Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey – Wizarding World Japan

Universal Studios Japan - Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

Experience an incredible adventure at Hogwarts and beyond in Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, the star attraction in Universal Studios Japan’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Universal Studios Japan - Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey / Hogwarts Gates

We’re finally going to Hogwarts!

Universal Studios Japan - Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey / Ministry of Magic warning video

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is a 4D motion simulator ride. The ride vehicles are capable of tilting forwards and backwards, and sideways. The ride doesn’t physically move very fast, but the tilting and surging movements – together with the special effects – may cause motion sickness for some.

Universal Studios Japan - Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey / Hogwarts grounds queue

Universal Studios Japan - Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey / Hogwarts Castle Walk Tour, view of show building and greenhouse

Universal Studios Japan - Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey / Hogwarts Castle Walk Tour - Greenhouse

In Japan, the outdoor overflow queue is used in a way so that guests do not go indoors and out again. This means that on certain days, it’s possible to miss the greenhouse queue area entirely. Japan’s queue also seems to bypass the corridor with the Mirror of Erised.

Other changes in Japan’s version of Forbidden Journey

• Voices are dubbed in Japanese
• 3D glasses (quidditch goggles) are provided for the 4K3D experience
• Due to the glasses, many scenes appear darker than non-3D versions of the ride
• Certain special effects, such as mists, are disabled in Japan as they may fog up the 3D glasses

Universal Studios Japan - Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey / Hogwarts Castle Walk Tour - Greenhouse 3 upper level

Universal Studios Japan - Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey / Express entrance

For Universal Express, the line doesn’t start at the front gates of Hogwarts, but at this side entrance. The Express lane bypasses the outdoor area only. Once indoors, both lines merge into a single queue for the lockers.

Universal Studios Japan - Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey / Walking under the Castle

Be like the other visitors and marvel at the impressive castle from all angles.

Universal Studios Japan - Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey / Ministry of Magic warning

The typical theme park signage is beautifully designed here.

Universal Studios Japan - Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey / Castle Entrance Arch

Universal Studios Japan - Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey / Queue leading into Castle 2

Once you’re actually in the castle, the ride’s extensive pre-show begins. But before you can even get excited, it’s time to stash your belongings inside the lockers.

Universal Studios Japan - Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey / Lockers

About the Lockers here

For this ride, bags and loose items are not allowed. Free lockers are available to riders for the duration of the queue and ride.

You will be handed a white card at the entrance to the locker. Hold this card and do not leave it inside the locker.

Find an unused locker (the ones with hanging wristbands), put your things inside, and turn the key to lock it. The wristband can be then pulled out.

Head back to the same entrance to the locker area and hand the white card back to the park crew to rejoin the queue for the ride.

If you do not have any bags or loose items, you can inform the crew stationed at the locker entrance and bypass the lockers.

After the ride, you can re-enter the locker room from Filch’s Emporium to retrieve your belongings.

Universal Studios Japan - Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey / Lockers close-up

Universal Studios Japan - Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey / Hogwarts Castle Walk Tour - Castle Foyer

USJ’s Forbidden Journey queue has similar scenes as the original ride built in Florida. However, Japan chose to alter how the queue flows through the castle. Thus, those in the normal line would miss the following scenes.

For this Grand Photo Tour, I’ve combined both paths into one cohesive walkthrough.

Universal Studios Japan - Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey / Hogwarts Castle Walk Tour - Hogwarts Architect

The architect of Hogwarts, with the animals representing the four houses at his feet.

Universal Studios Japan - Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey / Hogwarts Castle Walk Tour - Animals of the Four Houses

Universal Studios Japan - Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey / Hogwarts Castle Walk Tour - House Points Hourglasses

House points hourglasses. Go Gryffindor!

Universal Studios Japan - Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey / Hogwarts Castle Walk Tour - Corridor to Dumbledore's Office

Be impressed by the Gargoyle/ Griffin Statue (secret entrance to Dumbledore’s office) and a statue of Salazar Slytherin.

