Saturday, July 30, 2016

Wizarding World of Harry Potter ( WWOHP ) at Universal Studios Osaka, Japan

Consider staying in an official USJ partner hotel like Hotel Keihan Universal Tower for an exclusive early bird passes to the park.

So what's the fuss in coming early to the park? Simply put, its to score that elusive Wizarding World of Harry Potter (WWOHP) timed entry tickets.

If lining up early doesn't excite you, one may either check the online crowd calendar prediction to decide on ideal travel dates or avail an Express Pass ticket to skip the long lines on the park's famous rides and attractions.

Although one would be distracted by these lovable characters, better skip 'em first.  The goal is to make a mad dash towards the designated area to get WWOHP time entry tickets. Click here for the location.

Expect a series of exciting and over-the-top thrills because USJ is celebrating it's Re-booOoorn 15th Anniversary.

The magic of entering WWOHP starts here with Mr. Weasley's enchanted car.

A magnificent area reproducing the world from Harry Potter stories on an overwhelming scale and with meticulous attention to detail.  

Lining up to try the ever famous butterbeer! A sweet, non-alcoholic beverage reminiscent of butterscotch and shortbread. 

For an additional 500 JPY, better get the butterbeer on its souvenir mug instead of the usual plastic cup it comes with.

Harry Potter fans are all abuzz about butterbeer, and I've got the foamy mustache to prove it.

Honeydukes is soo dainty! A sweetshop full of unique sweets loved by students of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. See and feel the thrill by clicking on this instavideo.

Harry Potter merchandise, anyone? Mind you these HP robes are pretty neat and dreamy but ridiculously way overpriced. 

Collectible wand sets

Tavern dining at the Hogsmeade 

A feast at the Three Broomsticks

Still dreaming of this smoked rotisserie chicken and spareribs platter with corn on the cob and roast potatoes. 

With a dash of luck, happily brought home a baby cookie monster from Coin Pitch, one of the 1000 JPY carnival games.

A bunch of cutesy USJ merchandise and souvenirs

Aftermath of the ReboOOrn 15th Anniversary Parade. Catch some of its highlights here

Outside the park is the Universal City Walk

A shopping mall with multiple official Universal hotels and restaurants and shops including stores selling Universal Studios merchandise and various Osaka souvenirs. GAP Outlet store is on the ground floor. The Takoyaki Museum is located on the mall's fourth floor. 

How To Go To Universal Studios Japan Hotel Keihan Universal Tower From Kansai International Airport

Philippine Airlines flight PR0408 Manila - Osaka (KIX) departs at 14:05H and arrives at Kansai International Airport at 19:10H. Flight time is approximately 3 Hours & 45 mins. 

A peak of the hot meals served onboard

Keep in mind that Osaka time is one hour ahead of Manila. 

Softbank WiFi Rental is located at the arrival lobby. Rate is Php 450/day. 

To take the train: From the arrival lobby (1st floor), proceed to "Kansai Airport Station" which is located on the 2nd floor.

Since we had heavy luggage, taking KIX Airport Bus proved to be much convenient and hassle-free. 

Bus stop at the Terminal 1 is located on the 1st floor

Timetable for Universal Studios Japan and Universal City Walk Osaka where Hotel Keihan Universal Tower is located. 

As seen from above, bus departs Terminal 1 at 21:10H and arrives Universal City Walk Osaka at 22:28H roughly an hour and 10 mins travel time.

Fare one-way is 1,550 yen. To make it a no-brainer conversion to PHP, just divide the amount by 2. And the PHP counterpart is a little less than that (Php 713). For full list of time-table and fares, click HERE.

Just a few steps away from the bus stop is Hotel Keihan Universal tower. The night gleam was right on astounding. 

At 138 meters and 33 stories tall, the hotel is the tallest Official Universal Studios hotel in the area. 

The staircase was a grandiose welcome to hotel guests. Take the lift to 4th floor to the main lobby and reception area.

Superior Quad Room Non-smoking. Php 14,000/night depends on high/low season and take into consideration if weekends.

View was really stunning at night. You can see Universal Studios and the surrounding well-lit bustling Universal City Walk from your room. How cool can that be? It was surreal.

Just outside USJ park gates is the Universal City Walk, is a shopping mall with multiple official Universal hotels and restaurants and shops including stores selling Universal Studios merchandise and various Osaka souvenirs. GAP Outlet store is on the ground floor. The Takoyaki Museum is located on the mall's fourth floor. 

There is also a branch of Lawson's convenience store perfect when your tummy grumbles at the wee of the night.

Nestled in the heart of Bay Area, a view of the surrounding Hotel Universal Port.

Beautiful mornings are made of this! Featuring the 31st floor S-PARK Spa with a sauna, jet bath and ho-spring baths with city views. I think I died and went to Onsen heaven.

The reason for staying in a USJ Partner hotel? It was a weekend and we were worried not being able to get passes to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter ( WWOHP) since the theme park will be packed with early birds.

True enough, look at the queue from my hotel room at 07:00H! Park opens not until 09:00H. Partner USJ Hotel Guests have a separate Early Bird Entry at 0830H. 

In case you don't want to wake up too early, you can opt to stay in a nearby hotel or you might want to purchase Express Pass tickets on top of your regular Entrance Tickets. 

Admission price: Adult 7,400 JPY. Kids 4,980 JPY. Senior Citizens 8,420 JPY. Should you wish to skip the long lines on the major rides and guaranteed WWOHP timed ticket entry get the Express Pass Tickets. It's like shelling out 2x the price at 12,450 JPY. A major burn on the pocket if you are paying for a group. 

Hotel Keihan Universal Tower's generous breakfast buffet spread

Everything is sooo Kawaii! Look at these colorful plates with 9 division. There's really something about Japanese and how their attractive food presentation.