Exploring Magical Realms: A Day of Thrills and Adventure at Universal Studios Osaka

When people think of Japan, chances are they will think of places like Tokyo, Kyoto and Hokkaido. Osaka is famous for being one of the best cities to dine in Japan with some of the most famous fish markets and restaurants in the country. Importantly for this article it is also the home of Universal studios Osaka.

Universal studios Osaka is a Western style amusement park that is located on the outskirts of Osaka.  Universal is divided into multiple themes and sections throughout the park including Harry Potter, Jaws, Jurassic Park, Mario land and many more. These themes give a refreshing atmosphere to the park giving you the feeling that you are constantly entering new parks and worlds every few hundred meters. When entering the park you are encouraged / advised to download the Universals app that you can then use to apply for raffles for different rides at different times. The app and entering a raffle is completely free and offers fast passes to skip the lines for certain hours if done in advance. We won a raffle to the haunted house and to Mario world. These 2 fast-passes probably saved us about 2.5 hours of waiting in total.

There are a lot of things that you can do while you are in the park ranging from riding the multiple adrenaline-rushing rollercoasters to watching a 4-D animation of Jujutsu Kaisen. Our favorite activities include riding roller coasters backwards, fighting off Jaws, exploring the world of mario and avoiding a heart-attack in the live action video game haunted house. Additionally, although Universal has many ‘normal’ attractions that you can ride throughout the year, every so often there are ‘special events’. The theme of the attraction when we were in the park was the famous Jujutsu Kaise, this because a new Jujutsu Kaisen movie just released in Japan. Jujustu Kaisen is a fighting anime that is insanely popular in all of Japan at the moment, hence the line was insane when we went. The attraction was a 4-D type cinema experience where you would first get a story and then go on to see (or should I say experience) a 4-D movie.Although it was good and the effects were cool, the story and animations was nowhere as good as a normal episode of the series so I thought it was a bit overrated considering the line. After the movie you could go to a themed store that offered some pretty cool things ranging from themed outfits to exclusive cups and stuffed toys (like the infamous punching teddy bear). These items were pretty cool but it is a shame that your wallet would take irreversible damage if you were to buy an outfit, stuffed toy, hat or something else.

The park offers a lot of other activities for the family besides the attractions themselves, ranging from walking through the different themed sections to eating at the themed restaurants. The themed restaurants is a thing that I really liked about the park because it gives the park a surreal atmosphere. You could find a food stall or restaurant for any type of food you could think of from Mario-themed mushroom soup to butter beer. I had a Jaws-themed hotdog where the bread was a bread-like shark that made it look like it was attacking the sausage and ketchup on top of the hotdog to make it look like blood. Overall I was pleasantly surprised.

We went to Universal Studios just before the borders of Japan reopened and that saved me an unthinkable amount of waiting time for the attractions. This is a big reason why I could got to go to so many rides and avoid the lines. I really liked Universal and I think it is one of the best amusement parks I have ever been to, mainly due to the effort and details put into the park. You could clearly see this by walking around Mario world, Jurassic park and the other ‘worlds’. I ended up going on all of the big attractions including the infamous ‘Dream ride’. The Dream ride is an extremely fast rollercoaster that starts with a really high drop straight down. But the fun thing about this ride was that you could choose if you wanted to go forwards (like normal people) or backwards. Being the brave person I am (or in full honesty my friend is), I obviously chose the latter option.

I went to all of the different worlds and my favorite is the Harry Potter world and this says a lot about this world because it has to compete with the world-famous Mario world. However, all of the worlds were amazing in their own way, with each theme heaving its unique strengths. I highly recommend everyone who is in Osaka to take one day off from their hectic routine to treat themselves with a visit to Universal Studios Osaka and to enjoy the beauties of this park for themselves. This at the time was one of the best days I spent in Japan throughout my internship.

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