Hawaii Mom Blog: How to Buy Universal Studios Japan Express Passes 2023




January 22, 2023

How to Buy Universal Studios Japan Express Passes 2023

The good news!

When we added Universal Studios Japan to our Japan trip itinerary for March, I was at a loss on how to buy tickets. I googled and quickly learned that all you need for park entry is a Studio pass.  However, if you are short on time and want to avoid lines for the most popular attractions, you can buy an additional pass called the Universal Express Pass.  

You will need a Universal Express Pass for each person and it puts you in the much shorter express pass line and also guarantees admission into the popular Super Nintendo World as well as the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  But here's where I got confused: there are a plethora of choices for these express passes starting with your choice of a Express Pass 4 and a Express Pass 7.  The number designates the number of attractions you will have express pass admission to and just once per attraction.  On top of that, there are several different combinations of the 4 or 7 attractions.  

Okay, now that I decided on the passes I wanted, I was ready to buy.  The official ticketing site for Universal Studios Japan currently doesn't take Visa or Mastercard outside of Japan (as of January 2023), but you can go through authorized resellers like Klook or HIS.  I was familiar with Klook so I purchased my studio passes through their website.  It appears you can purchase passes about 60 days in advance.  

Not all choices for the Express Passes were available through Klook for my specific date, so I started looking for workarounds to ordering off the Japan website.  I even joined a Facebook group with likeminded people (they DO exist!) that were going to Universal Studios Japan where I gained a lot of useful information.  For example, if you order your express passes from Klook, you will be randomly assigned a timed entry for the attractions whereas if you order from the Japan site, you are able to choose from a variety of times (while they are still available).  This way you know exactly what time you will be entering each attraction which is super helpful if you like to plan.  The best thing I learned from the group was that I could use my credit card through Apple Pay on the Japan site.

I was stoked! I quickly added a visa to my apple pay and completed the transaction which resulted in a failed payment and a credit card fraud alert.  I called right away to verify the transaction and when the customer service rep asked me to run the transaction again, the passes I wanted sold out. Ugh. Once I selected another pass and tried to buy them, my card was declined again and when I called the fraud department, they were having an outage and I had to call back.  I'm not a patient person so I added two more credit cards to apple pay and set off two more fraud alerts.  Long story short, once I took care of the fraud alerts, only my mastercard worked through apple pay.

It was some journey getting these passes, but hopefully my tips from this experience can be helpful to someone! 



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