21 Money-Saving Tips When Visiting Universal Studios Japan

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We all know that visiting Japan alone is expensive.

And combined with a Universal Studios Japan visit, it is more expensive.

So today, I am going to give you real money saving tips when visiting Universal Studios Japan (USJ).

In fact, these are the EXACT tips I did when I first visited the park.

Whether it’s your first time or not, you’ll love my USJ crazy frugal tips.

Here we go.

Universal Studios Japan Ticket Tips

USJ Ticket Tips
1. Take advantage of the JPY-USD rate. To do this, get your ticket through the official USJ website or an authorized travel agency because both use Japanese Yen currency.

2. Visit the park on your birthday month. To get a birthday discount, you need to register on the Universal Studios Japan website. And buy the tickets there. It is 500 yen less and your family or companion gets the discount as well. Tip: Google Chrome translates the website to English automatically.

Universal CityWalk at Night
Universal CityWalk at Night

3. Visit the park after 3 p.m. The Twilight Pass is a late-entry ticket. It’s 5,800 yen per adult. And a great option if you are visiting during the off-season or less congested months. Twilight Pass is only available at the entrance gate.

4. Buy your tickets online in advance. Although not technically saving you money, this saves you time. It is also the best way to avoid the long lines at the park’s ticket booths. In addition, when you buy tickets online, there’s a chance of getting online coupons. Read below.

5. Watch out for online coupon codes. Authorized online travel agencies such as Voyagin release discount codes every beginning of a new season. Just visit their website, and watch out for discount code pop-ups. Coupon codes are very helpful when buying bulk Studio Pass or Express Pass tickets for your whole family.

How To Deal With Your Stomach During Your USJ Visit

USJ Food Tips
6. Arrive with a full stomach. Theme park’s restaurants are always expensive. So before you head to the park, eat a big breakfast.

7. Pack that refillable water bottle in your bags. Tap water in Japan is safe to drink. And water fountains are scattered inside the park.

8. Pack some snacks too (but know the policy). This is the best way to save money. Visit a convenience store before arriving at the park. Grab some delicious Japanese snacks such as onigiri (rice ball), sandwich, and small bentos. These are very easy to tucked at the very bottom of your bag. The staff doesn’t normally check bags if there’s an extremely long line at the entrance.

Butterbeer left by visitors on the trash
Butterbeer left by visitors on the trash.

9. Skip the food that looks cute. Be warned: If the food looks cute or Instagrammable, it probably tastes terrible, especially those character buns. Trust me. I was fooled many times. So stop wasting your money on cutesy food.

10. Get a big meal, and share it. If you choose to eat inside the Universal Studios Japan park, try Finnegans Bar & Grill, Park Side Grill, and Louise NY Pizza Parlor which are all in the New York area. They usually have big servings.

11. Eat dinner outside the park. Restaurants outside the park are also plenty, which is located in Universal CityWalk. The cheapest one is the family restaurant called Saizeriya.

Turkey Leg in USJ
Amazing turkey legs!

12. A budget for smart treats. Instead of sugary snacks that are usually expensive, try a healthier alternative food cart indulgence such as the turkey legs for 500 yen or Italian oden (one-pot dish) for 690 yen. They don’t cost much but both are very tasty.

13. Skip that Butterbeer. 1,250 yen for a non-alcoholic drink? Hmm. No thank you. And yes, it tastes terrible. Just take a look at these butter beers left by visitors on the trash inside The Wizarding World. If you still want to flaunt that Butterbeer on your social media, just get one 1 butterbeer for the entire group.

How To Save Money On Souvenirs

USJ Souvenir Tips
14. Buy your character outfit ahead of time. If feel you like dressing up, check out Amazon for cheap Harry Potter costume (this one for adults and this one for kids). They are at a premium price when bought inside the Wizarding World merchandise shops.

A group of Harry Potter fans
A group of Harry Potter fans.

15. Bring or borrow that “fun” hat or T-shirt from Disney. If you’ve been to a Disney Resort and bought a souvenir like Disney hats or character T-shirts, wear it on your USJ visit. That’s just how to avoid the temptation of buying a new one. Or borrow from a friend if you don’t have one.

16. Get those souvenirs outside the park. For some, they think their USJ trip won’t be complete without buying a souvenir. Get them in Universal CityWalk just outside the park. Souvenir stores there are a little bit cheaper.

Minion Souvenirs

17. Ask yourself: Does this souvenir spark joy? Try the Marie Kondo method. Hold the souvenir that you’ve been wanting to buy. Close your eyes. And think of your wallet. Now ask yourself: Does this spark joy? Remember, it’s the experience you remember later, not the souvenirs that end up shoved in your drawer.

18. Buy raincoats from 100 yen store. If you’re going to splash zones, buy your raincoat before your visit at a 100 yen store. Raincoats in USJ are inside the vending machines and they cost 400 yen each.

19. Pack extra clothes. If raincoats are not your thing and you really want to get wet, pack extra clothes to avoid buying unintended clothes inside the park.

Plan Ahead and Be Inspired.

USJ Plan Ahead and Be Inspired

20. Stay at budget hotels in Nishikujo Station. If staying overnight in Osaka, Nishikujo Station is just one stop from Universal CityWalk by train. Stay around that area to save money from transportation.

21. Read blogger experiences to be inspired. If you’re a solo tripper, read my guideBlogger Clarisa has a nice photo diary of her USJ visit. By reading other’s USJ experience, you can get the familiar feeling of being inside the USJ.

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