PDA

View Full Version : It's like Disney World... on Steroids! A Tokyo Disney TR (UPDATE PG.5!)


Vallie
12-12-2010, 04:35 AM
Welcome to my Tokyo Trip Report!

A little background information before we get started, my name is Val and my partner in crime on this trip is my wonderful boyfriend. We're 20'somethings from a little place called Toronto, Ontario (Canada). But we are currently living on a beach resort on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland Australia. Why in the world are we here? Well because I needed to complete my Graduate Teaching Degree and decided that the beaches of Australia would be the perfect place to do that! and why is my boyfriend with me? Well I couldn't just leave him behind! So about six months ago we took off to the Sunny coast, and from that moment I started planning a trip to Tokyo.

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/zoo183.jpg

I've wanted to go to Tokyo Disney from the moment I heard about the Disney Sea park. It just looked so crazy I knew one day I would have to visit! Now if you told me a year ago that I would be moving to Australia and from there be able to take a trip to Tokyo, I would have thought you were crazy. The decision to move to Australia was pretty last minute but so far it's been a great one.

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_2386.jpg

Tokyo has been our first trip (outside of Aussie) since moving down here, but we are planning on traveling to some other countries as well while we're on this side of the planet. Along with traveling within Australia we are also going on a cruise to New Zealand at the end of January and on the way back to Canada in July we'll be stopping in Fiji and LA (and going to DisneyLand)!

Visiting Tokyo Disney was really a dream come true, and I know its not somewhere everyone is able to visit (although I would HIGHLY reccomend trying to make the trip!) So hopefully this TR will give a good idea of what Tokyo and the Disney parks are like and provide some helpful info for anyone trying to plan a trip themselves!

Some Trip Details:

Dates: November 27 - December 5

Hotel: Grand Arc Hanzomon in Akasaka (across from the Imperial Palace)

Breakdown: 8 days - 2 Days Touring the City - 3 Days Disney - 1 Day Ghibli Museum - 2 Days Touring with Friends

Stay tuned for more!

bjgrazi
12-12-2010, 08:52 AM
I have never read a trip report on Tokyo, I'm looking forward to this.

inkedupmomma
12-12-2010, 08:55 AM
here and subbed! You have 3 months off, I best be reading every day now :)

Aburns8
12-12-2010, 10:00 AM
Subscribing. I read Lurkyloos and I love hearing about Japan!

PrincessInOz
12-12-2010, 03:42 PM
Subbing in!

where's_my_prince
12-12-2010, 04:25 PM
cannot wait to see your TR!!!! Tokyo DisneySea is my #1 park i want to visit!

Zuzu03
12-12-2010, 06:43 PM
I'm in! :goodvibes Loved Lurkeyloo's and I'm sure I'll love this one too! Plus, we lived in Melbourne for 4 years and did a lot of traveling on that side of the planet when we were there too, but not to Japan! Can't wait to hear more!

MAGICFOR2
12-13-2010, 02:30 AM
Welcome back, Val! Looking forward to reading about your adventures at TDL!!!:woohoo:

Vallie
12-13-2010, 08:56 PM
I have never read a trip report on Tokyo, I'm looking forward to this.

Glad to have you along! :goodvibes


here and subbed! You have 3 months off, I best be reading every day now :)

Haha welll... I still have things to do you know... like go to the beach! But I'll update as much as possible!

Subscribing. I read Lurkyloos and I love hearing about Japan!

Welcome! Hopefully you enjoy mine as well! I loved her Japan TR!

Subbing in!

Welcomee! :)

cannot wait to see your TR!!!! Tokyo DisneySea is my #1 park i want to visit!

It was mine too! Its a pretty crazy park!!

I'm in! :goodvibes Loved Lurkeyloo's and I'm sure I'll love this one too! Plus, we lived in Melbourne for 4 years and did a lot of traveling on that side of the planet when we were there too, but not to Japan! Can't wait to hear more!

Welcome! I haven't been to Melbourne yet, but its on the list of places to visit for sure! Everyone tells me Melbourne is fantastic! Where did you travel when you lived here?

Welcome back, Val! Looking forward to reading about your adventures at TDL!!!:woohoo:

Thank you!!! Hopefully you enjoy the read!

ChrisFL
12-13-2010, 09:38 PM
I have never read a trip report on Tokyo, I'm looking forward to this.

Not to take away from this report which I'm sure will be great, you really should check out lurkyloo's report also!

