Universal Studios Japan (USJ) is a dreamworld where Hogwarts can be spied from the lapping shores of Amity Bay as Jaws himself circles your boat. But how do you get tickets without feeling the bite?
Unfortunately, Japan isn’t really a big believer in deals and large film corporations are (unsurprisingly) similarly minded. There are some ways, however, to lower the cost of spending a day or two with your favorite characters. Whether you’ve been to a different Universal Studios or not, Osaka’s biggest theme park is a real wonderland for thrillseekers and film fanatics. With rollercoasters, immersive 4D experiences and plenty of exciting rides, and the new Super Nintendo World, it’s no wonder that a visit to USJ has become one of the top things to do in the Kansai region. This steady popularity, however, means few discounts are available, but decisions on where and when to buy tickets as well as what kind of access you want can help you save a few yen towards that extra cauldron cake.
Note: All prices are listed inclusive of tax, but prices do fluctuate and may rise annually.
Universal Studios Japan tickets: Quick overview
On the surface, USJ’s tickets are pretty simple: you have a 1-Day Studio Pass, a 2-Day Studio Pass and the option of an Express Pass add-on. This Express option lets you skip queues on certain rides and pack more into your day, but it does come at a (rather hefty) price.
An Express Pass comes in several forms:
- Universal Express Premium Pass – ¥20,500
- Universal Express Pass for 7 attractions – ¥10,800
- Universal Express Pass for 4 attractions – ¥7,800
These passes have varying options about the rides included (you can’t just pick and choose).
Tickets bought at the gate are a little more simplified, but those bought online have more options, including a 1.5 Day Pass and more.
If you prefer to keep things casual and rock up on the day to purchase tickets, you’ll be heading straight for the park ticket gates. Here, you can purchase an adult 1-Day Studio Pass for ¥7,800 (incl. tax) or a child’s for ¥5,400. A 2-Day Pass is ¥15,400 and ¥10,500, respectively. The gates are open an hour before the park’s official opening time and close two hours before the park.
However, buying your USJ tickets at the gate, on the day, carries risks—including lengthy queues, cutting into your day, and tickets selling out during popular seasons. We strongly recommend buying your tickets online ahead of your visit.
Planning ahead: Booking USJ tickets online
Booking tickets in Japanese
Currently, the English version of the USJ website does not have an online booking option, so the only way to get tickets online is if you book through the Japanese site. This can be manageable if you use Google Translate (which works well on Chrome) and offers some unique discounts. The regular 1-Day or 2-Day Pass costs the same as the at-the-gate tickets.
There are some discounts to be had on the Japanese site if it is your birthday. If you’re visiting during your birthday month or the following month, you can save ¥500 on a 1-Day Pass and ¥1,000 on your 2-Day Pass. You do have to be a member for this deal, but you can sign up for free, so it’s an easy save.
Booking tickets in English
Note: Tickets sold through third-parties ticket agents (like Voyagin and Klook) are suspended as of April 3, 2020.
Travel combination tickets for USJ
USJ ticket + highway bus combo packages
If you’re traveling from Tokyo, there are various bus packages available from Willer Express, which include your USJ entry pass, transport and—optionally—hotel accommodation if you don’t fancy snoozing in the bus.
Alternatively, you can make your own way to Osaka—you can get highway bus tickets from Tokyo to Osaka for as low as ¥2,000
While we do our best to ensure it’s correct, information is subject to change. This post was originally published in June 2020. Last updated: January 2021.