My visit to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Japan made me realize that there’s a very good reason why the students in Hogwarts look forward to Hogsmeade visits. Even if I wasn’t in real one (there is a real one, you know), I still felt wonder and enchantment as I walked past windows with owl cages and entered shops with Chocolate Frogs and Wands. Those things don’t exclusively belong in the Harry Potter books anymore. so if you luckily find yourself in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Japan, here’s a list of the shops and what you can buy there.
1. Zonko’s Joke Shop
Zonko’s Joke Shop is right by the entrance but you can honestly skip it. Since everything in the shop is muggle-made, you can’t really expect anything magical when you buy Extending Ears or Skele-Gro. Of course, you can always use them as decor if you don’t mind emptying your Gringotts vault. But I recommend saving your money for something else because some of the items in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter are exorbitant.
If you are going to splurge, Honeydukes is the better place to be. The chocolate frog doesn’t jump – it doesn’t even move – but at least you don’t have to worry about losing it when you open the box. Besides, Ron Weasley’s right, it’s the card you want. Sure, the pictures move only when you tilt the cards, but the interesting tidbit (Did you know Rowena Ravenclaw died young?) that comes with the pictures makes the chocolate frogs almost worth the ¥1,800.
Of course, a Honeydukes visit wouldn’t be complete without a box of Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans (¥1,800). Just remember not to eat soil, worm, and soap together. You will puke. If you want something undoubtedly delicious (and safe) go with the Exploding Bonbons (¥800) or Fizzing Whizzbees (¥900). The Fudge Flies (¥600) sound interesting but they’re just regular milk chocolate. The Chocolate Wand (¥700) looks like regular chocolate too, but I can’t say for sure because I still don’t have the heart to eat mine.
3. Owl Post & Owlery
The Owl Post & Owlery looks and feels like a museum next to the crowded Dervish and Banges, but I think it’s its atmosphere that makes it special. Although you can actually buy stationery, stamps, and owl dolls here, I think the best feature of the Owl Post is the vaulted ceiling outside where owls perch (and poo) while waiting for mail to deliver. Of course, the adorable cuckoo-clock makes it even better.
4. Dervish and Banges
Four words: Monster Book of Monsters. You can find it here. And it’s safely tucked in a cage so you don’t have to worry about being attacked. Don’t poke your finger in though, it moves. On a not less interesting tone, Dervish and Banges also has clothes with Hogwarts designs and Quidditch equipment. I wanted a leprechaun hat and a Hupplepuff pennant so bad.
5. Gladrags Wizardwear
Sadly, Gladrags Wizardwear seems to be closed indefinitely. But that doesn’t mean you, that is, I can’t take a picture in front of the dress Hermoine wore to the Yule Ball. (´꒳`∗)
Unlike the other shops, Ollivander’s sells one kind of thing only but every witch and wizard knows that it is the most important of all: wands (¥3,500-4,200). In The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Japan, you get to choose your own wand instead of the other way around. If you want protection, get a willow wand. If you’re a Ravenclaw, then go with a hazel wand. But if you really want a wand that’s siriusly magical, find the lamp-lit area behind the bookshelves, which deserves a post on its own. If you want to know about the role-playing I went through, please read the next parts!
7. Wiseacre’s Wizarding Equipment
Wiseacre’s Wizarding Equipment is easy to confuse for Ollivander’s because it’s connected to the wandmaker’s shop. It’s not as crowded as Ollivander’s and some of the things in the shop can be bought in other shops, but I think this is the best place to buy robes (¥12,000) and scarves (¥4,800).
8. Filch’s Emporium of Confiscated Goods
As I mentioned in my previous post, Filch’s Emporium of Confiscated Goods is the best place to buy souvenirs. There are items here that you can’t find in other shops like plush pillows of each house and Harry Potter cookies. It’s the biggest shop in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and always crowded. Sometimes, they run out of items, so I recommend buying your souvenirs early if you want something everyone loves.
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS JAPAN (USJ) HOURS
Check the park’s page for their opening hours. There are times when they open before the schedule if there are many people lining up outside the gate.
Check HERE for the prices.
FROM OSAKA STATION OPTION 1: There’s a train from Osaka Station that goes directly to Universal City Station at 180 YEN, but check the timetable because there aren’t a lot.
FROM OSAKA STATION OPTION 2:Take a train on the JR Osaka Loop Line to Nishikujo Station, then take another train on the JR Yumesaki Line to Universal City Station.
FROM KANSAI AIRPORT: Take a train on the Kansai International Airport Express Line to to Nishikujo Station, then take another train on the JR Yumesaki Line to Universal City Station.