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lurkyloo
04-10-2010, 06:10 PM
This is the story of our totally last-minute yet totally fabulous trip to the Tokyo Disney Resort, Tokyo itself, and Kyoto — told breathlessly, at length, and in excruciating detail, with waaaaaay too many photos. Buckle up!


And you are...?

Lurkyloo and Mr. Lurkyloo, crazy Disneyland fans who’ve parlayed the free WDW annual passes they got with their Epcot wedding into 3 years of bank account-draining trips around Disney’s World.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/fountainfoto.jpg


The Trip

Going to Tokyo Disney Resort (specifically, Tokyo DisneySea) has been at the top of our Dream Trip list for years, but it was always sort of a far-off fantasy. I just assumed when we finally could afford it, I would spend a year or two planning the trip, learning Japanese, and intensively researching Japan.

And then one day Mr. Lurkyloo announced that his puppet company had landed a job building puppets and puppeteering on an ad in Tokyo, and we would be leaving in just over two weeks!

Miraculously, we were able to plan an almost-three-week trip in that time, including finding Tokyo hotels during peak cherry blossom season, cobbling together four days in Disney hotels during their “Top Season,” and throwing in a bullet train trip to Kyoto at the last minute. The short time frame was both maddening (I have never paid for so much express shipping in my life!) and liberating as it kept me from over-thinking things the way I usually do.


* Participants: Lurkyloo & Mr. Lurkyloo

* Dates: March 16-April 2, 2010

* Hotels:

Akasaka Excel Hotel Tokyu (A Disney Good Neighbor Hotel)

Tokyo Disneyland Hotel

Tokyo DisneySea Hotel MiraCosta

Disney Ambassador Hotel

Yaesu Terminal Hotel

Metropolitan Marunouchi Hotel

* To Do List


See everything there was to see in Tokyo DisneySea & Tokyo Disneyland

Tour Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings sites (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2438502) in Tokyo

Check out a “cat café” (http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Asia-Pacific/2008/0425/p20s01-woap.html)

Ride a bullet train

View cherry blossoms

Visit Totoro at the Ghibli Museum

See as many temples, shrines, castles, palaces, and gardens in Tokyo and Kyoto as humanly possible

Purchase innumerable adorable stuffed anime characters

Eat a bunch of stuff that we didn’t know what it was


I’ll be switching between updates to this report and my as-yet-unfinished Christmas trip report, so if you get bored waiting for updates…


Some Light Reading: Past Reports

How to Get Married In Epcot... and Survive a 12-Day Honeymoon @ WDW! (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1828783)

2 Haunted Mansions, 1 Day (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1975243): The story of how we rode Haunted Mansion at Disney World and Disneyland on the same day (plus free dining)!

Return to the Scene of the Crime: The Lurkyloos' First Anniversary at WDW! (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2089898)

Wedding Crasher: 4 Parties in 3 Nights with 2 Cameras and 1 Fabulous Hat! (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2173104)

The Lurkyloos Do WDW: Christmas at Bay Lake Tower… of TERROR! (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=34861212)


Assorted Other Ways To OD on The Lurkyloos…

Blog: http://disneytravelbabble.com

Twitter: http://twitter.com/lurkyloo

Facebook page for PassPorter’s Disney Weddings & Honeymoons: http://www.facebook.com/pages/PassPorters-Disney-Weddings-Honeymoons/127958845407?ref=s

Patrick’s puppet company: http://www.swazzle.com

lurkyloo
04-10-2010, 06:16 PM
Pictures are on the way, but first…

Planning

I thought it might be helpful to hit the highlights of the planning process here since I didn’t get a chance to do a pre-trip report (and for that we should all be very grateful – it was mostly a constant stream of freakouts…).

The Most Important Lesson I Learned: The only thing keeping a Disney fan from going to Tokyo Disney should be the money (OK, so that’s a HUGE thing…). But none of the other stuff I was worried about turned out to be a big deal: the language barrier, the long flight, booking hotels, figuring out all the transportation networks, getting foreign currency—none of it was a problem. If you can navigate any big city, you can navigate Tokyo.


Language
That said, I think you can greatly improve the quality of your trip by learning even the most basic Japanese before you go. I can’t believe how many travel guides lead you to believe that most people in Japan speak or can understand English. That was certainly not our experience—even at Disney—nor did we expect it to be. I won’t get up on my soapbox about cultural sensitivity, but I will say that it is a lot easier if you can say and understand certain phrases. The rest is allllll pantomime! Unless you’re asking for earplugs at a Disney first aid station, in which case they will become convinced you are bleeding from the ears…

They say Japanese is very easy to pick up but very difficult to master. I only had those few short weeks, but by listening to one 30-minute Pimsleur Japanese lesson twice a day, I picked up enough to speak and understand handy phrases out in the real world. Pimsleur and Rosetta Stone programs are spendy, but I found some good deals on Amazon and eBay. I liked Pimsleur because it’s based on a memory technique that actually has you speaking and understanding the language at the end of your first lesson. I couldn’t believe it! It’s also good for people who don’t want to use books and worksheets – the course is entirely audio, but you must dedicate those 30 minutes to it. You can’t listen while driving or, like, Facebooking. Personally, I would have liked something to read along with it because I’m a visual learner, but it was still really effective.


The Flight
This was not that big a deal at all. From the West Coast, you get on the plane in the afternoon and get off it in the evening—it just happens to be the evening of the next day. I set my watch ahead when I got on the plane and didn’t make a big deal out of constantly figuring out what time it was back home. When I got there, I stayed up til my regular bedtime and woke up the next morning feeling fine. I was worried that coming home would be awful; you leave in the evening and arrive the morning of the same day. We were pretty spacey when we got off the plane, and we took a 2-hour nap, but then we stayed up til our regular bedtime and felt pretty decent the next day.


Subway
The subway map looks like a bowl of spaghetti, but it’s color-coded and has numbers, so it’s not too difficult to figure out. The hardest part is figuring out which exit from the subway to take. They are usually numerous, and sometimes taking the wrong one can put you blocks out of your way (so I disagree with one author’s advice to just exit the station and then figure out where you are). There are maps at the exits (usually with English on them) that list what sights and attractions can be found if you take that exit. This may be a big DUH for some people, but I had to figure out that these maps are not always oriented north to south the way they were in my guidebook. Eventually I learned to hold my guidebook up next to the wall map, find a common point on both, and then rotate my book until it matched the wall map. But then I also still count with my fingers….

PASMO/Suica: These prepaid fare cards can be used on virtually all subways, railways, and buses in Tokyo, public and private, including the Disney Resort Monorail line, and they are also accepted as a form of payment by many merchants in and around train stations. Instead of having to figure out what ticket you need for each journey (and then use the fare adjustment machines at the end of your trip if you didn’t pay enough), you charge the card up like a gift card and then just swipe it over the reader at the turnstiles on your way in and out of the station. The turnstiles also display the amount remaining on the card as you walk by.

There are two brands of these cards—PAMSO and Suica—but they are interchangeable. You can use them anywhere either of them is accepted. The one you buy basically just depends on which brand is sold at the station where you’re buying the card. When you buy the it, you are charged a ¥500 refundable deposit, which you can get back at any PASMO/Suica machine at the end of your trip. You can recharge the card at the same kind of machine, which is found next to the ticket machines at the station. One thing to note: You can only buy and recharge these cards with cash—for some reason, the machines don’t accept credit cards, and you can’t even use credit if you buy them from an agent at the station office. You have a choice of buying an anonymous card or linking your name and info to the card. If you do the latter, you can easily replace the card if it is lost or stolen (for a small fee – but you retain the stored value on the card).


Hotels
We booked our hotels a couple of different ways, all of them easy. For our longest Tokyo stay, we booked through Expedia just because it was offered there and we had an Expedia coupon code. However, many Tokyo hotels have English websites on which you can book directly, which is what we did for our one “fill-in” night when the ad shoot dates changed. I found this site (http://www.tokyo-top-guide.com/Tokyo_Japan_Hotels.html) to be a great resource for finding hotels by location and, in some cases, at a lower price. You kinda have to shop around though, and definitely figure out what neighborhood you want to stay in first. Tripadvisor is great for seeing photos of actual rooms, although you find wildly positive and negative reviews about nearly every hotel.

For the Disney hotels, I thought that calling would be best, but it turned out that they were basically just reading me all the info found in their extremely easy to use online booking engine (http://www.tokyodisneyresort.co.jp/vm/en/). So just book online! If you don’t see the room type you want, book something else and check back every day. No deposit is required, and you can cancel anytime up to 2 weeks ahead. We booked just weeks ahead for travel during Disney’s very busiest time of year. I just kept making reservations, checking back, canceling and replacing them until I got exactly the combo we wanted (well, OK, we weren’t able to get 4 consecutive days at MiraCosta, but it was fun to try out all three hotels!). Availability changes daily; room types that had been previously sold out miraculously appeared the next day.

Tours
We are not “tour” kind of people, but we made two exceptions on this trip because we were pressed for research time.

1) The Ghibli Museum – I’ve been wanting to see this place ever since I discovered Totoro! Unfortunately, the exhibits are all in Japanese. Plus, only a limited number of tickets are available each day, and the process for buying them from the US is very complicated. So I found a tour aggregator called Viator (http://www.viator.com/tours/Tokyo/Tokyo-Studio-Ghibli-Museum-Afternoon-Tour/d334-2142TYO_F600) that works with Japan’s Sunrise Tours. It’s a little funky how it works – you meet a guide who leads you on the subway and local bus system rather than riding in a motorcoach – but the guide stays with you for an hour at the museum and translates all the exhibits for you. I felt like we got so much more out of the place than if we’d been on our own.

2) Kyoto - When we decided to go to Kyoto and back in one day on the bullet train, we wanted to see as much as possible. So I used Viator again to book back-to-back morning and afternoon tours of 6 sites, total. I’ll describe them in more detail later, but there were SO many tourists and tour buses swarming Kyoto the day we went, I think I would have freaked out if we’d been on our own.

Money
The thing I was most worried about was an inability to access cash or use credit cards. They say that the worst thing to do is exchange money at the airport (and Travelex online – talk about bad exchange rates and high fees!) or before you leave the States. I’ve also heard that it’s getting harder to find places that will cash travelers cheques, and I didn’t want to be hunting down banks all the time.

You’ll get the best exchange rate by using a credit card or withdrawing money at a foreign ATM. But most banks and credit card companies impose fees of up to 3% on each transaction, plus ATM owners may impose an extra fee. On top of that, credit cards are still not accepted by many smaller merchants and restaurants, and most Japanese ATMs do not accept US ATM cards. (Those that do can be found at 7 Eleven, post offices, airports, some department stores and train stations, Citibank branches, and Shinsei Bank and Sumitomo Mitsui Bank branches.)

So this is what we did…

Cash: We exchanged dollars for about ¥200 in pocket money before we left. Our bank didn’t give us too terrible an exchange rate, and there were no fees. However, it took them 3 days to order yen.

Credit Card: Capitol One and Charles Schwab are currently the only US companies that don’t charge any fees on foreign transactions. I signed up for a Capitol One card only to learn, a week before we left, that the credit limit was too low to charge more than 2 of our 6 hotel stays! Then I found out that they have lousy customer service and have been known to freeze your spending abilities even when you’ve notified them you’ll be using the card abroad. So I called Charles Schwab, and within 48 hours I had their Invest First Visa Card with a reasonable spending limit and great customer service.

ATM: While I was signing up for the Schwab credit card, I learned that they offer a bank account that charges no fees for international ATM withdrawals AND refunds any fees imposed by the ATM owner. So I signed up for one of those too!

When we got to our first hotel, there was a 7 Eleven on the first floor, so I took out a bunch of cash. Then for the rest of the trip, we’d ask “Crejito cardo?” at every checkout counter and only use the cash if they didn’t take credit. We found that every place at Disney took credit cards except the popcorn carts in Tokyo Disneyland.

Cell Phones
As of this writing, only 3G phones will work in Japan. If you have a 3G phone that's not SIM-locked, you can rent a Japanese SIM card to use while you're there and get cheap calling rates. If you have an iPhone, you can use it but will pay through the nose. If you have any other kind of cell phone, you'll need to rent a Japanese phone for delivery either to your house before you leave or to your hotel in Japan. You can also rent them at kiosks in the airport. Both of us needed phones so we could be in touch when Patrick was working, but only mine is 3G. Here's what we did:

iPhone: We decided to bite the bullet and just pay for international calling and a small data package so I could use my phone to call Patrick, send a few Tweets and use GPS in a pinch. For voice service, you have to add the $5.99/month World Traveler Plan and pay $1.69/minute (vs. $2.29/minute without the plan) and $0.50/text message to use it. For data service, you have to buy a Data Global Add-On unless you are completely made of money: Regular rates start at $0.0195/kb, which is $159/MB! Even the add-ons aren't cheap—they start at $24.99 for just 20MB of data. Check your average monthly usage to determine how much you'll need, because in an typical month of Tweeting, checking my email, and searching for things with Google Maps, I use about 200 MB! As it turned out, I was so parsimonious with the 50MB package I bought, I actually only used about half of the data I'd paid for—argh!

Rental Phone: Trying to compare all the different phone rental services for Japan was so confusing. Some offer free phones but charge hidden fees or higher per-minute rates. Some charge a fee for the phone with lower rates on calls. Some give you free incoming and/or outgoing calls, but sometimes only to/from Japanese phones. Some can only be delivered in the US and some only in Japan. We finally went with Rentafone Japan because the process was easy and the rates seemed competitive. The whole thing is done online, and the phone is waiting for you when you check into the hotel. When you're done, you put it in the pre-paid envelope and mail it or give it to the front desk staff. (You can also have it sent to the airport and return it there.) We paid ¥3,900 for a week's rental of the phone and ended up spending ¥2,308 on calls. One trick was that to get really good rates with the phone, you had to use a dial-around code before entering the phone number. However, it's programmed into the phone's memory so you just have to remember to push the button.

One thing I kind of wish we'd done is hang on to the rental phone for our whole trip. There were times at Disney when we split up to accomplish things quicker—like grab FASTPASSes or wait in a line—and then couldn't find each other because only I had a phone.



Whew! OK, to reward you for reading (or scrolling) this far, here is a picture of the early-morning dress rehearsal of Tokyo DisneySea’s spring-themed lagoon show Fairies Primavera, as seen from our room at Hotel MiraCosta.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/DSC03509.jpg

Up Next: Breakfast in San Leandro, Dinner in Tokyo!

Bibbidi
04-10-2010, 06:21 PM
yippee - a Lurkyloo Trippie :)

taylor3297
04-10-2010, 06:24 PM
I look forward to hearing more about your trip. Though I haven't been to Tokyo, I have been to Takarasuka, Kyoto, Osaka, Hemeji, Kiromishu and a couple of other towns. Japan is a wonderful country filled with great people. The only thing I knew how to say was Hello, goodbye, and I am sorry, but I still had no problem with communication while I was there.

lurkyloo
04-10-2010, 06:26 PM
yippee - a Lurkyloo Trippie :)

Hi! :wave2:

I look forward to hearing more about your trip. Though I haven't been to Tokyo, I have been to Takarasuka, Kyoto, Osaka, Hemeji, Kiromishu and a couple of other towns. Japan is a wonderful country filled with great people. The only thing I knew how to say was Hello, goodbye, and I am sorry, but I still had no problem with communication while I was there.

Yeah, we found that "I'm sorry" got us through just about everything! :rotfl:

aduck126
04-10-2010, 07:06 PM
oooo i can't wait for this!

ChrisFL
04-10-2010, 07:15 PM
oooo i can't wait for this!

mte!! :)

Diamondintheruff
04-10-2010, 07:46 PM
:surfweb:

This is me living vicariously. Your report will be the closest I ever get to Tokyo Disney. Maybe EuroDisney one day. One long in the future day.

lovegrumpy
04-10-2010, 08:08 PM
Subbing. Can't wai to hear more. Some day I hope to vist.

MiaBella05
04-10-2010, 08:12 PM
popcorn:: joining in popcorn::

freepixie
04-10-2010, 09:09 PM
Subbing!! Can't wait to read more!!! :thumbsup2

mikelan6
04-10-2010, 09:36 PM
Sounds good so far. I'm going in a few days myself so I hope you post more before I depart.

Happydog
04-10-2010, 09:52 PM
VERY cool! I am so excited to hear all about it! We are really looking at Tokyo in another year, so reading your TR will definitely be a great incentive!!

I will be reading this TR and your Christmas TR so I will have plenty of Lurkyloo updates! :thumbsup2

ChrisFL
04-10-2010, 10:05 PM
VERY cool! I am so excited to hear all about it! We are really looking at Tokyo in another year, so reading your TR will definitely be a great incentive!!

I will be reading this TR and your Christmas TR so I will have plenty of Lurkyloo updates! :thumbsup2

hehe, you know what's funny, when I was in Tokyo, I went to Odaiba island on a boat known as the "Happy Dog Tours" boat..you might like that ;)

Aburns8
04-10-2010, 10:07 PM
SO excited for this trip report! popcorn:: I love learning about different cultures so this one should be a great one!

LeeLeeLuvsDisney
04-10-2010, 10:43 PM
Great report so far...can't wait to read more!

shippedtosea
04-11-2010, 12:16 AM
Joining in! popcorn:

PryncessChrysty
04-11-2010, 01:25 AM
I am so excited for this TR! Tokyo Disney is on the top of our to-do list after our WDW honeymoon later this year.

Thanks for the great info/tips - I'm definitely bookmarking this for when we really get down to planning.

popcorn::

A-T-G
04-11-2010, 05:52 AM
Oh yeah! Subscribing right away! Don't want to miss a second!

nokanda
04-11-2010, 07:29 AM
we are in japan right now. landed and stayed in tokyo for 3 days, in kyoto now for 5 days. then back to tokyo for a couple of more days and then to miracosta for 4 days.
just wondering if you were able to take pics with characters? i am very excited to go to tdl!

so far we have been very lucky to see many cherry blossoms, including today at the nijo castle at night all lit up! we have done alot since we have been here and have the sore legs/feet to prove it...lol! lots of walking around tokyo streets. in the coming days we will be visiting hirsoshima, mt fuji (which we saw today from the bullet train...snow capped top and all...it was amazing) and visit kamakura...and other stuff

anyways, am looking forward to reading and seeing more pics of disney...we will be there from the 20-23.

burly
04-11-2010, 09:31 AM
we are in japan right now. landed and stayed in tokyo for 3 days, in kyoto now for 5 days. then back to tokyo for a couple of more days and then to miracosta for 4 days.
just wondering if you were able to take pics with characters? i am very excited to go to tdl!

so far we have been very lucky to see many cherry blossoms, including today at the nijo castle at night all lit up! we have done alot since we have been here and have the sore legs/feet to prove it...lol! lots of walking around tokyo streets. in the coming days we will be visiting hirsoshima, mt fuji (which we saw today from the bullet train...snow capped top and all...it was amazing) and visit kamakura...and other stuff

anyways, am looking forward to reading and seeing more pics of disney...we will be there from the 20-23.

Wow i hope you have a great time. :)

burly
04-11-2010, 09:32 AM
Looking forward to this Trip Report. :thumbsup2

Happydog
04-11-2010, 12:45 PM
hehe, you know what's funny, when I was in Tokyo, I went to Odaiba island on a boat known as the "Happy Dog Tours" boat..you might like that ;)

HA! :lmao:

2xcited2sleep
04-11-2010, 06:25 PM
I can't wait to hear all about your trip! Not sure if I'll ever make it there in real life so for nowthe Lurkyloos' trip will have to do! :goodvibes

Bring it on! popcorn::

MAGICFOR2
04-12-2010, 02:20 AM
Mushi Mushi! I'm so excited you have started your TR!:banana: My favorite Japanized English phrase is " Cupo Cohee?" :surfweb: Oh, and I followed the Cat Cafe link - that is just weird!

mrsksomeday
04-12-2010, 05:20 AM
Great start to your TR, I like how you explain the things that would have freaked me out wondering about. I loved your Twitter updates when you were gone. I can't wait to read more.

kafitty
04-12-2010, 06:44 AM
:banana:

Eeyore's Tailfinder
04-12-2010, 07:41 AM
I'm in for this one! I've been wanting to go to Tokyo for a long time, and hopefully we will make it in the next couple of years! I'm especially looking forward to your Studio Ghibli tour as one of my favourite movies is Laputa: Castle in the Sky and I'd love to take a photo with the robot! I looked into going a couple of years back when we started thinking about Tokyo seriously and we saw it was unnecessarily difficult to go - I want to go to the museum, I'm thinking they want me to go to the museum - what's the problem?! I'll definitely keep that website in mind when we go!

Also love the TDL weddings post!

Flossbolna
04-12-2010, 07:44 AM
Japan is high on my lists of countries I want to visit, so I am really looking forward to this!! Thanks for the detailed first post about how to travel to Japan! :thumbsup2 I guess I ought to try to start learning Japanese! :goodvibes

Princess_K
04-12-2010, 08:48 AM
Carrie, I'm so glad to see you started this TR. I can't wait to hear all about it!

disneyholic family
04-12-2010, 09:25 AM
getting on board - great reading so far!!

i grew up going back and forth to japan with my family (first time there was in 1968.....multiple times after that, for extended stays)..

anyway, being a little non-japanese kid in japan back in 1968, when there were almost none to speak of was quite an experience....a good one actually, despite all you've probably heard and read about japanese views of non-japanese (at least back then if not today)...

anyway, enough of that..
my first visit to tokyo disneyland was back in 1984 (i think the year it opened)...
i was pregnant with DD at the time, which may explain her drive to visit there last year.....

unfortunately, i've yet to see disneysea...i haven't been back to japan for many years despite my love of the country....(my relatively recent fear of flying having got in the way of many of my travel plans)..

can't wait to read the rest of the report...

MEK
04-12-2010, 10:16 AM
:cool1:I was really looking forward to this TR starting. It's already off to an interesting start. If I was going to Tokoyo disney I would not know where to start, so I am hanging on every word (in case I ever get a chance to go - LOL!)

Even better - I will have this TR to read before I get ready to leave for Disney in a few weeks. It will definately keep me occupied!

MinnieMe67
04-12-2010, 11:43 AM
Welcome home, Carrie and Patrick! Looking forward to another great Lurkyloo trip report!

Debbie

mla1977
04-12-2010, 12:01 PM
I was following you on Twitter, but I can't wait to read about all of your adventures!

Chilly
04-12-2010, 12:09 PM
Can't wait to read more Carrie, we might be going in 2012 so it'll be great to find out some info.

Handbag Lady
04-12-2010, 02:13 PM
Bravo!

I can't wait to read all about it!


Thank you for the time it takes to do these. We enjoy them so much!

Kimberly815
04-12-2010, 02:52 PM
Getting on board! I can't wait to hear all about it!

In other news. . . I finally got a chance to open up my Spring 2010 issue of D23 (A little late, I know! But that's what happens when you have an adorable 6 month old boy giggling at home!) and who did I spy? Lurkyloo! I am sure you mentioned it somewhere- but I was so excited to see you in the pic from the D23 expo! :thumbsup2

annichan
04-12-2010, 03:34 PM
Hi Carrie,

I just quickly wanted to come out of lurkdom to say I have read your wedding report and loved it, then stumbled onto your Christmas trip report and followed from there to here. I am excited to hear about Tokyo Disneyland!

MA pigletfan
04-12-2010, 04:14 PM
YAY! So looking forward to this! My hubby would love to go to Japan some day..but the only way it would happen would be if we went to Tokyo disneyland and Disneysea!!! ;) AND if i could be knocked out for the flight!
Great start ...and I love the puppets Patrick's company makes!! YAY for the Pee-Wee Herman show gig..that is great :)

reelmom
04-12-2010, 04:27 PM
Wow! Two Lurkyloo trip reports at once. How cool!

katiebelle21
04-12-2010, 06:11 PM
Following along! I can't wait to see what Tokyo Disney is like--especially with your narrative! :goodvibes

simzac
04-12-2010, 06:50 PM
Just like everyone else, I'm eagerly awaiting more of your TR. Sounds great so far. I too want to visit TDL someday, just not sure if I will get there.

ChrisFL
04-12-2010, 09:48 PM
/me taps foot constantly....

lurkyloo
04-13-2010, 03:38 AM
The first day is never that exciting, yet somehow we managed to take 40 pictures of it!

SFO
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%201/DSC00514.jpg

We flew out of San Francisco because Swazzle had been up in the Bay Area for 2 weeks shooting another project during the day and building puppets for the Tokyo job at night. The previous day Patrick had stayed up all night finishing those puppets so they could be shipped ahead for their flight to Tokyo from LA, and then he went off to finish shooting his scenes on the other project—which meant he stayed awake for about 42 hours straight. Needless to say, he had no trouble sleeping on the plane!

