Potter fans, Rejoice!! You don’t have to trek all the way to the UK to see Hogwarts, taste butterbeer and buy every flavored beans! Universal Studios in Osaka, Japan has a huge chunk of the theme park dedicated to Harry Potter and its fandom…I mean, kingdom.
Now, to be completely honest, Universal Studios in Japan is huge! However, I realized that I should have done more research before actually taking the kids, especially the boys, there. It would seem that the theme park is mostly for Potter fans (the Jurrasic park is closed when we were there but hopefully it would be back on soon) but there are some other places there that some of the kids may enjoy.
Breaking the rules
Yes, there are rules that will be broken here. These are the usual rules we’ve sworn by before but now must be sadly broken as proven by my experience.
- Do not go early – Everyone has the same idea. So, this means that everyone is there. Early. Long lines at an early early time. I would suggest that you go at around 11 am or lunchtime.
- Do not go when you lack sleep – The place is huge and you can get tired from all the walking. Make sure you’re refreshed and well rested before you even think about going. We made a mistake of getting a late flight in and then waking up really early the next day. The kids were cranky and we were all tired which meant we had very short tempers. That does not make a good attitude for a vacay.
- Do not expect a UK experience – Remember, you’re in Japan. There are major attempts at authenticity but the primary language used there is Japanese. It is a bit off putting that the hologram of Harry, Ron and Ginny were speaking in Japanese.
It does pay to purchase the express pass. This lets you in the best rides without going through the long lines. I wouldn’t suggest that you bring pre-teens here unless they’re real hard core Harry Potter fans. A lot of the rides have an age and height requirement.
I have to say, I was very impressed with the structures. It did feel like I was in Hogsmead and in the Three Broomsticks, drinking our butter beers.
Hogwarts did offer that feeling where it was cold, dark, damp and gloomy. Just how I imagined it to be.