Universal Studios Japan closed down for a while because of COVID. And after it opened its doors again, it still kept a lot of restrictions in place. This included forbidding guests from hugging or high-fiving mascots, due to sanitary reasons. However, with more COVID restrictions recently eased in Japan, the no-hugging, no-high-fiving rule is over.
That means guests can now hug the many mascots who can be found at the theme park, including Hello Kitty, various Super Mario Bros. characters, Snoopy, Sesame Street characters, Minions, and more.
In fact, Universal Studies Japan just seems to be in a loving, hugging mood. The theme park is offering up Thanks Love Month, and they have heart-shaped thank-you stickers you can give out. They explained:
“Tell them ‘Thank You!’ and your loved ones will be all smiles.
Nothing could be better than having a special opportunity to tell your family, partner, friends… whomever, how much you appreciate them.
During this special month only at USJ, let the Park crew members and characters join you in going all out to express the deep feelings of gratitude that you’ve been too shy to show! From one loved one to another and another, the circle of smiles will grow through expressing ‘thanks.’
Let the Park be the special place where this happens for you.”
Still, USJ made it clear that they’re continuing to take hygiene very seriously. The English section of their site explained:
“At Universal Studios Japan, the health and safety of our guests and crew is our top priority. As such, we have adopted enhanced sanitation measures based on guidance from health care authorities and medical experts. These measures are in strict coherence with the ‘Themepark Infection Prevention Guidelines’ and are informed by the current situation both in Japan and abroad.”
Let the hugging and thanking commence!
Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, plus its sequel, Manga Art for Everyone, and the first-of-its-kind manga chalk book Chalk Art Manga, both illustrated by professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.