Because all the travel arrangements were being made by the ad firm’s travel agent, we didn’t find out when we were leaving, what airline we were flying or where we were staying until about a week before we left. The answers turned out to be: Tuesday at 1:25pm, JAL, and the Akasaka Excel Tokyu Hotel.

The puppeteers all got to fly in swanky Business Class with lay-flat pod beds and free slippers, but Patrick gave up his seat to fly with me in Economy—I knew I’d married the right guy! Besides, as it turned out, all the Japanese hotels ended up giving us enough free slippers to choke a horse. (Although, really, just one free slipper would prolly be enough to choke a horse…)

Now I don’t know how JAL rates among frequent fliers to Asia, but as someone who’s been subjected to United Airlines’ service from LA to Orlando a few too many times, I found it pretty dang good.

“Japan Airlines: We’re pretty dang good!”
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%201/DSC00515.jpg

The plane seemed fairly new, with on-demand TV at every seat and cool drop-down overhead bins for every three seats, so you never had to fight with anyone to fit all your junk in. The seat pitch was respectable – not great when the person in front of you leaned his seat back, but it felt an inch or two deeper than on domestic US flights. It was also very exciting to become instantly immersed in Japanese – the announcements were made in Japanese first, then sometimes Chinese, and then English. It helped us get used to smiling and nodding and pretending we knew what was going on.

Oh my gosh oh my gosh! We’re really going to Japan!
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%201/DSC00516.jpg

The 11-hour flight was uneventful except for being seated behind one of only two kids on the entire plane, who had struck up a friendship in the boarding area and spent most of the trip together, screaming. Then, when they were separated, they would scream some more until they were reunited.

The flight started with dinner, which was some kind of chicken on noodles:

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%201/DSC00517.jpg


Voila!
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%201/DSC00518.jpg

Then they dimmed the lights so we could pretend it was night. I hadn’t had any time to read guidebooks before we left, so I crammed for most of the flight, did a Japanese lesson on my iPod, and still had time to glaze over during “Whip It” on my seatback TV.

At one point, Patrick discovered that it wasn’t really night when he opened our snoozing seatmate’s window shade and saw this…

Holy crap, it’s Alaska!
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%201/DSC00524.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%201/DSC00520.jpg



I can see Russia from here!
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%201/DSC00519.jpg



http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%201/DSC00522.jpg


I only dozed for about 30 minutes after dinner/lunch/whatever, but I ended up feeling OK. About two hours before we landed they turned the lights up and fed us salmon on noodles, which I think was s’posed to be breakfast.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%201/DSC00525.jpg


After we landed, we went through Passport/Immigration control with no trouble, got our bags easily, and then skipped through customs.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%201/DSC00527.jpg


Narita Airport Terminal 2
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%201/DSC00526.jpg


I asked Patrick to take lots of pix of everything for PassPorter’s forthcoming guide to Tokyo Disney….

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%201/DSC00529.jpg


I think this was Customs
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%201/DSC00530.jpg


This is the counter for the Airport Limousine, which is not a limousine at all—it’s a bus! It’s prolly the way we would have gotten into Tokyo from Narita if we hadn’t been met by a rep from the ad firm. For reference, it’s ¥30/person one-way and they only take cash.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%201/DSC00532.jpg


And here’s where you can buy train tickets…
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%201/DSC00534.jpg


Thank goodness we didn’t have to figure THIS thing out!
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%201/DSC00536.jpg


We’d been told to look for a guy with a sign that said “Rock ‘n’ Roll Tokyo” – how awesome is that? Sure enough, a rep from the production company, Hiro, was there to meet us and get us to the hotel. The trip took about 45 minutes, and Hiro must’ve thought we were delirious as we oooohed and aaaahhhhed over every bunker-like building and road sign and vehicle we saw on the way into town. Of course the biggest “oooooh!” came when we whizzed by Space Mountain. Then Patrick asked, “What’s that building all outlined in white lights?” and I said, “I dunno – I think it might be a Ramada or something…?” It later turned out to be the Tokyo Disneyland Hotel – whoops!

lurkyloo
04-13-2010, 03:43 AM
When we got to the Akasaka Excel Tokyu Hotel (http://www.tokyuhotelsjapan.com/en/TE/TE_AKASA/index.html), which turned out to be right across the street from a subway station, Hiro helped us check in—a godsend when you’re tired and disoriented and have spent most of your two weeks of Japanese language study learning how to ask for two beers…

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%201/DSC00548.jpg


The lobby’s on the third floor
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%201/DSC00550.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%201/DSC00551.jpg


Pay attention to this sign. I didn’t, and it later turned out to be a huge, wonderful surprise
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%201/DSC00537.jpg


Our hotel room was much nicer than I expected – it had been recently redecorated and didn’t have the IKEA feel I saw in older pictures on TripAdvisor. It was also a decent size—not huge, but you could actually walk around the bed. It turned out to be the biggest non-Disney room we had.


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%201/DSC00539.jpg


My favorite part was the corner window into the bathroom cuz it made the place feel bigger. Although it was a trick figuring out which way to dial the blinds so your spouse couldn’t see in!

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%201/DSC00542.jpg


The view wasn’t half bad either.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%201/DSC00543.jpg


Patrick loved the soaking tub and shower…

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%201/DSC00541.jpg

…But most of all, he loved the complicated toilet!

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%201/DSC00540.jpg

This thing had enough buttons to launch a missle attack… on your bottom! There’s a button for a spray of water, and one for a stream, one to make the seat hot enough to fry an egg and then an automatic function that runs the water to cover up embarrassing noises. On that first night we had each other in stitches as we tried out all the various functions and shrieked in surprise at what we got.

Other cool features of this hotel: It has a 7-Eleven on the first floor, which means an ATM that accepts US ATM cards and a cheap meal are always close by; it is adjacent to a small shopping complex with restaurants and stores and even a post office; the subway station across the street connects you to the central Marunouchi and Ginza lines; and there is a street running behind the subway station that is jam-packed with restaurants and clubs.

I never thought I’d be so glad to see a 7 Eleven!
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%201/DSC00549.jpg


McDonald’s… not so much….
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%201/DSC00547.jpg


After we’d dropped our stuff in the room, we wandered down this veritable restaurant row trying to decide where to eat.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%201/DSC00544.jpg

We almost randomly picked a traditional sushi place and got what we think we wanted through a combination of my pigeon Japanese and lots of hand gestures. Oh, and the picture menu, kindly handed to us by a German couple. We felt very cosmopolitan sitting there eating sushi for dinner in Tokyo after starting the day with breakfast in San Leandro, CA. …Never mind that it was the next day!

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%201/DSC00545.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%201/DSC00546.jpg

Dinner was good! The only drawback was the haze of cigarette smoke filling the place. After dinner, Patrick had a 9pm costume fitting for the ad (!), but before he left we had time to pick up our first weird Japanese dessert at 7 Eleven.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%201/DSC00552.jpg


It was blue flavor!
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%201/DSC00553.jpg

He was out til about 11pm, so I stayed in and web surfed with our free Internet access, trying to get my head around the fact that we were ACTUALLY IN JAPAN!

Up next: My first solo day in Tokyo!

lurkyloo
04-13-2010, 04:14 AM
oooo i can't wait for this!

Me either! Oh wait - I gotta write the dang thing first...

mte!! :)

OMG, I just learned a new Internet slang! LOL!



This is me living vicariously. Your report will be the closest I ever get to Tokyo Disney. Maybe EuroDisney one day. One long in the future day.

I really hope you can make it out there!

Subbing. Can't wai to hear more. Some day I hope to vist.

Yes! They just need to move it a little closer to the US!

joining in

Thanks!

Subbing!! Can't wait to read more!!!

Glad to have you along!

Sounds good so far. I'm going in a few days myself so I hope you post more before I depart.

I'll try! Although I think I exhausted all my useful info in the second post, so all you'll miss is my rambling and 85 bazillion shots of cherry blossoms...

VERY cool! I am so excited to hear all about it! We are really looking at Tokyo in another year, so reading your TR will definitely be a great incentive!!


Oh cool! I hope it helps!

SO excited for this trip report! I love learning about different cultures so this one should be a great one!

Great to have you onboard!

Great report so far...can't wait to read more!

Thanks for reading along!

Joining in!

Thanks!

I am so excited for this TR! Tokyo Disney is on the top of our to-do list after our WDW honeymoon later this year.

Thanks for the great info/tips - I'm definitely bookmarking this for when we really get down to planning.


Oh good - I hope it's helpful to you!

Oh yeah! Subscribing right away! Don't want to miss a second!

Hi there!

we are in japan right now. landed and stayed in tokyo for 3 days, in kyoto now for 5 days. then back to tokyo for a couple of more days and then to miracosta for 4 days.
just wondering if you were able to take pics with characters?

Oh boy, it sounds like you're having fun. We had many opportunities to take pix with characters, but we aren't very big character fans, so we only have a few shots. But I think you'll do fine!

Looking forward to this Trip Report.

Thanks!

I can't wait to hear all about your trip! Not sure if I'll ever make it there in real life so for nowthe Lurkyloos' trip will have to do!

Bring it on!

Oh, I do hope you get to go!

Mushi Mushi! I'm so excited you have started your TR! My favorite Japanized English phrase is " Cupo Cohee?" Oh, and I followed the Cat Cafe link - that is just weird!

Yeah, I'm starting to think I'm the only one who doesn't think it's weird - even Patrick was like ... "That was kinda weird!" after we went!

Great start to your TR, I like how you explain the things that would have freaked me out wondering about. I loved your Twitter updates when you were gone. I can't wait to read more.

Thanks for following along!

:banana:

:banana: to you too!


I'm in for this one! I've been wanting to go to Tokyo for a long time, and hopefully we will make it in the next couple of years! I'm especially looking forward to your Studio Ghibli tour as one of my favourite movies is Laputa: Castle in the Sky and I'd love to take a photo with the robot! I looked into going a couple of years back when we started thinking about Tokyo seriously and we saw it was unnecessarily difficult to go - I want to go to the museum, I'm thinking they want me to go to the museum - what's the problem?!

Exactly! I mean, I guess it's good b/c it limits the number of people there every day, but, frankly, it's not a low enough limit. The crowd in the Ghibli gift shop turned out to be the worst one of our entire trip. Pushing, shoving, grabbing any piece of merchandise you could get your hands on cuz you couldn't see the displays for the people... it was crazy-go-nuts!

Japan is high on my lists of countries I want to visit, so I am really looking forward to this!! Thanks for the detailed first post about how to travel to Japan! I guess I ought to try to start learning Japanese!

Glad you liked it! I'll bet you like learning Japanese too. I never thought I'd be able to pick up a non-Romance language, so I felt sooooo cool being able to make such urbane statements as "The car is green"!

Carrie, I'm so glad to see you started this TR. I can't wait to hear all about it!

Thanks for joining in!

getting on board - great reading so far!!

i grew up going back and forth to japan with my family (first time there was in 1968.....multiple times after that, for extended stays)..

anyway, being a little non-japanese kid in japan back in 1968, when there were almost none to speak of was quite an experience....a good one actually, despite all you've probably heard and read about japanese views of non-japanese (at least back then if not today)...

anyway, enough of that..
my first visit to tokyo disneyland was back in 1984 (i think the year it opened)...
i was pregnant with DD at the time, which may explain her drive to visit there last year.....

unfortunately, i've yet to see disneysea...i haven't been back to japan for many years despite my love of the country....(my relatively recent fear of flying having got in the way of many of my travel plans)..

Oh wow - what an interesting upbringing that must've been! I did read a little bit in the English-language paper about the difficulties of being a non-Japanese child growing up in Japan, so I'm glad to hear you had a good experience. I hope you get to see Tokyo DisneySea!

:cool1:I was really looking forward to this TR starting. It's already off to an interesting start. If I was going to Tokoyo disney I would not know where to start, so I am hanging on every word (in case I ever get a chance to go - LOL!)

Even better - I will have this TR to read before I get ready to leave for Disney in a few weeks. It will definately keep me occupied!

Ooh! Congrats on the upcoming trip! I will attempt to keep you fully occupied between now and then...

Welcome home, Carrie and Patrick! Looking forward to another great Lurkyloo trip report!

Debbie

Thanks so much!

I was following you on Twitter, but I can't wait to read about all of your adventures!

Hey, thanks for following on Twitter!

Can't wait to read more Carrie, we might be going in 2012 so it'll be great to find out some info.

Ooh! I hope you get to go! I'll try to include lots of details (OK, well, even more than usual...)

Bravo!

I can't wait to read all about it!


Thank you for the time it takes to do these. We enjoy them so much!

Well thank you! It does take me a long time, but I think it's cuz I have zero ability to edit the pictures down to a reasonable number.... :rotfl:

Getting on board! I can't wait to hear all about it!

In other news. . . I finally got a chance to open up my Spring 2010 issue of D23 (A little late, I know! But that's what happens when you have an adorable 6 month old boy giggling at home!) and who did I spy? Lurkyloo! I am sure you mentioned it somewhere- but I was so excited to see you in the pic from the D23 expo! :thumbsup2

:lmao: That's so funny! I never read my D23 magazines - I only read that one b/c someone told me I was in it!


Hi Carrie,

I just quickly wanted to come out of lurkdom to say I have read your wedding report and loved it, then stumbled onto your Christmas trip report and followed from there to here. I am excited to hear about Tokyo Disneyland!

Welcome out of lurkdom! :wave2:

YAY! So looking forward to this! My hubby would love to go to Japan some day..but the only way it would happen would be if we went to Tokyo disneyland and Disneysea!!! ;) AND if i could be knocked out for the flight!
Great start ...and I love the puppets Patrick's company makes!! YAY for the Pee-Wee Herman show gig..that is great

Thanks! Now I don't know much about it, but I hear the secret to getting people like you on a flight is BOOZE, and plenty of it! :rotfl2:

Wow! Two Lurkyloo trip reports at once. How cool!

Totally cool! I just wish someone else would write the other one... :teeth:

Following along! I can't wait to see what Tokyo Disney is like--especially with your narrative!

Thanks for joining in!

Just like everyone else, I'm eagerly awaiting more of your TR. Sounds great so far. I too want to visit TDL someday, just not sure if I will get there.

I hope you are able to! I wish everyone could see it!


/me taps foot constantly....

:rotfl:

lurkyloo
04-13-2010, 04:18 AM
Ack! It's late, I'm tired, and I'm paranoid that y'all will miss my update b/c it's on the previous page!...

So... back to page 3! :rotfl:

Chilly
04-13-2010, 05:36 AM
Ack! It's late, I'm tired, and I'm paranoid that y'all will miss my update b/c it's on the previous page!...

So... back to page 3! :rotfl:

:rotfl::rotfl2::lmao:


The plane sounds lovely, what a sweetie Patrick is giving us his posh seat. The hotel room looks really nice but I find the bathroom window into the bedroom a bit odd!

Aburns8
04-13-2010, 07:32 AM
So far everything is amazing! The plane ride didn't look too bad. Although I would need some sort of drug to knock me out for at least 6 hours of it or I would have gone nuts! The toilet is interesting! My husband is an engineer and I am sure we would have spent on hour playing with it. Then he would probably want one for the house. Not much of a Sushi fan. I have a problem with texture. But it looked yummy!

2xcited2sleep
04-13-2010, 07:40 AM
Great update! How long was the flight? Looks like you both handled it well. I'm not so sure about salmon noodles for breakfast though. :scared:

Your hotel looks gorgeous!! I am :lmao: over the missle launching toilet!

Can't wait for more! popcorn::

ChrisFL
04-13-2010, 08:52 AM
Yes JAL is a NICE airline, especially compared back to back with American Airlines, where the flight attendants were yelling at people :scared:

I was afraid to play "missile command" on the toilet when I was in japan, lol

Sushi looks awesome...and how was that Hershey bar? good?

Great TR so far! :thumbsup2

burly
04-13-2010, 09:45 AM
:yay:Yay an update!
Plane sounds nice. Hotel looked good. My friend is a plumber and he was handed one of those fancy toilets at the end of an expo. It was hilarious trying to figure it out after he hooked it up in his house.:rotfl2:
7-11 Japanese slurpees?:idea:
Can't wait for more. :thumbsup2

LittleStinkerbelle
04-13-2010, 10:33 AM
I'm in!:banana:

lurkyloo
04-13-2010, 12:52 PM
:rotfl::rotfl2::lmao:


The plane sounds lovely, what a sweetie Patrick is giving us his posh seat. The hotel room looks really nice but I find the bathroom window into the bedroom a bit odd!

Yeah, the blinds needed to be a little less see-through. :lmao: However, when you're doing non-naked things in the bathroom, it's nice to have the "borrowed" view out the windows in the main room!

So far everything is amazing! The plane ride didn't look too bad. Although I would need some sort of drug to knock me out for at least 6 hours of it or I would have gone nuts! The toilet is interesting! My husband is an engineer and I am sure we would have spent on hour playing with it. Then he would probably want one for the house. Not much of a Sushi fan. I have a problem with texture. But it looked yummy!

I could see that! In fact, I think most of my food aversions have more to do with texture than taste. Oh, and I'll bet your husband *would* end up wanting a bidet toilet for the house - Patrick sure does! :lmao:

Great update! How long was the flight?

Oh yeah! I forgot to put that in - it was 11ish hours going out and 9ish hours coming back. :thumbsup2

Yes JAL is a NICE airline, especially compared back to back with American Airlines, where the flight attendants were yelling at people :scared:

I was afraid to play "missile command" on the toilet when I was in japan, lol

Sushi looks awesome...and how was that Hershey bar? good?

Kinda... dusty and bland. The cookies sorta dissolved into dust in your mouth - maybe this is considered a delicacy in Japan!

:yay:Yay an update!
Plane sounds nice. Hotel looked good. My friend is a plumber and he was handed one of those fancy toilets at the end of an expo. It was hilarious trying to figure it out after he hooked it up in his house.:rotfl2:
7-11 Japanese slurpees?:idea:
Can't wait for more. :thumbsup2

I love that the plumbing expo was passing out free toilets like candy! :rotfl2:

I'm in!:banana:

Hiya! :cool1:

daisygirl902
04-13-2010, 05:59 PM
Subscribing! You've helped me so much in planning my wedding (I not only incessantly stalk you on the wedding boards, but bought the book too!)- now you can help me plan my future trip to Tokyo (FYI - this is in fact an imaginary trip that at this point only exists in the far reaches of my brain).

Can't wait to read about your experiences - love the pics and the amazing level of detail you put into your TRs!

PrincessShea
04-13-2010, 06:14 PM
Yea, can't wait to read along :woohoo:

Thank you so much for the detailed travel information. Hopefully I'll be able to use it next year :goodvibes And I am soooo happy PassPorter is coming out with a Tokyo guide because lord knows the Internet is pretty dry when it comes to TDL info!

Happydog
04-13-2010, 10:27 PM
Great post!! It is so fun to get the sense of a place through the writing and photos of other people! That airport looks huge! The hotel nice! Sushi, great! The blue swirly icecream... well....not so much. :laughing: Looking forward to more about Japan!

Thanks for sharing!!! :goodvibes

lovegrumpy
04-13-2010, 10:41 PM
Thats so cool that they have a 7-eleven in the hotel. When the boss went undercover for the company he said they had some oversees but I never really thought they did.

Wazzo
04-13-2010, 10:51 PM
But then I also still count with my fingers….


Me too!!! :rotfl:

Becx N Gav
04-14-2010, 10:49 AM
:rotfl::rotfl2::lmao:


The plane sounds lovely, what a sweetie Patrick is giving us his posh seat. The hotel room looks really nice but I find the bathroom window into the bedroom a bit odd!

When Pete from the Podcast went to Oz he had the same thing in one hotel - bit strange but I guess you get more light into an inside room :confused3

So Carrie, did you feel really tall there? I always imagine that Japanese people are quite short in general. Did you find them very polite too? I know you can't generalise whole population but you can get a feel for trends :goodvibes

Loving the report, I would so love to go but do you think I would be limited to what I could eat as I don't eat fish or seafood? I would hate to get there and have to eat McDonalds 3 times a day :crazy2:

GreatBiscuit
04-14-2010, 01:05 PM
Hey Carrie - here and reading, but mostly in lurkish stealth mode. About the only DIS time I squeeze in seems to be when I'm reading on my phone in the breakroom.

Great report so far. I can't wait to see how it all turns out. Kudos to Patrick again on his photo skills. His time with the Roots has definitely paid off!

MA pigletfan
04-14-2010, 01:25 PM
Great start!! WOW...that is some toilet!:rotfl:

taylor3297
04-14-2010, 02:08 PM
So Carrie, did you feel really tall there? I always imagine that Japanese people are quite short in general. Did you find them very polite too? I know you can't generalise whole population but you can get a feel for trends :goodvibes
I am 5 feet 5 inches and many people were taller than I was. Now my sorority sister who I was visiting who is 5 feet 11 inches and wears heels, she was taller than most.

Loving the report, I would so love to go but do you think I would be limited to what I could eat as I don't eat fish or seafood? I would hate to get there and have to eat McDonalds 3 times a day :crazy2:

There are plenty of other things to eat in Japan than fish. Yaki soba or Yaki Udon, also there are many chicken and beef dishes too. And if you get tired of McDonalds, you can always get a bucket of chicken at the KFC. Takarazuka where I stayed, had KFC, McDonalds, and Baskin Robbins.

disneyholic family
04-14-2010, 02:26 PM
So Carrie, did you feel really tall there? I always imagine that Japanese people are quite short in general. Did you find them very polite too? I know you can't generalise whole population but you can get a feel for trends :goodvibes



DD is 5' 11" tall with long blond hair.....you can bet she stood out in every way!!
she said they couldn't stop staring at her.....though they tried not to, but it's kind of hard to do when someone who looks so completely different is towering over everyone else...

but she LOVED japan and the japanese....she was only there for 3 weeks, but fell in total love...
i was so relieved....i was worried she would hate it after she'd heard me saying how great it is all her life....that she would be disappointed...
but she wasn't at all....she loved it as much as i do... :goodvibes

Janell
04-14-2010, 03:20 PM
Looks like your trip was off to a great start. :yay: I was just like you on my first night in Tokyo, its so hard to believe you are finally there. Dreaming about it for years and its finally here. Its a lot to take in all at once. :)
popcorn::Looking forward to reading more.popcorn::

cdotla
04-14-2010, 10:07 PM
Awesome start! Can't wait for more!!!:goodvibes

Kewz1
04-14-2010, 11:07 PM
I'm so excited to have found this! Looking forward to hearing more.

Kristen

MAGICFOR2
04-15-2010, 01:41 AM
Love the update on page 3! :goodvibes Patrick is such a gentleman to ride with you. Your hotel looks really swanky by Japanese standards! How fun to be having sushi in Tokyo! Can't wait to read more.

A-T-G
04-15-2010, 04:39 AM
An exciting start! I get giddy with delight at airports (as I am weird). The whole place just feels like it's vibrating with potential. Thanks for all the airport pics. Perhaps I will snap some during the Paris trip? I think I shall.

I cannot wait to see all the stuff you guys get up too. DH will surely bankrupt us the moment he steps foot in Japan (which is why we are doing Paris this year)! Thank you for doing these alternating (tandem?) TRs. I needz ma fix!

piglet50
04-15-2010, 08:40 PM
just found your trip report. i've read all of your adventures and have really enjoyed them. i don't comment much but just wanted to say that i feel like i've experienced your trips with you. thanks for sharing with us.

Ember
04-15-2010, 10:39 PM
Loving this so far!! Thanks for the pics and great writing!!

jwwi
04-15-2010, 10:55 PM
Love "I can see Russia......" You are too funny. Great pictures of your hotel room, with the weird bathroom window and toilet.

aharbin88
04-16-2010, 09:54 PM
After reading this (and the other) TR, I am struck by a few things:

1) I am completely impressed with your ability to write two TRs simultaneously. I am thoroughly intimidated at the thought of writing ONE, and here you are churning out reports like buttah! I am humbled, my friend.:worship:
2) I am also in awe of your trip planning prowess. Finding out which banks don't charge international transaction fees, getting a brand new credit card and checking account up, running, and accessible in under 2 weeks? There really needs to be some kind of award for that. Until one is invented, here you go: :wishgoal
3) I got that "I can't believe I'm really in Tokyo!" feeling when I looked at that picture of your view! If *I* can get that butterfly-in-the-belly feeling just from looking at the picture, I can't imagine how you felt. Were you exhilarated? Scared crapless? A little bit of both? I think I would be some of both. I have a major desire to travel abroad, but also that "Brokedown Palace" fear in the back of my mind.

