Universal Studios Japan

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Universal Studios Japan
Universal Studios Japan Logo (2017).png
USJ 5years.JPG
Universal Studios Japan entrance
LocationKonohana-ku, Osaka, Japan
Coordinates34°39′53″N 135°25′59″E / 34.66472°N 135.43306°E / 34.66472; 135.43306Coordinates: 34°39′53″N 135°25′59″E / 34.66472°N 135.43306°E / 34.66472; 135.43306
Opened31 March 2001; 21 years ago (2001-03-31)
(Universal Parks & Resorts)
(wholly owned by NBCUniversal, a division of Comcast)[1]
Operated byUSJ LLC
Universal Parks & Resorts
ThemeShow business and Universal entertainment
Attendance14.9 million (2017)[2]
Area54 ha (108 acres)
Roller coasters5

Universal Studios Japan (ユニバーサル・スタジオ・ジャパン, Yunibāsaru Sutajio Japan), located in Osaka, is one of six Universal Studios theme parks, owned and operated by USJ LLC[3], which is wholly owned by NBCUniversal (as of 2017).[4] The park is similar to the Universal Orlando Resort since it also contains selected attractions from Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood.

The park opened on 31 March 2001. Over 11 million guests visited the park in its opening year, making it the world's fastest amusement park to have achieved the 10 million milestone at the time. Since then, Universal Studios Japan has had approximately 8 million visitors every year. It is one of the three Universal Studio theme parks in Asia, the other two being Universal Studios Singapore and Universal Studios Beijing.

Osaka includes hotels Hotel Kintetsu Universal City, Hotel Keihan Universal Tower, and Universal CityWalk, which offers a collection of shops, restaurants, and others.

Various events were held in the year 2011 to celebrate the park's tenth anniversary, by which time a total of 88 million guests had cumulatively attended the park. There were 700,000 annual passport holders in June 2012 and in the 2012 fiscal year, 9.75 million guests visited the park. During the 2013 fiscal year, Universal Studios Japan received 10.5 million guests. Various factors contributed to this growth in 2013, including the opening of the backwards roller coaster "Hollywood Dream – The Ride – Backdrop" in March, and the "New Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man - The Ride 4K3D" in July, which installed new 4KHD technology, which proved to be popular among the younger generation of visitors. The family area "Universal Wonderland" which opened in March 2012 also attracted many families.

Recent installments include limited-time attractions such as "Biohazard - The Real" and "Monster Hunter - The Real", both based on popular video game franchises, and "One Piece Premier Show", which is based on the popular anime series, providing attractions based on entertainment worldwide.[5] On 15 July 2014, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, a themed area based on the blockbuster Harry Potter film series, opened to the public.[6] The popular ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, located in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, was revamped to play in 3D only 10 months after its opening as the first ride of its kind in the world.[7] With a total investment of 45 billion yen, the addition of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter to the park is projected to have an economic ripple effect of 5 trillion 60 million yen over the next 10 years in Japan, anticipating many visitors from both Japan and overseas.[6]

On Monday, 29 October 2012, Universal Studios Japan greeted its 100 millionth visitor since its opening in 2001.[8] According to the 2014 Theme Index Global Attraction Attendance Report, Universal Studios Japan is ranked fifth among the top 25 amusement/theme parks worldwide, attracting 11.8 million visitors in 2014, 16.8% more than in the previous year.[9] On 27 February 2020, Universal announced a closure of the park until 22 March 2020 to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, they have extended the closure to 31 May 2020, and delayed again until 19 June 2020.

Licensed properties included at Universal Studios Japan[edit]

Like other Universal parks, Universal Studios Japan does not limit itself to attractions based on Universal's owned-library. It has licensed other franchises from different studios for some attractions. Some examples include:

Lands and attractions[edit]

The park is 54 hectares (130 acres) large.[10]

The attractions are spread across nine different areas of the park.[11] A tenth area, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, opened on 15 July 2014 with its flagship attraction, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. The area was modeled on the areas of the same names at Universal Orlando and Universal Studios Hollywood.[12] There are also attractions that are not in the United States and are unique to Universal Studios Japan, such as Black Lake and Hogwarts Express Photo Op. An eleventh area, Super Nintendo World, opened on 18 March 2021.[13]


Themed to Hollywood.

Cinema 4-D Theater
The former E.T. Adventure

New York City[edit]

Based on the city of New York City, New York.

San Francisco[edit]

Based on the city of San Francisco, California.

Minion Park[edit]

Jurassic Park[edit]

Inspired by Steven Spielberg's blockbuster film franchise of the same name.

Amity Village[edit]

Inspired by Steven Spielberg's Jaws.

Universal Wonderland[edit]

Universal Wonderland is a section aimed at children and families. Opened in March 2012, it contains three themed sub-zones including Snoopy Studios, Hello Kitty's Fashion Avenue, and Sesame Street Fun Zone.

Snoopy Studio[edit]

Based on the Peanuts comic strip. Snoopy Studios was originally its own standalone area, opening with the park in March 2001 before becoming part of Universal Wonderland.

