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The Japan Adventure Series: Universal Studio Japan + Bio Hazard the Real 3 Live Action Zombie Simulator!

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Love rides, action, and adventure like no other? Then Universal Studios Japan (USJ) is definitely worth visiting especially if you love Harry Potter and Capcom's Resident Evil franchise. Among all the Universal Studios across the globe, USJ highlights a number of attractions that I could define as "ONLY IN JAPAN". They are also the second Universal Studios Park to have the popular "Wizarding World of Harry Potter" built (there are only 2 of them around the world). Should you decide to come visit USJ, I recommend that you go EARLY. Probably around 8am should be good especially if you want to try your luck in scoring some fast passes. Also, some areas, like the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, require a separated timed ticket. Don't worry, these timed tickets are free but you need to line up for them inside the park before entering certain areas and rides.


Arrived at Universal Studios Japan at 8am!

Universal City

Walking to the Entrance

My Theme Park guide, USJ ticket, and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter Timed Ticket

The park is relatively huge as it covered several popular worlds like Jurassic Park, Jaws, Back to the Future, Terminator, Minions, and the Amazing Spiderman to name a few. They also had a themed area dedicated to Hello Kitty, Sesame Street, and Snoopy for the younger generations to enjoy. Since the lines are usually ridiculously long, I recommend that you really choose which ones you will line up for wisely. 






While waiting for our turn to enter the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, my brother and I decided to take a quick brunch at the Amity Village area by the harbour. What I loved about our dining experience in USJ was that every place had a touch of Japanese pop culture! In our case, the pizza place by the harbour offered special Yokai Watch shaved ice treats that come in these adorable plastic containers! Best part of all, it comes with a lid and it makes a great souvenir to bring home and reuse for other drinks and treats!

My pizza brunch!

The Yokai Watch Melon Shaved Ice treat!

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter was indeed a spectacular one as they featured iconic landmarks, shops and products from the book and movie. If you grew up reading or even watching Harry Potter, then this is definitely a place you must see. There are 2 rides inside the Wizarding World that you can enjoy, along with a walking tour inside Hogwarts. Sadly, I was not able to ride any of the 2 since the lines were extremely long and I also wanted to explore the park more with my brother. Instead, we enjoyed exploring the different shops, Hogwarts, and a cup of frozen Butterbeer in which you can also take home the mug as a souvenir. Cheers!







Inside Zonko's

Wands, anyone?


Cheers for frozen Butterbeer!

Hogwarts!


The Fat Lady painting-- she actually talks too! :)

By the train-- Hogwarts Express

While exploring the park, my brother and I were able to hop on two iconic Hollywood themed rides which were "Terminator" and "Back to the Future". Both were fun, although the only thing I really wished for throughout my visit in USJ is for subtitles or translations during the rides. If you were thinking that Harry Potter, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Christopher Lloyd were all speaking in nihonggo, you got that right! Of course, I understand that we were in Japan but I guess it would be more fun or helpful if foreign visitors who do not speak or understand the language could actually understand what they were saying especially when they are briefing about the rides.






My Minion Towel Hoodie kept me shaded from the sun all afternoon!

The best experience of all during my visit to USJ was surprisingly not a ride, but a full blown live zombie simulation at the Bio Hazard The Real 3. Based on the popular horror game franchise, Capcom along with Universal created this intense action-horror simulation where you play as a U.B.C.S soldier trying to obtain the sealed virus test tube causing all the zombie outbreaks and madness in Raccoon City. To make things even more exciting, this attraction is a timed event only (making the simulation open only in certain occasions/seasons) -- I guess my brother and I were really lucky that we were able to experience this during our visit. After all, this is the only place where you can experience a legit Resident Evil live action simulation in the world!


Like Harry Potter's attraction, The Bio Hazard simulation also requires a timed ticket.

WHAT MAKES IT “ONLY IN JAPAN”: The simulation is not like your typical zombie fun runs or like the ones in arcades with guns that need to be pointed on the screen to fire. When I say it’s live-action, you really will be encountering real live people portraying as zombies, lickers, and even the Nemesis come after you. 


Preview of how the "Bio Hazard the Real 3" zombie simulation works-- only difference is the gear you use now requires a mask and a side armband that serves as your sensor 

To defend yourself, each player will be equipped with a gun, an arm sensor, and a mask that contains a Google-glass like screen on the top left side of your eye. From there, you will be able to see your life gauge, target crosshair, and the number of bullets you have left. Talk about cool right? Be careful though, the bullets are limited so be sure to only fire them when it is absolutely needed. 


The mask and armband needed to play throughout the entire simulation

I particularly enjoyed how the zombies, lickers and even how the Nemesis looked like. You can tell by the way each of them looked that they were really well designed and that they really lived up to how they should exactly look like in the video game. For example, when Nemesis came out, he wasn’t short or he didn't lack muscles. He was indeed tall, big, and bulky— in other words, scary. Of course, cameras were not allowed during the entire simulation-- besides, that would sort of spoil the fun for first timers to watch and play! Luckily, I was able to find some photos from other blog features on how these creatures actually looked like during the entire game:


A glimpse of the zombies during the simulation. Photo source

How the Lickers actually looked like! Photo source

Watch out for the Nemesis! (The people in the photo are still equipped with one of the earlier ways to play the game. Now, you need to wear the mask and armband) Photo source

After you do the simulation, you could enter the souvenir shop and get your photo taken or purchase exclusive Bio Hazard/Resident Evil merchandise. You will also be given the privilege to get a S.T.A.R.S ID card for about 1,300 yen, which will include your name and photo as a symbol that you completed the simulation. You can also get it an official black case with a badge for an additional 2,000+ Yen. Of course, being the fangirl that I am, I couldn't pass up on this once-in-a-lifetime souvenir especially since this shop (and possibly the attraction as well) is open for a limited time only.




If you enjoyed the experience, USJ actually encourages you to share it with them on social media, specifically on Twitter. To make it even more exciting, they award people who tweet about it with quick passes to redo the entire simulation. Talk about getting your Zombie frenzy on!

Take a look at the how-to-play brochure that is handed to every player while waiting in line. :)

After playing your round, you can relax and feast over a delicious meal across the street which serves "Resident Evil" themed food and beverages perfect for S.T.A.R.S or U.B.C.S members in the making. :)

That's it for now. I hope you enjoyed reading this! Watch out for my next Japan Adventure Series soon! :)

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