Great TR! Anxiously awaiting more! :laundy: (This is what I do while I anxiously await)

xmansmom
04-17-2010, 04:04 PM
What a great thread. I'm just starting to plan a trip for July/August and I'm so I found this!!! Thank you so much for posting!:worship:

ampooh
04-17-2010, 10:33 PM
joining in......I can't wait to read your trippie.

auroralark
04-18-2010, 12:32 AM
Okay, I've always enjoyed reading your trip reports, but I tend to be a lurker. I will pop out to say that my DH and I are thinking about taking a trip to Japan next year, so I really can't wait to read all about your trip!

Petals & Pixie Dust
04-18-2010, 02:27 PM
Joining in! Can't wait for the rest...:surfweb:

nokanda
04-18-2010, 07:57 PM
hi, just another question...off to tdl tomm!
does miracosta have internet access...we have a laptop we would like to be able to use
thanks and looking forward to reading more!

lurkyloo
04-18-2010, 09:27 PM
Subscribing! You've helped me so much in planning my wedding (I not only incessantly stalk you on the wedding boards, but bought the book too!)- now you can help me plan my future trip to Tokyo (FYI - this is in fact an imaginary trip that at this point only exists in the far reaches of my brain).

I love it! And I think imaginary trips are a great place to start - that's how I learned so much about WDW, by reading and planning and plotting to get there for 6 years before I actually did!

Yea, can't wait to read along.

Thank you so much for the detailed travel information. Hopefully I'll be able to use it next year. And I am soooo happy PassPorter is coming out with a Tokyo guide because lord knows the Internet is pretty dry when it comes to TDL info!

Yeah, it's so frustrating how little English-language info there is on TDL. I think that's another thing that made the trip seem like such an unattainable goal for me, so I'm hoping the PassPorter remedies that for others.


Great post!! It is so fun to get the sense of a place through the writing and photos of other people! That airport looks huge! The hotel nice! Sushi, great! The blue swirly icecream... well....not so much.

Yeah, Patrick says it tasted "sharp" but he can't remember what flavor it was. :lmao:

Thats so cool that they have a 7-eleven in the hotel. When the boss went undercover for the company he said they had some oversees but I never really thought they did.

Believe it! I became a huge 7 Eleven fan in Tokyo...

Me too!!!

Oh good, it's not just me!


So Carrie, did you feel really tall there? I always imagine that Japanese people are quite short in general. Did you find them very polite too? I know you can't generalise whole population but you can get a feel for trends

I apparently have no concept of how tall I am, cuz I didn't really notice til I was complaining about a crowd and DH made me hunch down a little to see how much worse it would be if I were the same height as the crowd! :rotfl: And yes, I s'pose it's a generality, but everyone in the service industries was super-polite. Regular people walking down the street were a different story... some polite, some not, just like in any city, I s'pose.


Loving the report, I would so love to go but do you think I would be limited to what I could eat as I don't eat fish or seafood? I would hate to get there and have to eat McDonalds 3 times a day :crazy2:

No - I don't think you have to worry about this. I was sensitive to it cuz one of my friends can't eat seafood either and I want her to go. There is plenty of pork cutlet, and chicken, and then lots of egg-related dishes, so I think you can get by fine without eating seafood.

Hey Carrie - here and reading, but mostly in lurkish stealth mode. About the only DIS time I squeeze in seems to be when I'm reading on my phone in the breakroom.

Great report so far. I can't wait to see how it all turns out. Kudos to Patrick again on his photo skills. His time with the Roots has definitely paid off!

Hey, thanks! I'll pass along the compliment. Now get back to work, youse! :rotfl2:

Great start!! WOW...that is some toilet!

We totally want one now!



but she LOVED japan and the japanese....she was only there for 3 weeks, but fell in total love...
i was so relieved....i was worried she would hate it after she'd heard me saying how great it is all her life....that she would be disappointed...
but she wasn't at all....she loved it as much as i do...

That's so good to hear! It prolly didn't hurt that everyone made such a fuss over her. :)

Looks like your trip was off to a great start. I was just like you on my first night in Tokyo, its so hard to believe you are finally there. Dreaming about it for years and its finally here. Its a lot to take in all at once.

Yes! And I just hope I never took any of it for granted.

Awesome start! Can't wait for more!!!

Coming right up!

I'm so excited to have found this! Looking forward to hearing more.


Welcome aboard!

Love the update on page 3! Patrick is such a gentleman to ride with you. Your hotel looks really swanky by Japanese standards! How fun to be having sushi in Tokyo! Can't wait to read more.

That Patrick... he's a keeper! And yeah, I didn't realize til later just how swanky our hotel was. We really lucked out!


An exciting start! I get giddy with delight at airports (as I am weird). The whole place just feels like it's vibrating with potential. Thanks for all the airport pics.

I know exactly what you mean! It's that same feeling that made my mom want to become a flight attendant.

just found your trip report. i've read all of your adventures and have really enjoyed them. i don't comment much but just wanted to say that i feel like i've experienced your trips with you. thanks for sharing with us.

Thanks for leaving a note! I love lurkers... I used to be one myself!

Loving this so far!! Thanks for the pics and great writing!!

Great to see you over here! :wave2:

Love "I can see Russia......" You are too funny.

Yeah, I stole Patrick's zinger for that one... :teeth:

After reading this (and the other) TR, I am struck by a few things:

1) I am completely impressed with your ability to write two TRs simultaneously. I am thoroughly intimidated at the thought of writing ONE, and here you are churning out reports like buttah! I am humbled, my friend.
2) I am also in awe of your trip planning prowess. Finding out which banks don't charge international transaction fees, getting a brand new credit card and checking account up, running, and accessible in under 2 weeks? There really needs to be some kind of award for that. Until one is invented, here you go

You are so sweet! I think it's the travel author in me who needs to jam these things full of every step of every process. I just figure it might save someone else all the work!

Were you exhilarated? Scared crapless? A little bit of both? I think I would be some of both. I have a major desire to travel abroad, but also that "Brokedown Palace" fear in the back of my mind.

:rotfl: I think mostly I was exhilarated. I was just so excited about finally seeing and doing everything I'd read about in the book, and it turned out to be so easy to get around that I never worried about being lost.


What a great thread. I'm just starting to plan a trip for July/August and I'm so I found this!!! Thank you so much for posting!

Oooh! You get to go to TDL - how exciting! I hope there's something helpful in here for ya.


joining in......I can't wait to read your trippie.

Welcome! :flower3:

Okay, I've always enjoyed reading your trip reports, but I tend to be a lurker. I will pop out to say that my DH and I are thinking about taking a trip to Japan next year, so I really can't wait to read all about your trip!

Thanks for popping out of lurkdom! I hope you decide to go next year - I think you will love it!

Joining in! Can't wait for the rest...

Hi there! OK, some more is headed your way...

hi, just another question...off to tdl tomm!
does miracosta have internet access...we have a laptop we would like to be able to use
thanks and looking forward to reading more!

Yes! It's not Wifi, but they have an ethernet cable for you. The message on the screen will make it sound like you only get free access for 24 hours, but then you just get another 24 hours the next day.

lurkyloo
04-18-2010, 10:16 PM
On our first full day in Tokyo, I foolishly decided that Patrick should take the camera to the set with him because I didn’t want to lug it all over town. Which means that most of the photos I have for this day’s report are crappy iPhone pix. Sorry! Fortunately I had the camera with me the rest of the time.

We woke up pretty early and decided to get up and go looking for breakfast. Unfortunately, the only place open at 6am was McDonald’s. We figured at least we’d get to try their crazy Japanese food but found only Egg McMuffins on the menu.

This could be a McDonald’s breakfast anywhere!
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%202/DSC00555.jpg

The one difference was that the hashbrowns were amazing – light and crispy and greaseless. I guess that’s only to be expected in the country that invented tempura!

We sat upstairs at a counter under a window with a great view. From there, we spotted our first “secret” Japanese ad by an American star—a coffee vending machine with a giant picture of a bored-looking Tommy Lee Jones.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%202/DSC00556.jpg

It makes you wonder if he was the inspiration for Bill Murray’s character in Lost In Translation. Later I saw him in a TV ad for Boss coffee, speaking Japanese! Spotting endorsements by American stars who never shill anything in the States became one of our favorite pastimes.

After breakfast we went back to the room and Patrick fixed up one of the puppets while I read one of my guidebooks and fell back asleep for about an hour. We also took a couple more pix of the hotel room, such as this prize-winning shot of the closet.

I guess I wanted to show the room’s only storage space?
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%202/DSC00559.jpg

The toiletry collection was pretty impressive, if somewhat random (elastic headbands seem to be a big deal over there, cuz we got one in every room!). I read somewhere that the Japanese don’t travel with toiletries and that hotels supply everything you might need. This doesn’t really work if you’re a beauty-product, um, hooker like I am, but you could prolly get by if you were a guy.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%202/DSC00557.jpg

Another Japanese invention (I assume) that I thought was quite nifty – your hotel room key card activates the lights. You keep it in this tray while you’re in the room, and then when you leave and take it with you, all the lights automatically go out. The only problem is that it’s quite easy to forget to take your key with you when you leave!

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%202/DSC00558.jpg

Right before Patrick had to leave for the shoot, we grabbed a bite to eat at 7 Eleven (where I discovered these delicious crabby-eggy rice thingies – mmmm!) and ate it on a bench outside the hotel. I know, I know – we just ate! But we both found that all we wanted to do those first few days was eat every single food product we saw.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%202/DSC00560.jpg

We were there almost three weeks, but I never did get the hang of opening the elaborately wrapped onigiri (rice trangles stuffed with meat or veggie filling and wrapped in seaweed). The wrappers have all these arrows and numbers all over them… I don’t know what I was doing wrong!

Goofus

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%202/DSC00561.jpg


Gallant

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%202/DSC00562.jpg


After lunch, Patrick went off to the studio with the camera. Until the ad debuts on April 20, the only photos I can show you from the set are these:


Craft services snack basket

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%202/DSC00563.jpg



Apparently each group at the shoot got one of these – the puppeteers, the execs, the crew. But only the puppeteers’ basket was perpetually left empty and spinning…



Patrick spots a freshly refilled snack basket

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%202/DSC00567.jpg

I decided I’d spend the day checking out all the fabulous shopping areas I was interested in, since that was something Patrick wouldn’t be as interested in and wouldn’t feel left out of.

I went across the street to the subway station and bought my PASMO subway pass at the office because I was intimidated by the machines. I needn’t have worried – I used them the next day to buy Patrick’s pass and had no trouble. I forgot to put a little description of these in my intro, and it’s one of the best tips I learned for our trip, so here ya go:

PASMO/Suica: These prepaid fare cards can be used on virtually all subways, railways, and buses in Tokyo, public and private, including the Disney Resort Monorail line, and they are also accepted as a form of payment by many merchants in and around train stations. Instead of having to figure out what ticket you need for each journey (and then use the fare adjustment machines at the end of your trip if you didn’t pay enough), you charge the card up like a gift card and then just swipe it over the reader at the turnstiles on your way in and out of the station. The turnstiles also display the amount remaining on the card as you walk by.

There are two brands of these cards—PAMSO and Suica—but they are interchangeable. You can use them anywhere either of them is accepted. The one you buy basically just depends on which brand is sold at the station where you’re buying the card. When you buy the it, you are charged a ¥500 refundable deposit, which you can get back at any PASMO/Suica machine at the end of your trip. You can recharge the card at the same kind of machine, which is found next to the ticket machines at the station. One thing to note: You can only buy and recharge these cards with cash—for some reason, the machines don’t accept credit cards, and you can’t even use credit if you buy them from an agent at the station office. You have a choice of buying an anonymous card or linking your name and info to the card. If you do the latter, you can easily replace the card if it is lost or stolen (for a small fee – but you retain the stored value on the card).

So I bought my PASMO and picked up an English language subway map. Then I took the subway to Tokyo Midtown, a newish office/mall/hotel complex that’s prolly the most beautiful mall I’ve ever seen. And I have no pictures for you, except of the art installation out front.


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%202/IMG_3659.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%202/IMG_3657.jpg

However, I’ve put together a gallery of images on Flickr – check it out: http://www.flickr.com/photos/85907592@N00/galleries/72157623884512556/

And here’s a heisted Flickr pic from user TokyoViews
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%202/Midtown-TokyoViewsdotcom.jpg


My first stop was Muji, a housewares store that was my absolute favorite place to shop when I lived in London. No pictures here either (there’s one in the Flickr set) but basically they specialize in well designed, well priced basics and sell everything from clothes and beauty products to office supplies and cleaning products. Now that good design has become more widely available in the States, my reaction to Muji this time was kinda like, “…So what was my big deal with this place?”

Tokyo Midtown is also jam-packed with these gorgeous, jewel box-like confectioners – patisseries, chocolatiers, and fabulous bread bakeries. They seem to love their French food in Tokyo. Almost all of the shops had signs on the display cases that said “No Photography,” but I found a shot from Flickr user chaxiubao for ya, and there’s a picture of one of the most beautiful patisseries in my Flickr set.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%202/TokyoMidtownPatisserie.jpg

Until a few weeks ago, Tokyo Midtown was home to the tallest *building* in Tokyo (the tallest *structure* being Tokyo Tower – apparently there’s a difference), Midtown Tower. While we were in town, both were surpassed by a new skyscraper, Tokyo Sky Tree, which will actually be nearly twice as tall as Tokyo Tower when it’s done. Crazy! I briefly considered going up to the restaurant in the Ritz inside Midtown Tower to see the view, but I didn’t want to have to pay $40 for tea. Plus, Patrick woulda killed me if I’d gone without him!

Next I hoofed it over to Roppongi Hills, another glamorous mall complex and home to Tokyo City View (10th – no wait, 11th now…? – tallest building in Tokyo, for those of you playing along at home). One of its most famous sites is the ginormous spider sculpture, called Maman.

I couldn’t get one good shot of it, so I’ll give you two bad ones…

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%202/IMG_3660.jpg

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%202/IMG_3661.jpg


And I thought somebody might be interested in this…

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%202/IMG_3662.jpg


Maybe I was starting to get mall-ed out, but I was kinda underwhelmed—it’s more about monolithic slabs of concrete and labyrinthine levels and half levels that make it impossible to get anyplace that looks fun to explore.

Thank you Flikr user peter_r
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%202/RoppongiHillspeterr.jpg

I took a break in the lobby of the Hyatt to read my guidebook. I was bored and tired, so I decided to catch the subway to Ginza and go looking for a place mentioned in the book, 100% Chocolate Café. What could be bad? When I got up, a guy ran after me waving the bookmark I dropped, which made me love Tokyo even more.

So this is when I learned never to exit the subway without looking at the map and figuring out where I’d end up. When I got out there, everything looked the same, and nothing looked like the map in my book. I was wandering around, neck craned, mouth agape, guidebook clutched to my chest, when a stranger walked up to me and asked if I needed help – just like the guidebook said would happen! I pointed to 100% Chocolate Café in my book, and he motioned for me to follow him around the corner and right up to it. Fabulous!

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%202/IMG_3663.jpg


The cafe is very chic and very tiny. I figured out later that it’s owned by Meiji, which is sort of the Néstle of Japan, and is like the flagship boutique for their chocolate division.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%202/IMG_3666.jpg

The back wall is lined with cases containing tubs of the various different kinds of chocolate they make—which may or may not have been real. Japan is the birthplace of the fake food display, after all…

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%202/IMG_3667.jpg

They sell 56 varieties of chocolate bar, but they only have about three things on their menu! I guess I thought it would be, like, the Cheesecake Factory of chocolate. I got a small slice of cake with whipped chocolate frosting, which was OK. However, the hot chocolate was the best I’ve ever had (made from melted chocolate, not powder), and frankly it was just fun to be there, in 100% Chocolate Cafe.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%202/IMG_3665.jpg

My Japanese wasn’t good enough to learn any of this from the girls at the counter, but I later read on the Internets that the chocolates are numbered in a particular order. 1–22 are single-bean chocolate from the cacao of one country. 23 and 24 are bitter chocolate with small pieces of cacao beans. 24–28 use different kinds of sweeteners (I tried the maple one), while 26–36 are the variations of milk. 37–51 are variations of flavors including fruits and herbs (they gave me a sample of lavender, and yep! It tasted like lavender!) 52–54 are the “healthy” ones, and 55 and 56 are the historical flavors. I liked the one from 1926!

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%202/IMG_3668.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%202/IMG_3669.jpg

lurkyloo
04-18-2010, 10:28 PM
After that I wandered down the main drag in Ginza, which is Tokyo’s answer to Beverly Hills, stopping in big shiny department stores to look at makeup and accessories. I stumbled across this amazing Chanel pop-up store designed to promote some new lipgloss or lipstick. It had a row of makeup mirrors, and professional makeup artists were giving makeovers! I tried to sign up, but they were booked for the rest of the promotion – weeks and weeks.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%202/IMG_3673.jpg

Finally I got to Ito-ya, the biggest stationery shop in Tokyo. The guidebook said it was 3 floors, but it was really 8 floors, one devoted to office supplies, one just pens, one all datebooks and journals, etc. I was on a mission to find cute Japanese stationery for my pal Jensey, who’d given me a generous budget and free reign to pick whatever I thought was the best.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%202/IMG_3671.jpg

After exploring 7 floors, I was kinda disappointed I’d only found one cute set of stationery for Jensey. And then I went down to the basement and hit the jackpot – holy crap, it was wall-to-wall adorable stationery sets exactly like she wanted! And there was a whole corner of just Disney stuff that was gorgeous—super-classy, some of it die-cut, all of it sweet enough to give you a toothache. So I got her a few too many things (like these dumb 3D postcards – the 3D is amazing, but the images are mostly silly. And I thought they were ¥80, but it turns out that’s how much postage they need—they were actually ¥525!)

My Ito-ya haul
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%202/DSC00703.jpg

Afterward, I poked my head in Hotel Gracery Ginza (http://www.gracery.com/en/ginza/index.html), the place we were going to stay before I started worrying about having to make subway connections with luggage on the way back from Disney. I’d still consider it for a future trip – I was able to book an amazing rate of $100/night directly through their website before I changed my mind. The location can’t be beat – right around the corner from Chuo-Dori, the main drag, and fairly close to the Ginza subway station. The rooms are stylish and look no smaller than those of most budget Tokyo hotels.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%202/IMG_3677.jpg

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%202/IMG_3678.jpg


From there it was more wandering into department stores and stuff. I found a giant poster of Michael Buble, which I was compelled to shoot for Jensey.

Amazingly, he’s not selling anything… except himself!
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%202/IMG_3676.jpg

At the end of the main drag I found Hakuhinkan Toy Park, a ginormous 4-level toy store full of more Westerners than I’d seen anywhere since we left San Francisco. One whole floor was plush, and there was a huge display of Totoro merch.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%202/IMG_3680.jpg

Knowing that we were going to the Ghibli museum in a few weeks, I resisted the urge to buy anything. But now I wish I hadn’t, cuz the shop there had hardly any plush or toys—very disappointing.

I knew I had to bring Patrick back to this place, if only to shoot a pic of him with this guy:

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%202/IMG_3679.jpg

Until then, I got us some cute blind-box toys from a series of animals in cups (we got a parakeet in a teacup and a squirrel in a soup bowl). Then I wandered a few blocks away to the Sony demonstration store and watched 3D TV. Can’t wait til I can afford that!

My last excursion was a search for the Hermes store. I’d noticed a lot of designers made inexpensive toaru—the little hand towels that many Japanese carry with them because so few public restrooms have paper towels. My pal Anita collects Hermes scarves, and while there’s no way I could afford to bring her back one of those, I thought maybe they’d also sell toaru. Trying to find Hermes turned out to be a big adventure and the first test of my Japanese. It started when I spotted a woman in a kimono toting an Hermes shopping bag and asked her “Hermes, doko deska?”

(Actual woman not pictured)
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%202/IMG_3683.jpg

Asking the question turned out to be the easy part – it’s understanding the answer that I had trouble with! I only got so far before I needed to find someone else to ask, so I popped into a mens' store, and later Dolce & Gabbana. Following this sort of breadcrumb trail of information from person to person, I finally spotted Hermes. When the two men smoking out front saw me stop, gasp, and whip out my camera, they scooted sideways until they were out of the shot...

I guess this other guy wanted to be in the shot!

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%202/IMG_3684.jpg

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%202/IMG_3685.jpg

It was an amazingly designed store, and the toaru were amazingly priced at ¥10,900 yen. Sorry, Anita! Hope ya like hotel headbands!

It was getting to be dinnertime, so I wandered around Ginza looking for a restaurant that wasn’t in a basement or a windowless department store. I found a moderately priced place on Chuo-dori and had a sort of Coquilles St. Jaques for under ¥2000. (No pix! Argh!)

When I got back to the hotel, we’d been moved to the bigger room they’d promised us… and I HATED it! It may have been slightly bigger, but it was dark, sat half a floor below ground level, faced a dirt patch in front of a concrete wall, and had windows you couldn’t open.

The last part was the deal breaker for me because Akasaka Excel Tokyu Hotel is one of those hotels where the thermostat in your room doesn't work unless they've turned on AC for the whole building... which they hadn't... and it was so stuffy in there I could barely breathe.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%202/IMG_3686.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%202/IMG_3691.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%202/IMG_3690.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%202/IMG_3689.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%202/IMG_3687.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%202/IMG_3688.jpg


I kinda freaked out and practically started hyperventilating when I called the front desk and the guy said there were no other rooms available til Sunday. Then I pulled it together and decided to try asking someone else, so I went down to the front desk. This time I got a guy who set to work immediately, dashing between two computers and typing furiously until he turned up a room just like our old one, but on the 10th floor – hooray!!!

The rest of the night was spent unpacking in our new room and getting us all settled in for the next 5 days.

Up Next: A visit to a real Mitsukoshi department store, and it’s not anything like the one in Epcot!

Wazzo
04-18-2010, 11:24 PM
This is the coolest TR EVER!!!!!!! :lovestruc

A-T-G
04-19-2010, 12:06 AM
I love the TR - I find ever single bit of it fascinating. And extra thanks for the pics of "H". That one is supposed to be AWESOME. I'm going to "The Mothership" in Paris (if that dang dust cloud ever dissipates). Your stationary haul is truly, truly epic. I'm sure there were squeees of joy when the package was opened.

I cannot get over the fantastic packaging! Every single food stuff looks sooooo pretty! How can you resist them? You can't! Thanks for that update!

Janell
04-19-2010, 01:14 AM
Ohhhh the 100% Chocolate place looks wonderful. It would be so tempting to try each number. lol What you ordered looks so good. :)

I am so with you, I too hate hotel rooms where you can't control the thermostat. Did you know that when you booked? If not that really is something they should state in their room descriptions.

How was your bed in this hotel? I ask because the hotel we stayed at in Tokyo(non-Disney) the beds were very hard. And there was something up with the pillows. One side was soft and one side, well Im not sure what was in it, but it was far from soft. lol I wasn't sure if it was just the hotel we were at or if its a Japanese thing. So thats why I ask how your bed was.

burly
04-19-2010, 01:35 AM
This is sooooo awesome...:worship:

LittleStinkerbelle
04-19-2010, 09:19 AM
Sounds like a great shopping adventure! Love the chocolate cafe. And nice haul of toiletries at the hotel:thumbsup2.

Princess_K
04-19-2010, 09:21 AM
Sounds like another great day! Looking forward to the next update :)

Chilly
04-19-2010, 09:54 AM
We have the key cards that turn on the lights in the UK as well, and a similar train ticket system.

I didn't know you used to live in London Carrie? What did you do over here?

lurkyloo
04-19-2010, 01:00 PM
This is the coolest TR EVER!!!!!!!

:rotfl2: Gawrsh, thanks! :goofy:

I love the TR - I find ever single bit of it fascinating. And extra thanks for the pics of "H". That one is supposed to be AWESOME. I'm going to "The Mothership" in Paris (if that dang dust cloud ever dissipates). Your stationary haul is truly, truly epic. I'm sure there were squeees of joy when the package was opened.

I cannot get over the fantastic packaging! Every single food stuff looks sooooo pretty! How can you resist them? You can't! Thanks for that update!

Oh no! I hope the dust cloud doesn't cancel your trip - I'm dying to see your pix from Disneyland Paris and, of course, The Mothership. :teeth:



I am so with you, I too hate hotel rooms where you can't control the thermostat. Did you know that when you booked? If not that really is something they should state in their room descriptions.