Vallie
12-13-2010, 10:41 PM
Part One: The Back Story

I have been planning my trip to Tokyo from the moment I decided to move to Australia for school, which was about 10 months ago. So why was I so underplanned and unprepared?

The last six months in living in the Sunshine Coast have been the craziest/busiest six months of my life. I landed here back in July and right away went to Orientation week at the Uni. After O-Week it was right into classes... and I was warned teacher's college would be intense... but I couldn't imagine how much work it would be! I'm talking at least 2 big assignments due a week (almost every week!) and of course there were all the social aspects of life, traveling and exploring Queensland and most importantly... going to the beach!

Here's some pics of my life in Australia (so far!)...

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_1041.jpg
View from our apartment balcony

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_1051.jpg
Inside our very strange apartment (yes thats a shower lol)

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_1078.jpg
pool/spa/bbq area

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_1208.jpg
Where I spend alot of my time

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_1223.jpg
Beautiful Australia

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/zoo015.jpg
Hanging out with a kangaroo!

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/DSC03909.jpg
Holding a Koala at Steve Irwin's Australia Zoo

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/61032_664970627270_89903871_39892012_1279034_n.jpg
Snorkling in the Great Barrier Reef

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_0063.jpg
Whale Watching in Hervey Bay

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/brissy.jpg
Brisbane City!

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_1229.jpg
Just being a big geek!

Sometime during the semester of classes I stumbled across a big sale on the JetStar website. They were having a half price sale and tickets to Japan were on sale for $500!! So of course I scooped them right up. The only drawback was the fact that we had to fly out of the Gold Coast... which is about a 5 hour bus/train ride away. With no car, it was going to be a huge pain in the butt, but for that price we knew it would be worth it!

So we booked the tickets and we got a guide book and started planning the areas in Tokyo we would like to go to. At the same time I started reading trip reports and researching the internet about what to expect at Disney Tokyo. So in between finishing my classes and completing my practicum in a prep class (aka kindergarden class) we attempted to plan. We figured out a decent plan of action, but I didn't do nearly as much planning as I usually do, so in all honesty I was a little terrified, just because of the language barrier and the insane subway system mostly. The one thing that made me feel better was the fact that Craig was with me and he has traveled a lot so it made me feel a bit better.

We had booked a hostel for the night in the Gold Coast right beside the airport so we could fly out in the morning. Now I hate hostels, but we had gone to the Gold Coast for my birthday weekend 2 weeks before and hotels in the Gold Coast run for about $200/night. So a hostel it was!

I love the Gold Coast... it's amazing... the main area of the Gold Coast is a place called Surfer's Paradise. It is actually the birthplace of the surfboard and the beach there is amazing!

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_0994.jpg
On the beach in Surfer's Paradise

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/DSC04486.jpg

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_0889.jpg
Night View of the Surfer's Paradise

So as much as I love the Gold Coast, like I said I hate hostels and our hostel was a pretty far trip from Surfers (and had nothing else around it), so we decided to leave later in the day from the Sunshine Coast so that we spent as little time as possible in the hostel.

So we started out on the bus, then transfered to the subway in Brisbane, and then onto another subway to the Gold Coast and then onto another 2 buses to the hostel. It was a long annoying ride hauling around our two big luggages and carry ons! We decided to stop and grab a pizza while waiting for the last bus and ended up arriving at the airport at about 10pm.

We had to walk over to the hostel, which was about 10 minutes away from the airport on a scary dark path. Walking that path was probably the scariest experiance of my life. What you have to understand about Australia is that they have some pretty funky creepy crawlies down here. I've seen huge spiders the size of my hand, gigantic cockroaches (in my shoe!) and grasshoppers, snakes a meter long just chilling on a path, 5 foot lizards and then there are the bush turkeys!

Now I'm not trying to promote the stereotype that Australia is full of these creatures everywhere you look, because it isn't. Australia does have some crazy wildlife, but I've also seen baby kangaroos, koala's and dolphins in the wild here as well.

[WARNING! BUG PHOTOS AHEAD!]

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/koala1.jpg

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/kanga.jpg

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/beachturkey.jpg
These turkey's crack me up everytime I see them because they are always in the most random places!


http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/spider.jpg

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/snake.jpg

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/grasshopper.jpg

For the most part you never ever see the creepy crawlies, but they are there and as I was walking down that dark path thats all I could think of!


