I just visited Universal Studios Japan in Osaka (yes, again) with my sister a couple of weeks back, and as before, I bought the studio passes ahead of time.
I always feel sad for the people I see queuing at the park to buy tickets. It’s such an awful waste of their time when the tickets can be purchased beforehand! (I was like that my first time there)
But I know most people don’t have a choice because the USJ site is only in Japanese, so this is where this post comes in. If you want to buy USJ tickets online yourself, this post is for you.
— TIP! —
If you prefer to keep things simple and not have to figure out my guide (although it is well-written if I do say so myself lol), you can purchase your USJ tickets through Voyagin!
Voyagin is a third-party booking platform, but offers USJ tickets at the same price (¥7,600) as the official website! They also offer a unique addon: USJ VIP Wristband (¥3,850), which allows you to enter USJ before the official opening hours. Awesome or what?!
I’m so gonna get this wristband the next time I visit USJ (my 4th time, heh) so that I can zoom straight to Hogsmeade and finally take photos without 3098516 people photobombing me -_-
Back to the guide; before we start, a couple of things to note:
- This post is a guide to buy studio passes only.
- Screenshots are accurate as at the point of writing.
- I am not responsible for any losses that may occur.
Ready to beat the queues? Let’s go!
Go to the USJ ticket page: http://www.usj.co.jp/ticket
① Confirm that PASS スタジオパス is selected (in blue)
② Click on the calendar dropdown
Select date by clicking on the blue button. In this example, we are selecting the 12th (circled in red).
The purple star indicates dates with the Magical Starlight Parade.
You will be brought back to the screen in Step 2, this time with the date updated. Click on the yellow button to continue.
Select the type of studio pass you want – 1 Day or 2 Day – and click on the corresponding yellow button.
In this example, we are selecting the 1 Day pass (circled in red).
① Select the QR code option
② Select the number of tickets. In this case, we selected 2 Adult tickets and 1 Child ticket.
③ Click on the yellow button (circled in red)
This is the page to add on other options like Express Passes, VIP tours, etc. But we will not be covering how to buy those in this guide because it will become too complicated.
Skip to the end and click on the yellow button (circled in red).
Of the entire buying process, this step is the most tedious, but hang in there!
This form is to register your details, and I’ll show the blank form first, with the fields translated:
Most of the form is self-explanatory, but there are a few that are need special attention.
☛ Name in Katakana
The second row needs to be typed in katakana. Google translate can translate most names, but if your name returns a non-katakana character, an error message will appear:
In this case, what I will suggest is to use this katakana keyboard. Click on the sounds that are closest to your name to form your name.
For the second example, I would click on “chi” + “yu” on the katakana keyboard to make “Chew”, and “mu” +”n” to make “Moon”.
It doesn’t have to be perfect because the truth is: it doesn’t matter. But don’t tell anyone I said that. This is purely for registration purposes and they don’t check any of your details! And even if they did (they don’t), what matters most is that the one is English is accurate. In the first place, foreign names are difficult to translate to Japanese due to the differences in pronunciation, and there is no absolute right or wrong. So just give your best shot!
As long as you type with the katakana keyboard, it will let you pass even if you type complete nonsense.
☛ Japanese Address
To fill out the Japanese address portion, you will first need to obtain the 7 digit postal code of wherever it is you are staying (hotel, etc).
In the following example, I will be using Swissotel Nankai Osaka Hotel’s address:
1-60 Namba 5-chome, Chuo-ku, Namba, Osaka, Japan 542-0076
① Enter postal code (without hyphen)
② Click on grey button (circled in red)
The following fields will be auto-populated and will look like this:
There is just one thing left to do, which is to type in the numbers from “1-60 Namba 5-chome” into the last field as follows:
After everything is filled out, scroll to the end:
② Click on yellow button (circled in red)
① Fill out credit card details
② Click on yellow button (circled in red)
Check all the details (date, number of tickets) are correct then scroll to the end:
① Check boxes to agree that (i) details are correct, (ii) you will not resell the tickets to a 3rd party, and (iii) if (i) or (ii) are violated, you will not be entitled to admission or a refund for all the tickets purchased.
② Click on yellow button (circled in red)
Aaaaand… you did it! The tickets are purchased!
To find your QR codes, click on the blue buttons circled in red (one for each ticket purchased):
You should also receive an email containing the link to access this QR code page (login may be required).
The QR code page will look something like this (minus the triplerin watermark of course lol) :
Phew, you made it! Now just flash your phone with the QR code(s) at the USJ entrance and waltz right through!
I spent a long time writing this up, so if this guide helped you in any way at all, please let me know by commenting below! That would make my effort all worth it.
Oh, and drink a cold butterbeer for me, won’t you? ;)
wow! thanks I just purchased my tickets following your guide :) but for the express pass i’ll have to purchase later as not yet open for sale.