Nope - no mention. I think the only reason I knew about it was from reading descriptions of of other hotels on TripAdvisor. I should prolly post my review there too...

How was your bed in this hotel? I ask because the hotel we stayed at in Tokyo(non-Disney) the beds were very hard. And there was something up with the pillows. One side was soft and one side, well Im not sure what was in it, but it was far from soft. lol I wasn't sure if it was just the hotel we were at or if its a Japanese thing. So thats why I ask how your bed was.

I think our bed was prolly pretty firm. I like a firm mattress, though, so I didn't really notice. DH is more of a squishy mattress guy, but he seemed OK. And yes! The pillows at this hotel (and only this one) were unusual. One was memory foam and one was filled with buckwheat. I have a completely irrational phobia of beanbags, but I did OK with the buckwheat pillow. :cutie:

This is sooooo awesome...:worship:

:rotfl: Glad you're enjoying it, despite the distinct lack of Disney so far...


Sounds like a great shopping adventure! Love the chocolate cafe. And nice haul of toiletries at the hotel

...And haul I did - on the way home, about 1/3 of my suitcase was taken up by purloined hotel toiletries! :lmao:

Sounds like another great day! Looking forward to the next update

Me too! It's the day before the first day I went to Disney!

We have the key cards that turn on the lights in the UK as well, and a similar train ticket system.

I didn't know you used to live in London Carrie? What did you do over here?

And don't you guys have better cell phones than we do too? It's our dearth of public transportation (well, at least in LA) that really gets me, though.

I lived in London in the late '90s, right after college, and had two jobs: one at an audio music magazine (meaning it came on CD!) and the other at The Body Shop in Piccadilly Circus. I loved it - I'd always been an Anglophile, plus it was my first time living in a big city. After I got back to the US I spent a year trying to figure out a way to get another job back there, but it's pretty difficult unless you can find someone to sponsor you. But I love to visit! :goodvibes

Happydog
04-19-2010, 01:30 PM
Okay, that Chocolate shop looks AMAZING, and all the wrapped up food items, yes, too cute, the packaging for everything in Japan seems like half the fun! It is like a "Bento Box" with sushi... I love ordering it just for the presentation alone! :laughing: I cant get over the Japanese love of desserts and elaborate sweets! Neat pics of all the shopping places, etc. I am cracking up that you are hitting all the American staples -- 7 Eleven, Mickey D's, etc.. :rolleyes: Love the strawberry cake art! Little did they know how CAKE is your second hobby!

Aburns8
04-19-2010, 01:38 PM
Everything looks amazing! I can't wait to go there one day!

Handbag Lady
04-19-2010, 02:47 PM
Wow, I there is NO way I can go to Japan. I'd have to just eat at McDonald's and then I'd get really mad for being too chicken to try the other food. (I am a picky eater; what a horrible curse to have.)

I have a question. When you were taking the picture of Hermes and the two fellows jumped out of your picture, it spurred a thought in my pea brain. Are American tourists in Japan seen as we see Japanese tourists in America? Yes, I am referring to the cameras and taking pictures of everything. When I worked at DL, a large percentage of the Japanese tourists were ALWAYS taking my picture, taking pictures of themselves in the stores (I worked mostly at the Emporium and Clothiers), and then taking pictures of each other taking pictures. I would assume that the men jumping out of your picture was in respect for them to not be in them; not that they thought you were trying to take their picture.

WriteDisney
04-19-2010, 05:41 PM
I love your TR! I've read your last few and there so funny and insightful. I can't wait to read more, thanks for keeping us entertained!

aharbin88
04-19-2010, 06:57 PM
Did I see COLLAGEN flavored chocolate???? Maybe you should have brought a few of those back to the States and tossed a few on Heidi Montag's front lawn. Spencer might as well have something collagen flavored that has some nutritional value.

PrincessShea
04-19-2010, 10:30 PM
^ LOL, aharbin88

Great update :thumbsup2 This ice cream store by us had lilac and lavender ice cream once and it was the greatest thing I've ever had. And then they never had it again. So I've been chasing the lavender dragon ever since! Now I know where to go get it!

Was it awkward going in Hermes? I keep telling myself that I WILL go into the original Chanel store in Paris this summer and buy lipgloss or something, but I am so afraid that I will get the "get out of here, peasant" stares :rotfl:

A-T-G
04-19-2010, 11:54 PM
Was it awkward going in Hermes? I keep telling myself that I WILL go into the original Chanel store in Paris this summer and buy lipgloss or something, but I am so afraid that I will get the "get out of here, peasant" stares :rotfl:

Don't be intimidated, PrincessShea! Especially if you are walking in with the intent on buying something! Just expect them to ignore you a teensy tiny bit - don't get flustered by it. Just wander over to the lippy stuff, and start playing with it. Someone will come see what they can do for you. Just smile nicely and tell them what you're looking for. Don't say you're just looking (unless you really are) as they'll forget all about you! Walk into any store like the Princess you are, and folks'll be happy to assist you! Honest! Even fancy stores.

Go get 'em, Tiger(lily)! :cheer2:

Disneygrl36
04-20-2010, 11:11 AM
Ok I'm here finally (stupid puter). Loving this so far & really fascinated by all the differences in things over there.
I really did LOL when you were describing you & Patrick playing with the toilet in the room.:lmao:
Loved, loved, loved the stationery haul for Jensey. How cute was that stuff!
Can't wait to read more.....it seems like it was such a cool trip.

Corbisblue
04-20-2010, 11:51 AM
This is an amazing Trip Report! I am going to Japan for a month in June to visit with friends and family. My friend and I are planning on going to Tokyo Disneyland and we are super pumped!

I used to live in Japan back in 2003 and I love reading about people's reactions and adventures in Japan. It's always great to see! I can related to a lot you experienced.

You've inspired me to write up a trip report for everyone when I go! I'll probably end up doing it while I'm there since I'm there for a month.

Corbisblue
04-20-2010, 11:56 AM
I got so excited that I replied twice...haha. Oops.

auroralark
04-21-2010, 06:32 PM
Great installment!

Sorry if you already answered this, but what guidebooks did you use? Which ones did you think were the best?

Goldeelox9
04-21-2010, 11:29 PM
Great Update....Sounds like so much fun!!! I can not wait to read more! Somehow I just know I am not going to get much work done tomorrow. I will be checking this TR every few minutes! LOL

lurkyloo
04-22-2010, 12:13 AM
Okay, that Chocolate shop looks AMAZING, and all the wrapped up food items, yes, too cute, the packaging for everything in Japan seems like half the fun! It is like a "Bento Box" with sushi... I love ordering it just for the presentation alone! I cant get over the Japanese love of desserts and elaborate sweets! Neat pics of all the shopping places, etc. I am cracking up that you are hitting all the American staples -- 7 Eleven, Mickey D's, etc.

I know - I totally didn't wanna be that guy who goes to a foreign country and then only frequents American chains! But McDonald's was the only place open that early, consarn it!

Everything looks amazing! I can't wait to go there one day!

It's totally amazing! You will love it!

Wow, I there is NO way I can go to Japan. I'd have to just eat at McDonald's and then I'd get really mad for being too chicken to try the other food. (I am a picky eater; what a horrible curse to have.)

No no no! Don't say that! I want you to be able to go to Japan! :cutie: They have plenty of non-fish dishes, and there are hardly any green vegetables or fruit at all! :rotfl: Believe me, I can be really picky too, and I did OK!

I have a question. When you were taking the picture of Hermes and the two fellows jumped out of your picture, it spurred a thought in my pea brain. Are American tourists in Japan seen as we see Japanese tourists in America?

I wondered that too—we have the stereotype of the Japanese tourist with a camera around his neck. Maybe they have the same one of us!


I love your TR! I've read your last few and there so funny and insightful. I can't wait to read more, thanks for keeping us entertained!

Thanks for reading along—I'm so glad you're enjoying it!

Did I see COLLAGEN flavored chocolate???? Maybe you should have brought a few of those back to the States and tossed a few on Heidi Montag's front lawn. Spencer might as well have something collagen flavored that has some nutritional value.

:rotfl2: HIGH-larious! I was super-curious about that one, but too creeped out to try it. I mean, what if it had, like, actual HUMAN collagen in it? :scared:




Was it awkward going in Hermes? I keep telling myself that I WILL go into the original Chanel store in Paris this summer and buy lipgloss or something, but I am so afraid that I will get the "get out of here, peasant" stares

I know - what is it with intimidating cosmetics sales ladies? I remember growing up in a tiny town in Northern California I was scared to go to the MAC counter in big, bad Sacramento! :lmao: I always had to remind myself that they were just glorified clerks (no offense to my MAC sales lady readers...). I think the same applies in Chanel or Hermes or anywhere. And in Japan, everybody's so polite, there's really no drama at all.

Ok I'm here finally (stupid puter). Loving this so far & really fascinated by all the differences in things over there.
I really did LOL when you were describing you & Patrick playing with the toilet in the room.
Loved, loved, loved the stationery haul for Jensey. How cute was that stuff!
Can't wait to read more.....it seems like it was such a cool trip.

Yay! Good to see you here! :wave2:

This is an amazing Trip Report! I am going to Japan for a month in June to visit with friends and family. My friend and I are planning on going to Tokyo Disneyland and we are super pumped!

I used to live in Japan back in 2003 and I love reading about people's reactions and adventures in Japan. It's always great to see! I can related to a lot you experienced.

You've inspired me to write up a trip report for everyone when I go! I'll probably end up doing it while I'm there since I'm there for a month.

Cool! This board definitely needs more info on Tokyo, and you'll have plenty for us after a month. I think starting while you're there is a great idea, too - it makes it less daunting when you get back.

Great installment!

Sorry if you already answered this, but what guidebooks did you use? Which ones did you think were the best?

Good question - I meant to mention that! My favorite was the Rough Guide to Tokyo. I liked the readability of the layout and how comprehensive it was. I carried it everywhere. Don't tell my MIL, but the DK Guide to Tokyo she very kindly gave me turned out to be missing a lot and adding very little when compared to the Rough Guide. And I just found the format more appealing than the Lonely Planet Guide.

Apparently most companies only update their Japan guides every few years, and the Rough Guide is due for it, but I only had one instance where its being out of date affected me (a museum that turned out to be closed for renovation).

Great Update....Sounds like so much fun!!! I can not wait to read more! Somehow I just know I am not going to get much work done tomorrow. I will be checking this TR every few minutes! LOL

:rotfl: No worries - I'm alternating updates with my Christmas report (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=34861212), so this one won't get another for a few more days.

lurkyloo
04-22-2010, 12:36 AM
So they just debuted the ad campaign that Patrick's company was working on in Tokyo, and Swazzle's puppets are all over Subaru's Japanese site (http://www.subaru.jp/lucra/lucra_special/).

It's all in Japanese, and the site is in Flash so I can't give you direct links, but I grabbed some screenshots and doctored them up with big red arrows to show you where to go to see the ads!


http://www.subaru.jp/lucra/lucra_special/



On the main page, click the third pink tab from the left...

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/SubaruMainPage.jpg



Then click in these 4 places for the 2 ads and the 2 behind-the-scenes features.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/SubaruMediaPagecopy.jpg


I'm so proud! :banana:

kristamil
04-22-2010, 12:47 AM
OK, Carrie! You have finally pulled me out of my lurkdom to comment on this phenomenal TR!! :thumbsup2

I have been a (quiet) fan of yours since you first posted your Wedding TR and I was also in awe of the lovely Root photos of your event!

I don't know if I will ever get to TokyoDL, but I will certainly enjoy reading about your adventures for the time being!

My family and I are actually planning our first trip to your "stomping grounds" in June. We are staying at the Disneyland Hotel. :woohoo:

Can't wait to hear more!

blabbermouth
04-22-2010, 01:12 AM
Wow, I love Patrick's puppets! They're so cute. Reminds me of the Kia commercial with the giant sock monkey etc. But umm, weird question, what happens to those puppets now? Do they get used for other stuff? Or do they go to a "better (puppet) place"?

Also, this is definitely the most interesting trip report I've read for awhile! As opposed to 'here is a photo of illuminations... And it's not even disney yet. Kudos to you for being so brave in a pretty foreign city, it'd take me a few days to warm up I think.

Love the stationary and hearing about all the other stores you visited. Shopping is especially exciting when you're in a different place, as long as it's not too expensive of course.

MAGICFOR2
04-22-2010, 04:06 AM
Amazing TR, Carrie! I'm loving your Japanese adventure! No fish sandwiches for breakfast?

We found that most Okinawans don't want their pictures taken randomly, and we had to ask them for permission if they were going to be in our shots, maybe it is like that in Japan too? :confused3

Loved the Chocolate Cafe - much better looking than the cat cafe!

Patrick's commercials turned out great! The long-tongued guys reminded me of "Whassup!" from about 13 yrs ago.

torsie24
04-22-2010, 04:45 AM
Love your TR so far Carrie!!

Can't wait for more! I'd love love love to visit Japan!

Aburns8
04-22-2010, 07:37 AM
The puppets are great! I love it! It is interesting how different countries advertise. We have boring advertising compared to Japan.

Lifelong_Dreamer
04-22-2010, 08:56 AM
I am so excited that I found your report! I am dying to visit Japan someday, hopefully once I am done school in a few years.

I remember reading your amazing wedding report so I was elated when I was browsing the Tokyo Disney forum and saw your familiar name. :goodvibes

I can't wait to read all about your trip!

Petals & Pixie Dust
04-22-2010, 09:18 AM
That 100% Chocolate Cafe makes me want to add Tokyo to my list of places to go!
mmm...Chocolate! :thumbsup2

Happydog
04-22-2010, 09:49 AM
YAY! How adorable those puppets! I love the "jaw drop" expresssions and the octopus I want IT!!!!!

Can't wait to read more of your TR!

Princess_K
04-22-2010, 10:22 AM
Thanks for posting the ads. They were great! I enjoyed the behind the scenes video. It was neat to see how the videos with puppets are made...hello, green outfits :thumbsup2

Becx N Gav
04-22-2010, 10:25 AM
I lived in London in the late '90s, right after college, and had two jobs: one at an audio music magazine (meaning it came on CD!) and the other at The Body Shop in Piccadilly Circus. I loved it - I'd always been an Anglophile, plus it was my first time living in a big city. After I got back to the US I spent a year trying to figure out a way to get another job back there, but it's pretty difficult unless you can find someone to sponsor you. But I love to visit! :goodvibes

And don't forget you ate prawn cocktail crisps and Cadburys creme eggs :rotfl:

So they just debuted the ad campaign that Patrick's company was working on in Tokyo, and Swazzle's puppets are all over Subaru's Japanese site (http://www.subaru.jp/lucra/lucra_special/).

It's all in Japanese, and the site is in Flash so I can't give you direct links, but I grabbed some screenshots and doctored them up with big red arrows to show you where to go to see the ads!


http://www.subaru.jp/lucra/lucra_special/



On the main page, click the third pink tab from the left...

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/SubaruMainPage.jpg



Then click in these 4 places for the 2 ads and the 2 behind-the-scenes features.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/SubaruMediaPagecopy.jpg


I'm so proud! :banana:

Wow that looks really cool (just from the screen shots - I'll have to watch it at home) he must be very proud to have been asked to be a part of that :goodvibes

About the breakfasts, did you have a traditional Japanese brekkie? If so what did it consist of? Breakfast is one of my favourite meals to have in a different country, we spent 2 weeks in Germany when I was about 8 and I loved all the meat and cheese they had with bread - simple but it fills you up :thumbsup2

Thanks for sharing your shopping tour, I loved the pics of the malls, they all look so posh. And those cute plush toys - I hope you got at least one?

A-T-G I hope you get to Fance ok :hug: We're due to fly to Barcelona on Saturday and have been going up and down this week!

MA pigletfan
04-22-2010, 11:19 AM
Great updates!! Wow...Tokyo looks amazing!!! That chocolate store looked too cool..and i love love that stationary!

Disneygrl36
04-22-2010, 11:57 AM
OMG Carrie those commercials are amazing. The puppets are so cuddly cute. You really have a truly talented hubby. Thanks for sharing that!

lurkyloo
04-22-2010, 01:12 PM
OK, Carrie! You have finally pulled me out of my lurkdom to comment on this phenomenal TR!!

I have been a (quiet) fan of yours since you first posted your Wedding TR and I was also in awe of the lovely Root photos of your event!

I don't know if I will ever get to TokyoDL, but I will certainly enjoy reading about your adventures for the time being!

My family and I are actually planning our first trip to your "stomping grounds" in June. We are staying at the Disneyland Hotel.

Can't wait to hear more!

Welcome out of lurkdom! :wave2: And thanks for you kind comments! How exciting to have your first trip to Disneyland - I miss that "first-time" excitement, although I still love the place of course. Let me know if you need any tips or have any questions I might be able to answer about SoCal/Disneyland!

Wow, I love Patrick's puppets! They're so cute. Reminds me of the Kia commercial with the giant sock monkey etc. But umm, weird question, what happens to those puppets now? Do they get used for other stuff? Or do they go to a "better (puppet) place"?

Right now the puppets are in storage in the US, so they can potentially be used for more commercials. But Subaru may order a set of "show" puppets to display in their offices. Me, I just want to order the adorable otter cell phone charm they're selling! :rotfl:

Amazing TR, Carrie! I'm loving your Japanese adventure! No fish sandwiches for breakfast?

We found that most Okinawans don't want their pictures taken randomly, and we had to ask them for permission if they were going to be in our shots, maybe it is like that in Japan too?

I think it must be - when I was touring the wedding sites I was told I couldn't shoot any room that had people in it (well, they let me shoot all those brides...), so I had to aim over their heads. It certainly doesn't fit with the stereotype of Japanese people being nutty for photography!


Love your TR so far Carrie!!

Can't wait for more! I'd love love love to visit Japan!

I really hope you get a chance to! My aim with this trip report is to show people how accessible it is... and that they should just go for it! :goodvibes

The puppets are great! I love it! It is interesting how different countries advertise. We have boring advertising compared to Japan.

And shorter! I guess the average ad length over there is 15 seconds. :happytv:

I am so excited that I found your report! I am dying to visit Japan someday, hopefully once I am done school in a few years.

I remember reading your amazing wedding report so I was elated when I was browsing the Tokyo Disney forum and saw your familiar name.
I can't wait to read all about your trip!

You're so sweet - thanks for joining in! :flower3:

That 100% Chocolate Cafe makes me want to add Tokyo to my list of places to go!
mmm...Chocolate!

Definitely. I wish they'd franchise them... and then bring them to the US!

YAY! How adorable those puppets! I love the "jaw drop" expresssions and the octopus I want IT!!!!

Me too! He's definitely my favorite... :cutie:

Thanks for posting the ads. They were great! I enjoyed the behind the scenes video. It was neat to see how the videos with puppets are made...hello, green outfits

Yeaaaahhhh... I noticed the camera didn't linger too long on the guys - those green-screen suits show it all! :rotfl2:

And don't forget you ate prawn cocktail crisps and Cadburys creme eggs

My hips haven't forgotten... :rotfl:



About the breakfasts, did you have a traditional Japanese brekkie? If so what did it consist of?

I think we did... I know it usually consists of fish, salad, rice and soup—which sounds fabulous to me cuz I'm not a big fan of most cold American breakfasts (cereal, fruit, muffins). But my favorite is the traditional English breakfast! :thumbsup2

Thanks for sharing your shopping tour, I loved the pics of the malls, they all look so posh. And those cute plush toys - I hope you got at least one?

No one can buy just one! :lmao: I think I got at least three...

Hope you're able to get to Barcelona this weekend!

Great updates!! Wow...Tokyo looks amazing!!! That chocolate store looked too cool..and i love love that stationary!

Seriously! SOOOOO much cute stationery. And cute stuffed animals. And candy. We always spend most of our WDW souvenir budget in Mitsukoshi department store, so Tokyo was kind of like shopping nirvana for us!

OMG Carrie those commercials are amazing. The puppets are so cuddly cute. You really have a truly talented hubby. Thanks for sharing that!

:hug: Thanks! I'll pass along the compliment!

LittleStinkerbelle
04-22-2010, 06:08 PM
The commercials turned out great!!! I love how things in Japan have such a high cuteness factor!

Bibbidi
04-22-2010, 06:37 PM
I love the ads--well I can't understand a word of it, but the jaw dropping puppets certainly give you an idea of what's going on. They are super cute. Let us know where we can get an otter cell phone charm, I love them.

Does Patrick come up with the ideas for all the puppets and build them from scratch--or does the company come up with the concept and he takes it from there? Not trying to be too nosy, it's all just very fascinating to me.

jwwi
04-22-2010, 10:13 PM
Love all the shopping pictures. 100% Chocolate.....who wouldn't want to visit that shop? Very interesting TR, not sure if I will ever travel there, but I think you might be an inspiration for some fellow DISers.:thumbsup2

kristamil
04-23-2010, 03:06 PM
Welcome out of lurkdom! :wave2: And thanks for you kind comments! How exciting to have your first trip to Disneyland - I miss that "first-time" excitement, although I still love the place of course. Let me know if you need any tips or have any questions I might be able to answer about SoCal/Disneyland!

Like you don't have PLENTY to do already but if you do have any newbie tips to pass along about Disneyland, I would love to hear them. :flower3:

I just became a little nervous when it was announced that "World of Color" would debut two days before our arrival and I also realized that Grad Nights are scheduled for two evenings during our week there. We may not have chosen the best time to visit, but my hubby will be on R & R from Afghanistan so the Army basically chose for us. We are travelling with our DD 11 and 9.

If you have some advice for us, just PM me so I don't hijack your TR. ;) Thanks so much, Carrie! And I look forward to hearing more, more, more about Japan!

PryncessChrysty
04-23-2010, 03:35 PM
How adorable are those stinkin' puppets?!? Your hubby & his company did an outstanding job! :thumbsup2

Was he "friends" with one of the lions? :rolleyes1 What had me most intrigued was the scale of the whale - I'm sure this is a dumb question, but was it forced perspective? I saw their demonstration video a while back on the Audrey II and loved watching them dive through the mouth - I kept picturing that when the whale would come on screen. :rotfl:

DH2B & I were at DCA on Friday waiting for the Electrical Parade, and we struck up a conversation with the gentlemen next to us. He has been to Tokyo Disney a few times and I was totally captivated. Between our conversation with him and your TR, our credit card companies are gonna need to give you some sort of kick back cuz I don't think we'll be able to wait to save up all of the cash we'll need to go. :hyper:

BTW, do you still listen to the DIS Unplugged podcast? If you have a chance to listen to this weeks DL show, I was a guest on the roundtable! It was all about the F&W festival - we were there Fri - Sun (I'm still stuffed from all the food...but we'll be back tomorrow! lol)

I can't wait for the next installment. :goodvibes

justwinnie
04-23-2010, 03:36 PM
Hiiiii!

I've become a Lurkyloo stalker! I subscribed to your twitter feed!
I love your trip report and am living vicariously through your updates. I'd love to go to Japan one day!

lurkyloo
04-23-2010, 06:22 PM
The commercials turned out great!!! I love how things in Japan have such a high cuteness factor!

Me TOO! That's the real reason a trip over there is a budget-buster for us... too much cute stuff to buy!

I
Does Patrick come up with the ideas for all the puppets and build them from scratch--or does the company come up with the concept and he takes it from there? Not trying to be too nosy, it's all just very fascinating to me.

It depends on the job. Most of the time, Patrick will do conceptual drawings for characters and then he and the other Swazzlers build them. Sometimes companies come to them with designs and ask for puppets. (Even then, Patrick usually still has to tweak them to be, uh, puppet-able.) For this job, the characters were designed by the company managing the puppet build,the Chiodo Bros. (they did the narwhal, et. al for the movie "Elf"!) and Swazzle built them.

Love all the shopping pictures. 100% Chocolate.....who wouldn't want to visit that shop? Very interesting TR, not sure if I will ever travel there, but I think you might be an inspiration for some fellow DISers.:thumbsup2

Glad to hear you're enjoying it! My new mission is to make Tokyo Disney irresistible to you! :rotfl:



I just became a little nervous when it was announced that "World of Color" would debut two days before our arrival and I also realized that Grad Nights are scheduled for two evenings during our week there. We may not have chosen the best time to visit, but my hubby will be on R & R from Afghanistan so the Army basically chose for us. We are travelling with our DD 11 and 9.

If you have some advice for us, just PM me so I don't hijack your TR. ;) Thanks so much, Carrie! And I look forward to hearing more, more, more about Japan!