So we finially get the the hostel (which looked more like a homeless shelter) only to find the doors locked and a sign on the door stating that they were full. Now I had already paid for the room and I was FURIOUS! I was banging on the door and no one would answer. We didn't know what to do, we didn't have any phone credit left, I was tired and sleepy and annoying with carrying these bags on a 5 hour journey, we were in the middle of nowhere and apparently had no where to sleep.

And so I started to cry... while Craig kept banging on the door...

Vallie
12-13-2010, 10:44 PM
Not to take away from this report which I'm sure will be great, you really should check out lurkyloo's report also!

I completely agree. Her report is really awesome and it helped me out SO much when planning my trip!

tinkerbellandeyor
12-13-2010, 10:51 PM
:goodvibes

PrincessInOz
12-14-2010, 03:31 AM
If you ever get down to Melbourne, let me know. We can try for a DisMeet. :thumbsup2

And that shower??? That's the craziest thing I saw in your photos (NOT the animals nor bugs!!) :)

MAGICFOR2
12-14-2010, 04:02 AM
What a horrible start to your trip! No wonder you don't like hostels!:scared1:

We lived with big bugs and crawlies for 3 yrs in Okinawa, too. You do get used to knowing they're there - but not comfortable for sure.

Waiting to see where you'll sleeppopcorn::

Aburns8
12-14-2010, 06:45 PM
What an awesome opportunity you have! I find the shower weird. In fact I heard about those this morning because I am listening to the old DIS Unplugged podcasts. Pete talked about how he didn't understand why everyone needs to watch you shower :rotfl2: Those bugs are really creepy!

bjgrazi
12-14-2010, 09:06 PM
Not to take away from this report which I'm sure will be great, you really should check out lurkyloo's report also!

Someone else just pointed me there and I'm in the minority, I found it too long and boring, too many of the same picture over and over.

DISNEYaddict4evr
12-15-2010, 11:54 AM
I am going on a trip to Asia for 6 weeks by myself in 9 months. I will be spending 2 1/2 days at Tokyo Disney Resort so I can't wait to here how your trip goes. I hope you stick with it too, sadly I am one of those people who didn't follow through, don't make my mistake :rolleyes1

Vallie
12-15-2010, 07:45 PM
:goodvibes

Welcome!

If you ever get down to Melbourne, let me know. We can try for a DisMeet. :thumbsup2

And that shower??? That's the craziest thing I saw in your photos (NOT the animals nor bugs!!) :)

I will be heading down to Melbourne before July at some point for sure! It's my top place to see here in Australia! So if I do I would be down for a Dismeet :)

Haha ya the shower is pretty crazy, I live in a resort and I think the whole thing is they have these showers so you can shower/bathe and look out onto the ocean or whatever lol it has a shower curtain so it's not too bad just funny!

And I'm sure your used to all the creatures of Oz :P


What a horrible start to your trip! No wonder you don't like hostels!:scared1:

We lived with big bugs and crawlies for 3 yrs in Okinawa, too. You do get used to knowing they're there - but not comfortable for sure.

Waiting to see where you'll sleeppopcorn::

Ugh Yes it was AWFUL! You'll see soon that it doesn't get much better that first night!

I hate big bugsss ugh... but luckily besides cockroaches, I haven't seen any in my place and the roaches are few and far between (and mostly in the hall outside the door) it's just a fact of life, living in the heat!

I'll update tonight or tomorrow for sure

What an awesome opportunity you have! I find the shower weird. In fact I heard about those this morning because I am listening to the old DIS Unplugged podcasts. Pete talked about how he didn't understand why everyone needs to watch you shower :rotfl2: Those bugs are really creepy!

Thank you! It has been an amazing experiance and I'm so glad I took the oppertunity! The shower is so weird, but I guess it's to overlook the ocean (I live at a resort so I think thats part of it, I dont think the apartments here have something so silly!) and there is a curtain you can close, but still so silly!

And the bugs are super creeepy ugh! :scared1:


I am going on a trip to Asia for 6 weeks by myself in 9 months. I will be spending 2 1/2 days at Tokyo Disney Resort so I can't wait to here how your trip goes. I hope you stick with it too, sadly I am one of those people who didn't follow through, don't make my mistake :rolleyes1


Welcome!! Thats awesome! Where else are you planning on going? I'm dyinggg to go to Thailand! You will love Tokyo Disney it's amazing! I will stick with this report because there's not much out there on TD and I know it was annoyign when I was trying to plan, so hopefully my TR will provide some good info! And also I'm on winter break right now for another 2 1/2 months so I have no excuse not to finish it! :thumbsup2

inkedupmomma
12-15-2010, 07:59 PM
oh wow..way to leave us hanging there! You're off, get to the typing :)

Vallie
12-16-2010, 08:59 PM
oh wow..way to leave us hanging there! You're off, get to the typing :)

Haha well I was going to post an update yesterday until a freakin cyclone hit us!! :scared1: But I'm posting the update now so enjoy!

