'Super Mario' leaps into Universal Studios Japan

In Osaka, Japan, you can now enter 'Super Nintendo World' through a giant green pipe, a real-world version of Mario's Mushroom Kingdom.

You'll be met with chomping piranha plants, punchable coin blocks and a flag-topped Mount Beanpole, as if you've stepped into classic Mario games created by gaming legend Shigeru Miyamoto.

Universal Studios Japan opened the $550 million dollar Mario attraction on Thursday.

It's a super-powered leap by Nintendo to take its virtual worlds into the real one.

Mario's grand opening was delayed several times last summer because of the global health crisis, but starting this week, visitors can meet him and his sidekick brother, Luigi.

Ayumu Yamamoto is the park's Vice President of Marketing:

"I hope that people can enjoy themselves when they become Mario. We created a world as perfect as the one in the game. I think people are surprised when a life-sized Bowser appears in front of you."

Visitors can buy a $30 power-up band to gather coins and defeat bad guys, using tech similar to wands at the park's Harry Potter attraction.

Put on an augmented reality headset and you can even rev up a real Mario Kart on the 'Koopa's challenge' ride.

The area's opening is a reply to investors frustrated by Nintendo's reluctance to more aggressively commercialize a fan base that spans generations.

While Nintendo's Switch console has proved a stay-at-home winner, the company focus on cyclical consoles, its foray into mobile gaming, has stalled.