Universal Studios Japan - Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey / Hogwarts Castle Walk Tour - Tapestry Map of Hogwarts Grounds

Stop by the grand staircase/ portrait corridor to witness a conversation between the portraits of the four Hogwarts founders arguing about Harry Potter.

Universal Studios Japan - Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey / Hogwarts Castle Walk Tour - The Portrait Hall

Universal Studios Japan - Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey / Hogwarts Castle Walk Tour - Dumbledore's Office Cabinet

Universal Studios Japan - Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey / Hogwarts Castle Walk Tour - Dumbledore's Office, Sword of Gryffindor

Universal Studios Japan - Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey / Hogwarts Castle Walk Tour - Dumbledore's Office / Portraits

Universal Studios Japan - Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey / Hogwarts Castle Walk Tour - Dumbledore speaking to visitors

The tour continues into Dumbledore’s Office, where he officially welcomes Muggles to Hogwarts.

Universal Studios Japan - Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey / Hogwarts Castle Walk Tour - Dumbledore's Study wide

A few stone corridors later, and the path leads into an iconic classroom.

Universal Studios Japan - Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey / Hogwarts Castle Walk Tour - Corridors

Universal Studios Japan - Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey / Hogwarts Castle Walk Tour - Defence against the Dark Arts classroom, bones

Filled with lots of obscure and dark artifacts, this is none other than the Defence Against The Dark Arts classroom.

Universal Studios Japan - Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey / Hogwarts Castle Walk Tour - Defence against the Dark Arts classroom, skulls

Universal Studios Japan - Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey / Hogwarts Castle Walk Tour - Defence against the Dark Arts classroom, phantoms

Pay close attention here, and you might catch Harry, Hermione and Ron sneak into the classroom. The trio finds a way to let us catch a game of Quidditch.

Universal Studios Japan - Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey / Hogwarts Castle Walk Tour - Defence against the Dark Arts classroom, Patronus Charm

Universal Studios Japan - Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey / Hogwarts Castle Walk Tour - Defence against the Dark Arts classroom, Invisible trio

Universal Studios Japan - Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey / Hogwarts Castle Walk Tour - Stained Glass

Universal Studios Japan - Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey / Hogwarts Castle Walk Tour - Portrait of the Fat Lady

We have to get to the Room of Requirement, and one way is through the Gryffindor Common Room. Don’t miss the talking portrait of the Fat Lady here!

Universal Studios Japan - Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey / Hogwarts Castle Walk Tour - Gryffindor Common Room

Universal Studios Japan - Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey / Hogwarts Castle Walk Tour - Gryffindor Common Room 2

No time to relax at the Gryffindor Common Room, because enjoy the cosy ambiance – don’t you wish you can study here?

Universal Studios Japan - Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey / Hogwarts Castle Walk Tour - Gryffindor Common Room 3

Universal Studios Japan - Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey / Hogwarts Castle Walk Tour - Gryffindor Common Room 4

The last few talking portraits share about the marvelous Enchanted Benches, which will be used for our adventure. The path leads to the Sorting Hat, who gives us some advice for the Forbidden Journey ahead.

Then, it’s just a short walk into the Room of Requirement to find these Enchanted Benches, and off we go.

Universal Studios Japan - Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey / Hogwarts Castle Walk Tour - Loading Unloading

After this journey, the tour around Hogwarts concludes with a stop at Filch’s Emporium.

Universal Studios Japan - Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey / Hogwarts Castle Exterior, Sunset

And that’s the last part of the Wizarding World Japan Tour. We’ll have more posts on the rest of USJ soon!

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2 Responses to Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey – Wizarding World Japan

  1. Roland September 20, 2017 at 9:24 pm #

    it really really made me want to come back there soon… (thanks Dejiki..)
    just for sharing: i did queue for more than 2 hours to take on the ride. positively, i experienced the whole section of the green house outside the castle.. haha.. yet, still totally worth it. the exterior and interior of the castle. the ride itself.. stunning.. it’s a MUST TRY ride in USJ…. second to the FLYING DINOSAUR. 🙂

  2. Ann Ling February 8, 2018 at 1:55 am #

    Hi Dejiki, may i know if the ride was claustrophobic?

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