I actually have a little Disneyland tip sheet all written up! I will think about what can be done to mitigate the effects of CrazyGoNuts season and PM you all my tips. :thumbsup2


Was he "friends" with one of the lions? :rolleyes1 What had me most intrigued was the scale of the whale - I'm sure this is a dumb question, but was it forced perspective? I saw their demonstration video a while back on the Audrey II and loved watching them dive through the mouth - I kept picturing that when the whale would come on screen.

:rotfl: The lions were "friends" with an incredibly agile Japanese dude. :thumbsup2 The whale is actually only a little larger than the camel - they shot all the puppets against a green screen and comped them in at whatever size they needed. And I too love the "dive thru the mouth" part of the Audrey II demo!



BTW, do you still listen to the DIS Unplugged podcast? If you have a chance to listen to this weeks DL show, I was a guest on the roundtable! It was all about the F&W festival - we were there Fri - Sun (I'm still stuffed from all the food...but we'll be back tomorrow! lol)

I keep forgetting to check the podcast - that will be cool to hear you on it! Now how'd you score that sweet gig? :teeth:


Hiiiii!

I've become a Lurkyloo stalker! I subscribed to your twitter feed!
I love your trip report and am living vicariously through your updates. I'd love to go to Japan one day!

:rotfl2: I'm so glad to hear you're enjoying everything!

PryncessChrysty
04-23-2010, 07:53 PM
It depends on the job. Most of the time, Patrick will do conceptual drawings for characters and then he and the other Swazzlers build them. Sometimes companies come to them with designs and ask for puppets. (Even then, Patrick usually still has to tweak them to be, uh, puppet-able.) For this job, the characters were designed by the company managing the puppet build,the Chiodo Bros. (they did the narwhal, et. al for the movie "Elf"!) and Swazzle built them.
I'm glad you mentioned this because I completely forgot to ask you - is one of the brothers Joe Chiodo? I've heard DH2B talk about his work before, he's a big fan.
I am in LOVE with the stop-motion characters in Elf and DH2B is a sculptor, so a couple of years back he made a clay sculpture of them for me for Christmas. He even included the narwahl's horn in the background. It's awesome, like it's right off the screen. (Now all I hear can hear is "Bye, Buddy. Hope you find your dad." :lovestruc :rotfl: )


I keep forgetting to check the podcast - that will be cool to hear you on it! Now how'd you score that sweet gig? :teeth:
While I did get to meet most of the crew when they were out here last week (Pete, Walter, Kevin & John - who are all just lovely), this show was only the Disneyland Correspondents, who I'm lucky enough to be really good friends with. We all met up on Fri & Sat to enjoy the festival and they invited me to join their recording on Sunday at the Grand Californian. It was so much fun! I rode ONE ride in 3 days at the parks, but honestly it was one of the best times we've ever had.

A-T-G
04-24-2010, 03:12 AM
A-T-G I hope you get to Fance ok :hug: We're due to fly to Barcelona on Saturday and have been going up and down this week!

Thanks! I was obsessively watching the news and reading every single scrap of info on that dang volcano!! So far, all systems are 'go'! Keep your fingers crossed and I'll send very happy thoughts for your trip to Barcelona! Have a great time!! :yay:

daisygirl902
04-24-2010, 09:39 AM
Those commercials were great! Loved the whale - I was just giggling to myself and thinking "what if Chevy did a commercial just like that?" - heh...I'd likely want one :)

lurkyloo
04-26-2010, 12:33 AM
I'm glad you mentioned this because I completely forgot to ask you - is one of the brothers Joe Chiodo? I've heard DH2B talk about his work before, he's a big fan.
I am in LOVE with the stop-motion characters in Elf and DH2B is a sculptor, so a couple of years back he made a clay sculpture of them for me for Christmas. He even included the narwahl's horn in the background. It's awesome, like it's right off the screen. (Now all I hear can hear is "Bye, Buddy. Hope you find your dad." :lovestruc :rotfl:)

What a sweet gift! You know, none of the Chiodos are named Joe, but it's interesting that there's another Chiodo out there who sculpts!


Those commercials were great! Loved the whale - I was just giggling to myself and thinking "what if Chevy did a commercial just like that?" - heh...I'd likely want one :)

Seriously. And I'll bet if Chevy did do an ad like that, people would start thinking the company was hip and relevant again! :rotfl:

lurkyloo
04-26-2010, 12:38 AM
My journal entry for Day 3 starts out: "I think that when you come back to the hotel after a day of hoofin’ it all over Tokyo, the first thing you do should not be to lie down on the bed… And the next thing you do should not be to soak in the tub—at least, not if you still have a journal entry to write!" It was a loooooong day!

I got to spend the first half of the day with Patrick because his call for the shoot wasn't until 2pm. We got up around 8am and, when 7-Eleven failed to yield as good a selection of breakfast items as the previous day, we hopped a train to the flagship Mitsukoshi Department Store to dine in the food hall.

Here are a couple of daytime views from our hotel room to set the scene…

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00576.jpg

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00577.jpg



Before we could hop on the subway, we had to get Patrick his own PASMO, so I decided to learn how to use the machine. There's a big "ENGLISH" button in the upper right hand corner on the first screen, and then it walks you through either buying a new card or adding money to an existing card.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00580.jpg



Some of the subway train cars have light-up signs that show you which stop is coming up next, which is super helpful. (Even if it doesn't light up, there's still a map of that line above the door.)

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00582.jpg




Mitsukoshi has its own stop, and its own entrance right inside the subway station.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00656.jpg

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00583.jpg


Unfortunately, I hadn't thought to check the hours, and Mitsukoshi wasn't open yet. So we decided to take a few pictures, grab breakfast, see the next thing on our list, and come back.

This building dates to 1914, although the Mitsukoshi empire started in 1673, with a dry goods store.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00585.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00586.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00590.jpg



I thought it terribly novel to see a crew carefully planting flowers on a busy city street, so I made Patrick take a picture.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00587.jpg


The other end of Mitsukoshi…

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00594.jpg


Classic Tokyo!

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00593.jpg




Our destination was the Nihombashi bridge, which used to mark the start of the great road running between Edo (now Tokyo) and Kyoto (then the capital of Japan) and is still the spot from which all distances from Tokyo are measured. It also used to be a beautiful red lacquered structure but, like so many of the historic structures in Tokyo, has long-since been destroyed by one of the Great Trifecta of Japanese Calamities: fire, earthquake, or Godzilla.

In fact, just about every historic sight we saw in Japan was a replica (although some of those replicas are still older than the US!). The bridge that stands today was constructed in 1911 and covered by the Shuto Expressway in 1962. I guess in an overbuilt city, it makes sense to plant an elevated highway over the river, but it's hard to look at this and imagine the vibrant fishing district that eventually became Tokyo's financial center.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00595.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00601.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00609.jpg


It's hard to see in the photo, but this plaque depicts the original bridge and surrounding markets.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00603.jpg


Patrick decided to risk life and limb to run out in the street and photograph the original distance marker…

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00599.jpg


…only to later discover that it's a replica too!


Actual distance marker, safely ensconced in a nearby park
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00617.jpg




The coolest part of the bridge are the elaborate details.


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00605.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00606.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00615.jpg



http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00597.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00598.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00607.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00608.jpg

lurkyloo
04-26-2010, 12:40 AM
We grabbed a bite to eat at a suspiciously Starbucks-esque coffee shop, and as we waited for Mitsukoshi to open, I cribbed from my guidebook to regale Patrick with a superficial and wildly inaccurate account of the history of Japan from 1457 to present day. ("And then there was this fire, so they rebuilt, and then there was this earthquake, so they rebuilt, and then there was this other fire, so they rebuilt…") I'm sure all the English-speaking patrons around us were rolling their eyes as they eavesdropped.


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00611.jpg




Not the best hot chocolate I've ever had, with some kind of fruit drink
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00610.jpg




Faux croque-monsieur and some kind of breakfast roll
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00612.jpg



We started taking pictures of all the kawaii (cute/adorable) signs everywhere.
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00613.jpg



Finally it was almost 10am, so we went to wait at the entrance of the Mitsukoshi Department Store.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00589.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00620.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00621.jpg



As we waited, four staffers came to the door and performed an elaborate ritual of announcements and bowing and unlocking the doors, standing outside, bowing, then going back inside, relocking the doors, bowing and finally unlocking the doors again and welcoming us all inside.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00622.jpg




All the big department stores have gleaming cosmetics counters at the front to lure the ladies inside

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00623.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00624.jpg


Oooh! Our second Slumming Celebrity Sighting!
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00630.jpg




Inside, all the salesclerks were lining the aisles, and as we walked down the main drag, every single person, on both sides, bowed and welcomed us. It was like running down the high-five line at a football game.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00625.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00626.jpg


We were so excited, we almost did run, and as we rounded the corner, we saw this:

Say, this don't look nuthin' like the Mitsukoshi store at Epcot!
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00635.jpg


As our jaws hit the floor, organ music filled the air. Mitsukoshi imported a Wurlitzer theater organ in 1930, and it's still played daily.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00631.jpg

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00634.jpg




The statue is of Magokoro, the Goddess of Sincerity, and was carved from 500-year-old cypress over the course of 10 years.

We are sincerely sorry this shot is crooked, Magokoro. Please do not eat us.
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00627.jpg

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00636.jpg

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00633.jpg


She literally has eyes in the back of her head!

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00648.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00649.jpg

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00650.jpg

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00651.jpg

lurkyloo
04-26-2010, 12:43 AM
We decided to ride the escalator up to every floor and have a quick look around. At the time, we were gaping at all this opulence and comparing it unfavorably with the Mitsukoshi department store in Epcot. However, I've since learned that the interior of Epcot's store is supposed to look like that of the Imperial Palace—good thing, too, because when we later toured the Imperial Palace, all we got to see of the inside was a couple of pixilated photos.


Sheesh! This place doesn't look *anything* like the Imperial Palace!
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00637.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00638.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00652.jpg


There's even stuff to see on the roof, including the garden center, a small shrine, and an amphitheatre.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00644.jpg



The next floor down sold some food items, but it was more like the various departments of the grocery store and less like a food court.


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00642.jpg


Mmmmm…. Purple….
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00643.jpg



Patrick totally ate one of these
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00646.jpg




…And then one of these totally tried to eat him!
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00647.jpg



The real action was in the basement, where you could get hot food from dozens of vendors for take-away.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00654.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00640.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00641.jpg


Swanky elevator
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00653.jpg



We got a variety of snacks and sat on a bench in a breezeway to eat them because we couldn't find anyplace with tables. Then we walked a few steps to the subway and rode it to Shibuya station so I could show Patrick Hakuhinkan Toy Park. Along the way, I asked him to take pictures of a couple nearby shops I'd missed when I didn't have the camera.


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00663.jpg

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00664.jpg



Massive cube made of eyeshadows at Shiseido
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00662.jpg


The Swarovski store wouldn't let us take pix inside, so all you get is this…

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00665.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00666.jpg

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00667.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00668.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00660.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00669.jpg

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00670.jpg

lurkyloo
04-26-2010, 12:47 AM
As expected, Patrick loved Hakuhinkan Toy Park. And I got the not-so-wacky picture I wanted!


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00673.jpg

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00672.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00674.jpg


Who knew? Even our cat slums in Japanese ads!
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00676.jpg


(Dr. J at home…)
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC05671.jpg


Kawaii Overload
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00677.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00678.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00680.jpg



http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00683.jpg


The Japanese can even make hideous deep-sea creatures adorable!
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00682.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00689.jpg



This is also where we discovered the secret lives of some beloved Disney characters. In Japan, Mickey and Minnie are MARRIED!

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00688.jpg


Even Stitch is married!!!

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00681.jpg


Why must they hide their love in America?





Another surprise was stumbling on a cache of what the Japanese call "Sylvanian Familes" but are better known to American children of the '80s as "Calico Critters"!

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00684.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00685.jpg



Patrick is a closeted Calico Critters fanatic. …Closeted until just now when I typed that on the Internets. I think he's embarrassed cuz they're so cutesy and girly, but he loves the tiny playsets with all their adorable little details.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00686.jpg

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00687.jpg


So I let him get one (the candy shop, no less) and a little kitty to run the place.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC05649.jpg


We explored the building a little more and checked out the restaurants on the upper floors.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00690.jpg

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00691.jpg


On the way back to the hotel we spotted another kawaii character:

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00695.jpg



And I discovered I'd been committing a great faux pas by applying my lipstick on the subway…


The full English translation is "Please litter, sit on the floor, and read the newspaper at home, you cretin!"
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00696.jpg


Here's what a subway tunnel looks like, if anyone's curious…

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00694.jpg


Before Patrick left for work, we got a pick-me-up at 7-Eleven:

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00699.jpg


And here's our toy store loot (yes, those ARE light saber chopsticks!)…

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00700.jpg

I'm going to break Day 3 into two parts because we're only at about 2pm and the installment is already this huge! Back with the rest in a few days….

disney_princess_85
04-26-2010, 06:54 AM
I've been reading your trip report over the last couple of days and I'm now up to date. It's great! I love how much detail you include. My brother lives over there but I'm yet to visit- I will do soon enough, I'm sure.

By the way, I'm from the UK and we also refer to 'Calico Critters' as Sylvanian Families. Also, the hotel key card/light activation thing is also in European hotels. :thumbsup2

Aburns8
04-26-2010, 08:20 AM
I just love all of the pictures that you took! You can be the next Roots! If I remember correctly, I think I had some Calico Critters as a kid. I don't think we were huge fans, but my sister and I had a couple of them. I thought they were retired! I can't wait to read more about your day. You did so much before Patrick had to be at work!

LittleStinkerbelle
04-26-2010, 09:25 AM
More cuteness -- I love it! You weren't kidding about the real Mitsukoshi being nothing like the one in Epcot. The pictures kind of reminded me of Harrod's.

shippedtosea
04-26-2010, 11:19 AM
Your posts just make me jealous! haha I wanna go so badly! I do think its funny that you guys grew up calling them Calico Critters because I grew up in NY and they were called them Sylvanian Families. My DF loves them as well (he grew up in the UK where the original TINY store is) so your DH isn't alone. Its too hard not to love them. I really want the set he bought tho...its so cute.

Disneygrl36
04-26-2010, 11:35 AM
Wow everything is so inticate & opulent. That is some department store! :scared1: I loved the toy store pics---they do have an overload of cuteness over there don't they?

ChrisFL
04-26-2010, 11:40 AM
Amazing Photos!! :worship:

I gotta go back soon!!

Lorelei528
04-26-2010, 11:44 AM
Carrie-
Well, I'm not sure how it took me so long to find this, but I'm glad I asked you about it!
Amazing report so far! Such detail and great information! And of course, the awesome pics!

We encountered the same room key with light switch power on our trip to Ireland back in Nov! Eoghan's parent's made reservations in a place in Galway that had them.

Can't wait to see and hear more!!! Excellent job so far! :thumbsup2

Lori :)

torsie24
04-26-2010, 11:57 AM
We encountered the same room key with light switch power on our trip to Ireland back in Nov!

Cool, I've not seen them in the UK!

We had one in our hotel in Marrakech and thought it was pretty cool. It's a great idea.

Eee - great update Carrie! I can't wait until you get to TDR! We're thinking of going in March 2012, so I'm eager to hear about the crowds.

AlexJB
04-26-2010, 12:28 PM
I'm loving your report; making me want to visit Japan now! Can't wait to read more :)

Kimberly815
04-26-2010, 02:16 PM
I am loving your trip report!

The Kawaii stuff is super cute!

taylor3297
04-26-2010, 02:50 PM
Until I saw the pic, I had totally forgotten about the yummy "donuts" with the sweet red bean paste in the middle! I hope y'all tried one.

lurkyloo
04-26-2010, 06:28 PM
I've been reading your trip report over the last couple of days and I'm now up to date. It's great! I love how much detail you include. My brother lives over there but I'm yet to visit- I will do soon enough, I'm sure.

By the way, I'm from the UK and we also refer to 'Calico Critters' as Sylvanian Families. Also, the hotel key card/light activation thing is also in European hotels. :thumbsup2

Oh my gosh - you HAVE to go visit your brother. You'll save hundreds, if not thousands, of pounds on hotel rooms! :thumbsup2

It turns out that the Sylvanian Families were called Calico Critters in the US because the original manufacturer lost the rights to the name in North America. But originally they were called Sylvanian Families here too! I must not remember any of this b/c I was too busy playing with Barbies.... :rotfl:

I just love all of the pictures that you took! You can be the next Roots! If I remember correctly, I think I had some Calico Critters as a kid. I don't think we were huge fans, but my sister and I had a couple of them. I thought they were retired!

They were retired! I guess the original company stopped making them and it wasn't until the '90s that somebody else resuscitated the brand. Now if only they'd reintroduce Jem dolls... :cutie:

More cuteness -- I love it! You weren't kidding about the real Mitsukoshi being nothing like the one in Epcot. The pictures kind of reminded me of Harrod's.

Yes! I had so many Harrod's flashbacks in the Japanese department stores, I think mostly because of the food halls, which we don't really have in our department stores. That said, there's *nothing* quite like Harrod's. :cloud9:

Your posts just make me jealous! haha I wanna go so badly! I do think its funny that you guys grew up calling them Calico Critters because I grew up in NY and they were called them Sylvanian Families. My DF loves them as well (he grew up in the UK where the original TINY store is) so your DH isn't alone. Its too hard not to love them. I really want the set he bought tho...its so cute.

Oh good - another fella who likes Sylvanian Families of Calico-Colored Critters! :lmao: I'll tell Patrick...

Wow everything is so inticate & opulent. That is some department store! :scared1: I loved the toy store pics---they do have an overload of cuteness over there don't they?

Seriously. The whole country oughtta come with a warning label!


I gotta go back soon!!

That's how I feel too! :teeth:


Carrie-
Well, I'm not sure how it took me so long to find this, but I'm glad I asked you about it!
Amazing report so far! Such detail and great information! And of course, the awesome pics!

We encountered the same room key with light switch power on our trip to Ireland back in Nov! Eoghan's parent's made reservations in a place in Galway that had them.

Can't wait to see and hear more!!! Excellent job so far! :thumbsup2

Lori :)

Hiya! :wave2: Glad you found the trippie! Now that I know how many other places have these light switches, I'm wondering when the US is gonna catch up - talk about a simple but effective energy saver...

Cool, I've not seen them in the UK!

We had one in our hotel in Marrakech and thought it was pretty cool. It's a great idea.

Eee - great update Carrie! I can't wait until you get to TDR! We're thinking of going in March 2012, so I'm eager to hear about the crowds.

Thanks! I hope it helps. The next day after this one was my first day at TDR, so it's coming up soon!

I'm loving your report; making me want to visit Japan now!

Mission accomplished! :lmao:

I am loving your trip report!

The Kawaii stuff is super cute!

Totally. I wonder if — like the Eskimos and their numerous words for snow — the Japanese have a ton of words for cute!

Until I saw the pic, I had totally forgotten about the yummy "donuts" with the sweet red bean paste in the middle! I hope y'all tried one.

Oh yes, and they're quite a surprise when you're expecting chocolate. :rotfl: Patrick jokes that Japanese food always looks the opposite of how it's going to taste (sweet vs. savoury).

Calrissian13
04-26-2010, 08:47 PM
And here's our toy store loot (yes, those ARE light saber chopsticks!)…

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00700.jpg



LOVE the lightsaber chopsticks! Who knew they even existed??

Looks like you had an amazing time, it's great gettign to live vicariously through your trip reports!

blabbermouth
04-26-2010, 09:32 PM
Whoa, I totally had the Calico Critters, but apparently never knew what they were called. I completely forgot those existed, takes me back, takes me back :lmao:

Also, I love that you guys got some Canadian cookies at the Japanese 7-11!

ChrisFL
04-26-2010, 10:14 PM
Now that I've had more time to look at the pictures...wow that really does look like your cat!!

I always wonder how they decide which parts of advertising signs to put in english and to put in japanese...it just always seems so random, lol

Love the slot car racing park...I'd spend a long time there!

I visited Toyota MegaWeb on Odaiba Island, it was very cool, and they had a car museum (full of many manufaturers cars, not just Toyotas) and thousands of toy cars for sale.

praisehisname
04-27-2010, 12:33 PM
I am sooooo enjoying this report! Most likely, I will never be able to visit Japan, and this is so incredible and detailed! Thank you!!!

torsie24
04-27-2010, 01:47 PM
Also, as an aside - we call them 'Sylvanian Families' in the UK. I would have totally bought the cake shop!

cdotla
04-27-2010, 06:21 PM
All caught up! What a fascinating read...I will likely never get there, but thoroughly enjoying your TR!:)

mrsksomeday
04-27-2010, 07:55 PM
Great commercial, your hubby is so talented :thumbsup2. I enjoyed the extra scenes he really brought life to his puppet, thanks for sharing.

I love all the pictures, everything is so detailed and beautiful. I liked learning all this stuff about Japan. The statue of Magokoro, is magnificent.

I am outraged :mad: that Mickey and Minnie don't admit they are married and who is the chick with Stitch :confused3?? The cuteness in that toy store amazes me!!

My Bill was entralled with the light saber chopsticks, he oohh'd and ahhh'd over them.

This report is fantastic!!

mommyintn
04-27-2010, 08:22 PM
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00674.jpg

And here's our toy store loot (yes, those ARE light saber chopsticks!)…

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00700.jpg

I'm going to break Day 3 into two parts because we're only at about 2pm and the installment is already this huge! Back with the rest in a few days….

Love the plush from "My Friend Totoro"!! How cute are they? Those light saber chopsticks are awesome, I would've gone broke buying those up!

So enjoying your trip report, I have a 10 year old who wants to be Japanese when he grows up!! That is his dream trip because he wants to make his pilgrimage to the land that created Pokemon. :goodvibes Can't wait to see what happens next!

Iron Mouse
04-27-2010, 10:13 PM
This is absolutely amazing. I just love Japan and I hope I can go there someday. Thank you for sharing this wonderful trip with us and your pictures are awesome. I can't wait to hear more about it.

justwinnie
04-27-2010, 11:13 PM
This is my favorite line of your TR so far:
"It also used to be a beautiful red lacquered structure but, like so many of the historic structures in Tokyo, has long-since been destroyed by one of the Great Trifecta of Japanese Calamities: fire, earthquake, or Godzilla."


My brother spent some time in Japan for work and he went to the Toy Park to buy gifts for his nieces and nephew. He brought back a bag with a huge assortment of wrapped parcels and the paper was all covered with the rocking horse. The gift wrapping was very intricate and had lots of angles-
they were able to wrap any odd shaped toy!

I was about to order those light saber chopsticks for my hubby! I spotted them on a Japanese cell phone charm site and was just debating which color to purchase.

It sounds like you've had an incredible time so far and you're not even done with day 3!!! Can't wait for more!

aharbin88
04-28-2010, 12:38 PM
Wow! These pictures are just captivating. I can't believe how much there is to see there, and how confident you feel going to see it! :worship: I would probably still be in the "scared crapless" stage. Not that I think that Tokyo is crime-ridden or anything; I just get nervous at the thought of being in a non-English speaking foreign country. Makes me feel a little helpless. Your TR is helping me overcome that fear, though!

I decided to write down my questions as I read through the installment because I knew I would get lost amongst the IMG codes if I multi-quoted it. So here's my barrage of questions! :lmao:

What is that criss-crossy looking building in the picture you took of the view in the morning? Now THAT is a testament to the Japanese "style!" It's cool that they really seem to take care to make their structures aesthetically pleasing as well as functional.

Here's my American-tourist-goober question: How did you know to go to the Mitsukoshi department store for breakfast? Did the guide books suggest it? Since I'm obviously not well traveled, it wouldn't occur to me to go to a dept store for a meal. It sounds like it's more common in Europe, though.

Why were the workers planting the flowers so covered up? It look almost like they're handling hazardous materials!

That statue in the Mitsukoshi store is NUTS! I am in awe of people whose minds allow them to look at a huge piece of wood and decide they can make it look like something like that. It just astounds me.

I wonder why the Swarovski store wouldn't allow pictures. Do they have some top secret government plans to build swanky crystal weapons?

I <3 the Mouse wedding print! Gorgeous! I have no idea what the dollar/yen exchange rate is, but I would seriously have to consider buying that!

Ok. That's all for now. I'll bombard you again after your next installment. Bring a helmet. pirate:

Oh, one more thing:

Now if only they'd reintroduce Jem dolls... :cutie:


You're a girl after my own heart. :cutie:

HebeJebe
04-29-2010, 11:40 AM
WOW!! My own husband went to Japan 3 times last year and I learned light years more from you about the country than from him! Thank you!!
I love those light saber chopsticks - I almost bought them from the Star Wars website for Easter baskets.