Vallie
12-16-2010, 09:05 PM
No, I Don't Want to Sleep in Your Car!
(**Sorry for the lack of pictures, but there was nothing really to take photos of in this part and I wasn’t in the mood for photo taking anyways)

As I stood there crying (not overwhelming sobs, but just a couple tears of frustration) Craig kept banging on the door, a couple people who were inside playing pool looked at us through the door of the window but just ignored us. Now this really annoyed me, I understand they were probably just guests but they could see us with our bags, they could have been nice and opened the door... but they didn’t.

After five minutes of banging on the door, and being completely ignored we came to the conclusion that we would have to do something else. So we noticed their number posted on a van parked outside so we copied down the number into Craig’s phone and decided to head back to a gas station we had seen right across the street from the airport.

We walked back down the dark creepy path and arrived at the service station. We talked to the attendant inside, who at first seemed really nice. I explained our situation and he let me use the phone to call the hostel. I called a couple times and no one was answering, so I knew that place was out of the question. I suggested to Craig we just go and sleep at the airport, but the attendant told me that the airport was closed from midnight to 5am and we wouldn’t be able to stay there. He told us we could stay at the station, but we would have to sit outside while he did his duties for a couple hours.

I was so upset, this was not a good start to the trip. We didn’t know what to do so Craig went to ask the guy if we could use a phonebook to see if there were any hotels in the area with availability. We were both exhausted and didn’t want to spend our night sitting outside a gas station and we decided we were willing to pay some extra money to stay at a hotel.

This is when things started to get weird. The guy started getting really rude with Craig when he asked for the phone book to call hotels in the area. He started asking why we would pay extra to go to a hotel now. Then he started to get even weirder saying well I guess you can afford it, since you can afford a hair cut (whatever that means!). He then told Craig he could no longer use the phone in an almost angry way and kept telling him there were not going to be any hotels open right now and we were wasting our money.

So I went up and told him I wanted to buy prepaid phone credit for my phone and he let me buy it, and then said to me if we wanted we could sleep in his car. This guy was really starting to creep me out, so I told him we would think about it and see what the hotels said first. He was like ok, but my car is right over there and then he proceeded to tell me how much I look like this woman he met in America a long time ago. I didn’t know what to say so I said something along the lines of “Uhh ok thanks” and went back over to Craig and started calling hotels.

We were able to find two available rooms, one for $225 and one for $160. I was so annoyed to have to pay that much for a hotel for a couple hours but I figured I’d get the $100 back from the hostel and it was either pay the extra $60 or stay with the now agitated weirdo in the gas station. We quickly decided to go to the hotel and called a cab. The guy seemed pissed we were leaving, muttering to himself and kinda banging things around the store as he cleaned. So we decided to get the heck outta there and went to wait at the airport where we quickly found a million cabs waiting to go. We headed over to the hotel and arrived there at about 11:30 at night.

I explained my sob story to the guy at the front desk, who was very nice and he said that he could give me the room for $140 and I could check out as late as I wanted with no extra charge. Unfortunatly, we had to leave at 8am to go back to the airport, so we couldn’t take advantage of this but it was nice of him to offer anyways.

We went up to our room which was on the nicer side as far as hotel rooms go, but to me at that momen, it looked like Heaven! I kicked myself for not just booking something like this to begin with and spending the day up here instead of saving the $40 bucks and booking a hostel. However, what was done was done and we were happy to have a hot shower and a nice soft clean bed. We got ready for bed and had to have a good laugh about what the heck just happened to us. We both agreed that gas station attendant was probably a serial killer and I declared how I was gunna rip that hostel a new one in the morning when I called to get my money back and then we vowed to ourselves to never stay at a hostel again and fell asleep.

Aburns8
12-16-2010, 09:17 PM
That attendant guy does sound creepy! How weird. I am glad that you got out of there. Are you still living in Australia right now? If so I bet it is better than being back home in Toronto. It is cold here right now. I am from Michigan and now live in Virginia and the weather is crazy.

