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Osaka theme park doubles down (48-times down?) on its Japanese appeal with daily performances by members of four Japanese idol supergroups.

When you stop and think about it, Universal Studios Japan’s name is kind of contradictory, isn’t it? It starts off with the all-encompassing “universal,” but then quickly pairs that down to just a single country.

Of course, that sort of naming convention is necessary to avoid confusion with the other Universal Studios theme parks in California, Florida, and Singapore. And the “Japan” part of Universal Studios Japan’s name becomes even more appropriate when you consider that the park has been creating more and more attractions based on domestic franchises like Dragon Ball, One Piece, Attack on Titan, and Yo-kai Watch.

So now that USJ (as the park is also known) has taken care of fans of Japanese animation and video games, next come Japanese idols, as J-pop megagroup AKB48 will be giving concerts every single day in the park, starting in July.

16 members of AKB48 broke the news in a surprise appearance at USJ on June 2. After entertaining the crowd with renditions of hits including “Heavy Rotation,” “Aitakatta,” “Everyday, Katyusha,” and “Koi Suru Fortune Cookie,” the idols let the audience know that starting July 21 and September 9, select members of AKB48 and sister groups NMB48, HKT48, and NGT48 will be performing two or three times a day at USJ’s Stage 14 venue, for a total of 112 appearances. In addition, they’ll also be holding eight concerts in USJ’s Gramercy Park area, and during the period the customary music on the Hollywood Dream roller coaster will be replaced with AKB48 songs.

▼ Elmo, Cookie Monster, and the Minions are all apparently big fans.


That sounds like an incredibly taxing schedule, but AKB48 rose to fame on the strength of its daily concerts in Tokyo’s Akihabara, so if anyone can pull this off, it’s them.

There is a surcharge to get into the concerts, although fans will consider it money well spent. A combination ticket that provides entrance to the park and the idol performance will cost 9,900 yen (US$90), a 2,500-premium over the 7,400 yen for a standard USJ ticket. Alternatively, USJ ticketholders can purchase passes to the Stage 14 concerts on the day they’re being held for 3,000 yen, when quantities allow (admission to the Gramercy Park concerts is only available to combo ticket buyers).

Advance tickets are expected to go on sale in mid-June through the Universal Studios Japan website.

Follow Casey on Twitter, where he now has “Manatsu no Sounds Good!” stuck in his head.

Related: Universal Studios Japan
Source: IT Media
Top image: Universal Studios Japan