I’m a big fan of Harry Potter. I can still clearly remember how excited I am everytime there’s a new book or movie coming up. I cried hard, both when Dumbledore died, and when I finished reading the 7th book- knowing that I won’t be looking forward to the next one… forever. Harry Potter made my highschool days as magical as it can ever be.
So, when I found out that there’s a Harry Potter theme park within Asia, I told to myself that I need to experience it A-S-A-P. Fast forward to November 2014, it all became a reality. My dream of becoming a witch “partly” came true.
I intentionally planned our visit to fall on a weekday- to avoid the crowd. Honestly, there are more Japanese tourists than foreigners because even the locals can’t visit USJ easily ( it’s in Osaka which is around 4 hr by bullet train from Tokyo). Based from the forum discussions, if the park has a lot of visitors, then USJ will setup a timed entry ticket which will indicate the time that you’re allowed to enter the Wizarding World of Harry Potter area. This is my expectation upon entry in the park- and as funny as it may sound, me and my sister plus most of the park guests (~90%) ran for our lives after entering USJ, and we all raced towards the Harry Potter area. Too bad I wasn’t able to take a photo, but I guess the hype during that time ( ~5 months after opening of HP area) is still there. In the end, we discovered that there are not much people (for them) during that day so timed entry tickets are not needed.
Just a quick background, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is just an attraction inside The Universal Studios Japan theme park. Thus, you only need to pay for the 1-day Studio Pass of USJ of ~6,850 yen. Upon entry, just walk to your right and eventually, you will see the Harry Potter area. Better to visit this firsthand in the morning upon entry, since it just gets crowded later in the afternoon. I wish you luck as well in taking a photo without several strangers/photobombers- better accept the fact that it’s a popular place. (well, it’s very!).
Inside the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, you will see several familiar places and things that exactly looks like how it is in the films. My favorite of course is the whole Hogsmeade feels ( tall, witch like houses with snow caps and lots of people wearing robes), and Ollivander’s Wand Shop. Most of the visitors also pay a visit in the Wizard shop where you should definitely buy souvenirs like scarves, robes, and wands! Personally, i chose the Gryffindor scarf because of Hermione (costs around 3000 yen). As much as I want to buy her wand and a robe, I just couldn’t think how i can use it more than 3x / year to make it worth it. Lastly, don’t forget to get a cup of Butterbeer (purchase the one that comes with a souvenir plastic mug for souvenir for around 700 yen). It’s not super delicious, but better to try just to put a taste behind the descriptive words in the book.
There are only two rides within the area – Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey (inside Hogwarts castle), and the Flight of the Hippogriff.
I’m not a full-blast-theme-park person so trying various rides won’t make me feel happy giddy. Nonetheless, I enjoyed the Wizarding World of Harry Potter because it made me feel that I’m a character in Harry Potter for a day! The craft and detail behind the attractions are simply amazing. When me and my family visited last Nov 2014, we just stayed form 8:30AM until 4pm, since we felt fulfilled already after seeing the various USJ areas. I’ll definitely go back again.
How to go to Universal Studios Japan: Go to Universal City Station of JR Yumesaki Line (also referred to as JR Sakurajima Line), around 180 yen from stations within Osaka loop line
Operating hours: No closing days; Varying hours, typically from 10:00 to 18:00 during low season and from 9:00 to 21:00 during peak season. Please refer to the park’s official website.
That’s all! Hope you enjoyed my photos and plan your Wizarding World of Harry Potter visit too!
Read more about my Budget Travel Osaka Adventure:
- Part 1- Japan Travel like a Ninja for only 12,000 pesos – Personal Tips and Notes
- Part 2- Day 1-Japan Travel Like a Ninja for only 12,000 pesos – Arashiyama Bamboo Groves, Tenryu-Ji Temple, and Umeda Sky Building
- Part 3- Day 2-Japan Travel Like a Ninja for only 12,000 pesos – Osaka castle, Tenma, Pokemon Center Osaka, Dotonbori
- Part 4- Day 3-Japan Travel Like a Ninja for only 12,000 pesos – Kyoto, Kinkakuji Temple, Botanical Garden, Osaka Castle, Denden Town
- Part 5- Day 4-Japan Travel Like a Ninja for only 12,000 pesos -Namba, Dotonbori, Ichiran,Shinsaibashi
- Part 6-Japan Travel Like a Ninja for only 12,000 pesos-Itinerary and Budget
- Japan Travel in a Budget:Osaka-Nikko-Kyoto-Tokyo Autumn Highlights
Tokyo/Kanto Budget Travel posts:
- Hitachi Seaside Park – Japan’s Best Autumn Spot
- Chureito Pagoda, Shimo-yoshida- Great View of Mt. Fuji
Going to Japan soon but don’t know where to start? Try to avail of my customized budget itinerary to learn and be able to tour Japan alone! Just click here.