Did you get your money back? I hope that you did!

Vallie
12-16-2010, 09:21 PM
That attendant guy does sound creepy! How weird. I am glad that you got out of there. Are you still living in Australia right now? If so I bet it is better than being back home in Toronto. It is cold here right now. I am from Michigan and now live in Virginia and the weather is crazy.

Did you get your money back? I hope that you did!

He definitly had my weirdo-radar pinging! I am still living in Australia, I'm here until school is finished on July and I'll be heading back after a quick stop in Fiji and LA (and Disneyland of course!). My family called this morning and was telling me how freezing it is back home and how much snow they have! Glad to be missing the cold but we did get a crazy cyclone here last night, with some huge hail as well which was pretty crazy too!

I'll update soon about what happened with the hostel!

MAGICFOR2
12-17-2010, 12:53 AM
:scared1: I'm glad you got out of there - sounds like a serial killer! It's good you were able to get a hotel room.

I am going to Newcastle in Feb - DH will be working there for a little while. We are planning to take the train to Sydney and spend one night so we can do some sight seeing. It looks like most of the hotels are $200 - $400 a night for not much room. Do you have any recommendations?

DISNEYaddict4evr
12-17-2010, 12:24 PM
Welcome!! Thats awesome! Where else are you planning on going? I'm dyinggg to go to Thailand! You will love Tokyo Disney it's amazing! I will stick with this report because there's not much out there on TD and I know it was annoyign when I was trying to plan, so hopefully my TR will provide some good info! And also I'm on winter break right now for another 2 1/2 months so I have no excuse not to finish it! :thumbsup2

If all go as planned i will be spending about 3 weeks touring china, 5 days in Cambodia at Ankhor Wat, the 4 days in Bangkok, the 8 days touring Japan with my Disney 3 day Adventure. I can't wait! :banana::banana::banana: I am stil trying to figure out how I am going to pack... I will be visiting so many different climates :confused3

Vallie
12-18-2010, 08:01 PM
:scared1: I'm glad you got out of there - sounds like a serial killer! It's good you were able to get a hotel room.

I am going to Newcastle in Feb - DH will be working there for a little while. We are planning to take the train to Sydney and spend one night so we can do some sight seeing. It looks like most of the hotels are $200 - $400 a night for not much room. Do you have any recommendations?

Ya I was happy we were able to find a room as well. That guy was creeepy! I haven't been to Sydney yet, but hotels in Australia are expensive. It seems the choices are stay super cheap (at a hostel) or else pay $200 bucks a night for a hotel, especially near the tourist areas. Actually, from what I've found, everything is really expensive in Australia!

That being said, I think that Expedia is having a sale on rooms right now, maybe check that out!

If all go as planned i will be spending about 3 weeks touring china, 5 days in Cambodia at Ankhor Wat, the 4 days in Bangkok, the 8 days touring Japan with my Disney 3 day Adventure. I can't wait! :banana::banana::banana: I am stil trying to figure out how I am going to pack... I will be visiting so many different climates :confused3

That sounds like an awesome trip! I'd love to be able to do that! I'd just pack things that you can layer! Thats what I did when I was packing to move here. Lots of cardigans!! hehe

MAGICFOR2
12-19-2010, 02:26 AM
Ya I was happy we were able to find a room as well. That guy was creeepy! I haven't been to Sydney yet, but hotels in Australia are expensive. It seems the choices are stay super cheap (at a hostel) or else pay $200 bucks a night for a hotel, especially near the tourist areas. Actually, from what I've found, everything is really expensive in Australia!

That being said, I think that Expedia is having a sale on rooms right now, maybe check that out!

Thanks! Heading there now.

Vallie
12-21-2010, 02:16 AM
These Toilets are AWESOME!

We woke in the morning feeling refreshed and in a much better mood then the previous night. We were feeling the Tokyo excitement but there was something I had to take care of right away... calling the hostel and giving them a piece of my mind. I called the place, ready to fight it out, but surprisingly I talked to a really nice girl who appologized profusely and didn't understand why the night shift person (who was supposed to be there until 3am) was not there and didn't let us in. She gave me a refund right on the phone and seemed to be truely sorry for the situation, and I was happy enough with that.


