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Thursday, 26th February 2015
In Events In Japan,

Universal Studios Japan casts spell over record visitor numbers

Universal Studios Japan (USJ) in Osaka is continuing to work its magic, with record visitor numbers at the park following the grand opening of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter last July.

The attraction, which is based on the adventures of JK Rowling's famous boy-wizard, has been credited with pulling in more than 11 million theme park enthusiasts in the fiscal year of 2014/15.

USJ first opened in March 31st 2001 and attracted 11.02 million visitors in its first fiscal year of operation, but the figure has remained unsurpassed since - at least until now.

The Wizarding World attraction is said to have brought an additional two million Harry Potter enthusiasts to the theme park. It was constructed to the tune of £260 million and opened last year in July to huge fanfare with actors from the film Tom Felton and Evanna Lynch hosting an opening ceremony. Author JK Rowling reportedly visited the day before the grand opening with her family.

Harry Potter remains immensely popular in Japan, with the first film in the series Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone being the fourth-highest grossing movie in the country, taking around £117 million at the box office.

The attraction at USJ includes a scale replica of Hogwarts Castle and a recreation of the Black Lake, with live owls featuring in the recreation of the wizarding world. Visitors can stroll up the streets of Hogsmeade, sample Butterbeer and raid the shelves at Honeydukes sweet shop.

Japan is renowned for its theme park culture, with popular attractions throughout the country including Tokyo's Disneyland and DisneySea parks, Fuji Q Highland and Nagashima Resort. 

Legoland also recently announced the construction of a new park in the city of Nagoya, which is just a two-hour ride by bullet train from the capital.


Related news stories:
Harry Potter theme park opens (16th July 2014)
Ghibli film poster art revealed (6th June 2014)
Japan notes rise in all-male trips to Disneyland (30th October 2014)
Wicked in Tokyo praised by composer (25th September 2013)