Super Nintendo World guide
On 18th March 2021, Super Nintendo World finally opened its magical grounds to visitors. With so much to see and do, we created a step-by-step Super Nintendo World guide so that you’ll know how to best spend your time at this new exhibition area in Universal Studios Japan (USJ).
1. Get a Timed Entry Ticket for the attraction
Image adapted from: App Store
You’re advised to book in advance the “Area Timed Entry Ticket: Advance Booking” or “Universal Express Pass with an Area Timed Entry Ticket: Advance Booking”, or get the “Area Timed Entry Ticket” on the day of your visit through the USJ mobile application.
This is a free service and lets you enter Super Nintendo World at a specific time so you can explore other areas in USJ instead of wasting time queuing to get into the area.
Note: If it is a less crowded day, you may be able to enter without a timed ticket. But seeing as Super Nintendo World is a new attraction, it’s highly likely to be crowded at all times.
2. Get a Power-Up Band
Image credit: @ai_nyaro
The first thing you’ll want to do when you enter Super Nintendo World is to get yourself a Power-Up Band (¥3,200, ~USD29.39). With the band, you can join the ongoing Power-Up Band Key Challenge happening in this area.
Image of Bowser Jr. in Bowser Castle
Image credit: @exyusji0331
The objective of the challenge is to retrieve the Golden Mushroom stolen by Bowser Jr. To do so, you’ll need to fight at least 3 bosses from a total of 5 bosses and collect the keys to engage in a boss fight with Bowser Jr. Approach a staff member for more details.
The wristwatch-like items also make you feel like you’re playing Super Mario games in real life as it shows challenges and items you can collect while walking around the theme park. You’ll need to link your band to the official Universal Studios Japan mobile application to keep track of your progress.
Purchase them at a cart in front of the Super Star Plaza at Super Nintendo World.
3. Go on the Mario Kart: Koopa’s Challenge
Image credit: @d052g8
Once you’ve got your Power-Up Band, head for the menacing Bowser’s Castle near the Pit Stop Popcorn and Mario Motors. The building houses the Mario Kart: Koopa’s Challenge – an augmented reality (AR) ride which brings you through the various terrains of the Mario Kart series.
From the volcanic grounds of Grumble Volcano to the surreal sprint down Rainbow road, the Mario Kart world will flash before your eyes as you physically journey through the castle in a 4-seater cart.
Image credit: @yuki0913vv
Though the approximately 5-minute ride isn’t as fast-moving as some fans previously expected, the visual experience offered through the AR headset has made the ride widely popular amongst visitors. We recommend taking it more than once because there’s simply so much to soak in during the short 5 minutes.
You must be at least 107cm tall to be eligible for the ride. Those shorter than 122cm must also be accompanied by an adult.
4. Ride Yoshi’s Adventure
Image credit: @d052g8
Next, head down to the family-friendly Yoshi’s Adventure ride, located near the Kinopio’s Cafe and 1UP Factory. It is an omnimover ride – Disney’s trademark amusement ride system in which the timings of the exhibitions and vehicle movement are coordinated to give guests an immersive experience.
Here, you can enjoy a slow journey through the fantastical land of miniature dinosaurs and moving Piranha Plants which you’ll find in the original Yoshi game.
Image credit: @UEK_SLP
The ride will take about 5 minutes and visitors must be at least 86cm tall to go on it. Visitors below 122cm must be accompanied by an adult. The ride may be more suitable for a younger audience, though the photo opportunities presented make this ride a must-go regardless.
5. Fill your empty stomachs with burgers and folded pizzas
Image credit: @meganeusagi155
Super Nintendo World offers 3 food places for hungry visitors. We recommend heading down to the Kinopio’s Cafe for their Mario’s Bacon Cheeseburger (¥2,000, ~USD18.36) – featuring a juicy beef patty, bacon, tangy Italian pecorino cheese, and topped with a skewer that has Mario’s iconic red hat that you can bring home.
Mario’s Bacon Cheeseburger
Image credit: @konohanasakurausj
At the quieter Yoshi’s Snack Island, you can grab some quick bites. The Green Shell Calzone Filled with Yakisoba & Cheese (¥700, ~USD6.43) combines yakisoba (Japanese stir-fried noodles) and cheese for a unique savoury experience.
Image credit: @usj_rin.o0
6. Get the exclusive Mario-themed popcorn boxes
Even if you decide to have your meal somewhere else in USJ, you should make Pit Stop Popcorn a, well, pit stop. The shop sells Caramel Peach or Mushroom Cream popcorn at ¥500 (~USD4.59) for a regular-sized cup. But it’s the 2 stunning popcorn box designs that you’re here for.
Image credit: @mskdpf
The one with a Mario Kart design costs ¥4,500 (~USD41.30), and it’s exclusively available in Super Nintendo World. The other box takes the shape of the Super Star, and is priced at ¥3,500 (~USD32.13).
Image credit: @konoharasakurausj
Image credit: @rion_usj
The best part? Both popcorn boxes can light up to double up as great room decorations or night lights after you’ve finished your snack.
Image credit: @ak_____104
7. Bring home more Mario-themed souvenirs
Merchandise sold at 1UP Factory
Image credit: @hanomitita
Besides the specially designed popcorn boxes, there are more paraphernalia to browse at 1UP Factory and Mario Motors. 1UP Factory has an array of merchandise from keychains to stationery, while Mario Motors sells mostly Mario-themed merchandise such as Spiny Shell plushies and small backpacks that resemble Mario Kart cars.
Best things to do, see and eat in Super Nintendo World
Image credit: @yuu_one128
It is not easy to travel around Japan during these difficult times, and we know that queuing for rides can take up bulk of your time. You’ll want to bookmark this Super Nintendo World guide to make sure you make the most out of your time here. Remember to mask up and look forward to a day of thrilling fun with the characters from your favourite childhood Nintendo games.
Address: 2-1-33 Konohana Ward, Sakurajima, 554-0031 Osaka
Opening hours: Check the daily opening hours here.
Admission: 1-day passes are priced at ¥7800 (~USD71.62) for those aged 12 or over, ¥5400 (~USD49.58) for children aged 4 to 11, and ¥7100 (~USD65.19) for seniors aged 65 or over. For more pricing details, click here.
For more Nintendo-related articles, check out:
- Pokemon GO creators Niantic & Nintendo to release a new game
- Super Mario train to Super Nintendo World in Japan
- Super Mario Bros. 35th anniversary
- Animal Crossing Super Mario update
- Otaru Canal in Hokkaido