So we got on our comfy clothes and said goodbye to our hotel room

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/DSC04534.jpg

and headed back to the airport. We split a cab with the Kiwi (someone who is from New Zealand) version of Dog the Bounty Hunter, who pretty much paid for the whole cab ride and was really nice. We only had to be at the airport an hour and a half ahead of time, so we quickly got checked in and went to the terminal.

We flew with a airline called JetStar. We actually got the seats on sale for $500/round trip which is an AMAZING price, but really doesn't give you anything with the price. We purchased the entertainment package, but not the food package, so we had some snacks packed and decided to get some food at the airport before we boarded.

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_1124.jpg

Soon enough we were being called to board. JetStar impressed me, the planes were nice, clean and comfy. I only had to sit beside Craig so I wasn't having to crawl over people to get out of my seat and it was pretty roomy, even in coach.

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_1131.jpg

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_1132.jpg
Goodbye Gold Coast!

The flight from Australia to Japan takes 9 hours, but the time difference is
only 1 hour which was nice because we didn't have to deal with jetlag at all.

So we watched some movies, some glee, listened to music and read for 9 hours and we landed at around 8pm in Japan.

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_1140.jpg
$15 Entertainment Package

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_1141.jpg
Notice the lady in the mask. I originally thought Japanese people wore these masks to keep out germs (which maybe they do) but from what I figured out in Japan people watching, and watching commercials for the mask, people actually wear these when they are sick, to keep from spreading the germs! Now I may be wrong about this, but thats what I understood from what I saw. Oh.. and no I wasn't taking a photo of the lady because she was wearing a mask lol. I was taking a photo of Craig and realised after there was a lady in a mask in it and thought I should share what I learnt!


http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_1453.jpg

I was expecting some crazy futuristic airport, but it didn't really look any different then any other airport. The one cool thing I noticed were the crazy vending machines that they had everywhere.

Which... I don't have a picture of!? I thought I did! Woops! Take my word for it, they were pretty crazy looking with pretty crazy types of drinks in them too.

We went down to book an airport shuttle bus, since taxi's are pretty expensive in Japan. The shuttle bus could only take us to a hotel that was close to us and then we had to take a cab from that hotel to our hotel. The whole trip cost us about 3500Yen each (approx $40).

We could have taken the subway system but we were tired and I was wary of traveling on the subway with all our bags because it seemed like a huge daunting subway system.

So we caught our shuttle bus/cab and arrived at the hotel, The Grand Arc Hanzomon.

The hotel room was a decent size, I was worried because I read that Japanese hotel rooms are super small but I found it to be bigger then I expected (but it was on the small side compared to other hotels I've been to!).

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_2415.jpg
Notice the free slippers!

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_2409.jpg

The hotel overlooked the Imperial Palace East Gardens and we could also see much of the Tokyo Skyline, it was a great view and the Grand Arc was in a nice quiet buisness area, and it was a good escape from the hustle and craziness of the rest of the city.

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_1453.jpg

The hotel also had some cool surprises, most of them being located in the bathroom.

One of the surprises was the press iron that you just slipped your clothing into and it flattened all the wrinkles out.
http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_2299.jpg

Another surprise was the cool warming toilet seat, along with every kind of behind spray you could imagine! We actually found these toilets in most of the places in Tokyo, some with music or flushing sounds you could use as well. Of course if you couldn't find these toilets, there was always the pop and squat (think a mini bathtub in the ground lol).

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_1222.jpg

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_1223-1.jpg

But the best discovery of the day was after Craig took his shower he exclaimed... OMG THIS IS SO COOL! and I was like urmm... what is so cool? He told me to come in and see...

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_1219.jpg
The mirror was heated in one spot (in the shape of a square) so that section of the mirror didn't fog up! He was right.. it was pretty cool!

After showering we got into our Komodos (that came with the hotel room along with a years supply of slippers and every kind of toiletry you can imagine) and watched some Japanese TV before we fell asleep.

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_2416.jpg
From what I understood, this was a crazy game show in which the players for some unknown reason had to go around town and hold different gigantic bugs!

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_2414.jpg

MAGICFOR2
12-21-2010, 02:33 AM
Hey! You made it to Tokyo and to your hotel with ease! So glad your journey went well. I'm excited to see your adventure begin!:yay:

voleball
12-22-2010, 02:26 AM
These Toilets are AWESOME!