DaisyLuvr
04-29-2010, 10:18 PM
Lurkyloo, Your TR is amazing. I have been dreaming about going to Tokyo Disney for about 3 years now and have recently started saving, now you have me even more convinced that I have to make it over there. I also went and read your other TR because your writing is so entertaining and your photos are great!
Just thought it was wierd to continue to lurk, so I thought I'd say hi!

MA pigletfan
04-30-2010, 01:28 PM
I have too much to comment on...so I will try to sum it up:
1. LOVE Patrick's puppets..they are amazing.
2. awesome awesome details in this report!
3. We called them Sylvanian families back in the day out here ( Massachusetts)..i just saw some the other night at our Toys R US, and they are Calico here now..I love the one you "let" Patrick buy, I am a sucker for all things little cute and detailed ! ( and cats )
4. what are those food with faces items...erasers??? If they are, then you two are officially my souvenier buying twins...I LOVE cute/different erasers, and any food with a face..lol!!
GREAT job!

Handbag Lady
04-30-2010, 05:33 PM
I am such a sorry person. You go to Japan, you make a lovely trip report that is both funny and educational, you take fabulous pictures and explain things to us wacky Americans...


and all the while I about died when I saw the lightsabre chopsticks.

I need to get some.

justwinnie
05-01-2010, 11:31 PM
Lightsaber chopsticks are available from amazon!

http://amzn.com/B0034N2FR6

Search on amazon and other sets come up.

There are other websites that sell them too, but direct from Japan, the shipping is high.

lurkyloo
05-02-2010, 01:41 PM
Also, I love that you guys got some Canadian cookies at the Japanese 7-11!

I know, right? I'm a sucker for maple *anything*!

I always wonder how they decide which parts of advertising signs to put in english and to put in japanese...it just always seems so random, lol

That is so funny - I never thought about that before. How DO they decide? Also, we stepped inside that Toyota place on Odaiba for about 3 minutes to escape the cold, but then went on to the ultra-tacky Venus Fort. Sounds like we shoulda stayed at Toyota!

I am sooooo enjoying this report! Most likely, I will never be able to visit Japan, and this is so incredible and detailed! Thank you!!!

I'm so glad to hear you like the report! And I will keep my fingers crossed that someday you do get to visit Japan—ya never know! ;)

Also, as an aside - we call them 'Sylvanian Families' in the UK. I would have totally bought the cake shop!

It was definitely THE most kawaii playset they had, although the garden with all the tiny veggies was a close second.

All caught up! What a fascinating read...I will likely never get there, but thoroughly enjoying your TR!:)

Glad you're enjoying it! Hope you're also enjoying your trip to WDW right now, ya lucky little bozo!


I am outraged :mad: that Mickey and Minnie don't admit they are married and who is the chick with Stitch :confused3??

That is "Angel," Stitch's girlfriend. I can accept Mickey and Minnie being married, but Stitch just seems like too much of a free spirit to be tied down... :rotfl:


So enjoying your trip report, I have a 10 year old who wants to be Japanese when he grows up!! That is his dream trip because he wants to make his pilgrimage to the land that created Pokemon.

That is adorable! I hope he gets to go. Heck, maybe when he's in college he could study abroad there. :thumbsup2

This is absolutely amazing. I just love Japan and I hope I can go there someday. Thank you for sharing this wonderful trip with us and your pictures are awesome. I can't wait to hear more about it.

I'm happy to hear you're enjoying the report! More is on the way....

This is my favorite line of your TR so far:
"It also used to be a beautiful red lacquered structure but, like so many of the historic structures in Tokyo, has long-since been destroyed by one of the Great Trifecta of Japanese Calamities: fire, earthquake, or Godzilla."


:cutie: We were really struck by how often we go to see some historic site and it would be a replica. Tokyo's history is so filled with disaster—the number of fires alone boggles the mind. But the people were so resilient, they just kept rebuilding.


Wow! These pictures are just captivating. I can't believe how much there is to see there, and how confident you feel going to see it! :worship: I would probably still be in the "scared crapless" stage. Not that I think that Tokyo is crime-ridden or anything; I just get nervous at the thought of being in a non-English speaking foreign country. Makes me feel a little helpless. Your TR is helping me overcome that fear, though!

Oh good - that's what I'm aiming to do. I have to say, I felt exactly as you do before we got there, so I was pleasantly surprised to discover it wasn't really an issue.


What is that criss-crossy looking building in the picture you took of the view in the morning? Now THAT is a testament to the Japanese "style!" It's cool that they really seem to take care to make their structures aesthetically pleasing as well as functional.

That is the Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower, which houses a fashion vocational school, a special technology and design college, and a medical college. (According to Wiki.) When we go back, I want to spend more time visiting and photographing amazing buildings like that one - I kinda came up short on shots of those.

Here's my American-tourist-goober question: How did you know to go to the Mitsukoshi department store for breakfast? Did the guide books suggest it? Since I'm obviously not well traveled, it wouldn't occur to me to go to a dept store for a meal. It sounds like it's more common in Europe, though.

Yes, my Rough Guide to Tokyo mentioned that the big department stores usually have food halls — not selling breakfast, per se, but we were willing to eat anything at any hour of the day!

Why were the workers planting the flowers so covered up? It look almost like they're handling hazardous materials!

Good question! Maybe it was sun protection?

Do they have some top secret government plans to build swanky crystal weapons?

Maybe they've seen "Diamonds Are Forever" a few too many times! :lmao:


WOW!! My own husband went to Japan 3 times last year and I learned light years more from you about the country than from him! Thank you!!

:rotfl: Glad I could help!


Lurkyloo, Your TR is amazing. I have been dreaming about going to Tokyo Disney for about 3 years now and have recently started saving, now you have me even more convinced that I have to make it over there. I also went and read your other TR because your writing is so entertaining and your photos are great!
Just thought it was wierd to continue to lurk, so I thought I'd say hi!

Thanks for coming out of lurkdom! :wave2: Good for you for starting to save – that's when it all starts to feel possible!


4. what are those food with faces items...erasers??? If they are, then you two are officially my souvenier buying twins...I LOVE cute/different erasers, and any food with a face..lol!!
GREAT job!

If they're not erasers can we still be souvenir buying twins? :teeth: They are cute little decorations that you put in children's lunches. I have a pal who makes these adorable bento boxes for her kids and I thought she'd like them!

I am such a sorry person. You go to Japan, you make a lovely trip report that is both funny and educational, you take fabulous pictures and explain things to us wacky Americans...


and all the while I about died when I saw the lightsabre chopsticks.

I need to get some.

Hee hee hee! That's OK! And now, thanks to justwinnie, you know where!

lurkyloo
05-02-2010, 01:52 PM
After I sent Patrick off to the shoot, I took a break in the hotel room to photograph our loot and write a few letters and postcards. The post office was just a couple doors down from our hotel, so I mailed two letters and two postcards and bought three more letter stamps and three more postcard stamps. Holy cow, it cost me $17! Guess I shouldn't complain about the US Postal Service's prices anymore…

Then I took the subway to Harajuku and Aoyama to investigate more swanky shops. I started on Omotesando, a broad, tree-lined avenue that's home to a large concentration of Tokyo's most distinctive architecture, in the form of fashion designers' flagship stores. Apparently it's known as the "Champs Elysées of Tokyo," and I think it an apt description in contrast with Chuo-dori in Ginza, which feels like 5th Avenue in New York. Otomesando definitely has a different vibe than Chuo-dori – the crowds surging toward me were younger and edgier (though not the outlandish characters of T a k e s h i t a-dori, the street where teenage Harajuku lovers parade around on the weekends and whose name I had to finagle to get past the DISboards' censors).

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00735.jpg

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00734.jpg

After it crosses Aoyama-Dori, the boulevard narrows into a suburban-feeling avenue lined with more designer boutiques. This is where I found the a-friggin-mazing Prada boutique, which is super-difficult to photograph from across a slim two-lane road.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00706.jpg

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00710.jpg

Even worse, they won't let you take pictures of the inside or even looking out the window at other buildings from inside. The thing is an architectural marvel—picture-taking oughtta be mandatory! Once again, I am totally mystified by how often photography is prohibited in a culture that, at least to Western eyes, appears to be fanatical about photography. …Then again, maybe that's why they have to prohibit it!

I made another Flickr set of some of the few good images I could find of the interior:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/85907592@N00/galleries/72157623969641716/


Next door is another fabulous building, which houses Cartier and Chloe.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00707.jpg

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00709.jpg

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00711.jpg

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00712.jpg


Down the street, the Yoku Moku butter cookie shop tempted me with a sleek courtyard café.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00715.jpg

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00714.jpg

But Aoyama felt remote from the exciting hustle and bustle of Harajuku, so I went back up the boulevard to where the action was.

… And the action was at Kiddyland, another multi-level toy mecca!


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00716.jpg


At street level, they have a boutique devoted to Minnie Mouse, including what appears to be an attempt to replicate the success of the ultra-popular Duffy bear (more on that later!): rows of plush Minnies and a bunch different outfits to dress her in.


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00719.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00717.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00732.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00731.jpg


Inside, Kiddyland is a bit more cramped than Hakuhinkan Toy Park but better organized, with several of the six floors devoted to a single brand or company. They also offer Tokyo's largest collection of choking hazards in a single display.


Festival of Choking Hazards!
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00722.jpg


"Yes, but do you have any Elmo dolls?"
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00725.jpg



I passed up yet another Totoro, but I think in this case you can't blame me…

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00723.jpg


Another toy I saw all over Tokyo and yet remained strangely immune to was Kapibara-san—an adorable, limbless capybara stuffed into a doughnut. By all rights, my eyeballs should have exploded just gazing upon its cuteness, yet I never felt compelled to buy one.


Shield your eyeballs from its cuteness!
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00721.jpg


And then I spotted this:


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00726.jpg


SNOOPY TOWN?! My pal Jennifaerie adores Snoopy! I was immediately gripped by a compulsion to buy her the coolest, most Tokyo-fabulous Snoopy souvenir imaginable, which lead to about an hour spent down the rabbit hole (or would that be the "dog hole"?) that is Snoopy Town Harajuku.


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00727.jpg


Sleepy Snoopys
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00728.jpg


Slobby Snoopys
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00729.jpg


The coolest, most Tokyo-fabulous Snoopy souvenir turned out to be a pair of Converse Chuck Taylors—unfortunately, they only had kids' sizes. Hope Jennifaerie likes toaru!


When I spotted this, I knew it was time for this grown woman to leave Kiddyland:


I totally had the original of this Barbie, AND the one pictured inside the box!
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00730.jpg

lurkyloo
05-02-2010, 01:57 PM
At the checkout counter is when I first began to notice the ubiquitous Japanese retail custom of perpetual dialogue. The cashier starts talking to you from the moment you reach the counter and doesn't stop talking until the door is hitting you on the way out! Of course I had absolutely NO idea what she was talking about, so I just smiled and nodded and presented my credit card with two hands and accepted it back with two hands and tried to get a "domo arigato gozaimasu" in edgewise as I backed away from the counter.

What was she talking about the whole time? Was she describing everything she was doing? "Welcome to Kiddyland did you find everything you were looking for oh that's nice would you like this wrapped I guess not how about I put an extra plastic bag in here for you ok I guess you want to pay by credit card whew it went through OK here it is back and OH MY GOD LOOK OUT IT'S MOTHRA yeah you totally don't understand anything I'm saying here is your receipt have a nice day and don’t let the door hit you on the way out!"


After spending about 8 years in Kiddyland, I was hungry and it was getting to be dinnertime, so I set about looking for a restaurant with my new must-have-windows criterion.


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00736.jpg


Too small….


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00738.jpg


Just right!


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00739.jpg


I found a really stylish place inside Otomesando Hills shopping mall, another wedge of a building with endless corridors, but at least these just went around in a big loop so you couldn't get lost.


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00745.jpg


I don't know what to call this – it's like a crystal curtain hanging above the entrance
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00748.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00742.jpg


I don't usually go for Italian, but when you find a place in Tokyo with windows, stick with it! I had squid ink pasta with Japanese squid and aglio aiolio sauce – tasty!

… but not tasty-looking!
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00743.jpg


After dinner I stopped in at one of the swanky Jean-Paul Hevin chocolate shops I kept seeing all over town to see if their stuff was really as good as it looked. They actually let me take pictures!


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00746.jpg

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00747.jpg


I picked out a caramel-sea salt chocolate bar that turned out to be quite good. I love it when you can get sweet and salty all in one bite!


Next on my list was to take the subway to Shibuya to find the crossing you see in the movies – the one with all the buildings with neon signs, huge masses of crowds crossing diagonally every few minutes, and Kabuto's ninjas chasing Tokyo Mater.

On the way, I caught my first glimpse of my fave anime character, Domo, in his native land. I was surprised how hard he was to find in Tokyo!


… I mean, besides being on the side of a bus…
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00749.jpg


Another fave— I smelled it before I saw it…

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00753.jpg



http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00754.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00752.jpg


It was crazy go nuts! Crossing the street there is like walking down Main Street, U.S.A. after the fireworks on New Year’s Eve. I tried to take a picture as I was actually crossing the street, which of course turned out like this:

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00755.jpg


Looking back across the street as the crowds subside
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00756.jpg


View of Shibuya Crossing from a skybridge.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00760.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00761.jpg


My next objective was to find the statue of Hachiko the dog. In the 1920s, he used to walk to the station with his master every morning and meet him there every night. After his master died while at work, Hachiko continued to come to the station to wait for his master's return every day for 10 years. About a year before Haichiko died, the locals erected a bronze statue of him near Shibuya Station. The original was melted down for weapons during WWII, but a replica was installed in 1948.


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00757.jpg


It’s now the most popular place in Tokyo to meet – and smoke!


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00758.jpg


I went up in the Shibuya Mark City building to get a better view of the area and wound up in the swanky hotel restaurant on the 25th floor shooting pictures quickly before anyone threw me out.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00764.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00765.jpg


Check it out – a playing field on the roof!

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00766.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00768.jpg


On the way back to the subway, I discovered that Coldstone Creamery has made its way across the Pacific!

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00770.jpg

What haven't arrived yet are any of the mix-ins I like – no graham cracker crumbs and no peanut butter! Poop!


Finally I hopped the Ginza line back here and did all the collapsing and bathing mentioned waaaaay back at the beginning of Day 3—you know, like a week ago! However, you shall be rewarded for sticking it out this long, because….

Up next: First Day at Tokyo Disney!

Bibbidi
05-02-2010, 02:58 PM
Don't leave me hanging Carrie--I need more Tokyo Disney report :)

Petals & Pixie Dust
05-02-2010, 03:30 PM
I'm beginning to think that the only reason for me to go to Tokyo is to each chocolate!!!:thumbsup2

Aburns8
05-02-2010, 04:53 PM
You must have had the busiest day ever! What a perfect day :cool1: I now really want to go to Kiddy Land just to buy some Snoopy and Minnie items! That Barbie is hilarious, only because I know I had that one! In fact my sister and I both had one. I can't wait to hear more!

Disneygrl36
05-02-2010, 05:07 PM
That Minnie Boutique is AWESOME!!!!!! I want a Minnie I can dress in cute outfits!

The architecture is really amazing over there.

I love the night time photos you got.

Glad to see Hachiko......I remember emailing you about that during your trip to tell you about the movie based on the true story. Thanks for the photos & if you haven't seen Hachi...a dog's tale. RENT it & make sure you have a kleenex nearby.

auroralark
05-02-2010, 05:16 PM
Awesome update - such fabulous pictures! I can't wait to hear all about Tokyo Disneyland!

burly
05-02-2010, 05:33 PM
Thanks for the update.
Honestly don't think i would be brave enough to travel around that city by myself!
all of the pictures are really neat to look at. Thanks again for posting. :thumbsup2

ChrisFL
05-02-2010, 09:16 PM
At the checkout counter is when I first began to notice the ubiquitous Japanese retail custom of perpetual dialogue. The cashier starts talking to you from the moment you reach the counter and doesn't stop talking until the door is hitting you on the way out! Of course I had absolutely NO idea what she was talking about, so I just smiled and nodded and presented my credit card with two hands and accepted it back with two hands and tried to get a "domo arigato gozaimasu" in edgewise as I backed away from the counter.

What was she talking about the whole time? Was she describing everything she was doing? "Welcome to Kiddyland did you find everything you were looking for oh that's nice would you like this wrapped I guess not how about I put an extra plastic bag in here for you ok I guess you want to pay by credit card whew it went through OK here it is back and OH MY GOD LOOK OUT IT'S MOTHRA yeah you totally don't understand anything I'm saying here is your receipt have a nice day and don’t let the door hit you on the way out!"


:lmao::rotfl2:

Such a great TR and you haven't even posted the Disney part yet!

DaisyLuvr
05-02-2010, 09:24 PM
Oh my! Kiddyland is so amazing! This will be my downfall in Tokyo... wanting to buy everything. It was bad enough this weekend at Disneyland, I hadn't been since December and wow there were so many new things.
You were very right about your dinner though, it does not look great, but sometimes the best tasting things don't look good.
Also, I wanted to say it is strange that photography is prohibited so much over there, it would seem the culture is photoaholic...but then again I have never tried to take photos in a prada store over here :-)
Can't wait to hear about Tokoy Disney!!!

lurkyloo
05-03-2010, 01:02 PM
Don't leave me hanging Carrie--I need more Tokyo Disney report :)

I'll get on it as fast as I can — but I'd prolly better do some real work first! :teeth:


I'm beginning to think that the only reason for me to go to Tokyo is to each chocolate!!!:thumbsup2

Yes. Yes it is. :cutie:

You must have had the busiest day ever! What a perfect day :cool1: I now really want to go to Kiddy Land just to buy some Snoopy and Minnie items! That Barbie is hilarious, only because I know I had that one! In fact my sister and I both had one. I can't wait to hear more!

Whohoo! Somebody else who had that Barbie!

If you think that was a busy day, wait til you read about the day after my first Disney day - I think I did a museum, a lake, a couple shrines, the zoo and a traditional shopping street in less than one day. :faint:


Glad to see Hachiko......I remember emailing you about that during your trip to tell you about the movie based on the true story. Thanks for the photos & if you haven't seen Hachi...a dog's tale. RENT it & make sure you have a kleenex nearby.

Oh man, I actually started crying about it just writing that post—I think the movie's gonna do me in! :sad1:

Awesome update - such fabulous pictures! I can't wait to hear all about Tokyo Disneyland!

Next installment! I promise!

Thanks for the update.
Honestly don't think i would be brave enough to travel around that city by myself!

Oh, but it's easy! All you need is a subway map and a smile—people will help you out if you get lost, and there's always another subway station just around the corner to take you back to where you started. :thumbsup2



Such a great TR and you haven't even posted the Disney part yet!

Thanks! I'm getting excited to post the Disney part, but MAN are there gonna be a lot of pictures!

Oh my! Kiddyland is so amazing! This will be my downfall in Tokyo... wanting to buy everything.

Tell me about it. I think we were fairly restrained to only bring back one big duffle bag full of loot, but it could have been a lot worse.


Also, I wanted to say it is strange that photography is prohibited so much over there, it would seem the culture is photoaholic...but then again I have never tried to take photos in a prada store over here :-)

Hmmm - good point! I'll try it next time I'm in Beverly Hills and see what happens! ;)

mla1977
05-03-2010, 01:31 PM
OMG! I had that Barbie too!

Goldeelox9
05-03-2010, 01:34 PM
I had the same Barbie Doll! Looks like you had a great time!! You have seen so much! I am still in shock over all of the photo restrictions.

torsie24
05-03-2010, 01:48 PM
Amazing update! You did so much in one day!

I would not have been able to leave Minnie's Boutique without one! So cute!!

Can't wait for the next installment. :)

Princess_K
05-03-2010, 02:34 PM
Hi, Carrie! I'm really enjoying this trip report :thumbsup2 Those stores are amazing!

neckthai
05-03-2010, 03:48 PM
Being a newbie, this is by far THE BEST thread ever! Great job caputuring the Tokyo area and all its greatness! Looking forward the Disney report.

Iron Mouse
05-03-2010, 08:02 PM
First I have to say I HAD THAT SAME BARBIE DOLL TOO! I have to see if it is still in my Barbie box which has been stashed away. I just love reading your trip report. The Prada building was fabulous! I have never been too interested in architecture but that was a work of art.

That caramel sea-salt chocolate bar does sound tasty. I absolutely love Japanese snacks and their interesting tastes. I wish you would find bolder food items over here in the states.

Happydog
05-03-2010, 09:51 PM
Awesome report update on your next day of Japanese immersion! SO much to look at, amazing feast for the eyes all the amazing architecture and attention to detail. The modern lines and all the steel and crome and neon! It all looks so fastidious. I really laughed at your comments about a photography compulsive culture which won't allow photos. WHAT is UP with that -- we once had a Japanese tourist ask us to take a photo of our new puppy outside the Seattle REI store. And YOU can't take a photo of a chocolate display? Crazy. All those toys and stuffies! Incredible! I couldn't keep them all apart, and talk about oozing cuteness!! UBER cute some of those! AND Ink squid pasta. Dinner sounded awesome! Coldstone cakebatter with graham cracker :thumbsup2 Can't wait to read all about Disney next!!! One last thought -- the crowds crossing the streets :scared1:...

ChrisFL
05-03-2010, 11:02 PM
Awesome report update on your next day of Japanese immersion! SO much to look at, amazing feast for the eyes all the amazing architecture and attention to detail. The modern lines and all the steel and crome and neon! It all looks so fastidious. I really laughed at your comments about a photography compulsive culture which won't allow photos. WHAT is UP with that -- we once had a Japanese tourist ask us to take a photo of our new puppy outside the Seattle REI store. And YOU can't take a photo of a chocolate display? Crazy. All those toys and stuffies! Incredible! I couldn't keep them all apart, and talk about oozing cuteness!! UBER cute some of those! AND Ink squid pasta. Dinner sounded awesome! Coldstone cakebatter with graham cracker :thumbsup2 Can't wait to read all about Disney next!!! One last thought -- the crowds crossing the streets :scared1:...

Yep, 250,000 people cross that one intersection a day! :scared1:

Charleston Princess
05-04-2010, 06:02 AM
What a great update, Carrie!!! I do have to say my favorite part of your day was your 8-year sojurn in Kiddyland. :laughing: The Minnie Couture boutique is just too darling. I think my house needs those Minnie topiary trees out front! :lmao: Like so many others, I, too, had Peaches and Cream Barbie! Remember how she came with this little top-like spinner where you could spin it and see what she should do that day -- I think there were things like a cruise boat pictured on it. Also, I had Crystal Barbie (the one pictured in the box), and she had these sparkly plastic shoes that looked like glass slippers??? (I did love my Barbies when I was younger! ;))

DizneyDogs
05-04-2010, 11:50 AM
Hi Carrie

Just wanted to say I am enjoying reading your TR. My DH and I are planning to go to TDR in September so I am taking lots of notes. I found you on Micechat and have been following your TR there too and couldn't get enough of your style of writing so I have now gone back and read all your trip reports and found them all very fun to read and even learned a few things about WDW and DL that I didn't know about! Anyway keep up the good work and I am looking forward to reading the rest!

Crista

P.S. on another note: I told my DH about you riding our favorite ride the Haunted Mansion at DL and WDW on the same day and now he wants to do that challenge too! Do you ever attend any of the HM events? were you at the 40th?

Wazzo
05-04-2010, 11:59 AM
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00730.jpg

Wow, I have to chime in and say that I had BOTH of those Barbie dolls too! Ah, to be reminded of 1985. :goodvibes

MinnieMe67
05-04-2010, 12:28 PM
This trip report is SO fascinating, really awesome! Thanks Carrie!

A question... my 10 year old daughter is BIG into Japanese puzzle erasers right now, did you happen to notice if they are BIG in Japan too?? I imagine myself in Japan buying erasers, bags and bags of erasers :lmao:

Kimberly815
05-04-2010, 12:41 PM
Tokyo is so overwhelmingly amazing! Were you in awe the whole time you were there? I must comment you on your bravery too . . . to go out solo in a foreign country takes guts!!

Bring on Tokyo Disney!!

MAGICFOR2
05-05-2010, 10:39 AM
Loved your foray into the "real" Tokyo! It is so great that you were brave and ate the different foods and just enjoyed the culture. Your description of the cashier's constant diatribe was so :rotfl2:! I loved the story about the loyal dog - so sad. And the Japanese version of history is interesting! In their classrooms, the "fire" came out of nowhere! ;)

lurkyloo
05-05-2010, 12:18 PM
OMG! I had that Barbie too!

