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Japan Just Opened a Wizarding World of Harry Potter of Their Very Own

Where: Osaka, Japan
July 21, 2014 at 4:06 PM | by | Comments (0)

While the world is still buzzing from last month's debut of the new Diagon Alley park at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, Japan is celebrating their own piece of the pie.

On July 15, 2014, Universal Studios Japan opened their own version of the original Harry Potter park, Hogsmeade, which first swung open its doors in 2010 in Orlando.

All told, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter cost Universal Studios Japan ¥45 billion ($442.2 million) to construct, but they're hoping it'll rake in ¥5.6 trillion ($55 billion) over the next 10 years.

Universal Studios Japan debuted in 2001 and quickly became the second most visited amusement park in Japan, after Tokyo Disneyland. This Hogsmeade addition may be missing one or two things (like the Dragon Challenge Roller Coaster) from the Orlando park, but it makes up for the edits with a few new additions (and the park's "Jaws" area is still intact!).

Attractions found at both Florida and Japan Hogsmeade parks:

· Hogwarts Castle
· "Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey" ride
· Flight of the Hippogriff ride
· The Three Broomsticks restaurant
· Hog's Head Bar
· Honeyduke's Sweets Shop
· Ollivander's Wand Shop
· Zonko's Joke Shop
· Dervish and Banges
· Filch's Emporium of Confiscated Goods
· Owl Post (with live owls - new for Japan)
· Hogwarts Express train (prop, not a ride)

New for Universal Studios Japan:

· Gladrags Wizard Wear
· Wiseacre's Wizarding Equipment (a Diagon Alley shop in Orlando)
· Hogwarts' Black Lake

Universal Studios Japan is surprisingly convenient to central Osaka (15-minutes on one train, under $2 each way), and even from Osaka-Kansai International Airport (1 hour on two trains, $11 each way). More transportation details here.

As if you needed another reason to visit, Universal Studios Japan boats two other unique experiences: "Hello Kitty Fashion Avenue" within the park, and an Osaka Takoyaki Museum (takoyaki is a savory bite-size street food of battered and fried octopus) at Universal CityWalk.

The magic is hardly over; Universal Studios Hollywood is still set to debut their own Wizarding World in 2016.

[Photos: Universal Studios Japan]

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