Japan Adventures – Wizarding World of Harry Potter

I originally had no idea that this was even in Japan. Again, Chris was the one who brought it up. I was thinking of Disneyland, until I heard that Universal Studios had the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. We didn’t want to go to two theme parks, as they are expensive! We also bought the express pass for Universal Studios which was also expensive but so worth it!! We only went on the rides that we could use the pass on, so we spent almost no time standing in line which I loved. That is always the worst part of theme parks. The wait time for the Harry Potter ride was 90 minutes (!), but with our pass, we were only in line for 5 minutes. If you ever get the chance to go, do grab that express pass!

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Now the whole theme park itself is huge! We did explore other areas like Jurassic Park, New York, Hollywood, Amityville and so on. But all I really want to talk about is the Harry Potter area.

You go through a forest area for a while before reaching Hogsmeade. You get to come across Ron’s old car stuck in the Forbidden Forest. The car moves and smokes and honks, which was so cool!

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As you enter Hogsmeade, you pass the Hogwarts Express.

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Hogsmeade is literally how I imagined it in my head. They have permanent snow on top of the buildings which is hilarious since it was a bright sunny day. That being said, all the stores I remember reading about were there. Madam Padfoot’s Tea & Cakes, Three Broomsticks, Gladrags, Ollivander’s, Honeydukes… I was pretty much buzzing with excitement as I looked at all the stores.

I really wanted to see Hogwarts though, so before exploring the stores too much I ran ahead. When I saw the castle in the distance, I literally gasped. It’s incredible being able to see Hogwarts in real life!

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All the stores were pretty much selling the same Harry Potter merchandise in each shop. But they were decorated to fit the theme of the store. They were amazing. My favourite was seeing the Monster Book of Monsters (which was huge!) in the Quill shop. It moved and growled in a giant cage! We bought quite a few snacks in Honeydukes. Including Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans,  and Pumpkin Juice. We also stopped by Three Broomsticks (again) to get me another butterbeer, but this time in the fancy takeaway cup!

You could go inside Hogwarts, but it was part of the Forbidden Journey ride. We explored the dungeons, Dumbledore’s office and a bit of the library before reaching the ride. It was amazing!! There’s a video that plays, and you ride along with it. It’s super vivid, and since you’re being moved around on the ride, it feels like you’re part of it. We flew over Hogwarts, played Quidditch, got attacked by Death Eaters and Dementors, even a dragon! It’s cool cause when the dragon came and opened it’s mouth, you got blasted with hot air. I was so happy the whole time! On the way out, we found some Quidditch flags supporting each house. I had to show my Huffelepuff pride!

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We also watched a live “Wand Studies” Performance which was really cool. They had a normal conversation, but in Japanese and then English. So both groups could understand what was going on.

We bought a decent bunch of souvenirs from here, and it made it a little harder when we were working our way back to Kyoto. It was definitely worth it though! We had a fun time at the other sections of the park, but nothing can compete with being at Hogsmeade. I’ve been a very big fan of Harry Potter for a long time, and I never thought I’d be lucky enough to visit the Wizarding World at Universal Studios. It’s definitely something I can cross off my bucket list!

Previous Japan posts:

On Monday, we’re back to Tokyo! I’ll be sharing about visiting Tokyo Skytree and our day trip to Mt Fuji and Hakone!


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Hello internet! My name is Angela. I write daily about my travels, life, thoughts, and ramblings. I live down in New Zealand with my lovely husband, Rory. Thanks for stopping by!
  1. So jealous!! Looks like an incredible time though 🙂

    1. We had the best time there! I still can’t believe that I actually got to see Hogsmeade and Hogawarts!

      1. What did you make of Butterbeer?

        1. Oh I totally forgot to talk about that didn’t I! Woops. I really liked it!! We had the cold version, since it was a really hot day. It tasted like a creamy soda, with like hints of some kind of caramel/butterscotch? I loved the frothy bits on the top, it was hard to not get that moustache from it lol.

          1. Haha! They do a warm version too? The London studio tour only does cold version but they also do an ice cream. I wasn’t sure what to make of it at first and found it a bit sickly but I mean you can’t not have it if you go right?!

          2. They only have the cold version too, but I figure there must be a warm version out there somewhere! It’s how they describe it in the book haha 😀

  2. Oh this looks amazing. I bet it would have took days to do the whole park x

    1. It really was incredible! Haha, I would agree! It would take numerous visits to be able to explore everything the park had to offer! I spent heaps of time in the Harry Potter section, but the rest of the park had 5 other areas that were just as huge!

