Welcome to Hogsmeade! Whilst in Osaka I visited Universal Studios Japan, home to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I’ve already posted about the rest of USJ, but Hogsmeade was so cool (and so photo-worthy) I decided it deserved its own post. Welcome to Hogsmeade! Like many of you, I’m Generation Potter age, and as a massive book nerd grow up with the original series. Now, I should be honest – I’ve quite a lot of issues with the films, author, and continued
cash-in canon of the series. But I did truly love the first 7 books and I was super excited to be able to visit The Wizarding World at USJ!
I should also confess here that I’ve not been to any of the U.K. Harry Potter attractions. I really was not a fan of the films (apart from scenes with Bill Weasley – hot damn he is FINE AF) and wasn’t sure if I’d enjoy it properly or not. After my USJ visit I’m really keen to visit the UK based attractions when I can! Despite my weird relationship with the source I definitely found Wizarding World to be a pretty magical place and would recommend to Potterheads and muggles alike. I want to try and take you inside USJ; there are a lot of posts that chat about how magical Wizarding World is, but I want to try to actually articulate why it’s so great, if I can.
When you enter through the huge arched gates into Hogsmeade at USJ, it’s really like stepping into another realm! I couldn’t believe how good the themeing was and how many little details they had included around the area- just wandering around looking at everything took me an hour.
The entrance at USJ is at the end of a very long tree lined path, so you have to walk away from the rest of the attractions and the colourful facade of the theme park. This is a really effective layout choice – it really feels like you are leaving the real world behind and going somewhere new! It also helps that a whole host of crows and sparrows live in the trees, so you can see life flapping around above you and it feels like a real forest rather than a conveniently planted fake facade *cough* Disney *cough*.
By the time you hit the arched entrance, that well known Harry Potter score is playing and you can see the turrets of Hogwarts in the distance beyond the row of shops and alleys. In another clever layout trick, no other part of the theme park is visible whilst in the Wizarding World so you can gaze around at the TinyTown roofs without a glimpse of some other coaster invading your eyeline. Now that really is magic…!