  • The Flying Snoopy
  • Snoopy's Sound Stage Adventure

Hello Kitty's Fashion Avenue[edit]

Themed to Sanrio's Hello Kitty franchise.

  • Hello Kitty's Cupcake Dream
  • Hello Kitty's Ribbon Collection

Sesame Street Fun Zone[edit]

Based on the children's television series Sesame Street.

  • Elmo's Bubble Bubble
  • Abby's Magical Party
  • Moppy's Lucky Dance Party
  • Big Bird's Big Nest
  • Grover's Construction Company
  • Bert and Ernie's Wonder-The Sea
  • Sesame's Big Drive
  • Big Bird's Climbing Nest
  • Abby's Magical Tree
  • Abby's Magical Garden
  • Water Garden
  • Cookie Monster Slide
  • Ernie's Rubber Duckie Race
  • Elmo's Little Drive
  • Big Bird's Big Top Circus
  • Moppy's Balloon Trip
  • Elmo's Go Go Skateboard


Based on Universal's 1995 film of the same name.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter[edit]

Super Nintendo World[edit]

Former attractions[edit]

  • Motion Picture Magic - When the park first opened in 2001, the attraction 'Motion Picture Magic,' hosted by director Steven Spielberg, occupied the building that currently houses the attractions Shrek 4-D and Sesame Street 4-D Movie Magic. The attraction, originally designed by experience designer Bob Rogers and the design team BRC Imagination Arts,[14] provided a tribute to the Universal Studios brand of motion pictures. During the show, the theater transformed into a multi-screen presentation and when the show ended, the main screen raised to present a real motion picture set in which the audience would cross through as they continued through the attraction show building.[15]
  • E.T. Adventure has been replaced by Space Fantasy – The Ride.
  • Monster Make-Up has been closed.
  • Back to the Future - The Ride has been replaced by Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem.
  • Animation Celebration[16] has been closed to make way for Playing with Curious George.
  • Snoopy's Great Race was an indoor roller coaster that was part of Snoopy's Sound Stage Adventure. It has been removed from the attraction on February 28, 2020.
  • Peppermint Patty's Stunt Slide was what seemed to be a water slide complex. The attraction can be seen on Google Earth using the timelapse feature, and has appeared to have been removed sometime between 2011 and 2014. [17]


The Western Area, and with it, The Wild Wild Wild West Stunt Show and the Animal Actors show, were revamped to become Land of Oz in 2006. This involved completely re-theming two live shows, one restaurant and a number of retail facilities.

Land of Oz (closed in 2011)[edit]

A former section at Universal Studios Japan, which was based on L. Frank Baum's Wizard of Oz book series. It was later replaced by Universal Wonderland section.

  • Wicked - This was an abbreviated one-act version of the musical, presented in Japanese.
  • Toto & Friends - This was an animal trick show, featuring dogs, birds and other trained animals.
  • Magical Oz-Go-Round


Much like with the previous Universal parks, USJ has characters both from Universal and third-party companies. USJ has the Japanese license to use the Sesame Street, Peanuts and Sanrio characters, and alongside many others.

Current characters[edit]


Sesame Street[edit]



Looney Tunes/DC Comics[edit]

Hanna-Barbera/Cartoon Network[edit]





Former characters[edit]


In 2011, USJ's Christmas tree was recognized by the Guinness World Records as the most illuminated Christmas tree in the world having 260,498 lights.[20]

  • The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man - The Ride
    • 2001 Screamscape Ultimate No.1 Favorite Overall Non-Coaster Thrill Ride[21]
    • 2002 Theme Park Insider World Best Theme Park Attraction[22]
  • Animation Celebration
    • 2002 THEA Award (presented by TEA) WINNER in Attraction[23]
  • Peter Pan's Neverland
    • 2007 THEA Award (presented by TEA) WINNER in Event Spectacular[24]
  • The Gift of Angels
    • 2009 Big E Award, Best Overall Production, (presented by IIAPA) WINNER in the category "Best Overall Production, More Than $2 Million"[25]
  • Hollywood Dreams Parade
    • 2009 Big E Award (presented by IIAPA): Honorable Mention in the category "Best Overall Production, More Than $2 Million"[26]
  • Space Fantasy – The Ride
    • 2011 THEA Award (presented by TEA) winner in Outstanding Achievement[23]


2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 Worldwide rank
8,000,000 [27] 8,160,000 [28] 8,500,000 [29] 9,700,000 [30] 10,100,000 [31] 11,800,000 [9] 13,900,000 [32] 14,500,000 [33] 14,935,000 [34] 14,300,000 [35] 14,500,000 [36] 5[36]

Official hotels[edit]

Hotel Kintetsu Universal City (left) and Hotel Keihan Universal Tower (right)

There are five official hotels at or near the park:

  • Hotel Keihan Universal City
  • Hotel Kintetsu Universal City
  • Hotel Keihan Universal Tower
  • Hotel Universal Port
  • Park Front Hotel at Universal Studios Japan