      1. Sounds amazing! I guess it could take a few days😊x

  3. Wow that’s crazy. I thought there was only one here in California. How cool!

    1. I thought there was only the one there too! I was surprised to hear that there was one in Osaka but it worked out well for us! 😀

  4. Wow, didn’t know there was one in Japan haha! That’s awesome and looks amazing. Glad you had fun in Japan 🙂

    1. Haha, it’s definitely not well known. But I’m so glad it was there and that we got to visit while we were in Japan 😄😄

  5. I didn’t know Japan had a Harry Potter theme park, it sounds like a worthwhile visit! What did the butter beer taste like?

    1. Me neither! I’ve been wondering how long it’s been there 😂 The butterbeer was nice! It was a cold creamy soda but the taste was like a mix of butterscotch and caramel. It tastes similar to the butterbeer frappucino from Starbucks secret menu 😄

      1. Was the butterbeer fizzy or overly sweet?

        1. It was a soda kind of fizzy. It wasn’t overly sweet though, it was really nice!

  6. YAS 👏🏼 I prefer Universal to Disney (which may be an unpopular opinion)! I just find the variation of attractions better and you can actually get on more than one ride per day- the lines at Disney were FOREVER long haha

    1. I did hear that about Disneyland actually, which was part of why we decided to skip it altogether. Universal was so cool, I loved all the different areas! Even if we didn’t go on the rides there was still so much to do 😄

  7. I wouldn’t be able to go to a theme park without some sort of fast pass ticket, as you would only end up going on about 4 rides. I’m not the biggest Harry Potter fan, but it does look cool. I love all the photos!

    1. I’m with you there, it’s why we ended up skipping Disneyland as I’ve heard you spend the whole day in line for the rides. I’m a huge fan so this was an insanely cool experience for me haha! Thanks Laura 😀

  8. This must have been such a high, Angela. Like turning into a child with every turn you took. I want some butterbeer, like Now 🙂 Hope getting back to routine has not been too sucky. xx

    1. It really was! I haven’t read Harry Potter in a while, but actually being in that place and seeing everything with my own eyes made me so giddy! When we went on the ride inside the castle, I was almost crying cause I was just so happy haha!
      Getting back into routine has definitely been a bit of an adjustment, but we’re also happy to be back home 🙂

      1. Now that’s the kind of happiness that I love. The one that is a tear-jerker 🙂 xx

  9. i’m soo jealous. Great clicks!!

    1. It was an amazing place to visit! Thank you!

  10. This is my dream!!! So cool!!!

    1. It was amazing!! I had always wanted to go as well, so I’m glad I found out about the on in Japan 😀

  11. Oh my goodness, I’m such a Harry Potter nerd, so this looks absolutely magical! It is totally my dream to visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter someday! How cool that you guys get to go in Hogwarts and everything. So awesome! Now I want to go even more than I did before, lol.

    1. It really was magical! I’ve always wanted to visit the Wizarding World as well and I thought it was only in the US. I’m so glad I got the chance to go to the one in Japan! I hope you get to visit someday too!!

  12. Omg I really want to go there myself!!! It looks so amazing xx

    1. It was so incredible!! I was so happy the whole time I was there! I hope you get to go someday 😀

  13. Oh it looks amazing! I can’t wait to see the castle in person someday!

    1. Seeing Hogwarts in person almost made me cry, I was so happy haha! I hope you get to go someday too 😀

  14. Awww wow looks like such a spectacular time!! I can imagine it being the perfect place for any Harry potter lover 😊 xx

    1. It was definitely spectacular! We had such an amazing time 😀

      1. Awww I’m glad xx

  15. This is so cool! Loved the pictures

    1. It was amazing! I’m glad you liked the post Haya 🙂

  16. Lovely blog post. Pretty pictures 🙂

    1. Thank you so much 🙂

  17. Wait?!?! There is a Wizarding World in Japan?!?! HOW did I not know about this? That is SO cool! And it is so cool you guys got to go. And I love how you were repping your house! 🙂 <3

    1. Haha I didn’t know either! I’m glad my friend told me about it before we went! I would have been so bummed if I missed out on it!
      Proud hufflepuff right here!! 🤗

      1. I would have been too! Hehe I am a Ravenclaw, but most of my friends are Hufflepuffs! 🙂 <3

  18. So cool!!! I want to see the castle in real life too and feel like I’m there lol

    1. It was awesome! Seeing it all in real life had a way bigger effect on me than I thought it would 🤗

  19. Wow! I mean that’s so cool!

    1. It was incredible! Definitely a place I’m so happy to have visited 😀

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