Excellent! Glad I managed to help :)
Express passes are either not yet available for sale or sell out very quickly, so I hope you’ll manage to buy them!
Thanks for this one! I’ll buy mine this week but I have to figure out about the studio pass.
You’re welcome. The guide above is for the studio pass, so I think what you meant to say is express pass? If so, I hope you’ll manage to buy them!
Hi there, thanks for the guide. Can I kindly seek your opinion is it advisable to visit USJ during the spring break? I will be in Osaka from late March till early April & a check on google showed this to be the Spring / Easter break for school kids. Won’t this imply that the crowds at USJ would be super big?
Hey Phil, I visited last year during the spring break and you can get an idea of the crowds in this post and this.
My advice? Avoid visiting during the spring break if you can!
Yes I’ve read those posts :(((
Failed to realize that week is the Easter Break for the school kids. I think I would leave the USJ for the off-peak seasons. In your opinion, would Autumn (i.e. early Nov) be a good time? & thanks for the sharing here, helped a lot in my trip planning.
Early November definitely sounds a lot better than late March! (try not to delay till late Nov though, because you might have to fight for hotels with the autumn foliage-viewing crowd)
And you’re welcome :)
Amazing!!! just bought 4 day tickets and 4 express7 passes..thanks for your guidance….Took me twice to do it as the first one was too long when choosing the passes and filling up those details….but then 2nd time was much quicker and they successfully accepted my payment…thanks again…can’t wait to be in Japan this thursday and to USJ next week.
Great to hear that it was of help! Enjoy your trip to USJ!
Wow, thank you so much. I’ve spent so much time trying to figure out how i’d write my name in katakana. question, what if i don’t get an email to access the QR link? will the code work from a screenshot on my phone? sorry, my first time. : )
You’re welcome :)
I’m pretty sure the screenshot of the QR code will work just as well.
Rin, Thank you for your assistance!! I already booked my 1 day pass with the help of your detailed information above. But unfortunately, i have missed to book the express pass. Kindly also please guide me. Appreciate your help.
Hi Debbie, great that you managed to buy the the studio pass! As for the express pass, I am currently unable to help as it takes a fair amount of time to screenshot, edit, translate, and write the post. I might write it in future when I can spare the time, but that will probably be of no use to you then. For now, hopefully you’ll be able to figure it out with the help of google translate.
Hi Rin! Thank you so much for the guide!! Really really helpful! I was able to book a 1-day studio pass and an express pass as well. Just a clarification, they aren’t strict with names right? Because my name when translated to katakana was too different because of some letters not present in Katakana. In the park all I’ll have to do is print the pass right? Thanks so much and more power to you.
You’re welcome, Luiz!
Nope, they don’t check names. And as long as your name in English is correct, that’s your safety net :) You can print the QR code, or more conveniently, just screenshot it on your phone and present it to them.
Enjoy the visit to USJ!
Hi Rin! Stumbled upon this blogpost while looking to book the usj tickets online, this was such a comprehensive guide. I’m sure it’ll help us plenty! Thank you so much for taking the time to write this. Would you recommend going to USJ on a Monday or Tuesday? Will be in Osaka from 20th May onwards, that should be off peak times right? Still contemplating getting the fast passes? What would you advice?
Hi CJ! Great to hear that :)
There probably isn’t much difference between going on a Monday or a Tuesday, but personally I will pick Tuesday. Yep, there are no holidays during that time, so it’s off peak.
As for the fast passes, it depends on how much you value being able to take the rides with minimal queueing vs the price of the pass. For me, I would get it if it were peak season or if there are ride(s) that I absolutely must take.
Thanks Rin, you’ve been a great help!
You’re welcome, Judith! Glad it was of help :)
This was very helpful, thank you very much. you’re awesome! :)
:D You’re very welcome!
Hello! I purchased the 1-day pass, but I’m wondering whether I have to print it or not? I can use just the QR-Code from my phone, right?
(I know it’s written in the comments above, but I read several resources and some of them stated that I have to print it…)
Thank you very much!
Hi, I didn’t print anything and simply showed scanned the code on my phone. Works perfectly fine! But if you’re still doubtful, then just print it for your peace of mind :)
I’m so glad I found this post, it’s extremely extremely helpful! I’m thinking of buying the express pass together with the 1-day pass, but I realised I didn’t even have step 7 when I went through the process (i.e. i was brought from step 6 straight to step 8). So I guess it means the express pass aren’t available for sale yet (I’m visiting in mid Sep)? Or sold out?
Hi Wenyi, great to know it’s helpful to you! :)
I did a quick check and as of now (June 11), only express passes up till Sep 4 are on sale. So I guess you’ll need to wait a bit more before you can purchase them!
thanks so much Rin!!! :)
Omg thank you so much.
I ended up winging it and google translating for the express pass add on. Was fairly easy to figure out! Hope it works haha.