I had the same Barbie Doll!

First I have to say I HAD THAT SAME BARBIE DOLL TOO! I have to see if it is still in my Barbie box which has been stashed away.

Looks like we need to start a club! :rotfl: Now the question is, do any of us still have that Barbie? :teeth: I know I don't, but when I was cleaning out my dad's house, I discovered that I do still have the dress from the one pictured in the box!



Amazing update! You did so much in one day!


It's crazy how much you can get done there in one day. I think it's the combo of longer business hours (sometimes til 8pm or 9pm) and efficient public transportation.

Hi, Carrie! I'm really enjoying this trip report Those stores are amazing!

Thanks for reading along!

Being a newbie, this is by far THE BEST thread ever! Great job caputuring the Tokyo area and all its greatness! Looking forward the Disney report.

Yay! I'm glad you're enjoying it!

First I have to say I HAD THAT SAME BARBIE DOLL TOO! I have to see if it is still in my Barbie box which has been stashed away. I just love reading your trip report. The Prada building was fabulous! I have never been too interested in architecture but that was a work of art.

I have a Barbie box too!!! I don't know what I think I'm going to do with them though (because I certainly don't want some 5 year old pawing through them...) :lmao:

Coldstone cakebatter with graham cracker :thumbsup2

Exactly! That's my fave (but I have them throw in some peanut butter, and then it tastes just like my grandma's peanut butter pie)!


Like so many others, I, too, had Peaches and Cream Barbie! Remember how she came with this little top-like spinner where you could spin it and see what she should do that day -- I think there were things like a cruise boat pictured on it.

:rotfl2: That is HIGH-larious—I'd forgotten about that!


Also, I had Crystal Barbie (the one pictured in the box), and she had these sparkly plastic shoes that looked like glass slippers??? (I did love my Barbies when I was younger! ;))

I *loved* those shoes! They were they became THE shoes for whatever my favorite Barbie was at the time. And when I discovered the Crystal Barbie dress at my dad's house a few months ago, the shoes were there too! I should put them on display... I mean, Patrick has stuffed every last shelf and bookcase with his toys, why shouldn't I?

Hi Carrie

Just wanted to say I am enjoying reading your TR. My DH and I are planning to go to TDR in September so I am taking lots of notes. I found you on Micechat and have been following your TR there too and couldn't get enough of your style of writing so I have now gone back and read all your trip reports and found them all very fun to read and even learned a few things about WDW and DL that I didn't know about! Anyway keep up the good work and I am looking forward to reading the rest!

Wow! Thanks for the kind words! I'm :cloud9: to hear you enjoyed those reports.


P.S. on another note: I told my DH about you riding our favorite ride the Haunted Mansion at DL and WDW on the same day and now he wants to do that challenge too! Do you ever attend any of the HM events? were you at the 40th?

No... I was broke at the time and figured I'd get shut-out by Disneyland's wretched special-event reservation system anyway. Did you go? Was it fun? I think if they'd actually done something inside the ride, rather than in the food court at DCA, I probably would have moved heaven and earth to do it though...


Wow, I have to chime in and say that I had BOTH of those Barbie dolls too! Ah, to be reminded of 1985.

This is fabulous! We really should start a club! :teeth:

This trip report is SO fascinating, really awesome! Thanks Carrie!

A question... my 10 year old daughter is BIG into Japanese puzzle erasers right now, did you happen to notice if they are BIG in Japan too?? I imagine myself in Japan buying erasers, bags and bags of erasers :lmao:

Dang—you know I didn't notice this, but that doesn't mean they aren't big. There was SO much to see over there, it was kind of overwhelming. I think a good rule of thumb is, if you're into something and they have it in Japan, you will definitely end up buying mass quantities of it there. :rotfl:

Tokyo is so overwhelmingly amazing! Were you in awe the whole time you were there?

Yes! Patrick and I kept saying "I can't believe we're actually in Tokyo!" Toward the end of the trip, when we'd start to get blasé, we'd try to remind each other to appreciate it.

Loved your foray into the "real" Tokyo! It is so great that you were brave and ate the different foods and just enjoyed the culture.

It definitely made the experience that much more enriching. I shudder to think how much I missed when I took my first trip abroad as a finicky teenager. :rolleyes:

DizneyDogs
05-05-2010, 01:16 PM
No... I was broke at the time and figured I'd get shut-out by Disneyland's wretched special-event reservation system anyway. Did you go? Was it fun? I think if they'd actually done something inside the ride, rather than in the food court at DCA, I probably would have moved heaven and earth to do it though...


I did go, it was our first HM event and we really enjoyed ourselves and meeting other diehard fans of the ride. My favorite thing was getting to hear Tony Baxter, Kim Irvine, Alice Davis and X Atencio talk about the ride.

Well it's now official we just booked our flight today to Japan for Sept 14 - 28th!!! Whoohoo :cool1: I have never been out of North America so I am super excited! Let the planning begin!

mla1977
05-05-2010, 01:21 PM
If I still have the Barbie, it is somewhere in my grandparents basement and who knows what can be growing on it. (I wonder if that is the Barbie the I cut bangs on...)

Charleston Princess
05-05-2010, 01:41 PM
I *loved* those shoes! They were they became THE shoes for whatever my favorite Barbie was at the time. And when I discovered the Crystal Barbie dress at my dad's house a few months ago, the shoes were there too! I should put them on display... I mean, Patrick has stuffed every last shelf and bookcase with his toys, why shouldn't I?

Barbie should definitely make an appearance in the bookcases -- Patrick's toys would be in awe! :lmao:

MAGICFOR2
05-06-2010, 02:28 AM
Barbie should definitely make an appearance in the bookcases -- Patrick's toys would be in awe! :lmao:

I have visions of Toy Story type scenes in my head! :rotfl2:

A-T-G
05-07-2010, 04:42 PM
The best part about being away for so long? Coming back to a Lurkyloo update! Amazing stuff! DH and I will be so broke if (when) we go to Japan. It's going to be insane!

Briarmom
05-08-2010, 05:45 PM
Really enjoying your TR! I love Tokyo/TDL and Kyoto! We went last April. It was a wonderful trip.:thumbsup2

lurkyloo
05-10-2010, 02:19 AM
I did go, it was our first HM event and we really enjoyed ourselves and meeting other diehard fans of the ride. My favorite thing was getting to hear Tony Baxter, Kim Irvine, Alice Davis and X Atencio talk about the ride.

Well it's now official we just booked our flight today to Japan for Sept 14 - 28th!!! Whoohoo :cool1: I have never been out of North America so I am super excited! Let the planning begin!

HOORAY! Congratulations! You will have SO much fun!

If I still have the Barbie, it is somewhere in my grandparents basement and who knows what can be growing on it. (I wonder if that is the Barbie the I cut bangs on...)

Hee hee! I did that too!

Barbie should definitely make an appearance in the bookcases -- Patrick's toys would be in awe! :lmao:

Totally! I'monna do it!

The best part about being away for so long? Coming back to a Lurkyloo update! Amazing stuff! DH and I will be so broke if (when) we go to Japan. It's going to be insane!

Oh man, you gotta do a trip report of your Disneyland Paris trip on the DIS, 'K?

Really enjoying your TR! I love Tokyo/TDL and Kyoto! We went last April. It was a wonderful trip.:thumbsup2

Oh how cool! Thanks for reading along!

lurkyloo
05-10-2010, 02:21 AM
I am a bad wife. Today I shamefully went to Tokyo Disneyland for the first time EVER, on a day that Patrick couldn't go. But I have a really good excuse: Initially I was just going to go down there to shoot pix of the resort area and the local hotels, but then we found out Monsters Inc. Ride ‘n’ Go Seek would be closed for rehab by the time we got there for our official Disney trip. I couldn't very well travel aaaalllll the way to Japan (this phrase eventually became our excuse to do just about anything) and NOT ride Monsters Inc. if I had the chance.

My punishment was that I did it all wrong. For a veteran Disney park tourist who times every move down to the second to avoid lines and crowds and maximize fun, this is almost a fate worse than death. For starters, I should have gone the previous day, a Friday, when I could have bought the After 6 Passport for a mere ¥3,100. Instead, I went on THE busiest day of the week at the start of Top Season and paid ¥4,700 for the Starlight Passport, which meant I had to wait til 3pm to enter the park and only saved ¥1,100 (remember, this is like $11.99 in real money). Stoopid! Stoopid! It woulda been worth the 12 extra bucks for a full-day passport just to get there at park opening and run to Monsters Inc. first, instead of entering the park at peak time and having to wait in The Longest Disney Park Line I Have Ever Waited In EVER.

But first, we had breakfast. And I only mention this because it was one of those cafes you hear about where you look at the fake food display, make your selection, and pay at a machine outside. Then you take the receipt it spits out and go inside to get your food!

"Let's see… I'll have the plastic noodles in lacquer with a vinyl poached egg!"
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00771.jpg

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00773.jpg

What struck me was that it was an otherwise primitive little place inside, with no tables, just a counter around the perimeter, and one guy working in the kitchen. Unfortunately, I have no pictures of this part.


I set out for Disney after I sent Patrick off to the TV shoot, his upper lip stiff as he tried to see through stinging tears of disappointment. I managed to get down to Disney on the JR train OK using a combination of directions from Kevin Yee’s book and the Tokyo Disney forum on Mice Chat. Basically, at Tokyo Station you just follow signs for the JR Keiyo Line, which is red, to Maihama. When you get to Platform 3 & 4, the trains on both sides go to Maihama, but one is a rapid train that only makes 3 stops instead of 6 (in my three trips to Disney, this was always the one at Platform 4). The express train seemed to shave maybe 10 or 12 minutes off the trip, but it never took longer than 30 minutes on the regular train.

I was compelled to shoot all the signs for you.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00776.jpg

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00778.jpg

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00779.jpg

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00780.jpg


I was also intent on photographing the infamous Tokyo Station Tunnel of Doom and its corresponding Staircase of Despair, both of which have been frequently discussed on Mice Chat as major impediments to taking the subway from Narita or Tokyo to Disney if you have luggage.

No elevator here!
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC05329.jpg


Will it ever END?!!
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC05330.jpg


Why didn't I leave my luggage here – WHY?!
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00777.jpg

I must admit, it IS a long tunnel. Like 10-minutes-of-walking long… But when Patrick saw the Staircase of Despair later, after my days of build-up, he was like "What's the big deal? Just carry your luggage up one piece at a time." However, I noticed we never did end up making that trek in either direction with our luggage….

The first thing you see when you get off the train at Maihama (besides, you know, the Tokyo Disneyland Hotel, Space Mountain, Ikspiari and Bon Voyage…) is this beacon of Disney in an unfamiliar land:

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00781.jpg

It felt weird the whole day—everything was simultaneously familiar and unfamiliar to this Disney vet. It didn't help that Maihama Station was a madhouse of Saturday-morning crowds, with the people darting everywhere giving me the feeling that I needed to start darting too!

(Madhouse not entirely pictured)
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00786.jpg


Another place much discussed among Westerners is the Becker's restaurant in Maihama Station. Apparently it's a good place for a cheap, familiar meal. I didn't fly aaaalllll the way to Tokyo to eat food I could get back home, though, so we never tried it. Also, I was confused because there appeared to be two Becker's… unless "Beck's" is a brazenly named competitor…

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00782.jpg

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00901.jpg


To the left as you come out of the station are the Tokyo Disney Resort Welcome Center and the Ikspiari shopping mall that stands in for Downtown Disney.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00903.jpg


If you're staying at one of the Disney hotels or partner hotels, you can check into your hotel and hand off your luggage at the Welcome Center and even buy your tickets there so you can go straight to the parks.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00784.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00785.jpg

It took being shuttled among three different cast members for me to find out that day guests can't buy park tickets here—for that, you have to go to the park gate. More time wasted – stoopid! Stoopid! EDIT: I realize now that there *was* a ticket counter at the Welcome Center, but it was on the bottom floor and had only been open a few days at that point. Heck, maybe the CMs were even trying to direct me there! At any rate, future visitors take note: you can buy your park tix at the Welcome Center if you want to.


The Tokyo Disney Resort Line (i.e. the Monorail) is between the Welcome Center and Ikspiari. Taking pictures of all this stuff helped me get my bearings.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00905.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00783.jpg


Buses, including the shuttles from the partner hotels, stop on the ground level below the station.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00899.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00796.jpg


The Disney Resort Cruiser (bus) connects the Ambassador Hotel with the two theme parks, since it's the only Disney resort not on the monorail line.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00793.jpg


Actually, I'm gonna borrow Disney's map and put it here, cuz I think it will really help:

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/TDLResortMap.jpg


I set out on the bridge from Maihama Station to Disneyland, which passes a giant suitcase housing the mega gift shop Bon Voyage. It's closer to a World of Disney than a Disney Store, (which is inside Ikspiari) but is much smaller than either of the ones at the US parks.

I love that one of the doors is in the latch!

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00787.jpg

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00789.jpg

Along the way, I saw another familiar-yet-strangely-unfamiliar site…

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00790.jpg

lurkyloo
05-10-2010, 02:23 AM
First stop: Ticket booths!

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00797.jpg

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00798.jpg

The prices, circa March 2010:
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00799.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC01069.jpg


Starlight Passport in hand, I made my way to the monorail station at the Tokyo Disneyland Hotel, bound for Bayside Station and the Tokyo Disney Resort Official Hotels. It seemed silly to pay to ride for one stop, but heck if I knew how to get there on foot. (I actually ended up wandering between the partner hotels later, and there didn't seem to be any pedestrian walkways connecting them with Disneyland.)

View of Tokyo Disneyland Station from the Tokyo Disneyland Hotel
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC01064.jpg

So in Tokyo, the Disney Resort Monorail costs money. I have heard this is due to a law that requires operators of anything that functions as transportation to charge fares. The same law is the reason that the Disneyland Railroad doesn't go all the way around the park, or anywhere in particular, really! More on that later…

Guests of the Disney resorts get free passes for the monorail. The rest of us have to buy tickets. You can either pay for individual tickets each time you ride or buy a day (or multi-day) pass or use your Pasmo/Suica. I decided to buy a 1-day pass cuz it was only ¥650 and I didn't wanna use up my Pasmo before I got back to Tokyo.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00800.jpg

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00801.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00802.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC01035.jpg


Why aren't our monorails this cool?
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00803.jpg


So long, elaborate Tokyo Disneyland Hotel
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00806.jpg


Hello, bland Official Hotels!
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00974.jpg


My goal was to shoot lots of pix of the Official Hotels that aren't the Hilton and the Sheraton because they get such short shrift in all the English-language info about Tokyo Disney. True, this is because they cater almost exclusively to the Japanese, but all of them have English-language websites that are no more difficult to navigate than those of the hotels I booked in Tokyo. And with lower rates than the Disney hotels and even the Hilton and Sheraton, in some cases, they could be great alternatives.

All the partner hotels are served by a single monorail stop, Bayside Station.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00976.jpg

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00846.jpg

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00813.jpg


I took one pic of the Sheraton but skipped it altogether because the author of the Tokyo Disney guidebook I'm working on stayed there and got tons.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00814.jpg


My first stop was Hotel Okura Tokyo Bay (http://www.okura.com/hotels/tokyobay/index.html).

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00812.jpg

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00817.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00819.jpg


Ooh! Ooh! Wedding!

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00821.jpg


This lead me to sneak into the wedding-planning salon…

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00822.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00823.jpg


All the Official Hotels have a Disney Fantasy store in them, in case you can't survive walking more than 500 feet without purchasing Disney plush.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00824.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00825.jpg

lurkyloo
05-10-2010, 02:26 AM
My next stop was a hotel that doesn't appear to have a name because it is ABANDONED! We'll call it Spooky Empty Fun-Time Hotel. I adore poking around shuttered hotels, and not just the ones that have cursed elevators in them—I got to explore LA's world-famous Ambassador Hotel a few months before they tore it down, and that place was amazing! However, Spooky Empty Fun-Time Hotel had a giant padlock on it and no evidence of any bored security guards who might take me on an impromptu tour.


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00810.jpg

Also, there were cameras…
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00828.jpg

Aiyeeeee! It's the ghost of a faceless tourist in a doofy hat! Oh wait, that's me…
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00826.jpg


OK, stop the presses! I realized there was a clue in one of my photos, namely, the NAME of the darn place, and a quick Google search reveals that it isn't a hotel at all! It is the Tokyo Bay NK Hall, an indoor sporting arena that holds 7,000 people. It is no longer used—possibly because, as one site suggested, it is too far from the center of Tokyo—but at one time it hosted such acts as Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, Muse, and Skid Row (but not at the same time, due to fears of a citywide shortage of black nail polish). And another singer who performed there, Shizuka Kudo, is the voice of Megara in the Japanese dub of the Disney film Hercules—a-ha! It's all making sense now!

We now return you to your trip report all ready in progress…

Next stop: Hilton Tokyo Bay (http://www.hilton.co.uk:80/tokyobay)


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00809.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00836.jpg

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00837.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00830.jpg


Oooh! Another wedding!
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00833.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00834.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00835.jpg


This was my first of the many uber-themed restaurants I encountered on Disney property. I think it was actually four restaurants!

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00839.jpg

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00840.jpg

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00841.jpg

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00843.jpg


I didn't get to see any of the rooms, but here's a picture of a picture—good enough, right?

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00845.jpg


Those Happy Magic rooms look cool!

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00838.jpg




Off I trudged to Tokyo Bay Hotel Toku (http://www.tokyuhotelsjapan.com/en/TH/TH_TKBAY/index.html)


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00807.jpg


Except I couldn't figure out how to get there on foot! I ended up wandering around the backside, which is nothing more than a windswept frontage road on the bay.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00847.jpg


However, this gave me the opportunity to spot and photograph an actual Friendly Airport Limousine in its natural habitat—a travel editor's dream!

Talk about false advertising, this looks nothing like a limousine!
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00850.jpg

By the time I had circumnavigated the entire hotel, the sight of the lobby made me wonder if I was delirious.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00851.jpg

It's basically a soaring atrium with a mock village set down in it.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00854.jpg

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00856.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00860.jpg


Tucked off to one side is the check-in desk.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00853.jpg

lurkyloo
05-10-2010, 02:28 AM
There's also a bridal salon, because, I'm starting to gather, getting married is the thing to do on a Japanese vacation...?

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00861.jpg

Mmmmm…. Looks like octopus sushi…
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00862.jpg


The Disney Fantasy Shop had some adorable window displays.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00857.jpg

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00858.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00859.jpg


Before I left, I stepped out onto a balcony at the back of the hotel to see the view.

So that's what a wind tunnel looks like!
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00855.jpg

It's interesting that Disney is on the edge of this huge blue bay, but all the hotels are these bunkers built around interior courtyards and facing away from it because the winds are so fierce.

Next stop: Tokyo Bay Maihama Hotel (http://www.maihamahotel.jp/en/index.html)


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00863.jpg

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00865.jpg


The Grand Floridian may have a fancy carriage photo-op out front, but I'd like to see a horse try and pull an Impala!!!
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00883.jpg


Maihama Hotel felt the most chic and modern of all the Official Hotels.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00873.jpg


Oh my gawd, it's the Ghost Tourist again! Oh wait—just me… again…
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00879.jpg

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00882.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00872.jpg


People were posing for pictures in front of this fountain, so I figured I'd better get it too!

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00875.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00876.jpg


Why's Mickey always in a cage at the Disney Fantasy store? It's as if they know he'd escape to a real Disney hotel, given the chance…
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00877.jpg



The last stop was Sunroute Plaza Tokyo (http://www.sunroute-plaza-tokyo.com/).


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00867.jpg

They don't come any bland-er!
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00891.jpg

Obligatory wedding venue
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00886.jpg


I felt sorry for all the disused outdoor pools at Tokyo Disney. I don't understand why they don't let you swim in them during the non-summer months if you want to. I would have done it!

Oh wait—maybe this one's just for decoration?
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00892.jpg

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00885.jpg


You can tell it's "California" by the Palm Beach-style neon!
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00887.jpg


Inside the Disney Fantasy store…
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00894.jpg


Kawaiiiiiiiii!
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00895.jpg

lurkyloo
05-10-2010, 02:29 AM
Inexplicably, one wing has received a 1950s makeover. Looking at their website, I see that another wing has been done over to feel like a cruise ship (http://www.sunroute-plaza-tokyo.com/ht_en/en_rmtyp_north.htm), while the third is made up to look like a tired 1980s motel (http://www.sunroute-plaza-tokyo.com/ht_en/en_rmtyp_west.htm).



http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00896.jpg

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00897.jpg

Exhausted from my tour and seeing no pedestrian path to the parks, I grabbed a shuttle bus that must've been boosted from Angelyne (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angelyne)'s garage and rode it back to Maihama Station.


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00884.jpg

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00898.jpg


Next stop: Ikspiari!

From everything I'd read, I imagined Ikspiari to be a big giant box of a mall, but it turned out to be more of the modern kind of mall, with several distinctly themed areas connected by labyrinthine passages. It felt like every time I turned a corner, I discovered a whole new and completely different area.


Main Entrance Courtyard
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00906.jpg

Museum Lane… which looks nothing like a museum…
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00907.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00908.jpg


Fabulous slogan!
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00909.jpg


I think this is the Traders' Passage section of Ikspiari
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00952.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00953.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC01005.jpg


This store was full of stuff Patrick would have loved—actually, a lot of it was stuff he does love cuz it's sold in his favorite shops over here.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00955.jpg

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00954.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00956.jpg

In case you didn't know, this diagram explains the notebook's bonus feature…
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00957.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00951.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00950.jpg


More patisserie—macaroons appear to be a "thing" in Tokyo!

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC01007.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC01009.jpg


Mmmmm…. AstroTurf…
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC01008.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC01010.jpg


The top level is called Chef's Row cuz it has most of the table-service restaurants.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC01006.jpg


Back down in Traders' Pasage was an adorable café selling all manner of savory pastries, including… Belgian waffle sandwiches?!!!
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00990.jpg


However, I decided to eat in the food hall in the basement, which was appropriately named "Food Food."

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC01002.jpg

lurkyloo
05-10-2010, 02:30 AM
I followed the rule of thumb about finding the place with the biggest line, which was at this one.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC01003.jpg

They were making something that I don't know what it is, but I shall henceforth refer to as OctoBalls. When I saw the chefs dump ginormous pieces of octopus on griddles full of fried dough balls, I was sold. It turns out they sell these at stands all over town, so they must be popular everywhere. Usually the stand features an adorable cartoon octopus on it somewhere. Check out the cooking process!

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00992.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00993.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00994.jpg


I can barely feed myself with chopsticks, yet somehow these folks use them to shape liquid batter into balls while it cooks!
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00995.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00996.jpg


The finished product looks like this:

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00998.jpg

When I got to the front of the line they must've asked me which of the various powders and sauces I wanted on my OctoBalls, but all I could do was smile and nod, which means I got The Works.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC01000.jpg


Just in case I didn't like the OctoBalls, I stopped by a deli counter to get some tempura shrimp and this delicious heart attack on a plate that was a combination of egg salad and pasta salad with ham.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00999.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC01001.jpg

The OctoBalls turned out to be just OK—I think the dust on top was some herb or spice I don't like. But this was when I began to notice something else wonderful about Japanese food: It is always served hot! Whether you're at a counter or at a table-service restaurant, your food always arrives hot. I feel like American restaurants are content with lukewarm most of the time.


After lunch, or maybe before, I decided to explore the Disney Store.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC01011.jpg

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00910.jpg


They seemed to stock almost entirely different merchandise than Bon Voyage and the park gift shops.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00915.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00911.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00912.jpg


I totally should have bought one of these—they were even on sale!
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00914.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00916.jpg


How often do you see characters from Silly Symphonies in US Disney stores? Um, NEVER!
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00918.jpg

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00917.jpg

lurkyloo
05-10-2010, 02:31 AM
I shot a bunch of pictures of the ThinkWay Toy Story toys because I didn't know you could get them in the States.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00919.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00921.jpg

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00922.jpg

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00925.jpg

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00926.jpg

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00927.jpg

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00928.jpg

They are SPENDY – that Buzz is ¥9,975!

Cheaper versions:

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00930.jpg


I also shot a lot of the collectible stuff on behalf of our Disneyana-collecting uncle. But it all looked really familiar—I'm pretty sure you can get most of it over here.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00932.jpg

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00933.jpg

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00934.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00935.jpg


Well, you can't get this over here:

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00936.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00939.jpg


We noticed a lot of this "cute animal dressed as another cute animal" business all over Tokyo, not just at Disney. How are you supposed to resist DOUBLE cute rays?!

