet and can stay cool in the hot summer! I wonder what kind of event is scheduled next? It’s exciting just thinking about it.
Fluctuating ticket prices
In January 2019 Universal Studios Japan introduced a price fluctuation system in which the price varies depending on the date of admission. The price ranges from just under 8000 yen in the cheaper season to over 9000 yen in the busier seasons. Tickets are more expensive on weekends, during long holidays and big events. If your travel plan allows you to adjust the days you go to Universal Studios Japan, avoid the crowds and enjoy the deals!
Let’s go to the Univeral Studios Japan with kids!
Every year, new events are planned and performed at Universal Studios Japan. They have made a place full of things that both adults and children can enjoy together! From Kyoto Station, you can go to Universal Studios Japan in about an hour, so you can easily enjoy it as a day trip.
Access to Universal Studios Japan from Kyoto
Access: *Just over an hour from Kyoto Station*
- From Kyoto Station take the JR train to Osaka or take the Hankyu train to Osaka Umeda
- From Osaka, take the JR Osaka Loop Line to Nishikujo and transfer to the JR Yumesaki line (may be called the Sakurajima line) to Universal City
Address:1-33 Sakurajima 2-chome Konohana-ku Osaka-shi, Osaka
Hours: Hours change depending on the season. Please check the official site for times. Operation Hours & Schedule
Phone: 0570-20-0606（English assistance available）