You’re welcome :) Haha, glad you figured that out. Enjoy USJ!
Hi Rin, Im not doing so well trying to buy the express passes. If I don’t want to skip step 7 but instead buy the universal express pass 7 flying dinosaur, can you just point me to the correct place on step 7? Thank you!!!
Hi Vicky, if you’re looking to buy the express passes for end October, they are not yet available at the moment. Passes are sold about 90 days in advance.
As for alternative guides, I’m afraid I’m unable to provide anything beyond what Google searches returns.
End October is comparatively low season, so it should be quite manageable.
Me again Rin, do you know of another site that has a guide to buy the express passes as good as yours (eventhough that would be quite a challenge).
What is your opinion about travelling in October, circa 20 – 25 October? Cheers!
Hey!! Great guide:) is it just one QR code for two people or two separate QR codes ?? We only got one
When I bought for two people last year, I received two separate QR codes. I’m not sure if the system has changed since though.
can i buy this ticket even we are here in philippines?
very useful info and i bought my express 4 successfully, although express 7 was my initial attempt but it sold out. thanks again and appreciate your help !
Glad this guide helped! It’s a shame you didn’t manage to get the express passes you wanted, but they do sell out very quickly.
However, I’m sure you’ll enjoy USJ all the same. Have a good trip! :)
did you written any strategy of USJ ? will keep as a reference !
Today I see the Express 7 available, is it possible to cancel my Express 4 which i bought yesterday ?
Unfortunately, I don’t think you can cancel the express passes.
This is what is stated on the website:
“After purchase, cancellation, changes to the date or ticket type is not permitted.”
thanks for info. Now i hope to re-enter HP Castle in evening, ha ha will find a way !
If you just want to enter the castle (and not take the ride), you can do so very easily! There is a separate queue for it, and there’s usually little to nobody in the queue :)
I wanted to buy an Express Pass for my visit during 25th Oct, but online, they only show dates beginning from November…. does that mean there’s no way to get them online now? Will there be express passes if i queue for them on that day itself?
You might want to check again. I just went to the website and express passes for Oct 25 (and even September) are still available for purchase.
Hey thanks for checking! With your clue, I realised I couldn’t see the October dates for the pass I wanted (Express Pass 7), but for the other passes, they are available!
Now the next bummer is the the day I wanted is when the prices of the Express Passes are almost double ;((((((((
Thanks again Rin!
Thank you! I followed your instructions. Got both Day & Express Pass for the family :)
Excellent! Enjoy the visit with your family!
glad that i found this detailed page online!
thank you so much Rin! i follow your instruction exactly. ;))
i just booked my one day pass with express pass for early Nov.
You’re welcome, Wendy! Enjoy USJ! :D
Arigato gozaimasu! This is very big help. Just purchased tickets using your guide and with some help from a friend in Japan. Thank you, thank you!
Hi P, you’re welcome!
Seeing as you needed help from a friend, was it because any part of the guide was unclear?
No no, everything on your guide was clear. I just needed someone to translate my name to Katakana and verify the district if I did it right :D More power to your blog! Will definitely return and promote it.
Ah I see. Good to know the guide was ok then ;) Haha thanks! :D
Thanks so much for this guide! It really helped me book our USJ tickets beforehand. :)
Glad that you smoothly got your tickets! Have lots of fun at USJ!
Thank you! I was able to buy for Oct 28 day passes. Unfortunately I cannot get express passes, the time space does not show :-(
Ah if that’s the case, there’s a good chance they are sold out. Most people buy express passes way in advance, and 10 days is cutting it a bit too close. Still, enjoy your time in USJ all the same!
This is extremely helpful ! But after keying in my credit card details, I received an error! Does it accept foreign non Jap credit cards ?
Many people above commented that they managed to buy the tickets, and I think it’s safe to assume that at least one of them didn’t use a Japanese credit card, so I think there is no issue with foreign-issued credit cards.
Thank you very much for this guide! I was able to get my Express Pass as well through USJ website. I even created a Youtube video which your readers might find helpful. Feel free to share the video on your post too. If you’re interested, here the video: https://youtu.be/n6zmre_5IEc
Thank you Rin and Ada, immensely helpful!
Hi Rin! Thanks for this comprehensive guide. I’m wondering, when you purchase the ticket, do you have to go exactly on the date that you specified in the booking or you have some flexibility in going during a validity period? the reason is that I’m not exactly sure yet on my plans and if there’s some flexibility of dates, it would be good.
Hello, you have to go on the exact date that you purchased the ticket for. Best to buy when your plans are confirmed!
This was incredibly helpful, thank you so much! I have printed my QR codes in case technology fails me – hopefully that won’t be too much of an issue. Butterbeer bottoms up!
It was a lengthy process but so worth it! I was able to make full use of the birthday discount promotion for my whole family. Thank you so so much, Rin! :’) *tears of happiness