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00941.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00942.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00943.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00944.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00945.jpg

I'm pretty sure that big Stitch is life-size!
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00946.jpg

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00947.jpg


This was my first sighting of omiyage, the gift-packaged snacks that simplify the Japanese custom of buying souvenirs for everyone you know when you go on vacation.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00948.jpg

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00949.jpg


Every so often, this Ariel starts singing, which lures in adorable tots for you to take pictures of.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC01013.jpg

lurkyloo
05-10-2010, 02:33 AM
The Disney Store is in the same building as yet another wing of Ikspiari, this one themed like a nighttime entertainment district and called "B'way"…

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC01015.jpg

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC01017.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC01018.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC01020.jpg

I love these details!

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC01021.jpg


Another fabulous store, this one selling a nice mix of unusual and familiar items in a faux supermarket setting

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC01025.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC01023.jpg

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC01024.jpg


Who *doesn't* need one of these?
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC01022.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC01026.jpg


Across from the theater is a real live radio station—you can look into the booth and watch the DJ, plus they have a video camera on him that feeds a monitor you can watch.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC01028.jpg


I saw some of the best fake food yet outside Rainforest Café. There are shops in Tokyo that sell high quality (and high-priced) fake food to restaurants (more on that later in the trip), but I have a feeling these dishes all had to be custom-made.


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC01029.jpg

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC01030.jpg

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC01032.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC01033.jpg


I still had more time to kill, so I rode the monorail around a few times to take pictures. I even got to sit up front… because there's no driver and *anyone* can sit there! If you can beat a pack of little kids to a seat, that is.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00959.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00961.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00963.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00964.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00970.jpg


There's a whole lot going on out front of Tokyo Disneyland… I'm not sure it's as aesthetically pleasing as the front of the Magic Kingdom or even Disneyland.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00972.jpg

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00973.jpg


The first time we rounded the bend toward Tokyo DisneySea, I decided I wasn't going to look at the park because I wanted to be surprised…

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00977.jpg


That silliness didn't last long the second time around!

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00978.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00979.jpg

lurkyloo
05-10-2010, 02:34 AM
*cough*MidwayMania*cough*!
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00980.jpg


You can see Tokyo DisneySea's ticket booths in this one:

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00981.jpg


Look at this one and you'd never know you were in Japan!

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00982.jpg


This covered walkway leads from the monorail station to Hotel MiraCosta.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00983.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00984.jpg


Cirque du Soleil
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00986.jpg


I was quite impressed with my first glimpse of the Ambassador Hotel—it really captures the feel of 1930s Southern California!

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00988.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC00989.jpg


To kill the remaining hour til my Starlight Passport was valid, I stopped in at the Tokyo Disneyland Hotel to snap some pictures.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC01036.jpg


There's an exquisitely elegant restaurant on the ground floor called Canna. These pictures aren't so hot—wait til you see the ones Patrick took later.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC01039.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC01038.jpg


There's also a sundries shop kinda like the ones at DVC resorts—it even has a cold case of prepared foods. When we later stayed here, we discovered that none of the amenities like these were found at the other two Disney hotels.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC01062.jpg

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC01061.jpg



A grand staircase leads up to a landing featuring this mosaic and then splits into two staircases to the lobby.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC01060.jpg



Holy crap, I think this may be THE most gorgeous Disney resort lobby in the world! Not only does it put the Tokyo Disney Official Hotel lobbies to shame, it makes the Grand Floridian look like a Days Inn! Just for you, I took a bazillion million backlit photos…

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC01054.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC01058.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC01059.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC01055.jpg

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC01051.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC01053.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC01056.jpg


Even the birdcage elevator is cooler!

Donald for Wazzo
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC01050.jpg

lurkyloo
05-10-2010, 02:35 AM
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC01042.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC01043.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC01046.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC01045.jpg


These guys got a little woozy looking at that last pic and passed out…

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC01047.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC01048.jpg


It was about 20 minutes to 3:00 by that time, so I decided to go see if a line was forming at the gate (what am I saying—this is Japan. Of COURSE there was a line!).


I peered longingly through the bars…

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC01065.jpg


Whoa, is that… the Sheriff of Nottingham? I knew they had lesser-known characters over here, but wow!
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC01066.jpg


http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC01067.jpg

I got to be second in line!

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC01068.jpg


Up Next: First time at Tokyo Disneyland, and it's literally like one of my nightmares!

MAGICFOR2
05-10-2010, 02:35 AM
The excitement is building - we are almost through the gate....:woohoo:

torsie24
05-10-2010, 07:48 AM
Eeeee - AMAZING update Carrie!!!!

I can't wait for you to get in!

I sent Jack the link to this review and he got to the photos of the Disneyland hotel and went "WOW!"

I thought we were all decided to stay at the Miracosta when it's finally our turn to go to TDL but now I think I might be swayed the other way!!!

Thanks so much for doing such a thorough report, I can't wait for more!

meryll83
05-10-2010, 07:52 AM
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%203/DSC00681.jpg



Oh I want, I WANT!!! :lovestruc

We're hoping to go to Tokyo in a few years time (if money allows) - I'm actually quite afraid now seeing how complicated everything seems to be!

I forget I'm used to WDW far too much now and venturing elsewhere in the world requires even more preparation when you're not familiar with the location!! :scared1:

Looking forward to seeing more of DisneySea!

disney_princess_85
05-10-2010, 09:03 AM
Ok- all I can say is WOW!!!! Seriously, your photos and commentary are amazing. I am so excited to visit one day! Everything is so beautifully detailed. I love the theming of the hotels and the mall, plus the merchandise looks fantastic. SIGH! I'm so jealous of you but so grateful that you are writing such a wonderful report.

Great work Carrie, I'm looking forward to more! :)

LittleStinkerbelle
05-10-2010, 10:06 AM
So much photo goodness I don't know where to start!!!:hyper: Love the tour of the hotels. And the monorail looks so luxe! Interesting that there's a charge to ride. Can't wait to read more!:goodvibes

Disneygrl36
05-10-2010, 10:18 AM
Loving our first look at Tokyo Disneyland.

The buses & monorail are super cool looking!
Thanks for the hotel tour...I loved the pics of the rooms in the one. The Magic Room looked so cute. And your comment about the black nail polish had me :lmao:
WOW on the Disneyland Hotel.
Also the have some great fake food over there! Looks almost good enough to eat....ba dump ba. :lmao:

Lifelong_Dreamer
05-10-2010, 11:04 AM
Thank you for the amazing pictures and the tour, not sure it made choosing what hotel to stay at any easier, they all look great! The Disneyland Hotel is simply gorgeous, I can't wait to see your pictures of the Miracosta. :thumbsup2

Becx N Gav
05-10-2010, 11:15 AM
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/lurkyloo/Tokyo/Day%204/DSC01032.jpg


Hmmmm, are these frogs family friendly :scared1: :laughing:

Will post more later should be working right now - wow amazing photos! Loving this report Carrie :goodvibes

:wave:

A-T-G
05-10-2010, 11:48 AM
Oh boy! Almost there! I can't wait! It's like I'm in line, too.

As for my Paris TR, I'll do it but, I won't do you proud. DH and I both had very crappy photo days on that particular day. The photos we took of that day were crap! And mostly of menus and prices for a pal (who could that be, I wonder....). Still, I'll get to crackin'!

lurkyloo
05-10-2010, 12:54 PM
The excitement is building - we are almost through the gate....:woohoo:

:hyper: Sorry it's taking so long—I just have so dang many photos, there's no way to do an entire day in one go anymore!



I thought we were all decided to stay at the Miracosta when it's finally our turn to go to TDL but now I think I might be swayed the other way!!!!

That's exactly what happened to me. I think part of the problem was the order we stayed in them: Newest (Disneyland Hotel), older (MiraCosta), oldest (Ambassador). Even though Mira Costa is AMAZING, it's lacking some of the amenities we'd gotten used to at the Disneyland Hotel. A big one for me was guest laundry, because I am a nut and like to clean my clothes on vacation. :rotfl:

Oh I want, I WANT!!! :lovestruc

We're hoping to go to Tokyo in a few years time (if money allows) - I'm actually quite afraid now seeing how complicated everything seems to be!

Oh no! I was hoping this report would do the opposite and make a Tokyo trip seem *less* complicated! :sad2: Well, the PassPorter on Tokyo Disney should be out by the time you go, so hopefully that will make it seem less overwhelming to you! :thumbsup2

Ok- all I can say is WOW!!!! Seriously, your photos and commentary are amazing. I am so excited to visit one day! Everything is so beautifully detailed. I love the theming of the hotels and the mall, plus the merchandise looks fantastic. SIGH! I'm so jealous of you but so grateful that you are writing such a wonderful report.

Great work Carrie, I'm looking forward to more! :)

Wow! Thanks for you kind words! :cloud9: I'm glad to hear you're enjoying the report.

So much photo goodness I don't know where to start!!!:hyper: Love the tour of the hotels. And the monorail looks so luxe! Interesting that there's a charge to ride. Can't wait to read more!:goodvibes

It was kind of a lot of photo goodness, wasn't it? :lmao: I don't think I've ever needed NINE posts for an installment before—stoopid DIS photo limit!

Loving our first look at Tokyo Disneyland.

The buses & monorail are super cool looking!
Thanks for the hotel tour...I loved the pics of the rooms in the one. The Magic Room looked so cute.
WOW on the Disneyland Hotel.

Yes! I'd love to see photos of an actual Magic Room and see if it's as cute in person.

Thank you for the amazing pictures and the tour, not sure it made choosing what hotel to stay at any easier, they all look great! The Disneyland Hotel is simply gorgeous, I can't wait to see your pictures of the Miracosta. :thumbsup2

I can't wait to share them! Also, I think you may be pleasantly surprised by the Ambassador pix too—it's much more interestingly themed than you get a sense of on the website.

Hmmmm, are these frogs family friendly :scared1:

I know! :eek: I just saw that after I'd posted the pic. I wonder if some wiseguy tourist did that or if it was intentional....

Oh boy! Almost there! I can't wait! It's like I'm in line, too.

As for my Paris TR, I'll do it but, I won't do you proud. DH and I both had very crappy photo days on that particular day. The photos we took of that day were crap! And mostly of menus and prices for a pal (who could that be, I wonder....). Still, I'll get to crackin'!

Hooray! As long as the menus and prices are readable, who cares what they look like? Thanks so much for doing that!

Bibbidi
05-10-2010, 12:56 PM
Carrie- all your photos are so great. I'm sure you've previously posted somewhere what type of camera you were using...can you tell me again?

A-T-G
05-10-2010, 04:21 PM
Okay! I started it!

Lorelei528
05-10-2010, 05:01 PM
Just one word...



:thumbsup2



Excellent job so far!!! Tokyo Disney is a bit overwhelming!!! I agree with Meryll! I'm a bit.....:eek: about the whole experience! I hope by the time we get to go one day, there will be more info about it. The monorail info alone was making me dizzy!

Can't wait for more!

ChrisFL
05-10-2010, 09:28 PM
wow...amazing!!

Everything is just so pristine!! I didn't get to see a lot of that stuff while I was there, just saw the parks.

Goldeelox9
05-10-2010, 09:39 PM
How did you not BUY IT ALL?!?! I would have thrown out my dirty clothes and came home with suitcases full of stuff!!!!

lurkyloo
05-11-2010, 11:32 AM
Carrie- all your photos are so great. I'm sure you've previously posted somewhere what type of camera you were using...can you tell me again?

Sure thing! It's a Sony Cybershot DSC-HX1 (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001U3ZUWO?ie=UTF8&tag=ludowd-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=******&creativeASIN=B001U3ZUWO). I got it for him for his birthday last year, so they prolly have a newer, flashier model by now. But he LOVES it!


Okay! I started it!

Hooray! I love it already!

Julming!!! I agree with Meryll! I'm a bit.....:eek: about the whole experience! I hope by the time we get to go one day, there will be more info about it. The monorail info alone was making me dizzy!

Can't wait for more!

Oh no! I'm trying to make this place seem *less* overwhelming! :scared: OK, all you need to know about the monorail is it costs money unless you're a Disney guest. But it's very easy to buy tickets, or you can use your rechargeable fare card for the Tokyo subway system.

wow...amazing!!

Everything is just so pristine!! I didn't get to see a lot of that stuff while I was there, just saw the parks.

Yeah, I guess that was one benefit of not being able to get into the parks til 3 - I got to really explore all the free things to do outside the parks! :)

How did you not BUY IT ALL?!?! I would have thrown out my dirty clothes and came home with suitcases full of stuff!!!!

:rotfl: It was very tempting.... We were fortunate to have taken the advice of a few people who told us to pack an extra duffel bag in our luggage, and it worked out great!

Bethmsu
05-11-2010, 02:17 PM
I am in love with your report, detailed and engaging! Thanks for taking the time!

NeverlandClub23
05-11-2010, 02:48 PM
I pilfered someone else's (http://land.allears.net/blogs/guestblog/tokyo_disney_resort/) picture of a Happy Magic Room to gain admittance to your trip report ;).

http://land.allears.net/blogs/guestblog/tkdl1.jpg

TDL looks A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!!! I do have to agree that it still seems sort of overwhelming. Do you think what limited language you learned before you went helped decipher some of the signs or helped you navigate your way around? I look at some of the signs/maps in your pictures and I would probably just curl up in a ball and start crying :). All of your TR's are always so good!! :goodvibes

MA pigletfan
05-11-2010, 05:05 PM
WOAH!!!! What an update! I give you MUCH credit for not getting lost..because i certainly would...with unfamiliar suroundings and a language barrier..that would have done me in! Kudos...and I love love love the pictures and details.

ChrisFL
05-11-2010, 07:47 PM
lurkyloo, just FYI, that Tokyo Bay Hotel Toku looks very similar to the Gaylord Palms in Orlando...it's HUGE and is themed to 3 different sections of Florida, The Everglades, St. Augustine and the Keys....I highly recommend checking it out the next time you visit WDW :)

Aburns8
05-11-2010, 09:58 PM
OMG what an update! What a crazy day you must have had. The Disney hotels are amazing. I really want to go and stay at one. Plus the monorail there is really cool. How come they are not like that in the states? This really was a trip of a lifetime! :goodvibes

H2E
05-11-2010, 10:31 PM
Awsome!

MAGICFOR2
05-12-2010, 02:51 AM
:hyper: Sorry it's taking so long—I just have so dang many photos, there's no way to do an entire day in one go anymore!

Don't apologize, I'm enjoying every last minute! Your pics are fantastic, and I can almost smell the Octoballs. I loved them, but I had them plain. Maybe the sauce ruined them for you.

I was just telling DH that I can't believe the Yen rate. When we were there in the 80's, $1 would only buy 175 yen:eek: We could never afford to stay on property - now it looks downright cheap - If there ever was a time to go to Tokyo Disney, this is it - I'll have to work on him;) Thanks again for all the details!

Chilly
05-12-2010, 08:55 AM
:

And don't you guys have better cell phones than we do too? It's our dearth of public transportation (well, at least in LA) that really gets me, though.

I lived in London in the late '90s, right after college, and had two jobs: one at an audio music magazine (meaning it came on CD!) and the other at The Body Shop in Piccadilly Circus. I loved it - I'd always been an Anglophile, plus it was my first time living in a big city. After I got back to the US I spent a year trying to figure out a way to get another job back there, but it's pretty difficult unless you can find someone to sponsor you. But I love to visit! :goodvibes

No I think the phones are on par. You are always welcome to stay with me in the UK! I'm heading your way next year. Right off to catch up now, my PC has been broken so i'm way behind oh and that silly little election meant I had to do some work rather than read the DIS while at work ;)

torsie24
05-12-2010, 09:25 AM
Carrie - if you want to do a house swap I'm there!

I've wanted to live in the States since I was about 6. You guys just have such a great way of life. More choice, better service.

Closest I ever got was a few months at UCLA, man I miss it!

Chilly
05-12-2010, 11:22 AM
Only up to page 9 but had to stop to say i've still got my Sylvanian Familes!

Chilly
05-12-2010, 12:56 PM
Yeah all caught up, I had two things to comment on:

1 - love the Minnie Mouse Store
2 - can't remember because I was so blown away by those last photos!

Lorelei528
05-12-2010, 03:39 PM
2 - can't remember because I was so blown away by those last photos!

This is exactly how i am when I read Carrie's reports!! There's just so much to comment on, that when I get to finally comment I forget everything I wanted to say and just say..."Excellent job!" or something like that! :rotfl:

A-T-G
05-12-2010, 03:41 PM
Take your time, Carrie! It's always worth the wait!

PopArtGal
05-12-2010, 07:41 PM
“Japan Airlines: We’re pretty dang good!”

I love that slogan! hehe

"I could see Russia from my house!" Gotta think about that when you fly over Alaska.

I would have tried all the buttons on the toilet too hehe

(Yup, I'm just catching up. If you have time on your hand, and want to figure out why I haven't been on the dis for a while, check my ptr hehe)

PopArtGal
05-12-2010, 07:56 PM
You gotta love all the "unknown" products you can find at that 7 eleven. You are quite adventurous. I might be scared to try some because of my allergies.

May I copy your picture of the Alice poster?? I'm obsessed with this movie. Well with most Tim Burton movies. Just ask my students lol

The different chocolates look really neat. And I love a good hot chocolate!

Vallie
05-12-2010, 07:59 PM
Love love loveee this trip report!! So inspiring!

My boyfriend and I are hoping to head to Tokyo/Disney Seas sometime next year,

We want to spend a couple days in Tokyo (probably 3ish) and two days at Disney Seas/DisneyLand Tokyo...

Whats the best way to go about starting to look into/book things??

Thank you!

PopArtGal
05-12-2010, 08:03 PM
I loooooooooooooove the stationery!!!! It's so cute and so me hehe

Glad you could switch room.

I need to "breathe" in a room. If you understand what I mean.

PopArtGal
05-12-2010, 08:11 PM
Ok, I just loooooooooooooooove the commercials!! Congrats Patrick!

Wazzo
05-12-2010, 08:38 PM
OOOOoooooh, Donald!!

I'm not sure which one I liked best from your last installment... the cute sleepy Donald in the window was fun, but I'm glad it wasn't me in Japan or I might have bought that GIANT plush Donald!!!

Your pictures are spectacular... now I want to go to Japan even more!! Perhaps when they get VRs!!!!! You'll have to come and be our official tour guide!!

PopArtGal
05-12-2010, 08:51 PM
yummmmm so much treats!

Would you look at that Swarovski store facade!!!!!! I am amazed!

I am not a Star Wars fan, but I love the chopsticks!

PopArtGal
05-12-2010, 09:06 PM
You gotta love sweet and salty all in one!

And Lush..... oh I need some bath bombs!!

PopArtGal
05-12-2010, 09:16 PM
The monorail is soooooooooo cute. And so swanky. Maybe we'd get the same treatment if we paid fees to use it?

PopArtGal
05-12-2010, 09:35 PM
That Stitch is so freakin adorable!

Chilly
05-13-2010, 06:27 AM
I've just remembered what my second comment was! The double cuteness of a Disney character dressed as something else is also something common in the UK.

Donald'sGirl
05-13-2010, 09:47 AM
Carrie I just found your TR and spent the last 2 days reading and all I can say is

WOW!!!

I am loving this trip report! You are so lucky you were able to go to. I hope someday I will be able to as well. Your pictures and detail of the trip is fantastic! Thank you for sharing this with us.

Can't wait for the next installment popcorn::

aharbin88
05-13-2010, 10:57 AM
Good question! Maybe it was sun protection?


That's what I was thinking, too. I wondered if Tokyo has a high incidence of skin cancer or something. They were wayyyy covered up!

Your TR is just amazing! I just love looking at all these pictures, and I'm so glad you took the time to take them. I'm really impressed that you were able to get all this touring done before 3, too! You must have been haulin' tail to get to all these places, especially the ones that weren't connected by the monorail or easily-found foot paths.

It strikes me as a little odd that all these wedding venues seem very American-ized to me. Is this why they say that only certain people would want this wedding, so they only offer limited choices? Those same people would want American-ish weddings? Or maybe that's the theme of most weddings in Japan these days. I'm not exactly up on the trends in other parts of the world (except what Jessica Simpson taught me on "Price of Beauty"!), so maybe it seems more odd to me than it should.

voleball
05-14-2010, 01:41 AM
Good question! Maybe it was sun protection?
That's what I was thinking, too. I wondered if Tokyo has a high incidence of skin cancer or something. They were wayyyy covered up!

These are the very traditional and very popular work outfits for older people who work outside includig farmers. Mostly to cover up to hide from sun and sun burn. (Japanese don't really use sun blockers.) But no, skin cancer is not very common in Asian countries as far as I know. Skin cancer is more common on western countries where people have fair skin.

It strikes me as a little odd that all these wedding venues seem very American-ized to me. Is this why they say that only certain people would want this wedding, so they only offer limited choices? Those same people would want American-ish weddings? Or maybe that's the theme of most weddings in Japan these days.

Yes, western wedding is VERY popular in Japan. They have 2 themes in most cases. One w/ traditional, old style wedding with brides and grooms wearing Kimonos which usually held in a enclosed traditionally decorated room (that's probably why lurkyloo didn't see those kind of weddings) and most big hotels should have it. It's usually a small room and only close families and relatives can get in - usually not friends. And the other is just like western weddings. A lot of times, couples have both in one wedding. Have the traditional wedding with close family members, then have the reception in the western style with gowns, cakes, food and all that. Most girls dream about wearing western gowns for their wedding. The difference is the gowns are not limited to white for the reception. Many brides change gowns a couple of times during the reception and tend to wear more colors. Other popular (but not as common) wedding is couples actually go to Hawaii w/ family and friends and do the real western wedding there. Japanese spends A LOT of money on wedding. :rolleyes1

meryll83
05-14-2010, 07:35 AM
Oh no! I was hoping this report would do the opposite and make a Tokyo trip seem *less* complicated! :sad2: Well, the PassPorter on Tokyo Disney should be out by the time you go, so hopefully that will make it seem less overwhelming to you! :thumbsup2


I'm so glad someone has decided to make a us guide book - it's about time, thank you! :worship:

Hong Kong next? Please? :)

Chilly
05-14-2010, 07:42 AM
I'm so glad someone has decided to make a us guide book - it's about time, thank you! :worship:

Hong Kong next? Please? :)

I've heard HK Disney is pretty small.

aharbin88
05-14-2010, 02:44 PM
These are the very traditional and very popular work outfits for older people who work outside includig farmers. Mostly to cover up to hide from sun and sun burn. (Japanese don't really use sun blockers.) But no, skin cancer is not very common in Asian countries as far as I know. Skin cancer is more common on western countries where people have fair skin.



Yes, western wedding is VERY popular in Japan. They have 2 themes in most cases. One w/ traditional, old style wedding with brides and grooms wearing Kimonos which usually held in a enclosed traditionally decorated room (that's probably why lurkyloo didn't see those kind of weddings) and most big hotels should have it. It's usually a small room and only close families and relatives can get in - usually not friends. And the other is just like western weddings. A lot of times, couples have both in one wedding. Have the traditional wedding with close family members, then have the reception in the western style with gowns, cakes, food and all that. Most girls dream about wearing western gowns for their wedding. The difference is the gowns are not limited to white for the reception. Many brides change gowns a couple of times during the reception and tend to wear more colors. Other popular (but not as common) wedding is couples actually go to Hawaii w/ family and friends and do the real western wedding there. Japanese spends A LOT of money on wedding. :rolleyes1

Wow! Thanks for all that info! That all makes a lot of sense. I wish this here Southern girl could do a "real western wedding" in Hawaii! Maybe I can convince DH to do that for our 10 year next year. :lovestruc

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For all my fellow Disney shopaholics:
I don't know if you are a member of the online sample sale called One Kings Lane or not, but they are hosting a sale today for Walt Disney-inspired prints from PTM images. This is an invitation only website that sells high-end home decor items for a steal. Most of these prints are just $29, and they are super nice! If you want me to send you an invitation, just PM me your email address. You have to have an invite to even look around the site!

I just got an email from ideeli, and they have Disney Couture today! It's overload!:rotfl: Ideeli is a fashion and accessory online sample sale, and you also need an invitation to enter that site. If anyone wants to PM me their email address, I can send an invite, or I also posted a link on my FB page. I bought an adorable Mickey head necklace, and there are some earrings and a castle necklace that are calling my name! Ugh! I will probably end up ordering those too!

A-T-G
05-14-2010, 04:27 PM
Is it wrong that I keep checking here to see if there's an update? I'm officially insane, right?