How to Buy Universal Studios Japan Tickets and Express Passes [2022 & 2023]

We were poorly organised when we first visited Universal Studios Japan 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 Universal Studios Japan 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.

On our second visit to USJ we pre-purchased both Royal Passes and Express Pass 4s for our family and had a totally different (and better!) day out.  We powered through the rides and loved skipping the queues to make the most of our time at Universal Studios Japan.

To ensure that you have a much better day at Universal Studios Japan Osaka I definitely recommend that you carefully consider whether to book Express Passes, as it makes a major difference between having an average day out and instead having a great day out!  

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How to Buy Universal Studios Osaka Tickets

Universal Studios Japan Osaka Tickets and Express Pass (or USJ 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 your USJ ticket and Express Passes from Lawson convenience stores which are prolific around Japan.  You can also purchase your Universal Studios Osaka ticket 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.

The easiest online option to pre-book your entry tickets, Express Passes and special event passes online before you depart on your trip to Japan in through Klook. Klook is an online travel agency for many Asian countries.  The advantage of using 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!  Check out our detailed personal review of using Klook to book our tickets, transport and tours.

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 Klook for each item.

Hotel Name

Price

Reviews

Top Features

Book

1 Day Pass from $US 58-66

1.5 Day Pass from $US 93 

2 Day Pass from $US 116

1 Day, 1.5 Day and 2 Day Entry Pass Options.

Note that the 1 Day Pass has different pricing (A, B or C) depending on expected level of busyness - select your date and it will tell you which day pass option to purchase.

From $US 47 - 131

The USJ Express Pass 4 enables you to skip the queue on 4 specific rides - note timings are allocated for each ride.  You must purchase in conjunction with an entry pass as detailed above.

There are three different Express Pass 4 options, each with different rides included.  Pricing also varies depending on expected level of busyness.

Note that Express Passes regularly sell out in advance, so ensure you book yours as soon as they are released 90 days prior.

From $US 75-138

The USJ Express Pass 7 enables you to skip the queue on 7 specific rides - note timings are allocated for each ride.  You must purchase in conjunction with an entry pass as detailed above.

Express Pass 7 options vary from time to time, each with different rides included.  Pricing also varies depending on expected level of busyness.

Note that Express Passes regularly sell out in advance, so ensure you book yours as soon as they are released 90 days prior.

Universal Studios Globe Sign
Universal Studios Globe Sign

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.  There are three different prices for entry passes depending on how busy the park is expected to be. You can also purchase 1.5 and 2 day entry passes.

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 purchase your Universal Studios Japan Entry Pass through Klook

Universal Studios Japan Express™ Pass 7

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 both the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Super Nintendo World.  

  • Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
  • Mario Kart: Koopa’s Challenge
  • Yoshi’s Adventure
  • Flight of the Hippogriff
  • The Flying Dinosaur
  • Hollywood Dream – The Ride OR JAWS
  • Jurassic Park – The Ride

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 and purchase your Universal Studios Japan Express Pass 7 Options through Klook Note that your Express Pass must be purchased in conjunction with an entry pass.

The Flying Dinosaur
The Flying Dinosaur

Universal Studios Japan Express™ Pass 4

The USJ Express Pass 4 must be purchased in conjunction with an entry ticket and includes timed skip the line to four ride options, and timed entry to either the Wizarding World of Harry Potter or Super Nintendo World:

  • Express Pass 4: Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem
  • Express Pass 4: Fun
  • Express Pass 4: Variety Choice

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 and purchase your Universal Studios Japan Express Pass 4 Options through Klook. Note that your Express Pass must be purchased in conjunction with an entry pass.

The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman
The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman
Despicable Me Minion Mayhem
Despicable Me Minion Mayhem
Hollywood Dream - The Ride
Hollywood Dream – The Ride

USJ Special Event Passes and Offers

USJ also offers a great selection of special event passes and offers throughout each year.  Options include Halloween special deals, Christmas shows, New Year’s Eve celebration tickets and many more.

Click here to see Universal Studios Japan Studio special event tickets and Express pass options through Klook

How to Get Wizarding World of Harry Potter Osaka Tickets

If you are visiting Universal Studios Japan 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.  You may like to check out our detailed guide to visiting Harry Potter World at USJ for more detailed information.

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

Where is Universal Studios Japan USJ?

A key point is that Universal Studios Japan 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 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.

What is the Universal Studios Japan Osaka Schedule?

Universal Studios Japan 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 Crowd Calendar

It is important to understand how big a crowd is likely to be at Universal Studios Japan 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!)

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

How to Get to Universal Studios Japan in Osaka

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.

Other Osaka Attractions

Other attractions you may be interested in visiting in Osaka 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.

Don’t Forget to Book Universal Studios Japan Studio Entry and Express Passes through Voyagin or Klook

Hotel Name

Price

Reviews

Top Features

Book

1 Day Pass from $US 58-66

1.5 Day Pass from $US 93 

2 Day Pass from $US 116

1 Day, 1.5 Day and 2 Day Entry Pass Options.

Note that the 1 Day Pass has different pricing (A, B or C) depending on expected level of busyness - select your date and it will tell you which day pass option to purchase.

From $US 47 - 131

The USJ Express Pass 4 enables you to skip the queue on 4 specific rides - note timings are allocated for each ride.  You must purchase in conjunction with an entry pass as detailed above.

There are three different Express Pass 4 options, each with different rides included.  Pricing also varies depending on expected level of busyness.

Note that Express Passes regularly sell out in advance, so ensure you book yours as soon as they are released 90 days prior.

From $US 75-138

The USJ Express Pass 7 enables you to skip the queue on 7 specific rides - note timings are allocated for each ride.  You must purchase in conjunction with an entry pass as detailed above.

Express Pass 7 options vary from time to time, each with different rides included.  Pricing also varies depending on expected level of busyness.

Note that Express Passes regularly sell out in advance, so ensure you book yours as soon as they are released 90 days prior.

You may also like:

Join the Japan Travel Planning Facebook Group and Discord Server

You are also welcome to join our Japan Travel Planning Facebook Group and our new Japan Travel Planning Discord Server – they are great resources to enable you to ask questions about your upcoming trip to Japan!

Japan Travel Planning Facebook Group

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.

11 thoughts on “How to Buy Universal Studios Japan Tickets and Express Passes [2022 & 2023]”

  1. Awesome advice. We are visiting Japan (Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto etc) in November and I would love to go to the Harry Potter Wizarding World. Thanks for the other Osako notes as well.

    Reply
  2. Hi Anne, I’m planning to go USJ with my 20 & 18 years old sons on Feb 2018, is it a good time to enjoy the rides in USJ as it’s winter in Japan?

    Reply
  3. Hi Anne,

    Great article!

    Just want to get your advice…

    My partner and I plan to go to USJ on Thursday, 24th May 2018. The crowd calendar indicates that it won’t be very busy during this period. Do you think we should still purchase the express pass just to be safe? Or perhaps go for a 4 instead of the 7?

    Cheers,
    Ashleigh

    Reply
  4. hi Anne
    Just want to ask when you go to USJ, is there any single riders line?
    Thanks also for the awesome article

    Reply

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