In November 2004, a 35-year-old woman from Osaka Prefecture suffered nerve damage in her right wrist, affecting the use of two of her fingers. This occurred when her hand got stuck in a safety bar of the E.T. Adventure attraction as an employee pulled it down to secure it.[37]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Comcast to Buy Rest of Universal Studios Japan for $2.3 Billion". Bloomberg.com. 28 February 2017.
  2. ^ "TEA/AECOM 2006 Global Attractions Report" (PDF). Themed Entertainment Association. 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 13, 2013. Retrieved March 31, 2015.
  3. ^ 合同会社ユー・エス・ジェイ, Gōdō gaisha Yū Esu Jei, formerly the USJ Co., Ltd. until 2018
  4. ^ "Comcast Purchases Universal Studios Japan as Wholly Owned Subsidiary". March 2, 2017. Retrieved March 7, 2021.
  5. ^ "Universal Cool Japan 2016 - Osaka - Japan Travel - Tourism Guide, Japan Map and Trip Planner". JapanTravel. Retrieved 2016-03-14.
  6. ^ a b "Universal Studios Japan to Open Wizarding World of Harry Potter in July". Variety Media. 18 April 2014. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
  7. ^ "Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey: Now in 3D". themeparkinsider. Retrieved 2015-05-20.
  8. ^ "Universal Studios Japan visitors top 100 million". Archived from the original on 2013-01-22. Retrieved 2 Nov 2012.
  9. ^ a b "GLOBAL ATTRACTIONS ATTENDANCE REPORT" (PDF). Themed Entertainment Association. 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 26, 2015. Retrieved June 3, 2015.
  10. ^ Saeki, Shizuka (January 2002). "Osaka Feels the "Power of Hollywood"". Look Japan. Archived from the original on 2002-02-10. Retrieved 2019-05-02.
  11. ^ "Universal Studios Japan Attraction/Studio Guide". usj.co.jp. Archived from the original on 2006-11-18. Retrieved 2006-11-19.
  12. ^ Fritz, Ben (9 May 2012). "Harry Potter heads to Universal Studios Japan". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 10 May 2012.
  13. ^ Steen, Emma. "Super Nintendo World opens at Universal Studios Japan today". Time Out Tokyo. Retrieved 2021-03-18.
  14. ^ "Universal Studios Japan - Motion Picture Magic" (PDF). BRC Imagination Arts. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-12-24.
  15. ^ "Universal Studios Japan: Universal Studios Motion Picture Magic" (PDF). BRC Imagination Arts. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-12-24.
  16. ^ "Animation Celebration". www.imdb.com.
  17. ^ "Snoopy Studio". Universal Studios Japan. Archived from the original on April 22, 2010. Retrieved 13 April 2022.
  18. ^ Strother, Susan G. (12 July 1991). "Universal Kicks Off Western Show". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 11 July 2011.
  19. ^ "USJ theme park has continued to misuse explosives". Japan Weekly Monitor. 19 August 2002. Retrieved 11 July 2011.
  20. ^ "Quick Hits". Retrieved 2012-06-11.
  21. ^ "SCREAMSCAPE Presents - The 2001 Ultimate Awards". 2002-09-18. Retrieved 2012-06-05.
  22. ^ "The Theme Park Insider Awards". Retrieved 2012-06-05.
  23. ^ a b "Thea Recipients". Archived from the original on May 2, 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-05.
  24. ^ "14th Annual THEA Awards". Archived from the original on 2014-05-25. Retrieved 2012-06-05.
  25. ^ "IAAPA 2009 BIG E AWARDS". Retrieved 2012-06-05.
  26. ^ "IAAPA 2009 Big E Awards Recognize Top-Notch Live Entertainment in the Attractions Industry Europe, Japan, and United States Productions Stand Out in 2009". 2009-11-18. Archived from the original on 2010-04-23.
  27. ^ "TEA/AECOM 2009 Global Attractions Report" (PDF). Themed Entertainment Association. 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 2, 2010. Retrieved November 20, 2012.
  28. ^ "TEA/AECOM 2010 Global Attractions Report" (PDF). Themed Entertainment Association. 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 19, 2011. Retrieved November 20, 2012.
  29. ^ "TEA/AECOM 2011 Global Attractions Report" (PDF). Themed Entertainment Association. 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 18, 2015. Retrieved November 20, 2012.
  30. ^ "2012 Theme Index-Global Attractions Attendance Report" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on April 8, 2014. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
  31. ^ "TEA/AECOM 2013 Global Attractions Report" (PDF). Themed Entertainment Association. 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 6, 2014. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
  32. ^ "2015 AECOM and TEA Theme and Museum Index Report" (PDF). AECOM.
  33. ^ "2016 AECOM and TEA Theme and Museum Index Report" (PDF). AECOM.
  34. ^ "2017 AECOM and TEA Theme and Museum Index Report" (PDF). AECOM. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-06-02.
  35. ^ "2018 AECOM and TEA Theme and Museum Index Report" (PDF). AECOM. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2019-05-23.
  36. ^ a b "2019 AECOM and TEA Theme and Museum Index Report" (PDF). AECOM. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2020-07-17.
  37. ^ "USJ settles with woman hurt on E.T. attraction". The Daily Yomiuri. 2000-11-24. Retrieved 2006-12-15.[dead link]

External links[edit]