2017 Japan Trip – Day 5 Universal Studio Japan

Day 5 is the second most exciting day for me, because we were going to Universal Studio Japan. I could not remember when the last time I went to a theme park, must have been over two decades ago. So, in this Japan trip I just had to go to both of its most well known theme parks namely Universal Studio Japan and Tokyo DisneySea!

The USJ tickets were bought from Klook as they worked out cheapest at that time. Since we thought we only had such limited time there, we decided to get the express pass 7 standard as well. This express pass works for these following:

  1. Harry Potter and Forbidden Journey in 4K3D
  2. Flight of Hippogriff
  3. Despicable Me Minion Mayhem
  4. Space Fantasy – The Ride
  5. The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man – The Ride 4K3D or JAWS
  6. Hollywood Dream – The Ride or Backdraft; and
  7. Jurassic Park – The Ride or Terminator 2: 3D

We got to USJ around 8.15 am for opening time 9.30. It was so cold that morning with light rain that then developed into heavy rain in the afternoon. Back to the time we arrived at USJ gate, there were already fair amount of people lined up outside the gates. We should have bought some breakfast to have while waiting for opening time. And another mistake we made was we did not bring umbrella or rain coat knowing that it was going to rain that day!

As the gate opened and mostly everyone ran towards Harry Potter area, as did we since our timed fast pass for the ride was 10.30. It was amazing, the walkway, that blue car, the buildings, the locomotive, and of course the castle. Everything was so pretty and mind-blowing, I kid you not! We tried to line up at 10 and were told to come back at the designated time. So we went to Jaws instead where there was no line whatsoever and that was also really fun albeit getting wet pants 😁



After that we went back to Harry Potter again for our fast pass and this time we joined the fast express queue right away. The ride was in Japanese, so we did not understand the conversations – but if you watch the movies or read the books, you’ll get the gist of it. It’s a nice ride with just enough adrenaline kick, not too much and it was short too, before you know it, you are already back to where it started 🙂 After Harry Potter ride, we went pass the locker room to get our belongings then passed the souvenir shops where they displayed our pictures taken during the ride, in case we wanted to buy it. Then we were going to queue for the Flight of Hippogriff. I personally thought this mini roller coaster ride was over hyped as it was super short!

While in here, we also went for the Ollivander’s Magic Wand and that was really cool!! Another highly recommended attractions, queue up if there is not a long line. There are so many photo spots in the Harry Potter are so make sure to spend enough time here.

We bought ourselves a cup of the famous butter beer and they only had a hot version while we were there. It was good, a little too sweet, such a contrast to the salty buttery foam on top. I read on many reviews that the cold version tastes better and less sweet, unfortunately we didn’t get to try and compare them.

Next, we walked towards Jurassic Park and as we were walking, we could hear loud scream came from the that roller coaster. Hubby said no to that ride right away so we did not try that. Instead we walked to Minions area and that was uber cute. If you love minion movies and think they are cute little buggers, you’ll be so happy here, I guarantee. Because our allocated time for the ride was still few hours away, we ended up at Spider Man Ride. I enjoyed it too, and thought it was a nice ride with all the amazing effects. Again, fast pass proved to be really useful here.

Not too far from here, was the Space Fantasy ride. Not knowing what this is, we just queued up and used our fast pass again. I actually love this one, the decor was so pretty. However the ride itself gives you more a lot more adrenaline kick than Harry Potter one. I totally enjoyed it, while hubby on the other hand just couldn’t be happier when it finally came to finish hehehe. And he just said enough after this 😅

And finally it’s our Minions ride allocated time, yay! It’s also when it started raining – but even that rain hasn’t dampen people’s mood; with or without rain coat/umbrella. I guess that’s the power of great theme park, right? Minions ride turned to be our favorite ride at USJ. And even with fast pass, we still waited at least a good half an hour here. But, it was so worth the wait and we absolutely recommend getting a fast pass for this ride.

For express pass (6) we chose Backdraft which we did not enjoy and a little boring for us. As for express (7) we chose to do Terminator 2 and it’s an OK show just a little too long on the intro. And final show we did was Shrek’s 4D Adventure – this also was really nice. Mostly all the attractions at USJ are in Japanese, so that’s a little difficult for non-Japanese speakers to understand. But then again, for most of them you can just really enjoy the ride or the shows for the effects without having to understand it.



Another must do at USJ is having dinner at Three Broomsticks and Hog’s Head Bar. Try to get here after dark and find a seat on the outside to enjoy your meal with a light show on Hogwarts Castle. We both think this is a must do and magical.

To summarize our day 5 at USJ, here is the order of attractions we enjoyed most to least: Minions, Harry Potter, Jaws, Spider Man, Shrek or Space Fantasy (depends on who you asked 😋), Terminator, and lastly, Backdraft. The Christmas carol was amazing, though we missed the first part of the choir. And light show at Hogwarts Castle is also another not to miss attraction in here.

We left USJ around 8 pm and went to the 7-11 shop just outside of the Universal City station to get tickets for Doraemon Museum. Then of course we stopped by at Dotonbori again for more food before headed back to our AirBnb. A very fun day being kids again!


What we ate on Day 5

Most people would agree that theme park experience will not be complete without the theme park snacks, correct?  Here are the  food we had at USJ:

harry potter hot butter beer
Hot butter beer – ¥750


USJ turkey leg
Chicken turkey leg – ¥880


usj minion bun and churros
Minion’s chocolate banana churros and Minion-shaped meat bun – ¥1,100


While it rained cats and dogs after the Minion’s ride, we went to Parkside Grille Restaurant for lunch. It was a very nice restaurant with beautiful interior and Christmas decoration at the time. We both got the Aging Steak Set that includes salad, steak, soup, dessert and tea/coffee @ ¥4,000 + tax. The service was incredible so were the food, highly recommended if you want to have fine dining style meal in USJ!

parkside grille
Christmas wreaths and big chandellier


parkside grille Corn Potage and Clam Chowder
Corn Potage and Clam Chowder


parkside grille Chef's Salad and Aging Steak 125 g
Chef’s Salad and Aging Steak 125 g


parkside grille dessert
Banana tart with vanilla ice cream and Caramelized apple crepe with vanilla ice cream


A quick dinner at Three Broomsticks while enjoying the light show at Hogwarts Castle is a must. Whilst the food itself was not outstanding, it was not bad either and it was part of the experience.

Three Broomsticks Pork Ribs
Three Broomsticks Pork Ribs – ¥2,000

Then we went to Dotonbori for the famous kushikatsu at Ganso Daruma. This tiny restaurant was jam packed with diners and there were even queues outside after we finished our meal. We’d suggest to visit the branch near Tsutenkaku for less crowd. The kushikatsu were deep fried to perfection each piece and served piping hot – they are absolute delightful to our taste buds 🙂 we’d love to go back for kushikatsu again!


Ganso Kushikatsu Daruma, Dotombori


ganso kushikatsu daruma menu
The menu


ganso kushikatsu daruma
We ordered Combo C for 15 skewers and a beer for hubby – Total ¥2,948




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