USJ: All You Need to Know. Tips and Tricks!

Visiting Universal Studios Japan (USJ) is definitely a must. Expect to see all the iconic characters in Nintendo World, get up close with Dumbledore in Harry Potter World and ride tons of thrill-seeking rollercoasters! If you’re in the midst of planning a trip to Universal Studios Japan and finding it stressful and overwhelming, you’re not alone. I certainly felt that way. However, with this helpful and honest guide you’ll find all the information, tips and tricks you’ll possibly need to know about USJ.

If you don’t have time to read this post, I’ve summarised the most important tips and all you need to know so you can get the most out of your day at USJ:

  • Get to the park for 7-7:15am
  • Check the Universal Studios Japan app regularly for up-to-date queue times and show timings
  • Stay at the park until close
  • Head to the big rollercoasters first while it’s quieter
  • Get your Nintendo World entry timed ticket as soon as you enter the park


You can purchase tickets direct on the website or through third-party authorised sellers such as Klook. I found Klook to be the easier option as the Universal Studios Japan website can be a bit hard to navigate and I had to continuously translate to English. Tickets are priced the same on both websites. Once you’ve paid and booked through Klook, you’ll receive an email with your ticket attached which you’ll scan to get into the park. You do not need to redeem your ticket.

PRO TIP: You can even save with discount code ‘BetteronApp’ with your 1st app booking. More savings, ca-ching!

Ticket Pricing

One thing to know when visiting USJ is admission tickets are priced through a tiered system: A, B or C. C is the most expensive as they’re sold during high seasons or weekends. I visited on a Monday on a tier B ticket.

PRO TIP: Supposedly Wednesday and Thursdays are the least busiest times to visit

Ticket Price as of June 2023 in GBP

Ticket Options

I do NOT recommend buying an Early Entry Pass as the park opens earlier than stated most days anyway. No, it’s not guaranteed the park will open earlier but if there are enough people outside queuing they will open the gates before the official opening time. Check online before visiting, but gates open between 8:30 a.m. and 9 a.m and closes between 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m, depending on season. When I visited in April gates opened around 7:45am and shut at 10pm.

Express passes are available if you want a shorter queue time. You can buy them online or once you’re at the park. I’d only recommend buying an express pass if you’re visiting on the weekend or during a holiday.

Tickets available are: 1 day, 1.5 day, 2 days, early entry + 1-day pass. I just bought the 1 day pass and did all the rides I wanted to, if you’re with kids then it might be wise to buy the longer pass.

PRO TIP: Be sure to get to the park as early as possible, around 7-7:15am and then run to the rides you want to go on first!

Area Timed Entry & The App

Before visiting, download the USJ app. It’s the easiest way to find up-to-date queue times, shows and performances and opening hours. If the app language is in Japanese, change your iPhone language to English US in general iPhone settings.

You need to know to add your tickets to the USJ app in order to get an area timed entry when at the park. An area timed entry ticket is needed to visit Nintendo World. It’s a way of staggering visitors without it getting overly crowded.

I took screenshots of the tickets I received via email through Klook, and then uploaded them. Once you’ve arrived in the park after having your ticket scanned, you can then choose an area timed entry ticket via the app. Head to ‘Area Timed Entry Ticket’, then ‘Register Park Passes’. Be sure to do this early in the morning as you have more chance of getting a time slot. I arrived at around 8am and there were only 2 time slots left: 16:40-17:40.

Although you’re given an hour’s time slot to explore Nintendo World, you can stay for as long as you like – nobody will check. We ended up staying 1.5 hours, enough time to do the 2 main rides and check out the amazing area. We queued for 2 hours for The Yoshi Ride and it’s definitely targeted towards kids, it was very tame. If you’re short on time prioritise Koopa’s Challenge it’s far better.

Nintendo World

Reduce Wait Times

The biggest and best tip to know about visiting USJ is to join the single rider queue. The park can get very busy which means a lot of long queues. We saved hours of queuing by going in the solo rider line, and even a couple of times we were sat near each other or at least on the same ride!

Check the app regularly to check up-to-date wait times. The longest advertised time we were in was 230 minutes, but it wasn’t really that long. I think it’s more of a deterrent for new riders to join the queue.


You’re not allowed to bring food into the park, unless you have specific dietary requirements. There are lots of restaurants to choose from, but as expected, prepare to pay a premium.

I spent around £10 for pizza, chips and a drink. But there were cheaper options available.

PRO TIP: I recommend trying the hot butter beer in Harry Potter world – it’s delicious!

Hogwarts express at USJ

I hope you now know a bit more about USJ. Comment below what your favourite rides are!


  1. Can I pass around this article on LinkedIn? It’s really important!

    1. Of course!

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