Things NOT to do in Japan – Universal Studios Japan (OK, it wasn’t that bad, and I had fun, but it was a test in patience)

Yesterday I visited Universal Studios Japan (USJ). Its located about a 10 minute train ride from Osaka Station. I was not really impressed, but I did have fun. Will I ever be back? NEVER.

Japan, in general, is a very crowded place. Wherever you go there is a massive sea of people. Its kind of exciting because there is great people watching here, but it can be super annoying when you try to do anything that may involve standing in line. When we got to USJ  we spent the first hour there standing in line to buy a ticket. We couldn’t figure out why there were so many people there on a Monday! The lines were outrageous.


We finally asked someone and were told (in broken english) that there was a school ‘anniversary’ in Osaka and they got a day off. We also learned that it was the first day of their Halloween transformation of the park. (More about that later)

The park itself was your typical Universal Studios park – there was only 1 roller coaster and plenty of movie themed rides. The first ride we road was the Hollywood Dream ride, which was the only roller coaster. While waiting the hour and a half to ride the roller coaster we were gawked at by every single person in line. We didn’t mind the children as much as the rude adults. We didn’t realize it, but this is how our entire day would be – standing in line and being stared at.

Next, we went on to the Space Fantasy ride – a very small indoor roller coaster all in the dark. The only redeeming factor about this ride was that it spun on an axis. We waited 120 minutes (2 hours) for this terrible ride.

Somewhere during this time we ate at Mel’s Diner who’s menu consisted of hamburgers and french fries in American portions. The food was authentically American even if the park didn’t seem as much.

We went on to ride the Back to the Future ride (I geeked out on this one because I am such a fan of these movies) and the Spiderman ride. B to the F is identical to the one in Orlando that I road 10 years ago – it amazed me that I was able to remember this. The Spiderman ride was in 3D which was pretty cool.

It was dark by the time we finished with these rides and the zombies began to wander around USJ. We were told that there might be zombies but that was a bit of an understatement! There were zombies everywhere! It was fun to see them and occasionally they’d chase you and girls would scream – – ok, I screamed 🙂


We continued to wander around the park – rode the Jurassic Park ride, which was a water ride (we didn’t realize this until we were about to get on it). The view from the harbor in the San Francisco area was really nice at nite.


On our way out we wandered into an area for children which had a Peanuts, Sesame Street and Hello Kitty area. It was here that I realized what a Hello Kitty fan I am!


We finished the night with dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe on the City Walk area.


Overall the best things about USJ: The zombies and the food. I thought I would never go back until I started writing this post… I then looked at the USJ web site and saw that they are planning on opening a Harry Potter attraction within the next couple of years. If I’m still in Japan, even though I know better, there’s a good chance I’d return for HP…



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