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Tips for a Stress-Free Visit to Super Nintendo World Japan

What you need to know before your visit

· 7 min read

Super Nintendo World is now one of the most popular attractions in Osaka, Japan. But if you are planning to visit Super Nintendo World, you might need to do a little bit of planning. This guide will help you to minimise your stress around “administrative matters” while maximising your fun at the Super Nintendo World.

What is Super Nintendo World?

If you are reading this article, you probably already know what Super Nintendo World is about. But for the benefit of those who don’t, it is a new area located in Universal Studios Japan (USJ). It features attractions based on popular Nintendo games and characters such as Super Mario, Donkey Kong, and Yoshi.

Source: Universal Studios Japan
Source: Universal Studios Japan

Area Timed Entry Tickets

Although the Super Nintendo World is an area located in USJ, getting into Super Nintendo World is not as straightforward as simply getting a ticket to the USJ.

Due to the popularity of the Super Nintendo World, you can expect it to be really crowded. To tackle this problem, USJ has implemented with a scheme where you will need an Area Timed Entry Ticket. You can get these tickets by getting a Universal Express Pass that include either “Mario Kart: Koopa’s Challenge” or “Yoshi’s Adventure”.

💡Tips:

  • Buy your tickets early. Especially since the Universal Express Passes tend to sell out.
  • Some OTAs offer timed entry tickets, so be sure to check those out.

What if I don’t get the Universal Express Pass?

Well, even if you don’t get the Universal Express Pass, there are still ways that you could get to the Super Nintendo World. But these will require you to be at Universal Studios early. And we mean, really early.

  • Free Timed Entry Ticket: You can get a free area timed entry ticket when you are in the park area — either via the official app or from a ticket kiosk, though these are limited in quantity. So you got to be at the park early on the day of your visit to snag up those timed entry tickets.
  • Head straight to the Super Nintendo World first: When crowds are more manageable, you might be allowed entry to Super Nintendo World even without a timed entry ticket. The crowds tend to be more manageable earlier in the day, so that is the timing that you would want to catch. At these early morning timings, they may allow you to head to the Super Nintendo World without a timed entry ticket.
  • Standby Entry Ticket: In case you were not able to get an entry ticket, or you aren’t planning to be reaching the park early enough, you could still try your luck at a lottery for a standby entry ticket. The results will be released before the admission times via the app, so you will want to keep a look out on your app. Note that you can. only apply for one standby entry ticket per day.
Source: Jpatokal
Source: Jpatokal

💡 Tips:

  • Download the official USJ app (iOS | Android). You will need it for getting the area timed entry ticket.
  • Queues may start to form even before opening hours, and it is not uncommon that they let people in even before the park’s opening hours, so you might want to reach before the park opens.
  • Plan your visit on weekdays instead of weekends as crowds are slightly better then.
  • You can only apply for the timed entry ticket once per day. That also means that if you managed to get a free timed entry ticket, you cannot cancel that and attempt for a standby instead. So if there are timed entry ticket for a timing that doesn’t work well for you, maybe consider giving that up and going for standby tickets instead.

Kinopio’s Cafe (Toad Cafe)

Source: Universal Studios Japan
Source: Universal Studios Japan

If you are visiting Super Nintendo World, you can’t miss Kinopio’s Cafe (Toad Cafe). Aside from the fact that it is the only restaurant in Super Nintendo World, the cafe is really, really cute. And if you are a huge Nintendo fan, you definitely don’t want to miss this.

Source: Super Nintendo World Universal Studios Japan
Source: Super Nintendo World Universal Studios Japan

But to dine at Kinopio’s Cafe during peak hours, you will also need to get a timed entry ticket. The ticket can be obtained at the entrance of the cafe. Once you are in the area, we recommend that you get a ticket at the cafe before heading off to the other rides.

Power-Up Wristbands

The power-up wristbands is a wearable device that allows you to interact with the attractions at the park. Simply pair the wristband with the app to get started, and you will be able to collect digital coins and stamps as you explore the park. The band is also required to gain entry to the “Bowser Jr. Shadow Showdown” attraction.

Source: Universal Studios Japan
Source: Universal Studios Japan

You can definitely still enjoy the park without the band, but this would be a great addition to the whole experience. The wristbands can be purchased at many locations throughout the park, at ¥3,800 each. If you are planning to get a wristband, we recommend that you get your wristbands at the entrance to the Super Nintendo World when you are entering the park.

Bonus Tips: Universal Studios Japan

Of course, USJ is not just about Super Nintendo World. There are many other rides and attractions in the other areas of the park. Here are some tips to help you visit Super Nintendo World along with the other USJ attractions:

  • You will likely be spending at least half a day at the Super Nintendo World alone. To fully enjoy USJ, consider getting a 1.5 day or 2 day pass instead.
  • If you are planning to head into Super Nintendo World first, be prepared that the queues for the other rides will be very long once you are done with Super Nintendo World. Consider getting a Universal Express Pass for those rides that you definitely want to go on.
  • Use the single-rider queue as much as possible. This will help you minimise your queuing times — but of course, the tradeoff is that you might not get to ride with the rest of your party.

Universal Studios Japan 2024: Collaborations and Events to look out for

Aside from the permanent park areas and exhibits like Super Nintendo World and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Universal Studios Japan also regularly have special events and collaborations. These events and collaborations usually tie up with popular anime or manga franchises.

Here are some of the highlights and key events to look out for in 2024:

  • Demon Slayer (Feb. 1, 2024 - Apr. 7, 2024 and Apr. 25, 2024 - Jun. 9, 2024): There will be 2 parts to the Demon Slayer collaboration, the first part running from February to early April; while the second runs from end April to early June. Look out for special rides, food, and merchandise. You can also join a Special Training Drill event that allows you to skill up and train as a Demon Slayer while exploring the park.
  • Detective Conan: The World (Mar. 1, 2024 – June 30, 2024): Look out for themed rides and restaurants. You can also join the escape game, where you solve puzzles and mysteries just like Detective Conan would.

Demon Slayer and Detective Conan are both very popular series worldwide, and we do expect crowds to be there for these special events. If you are intending to also visit these attractions on top of the Super Nintendo World, we strongly recommend that you get an express ticket and a 2-day USJ pass to fully enjoy your visit to the park.

Universal Studios Japan Studio and Express Passes: Where to buy

There are many platforms where you can buy your tickets and express passes for the USJ. To help you find the best deal, we've done a quick comparison of some of the different sites that are selling the tickets.

Note that ticket prices could vary from day to day, and prices listed below are based on lowest available prices.

1. USJ Studio Admission Only

2. USJ Express Pass 4

Note that prices are for Express Pass 4: Fun Choice, and does not include entrance ticket

3. USJ Express Pass 7

Note that express passes do not include admission entrance to USJ

4. USJ Entrance + Express Pass Bundle

Kkday offers a bundle package that includes the admission ticket and entrance pass. However, the prices for the bundled package is slightly higher than if you were to purchase them separately, where an admission ticket + express pass 4: fun choice (rated 4.7/5.0, based on 3,040 reviews) starts from 22,866JPY.