Have you been a fan of Harry Potter series?
This year of 2014, Universal Studio Japan (or USJ, for short) opened “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter”, that reproduced the world from Harry Potter series in a reallife, overwhelming scale. The castle, the interior, the shop, the atmosphere.. grab your first-hand Harry Potter’s experience here in USJ, Osaka!
First thing you have to do when visiting USJ is to get the USJ map and leaflet containing the shows for that day. Ask the staff for English-version map (just to be safe in case they don’t provide the English-version map, you may print it yourself beforehand from the website). The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is located in the right-side from the entrance gate. During peak times, you might need timed-entry ticket (special ticket to enter the attraction at a designated time) to get in. You can get this timed-entry ticket freely in the ticketing site, ask the staff for where it is.
Entering the area, you will be welcomed by a vast forest and a vague backsound that will remind you of the movie. Straight following the road you will find the gate for the Harry Potter’s world.
And… voila! Feel like coming here already, eh?
Surely it’s full of people, but it doesn’t lessen the ambience you usually feel from watching the movie. Feel like taking picture beside the Hogwart Express? Taste the “Chocholate frogs” sweets in Honeydukes? Or collect Harry Potter goods and collectible in Ollivanders? Have fun!
And finally, the journey lands in the stunning, breathtaking Hogwarts castle.
The castle is so big, so real, and this is the iconic feature of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. You can explore the classrooms and corridors of Hogwarts, just like in the movie! Not to mention the moving portraits and the Sorting Hat that can talk to you during your journey inside the castle.
And if you’re okay with super-long queue (it was 230 minutes waiting in the first day of 2014), you could enjoy one the best attraction featuring cutting-edge 4K imaging technology, the “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey”. Roller coaster? Yes, they have it! Ride the “Flight of Hippogriff” and fly and enjoy the fresh air outside the castle!
And then, how about lunch?
Harry and his friends Ron and Hermione like to enjoy drinking butterbeer, where they often meet Hagrid and other teachers and students in the “Three Broomsticks” Inn. You also, can enjoy its specialty butterbeer (sweet, non-alcoholic drink), pumpkin juice and other foods such as traditional british fish and chips.
If you still can spare some time, the “Frog Choir” will leave you sweet memories of your whole journey through this magical world. Check its schedule from the leaflet you can get anywhere in the USJ.
Lastly, buy some Harry Potter’s items for your friends and family, some memorable souvenirs such as Hogwarts-themed clothing (scarf, cardigan, t-shirt, hat) or small but nice phone-strap, key-strap, mug, and so on. Enjoy!