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_1141.jpg
Notice the lady in the mask. I originally thought Japanese people wore these masks to keep out germs (which maybe they do) but from what I figured out in Japan people watching, and watching commercials for the mask, people actually wear these when they are sick, to keep from spreading the germs! Now I may be wrong about this, but thats what I understood from what I saw. Oh.. and no I wasn't taking a photo of the lady because she was wearing a mask lol. I was taking a photo of Craig and realised after there was a lady in a mask in it and thought I should share what I learnt!



Yep. That's the custom in Japan. During winter, you will see a lot of people (young and old) wearing masks everywhere. They also sell funny/crazy masks too.:rolleyes1

Vallie
12-23-2010, 04:00 AM
Hey! You made it to Tokyo and to your hotel with ease! So glad your journey went well. I'm excited to see your adventure begin!:yay:

Me too, after the night we had I was very wary! I'll be posting the first day of the trip soon! :goodvibes

Yep. That's the custom in Japan. During winter, you will see a lot of people (young and old) wearing masks everywhere. They also sell funny/crazy masks too.:rolleyes1


Ok so I did get it right! Yay! We didn't see too many people wearing them, but we did come across a couple of funny masks and even some pooh looking ones which were quite cute!

Aburns8
12-23-2010, 10:53 PM
That is awesome that there is only an hour time difference! No jet lag is the best. At least you got to your hotel with ease. I would love to go to Japan to see all of the cool gadgets. The idea of the electric toilet seems so cool! And I like how that part of the mirror didn't fog up. Can't wait to see what's next.

GAGirlInVA
12-26-2010, 02:54 AM
Subbing.

PrincessInOz
12-26-2010, 03:58 AM
I'm pleased to see the hotel room is decent. Other friends of mine have come back with pictures of pods!

Glad you got a refund from the hostel without any issue.

Toy Story
12-26-2010, 04:43 AM
I look forward to reading your TR, I was a lurked on your earlier trip report.
We had on overnight stopover in Tokyo on our way to NY, it is an amazing city. Looking forward to reading your review of Tokyo Disney.

inkedupmomma
12-27-2010, 05:31 PM
Fantastic update. Room looked decent sized, and I'm glad that the hostel was so willing to work with you! Looking forward to more pics of Tokyo!

Brandis
12-27-2010, 06:20 PM
Ah, this brings back nice memories of what I felt on my first visit to Japan! The vending machines, the toilets, the small hotel rooms (but offering more amenities than most 5* places here) :-)

You may use my photo of the vending machines:

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_z2mbbyw4peM/Rys1WHAijzI/AAAAAAAAAos/Z2dNGDqlyV8/s800/res204546891.jpg

This was taken inside a shrine!

123Disney
12-27-2010, 09:03 PM
Can't wait to read more.

PrincessMomofTwo
12-27-2010, 09:37 PM
Really intersting TR! Can't wait to read more. Thanks for sharing :)

rcchello
12-28-2010, 02:49 PM
Great so far. Can't wait for the rest of your report.

Dommiekazommie
12-29-2010, 06:21 AM
Loving this report so far! I'm
Another Aussie who spent a week at Tokyo Disney in sept an totally loved it! Can't wait to hear your thoughts! I'm from
Melb too, so would love to join u guys on a Dismeet. Where in qld do you live? Love qld, actually popping up for 4 days in feb to surfers with dbf!

Can't wait for more. Glad your flights etc went well after a disaster night!

Vallie
01-06-2011, 02:13 AM
That is awesome that there is only an hour time difference! No jet lag is the best. At least you got to your hotel with ease. I would love to go to Japan to see all of the cool gadgets. The idea of the electric toilet seems so cool! And I like how that part of the mirror didn't fog up. Can't wait to see what's next.

Yea it worked out really well! Getting over Jetlag in Australia from Canada was horrrible!! ugh it took soo long! If you ever get a chance to go to Japan my reccomendation is go 100% its such a cool place with tons of cool gadgets :)

Subbing.

Welcome! :goodvibes

I'm pleased to see the hotel room is decent. Other friends of mine have come back with pictures of pods!

Glad you got a refund from the hostel without any issue.

Hehe I'm glad you are pleased :) I've heard of the pods, didn't see any though! I don't think I could handle such a small space

I look forward to reading your TR, I was a lurked on your earlier trip report.
We had on overnight stopover in Tokyo on our way to NY, it is an amazing city. Looking forward to reading your review of Tokyo Disney.

Thank you!! It is an amazing city and hope you enjoy my TR :)

Fantastic update. Room looked decent sized, and I'm glad that the hostel was so willing to work with you! Looking forward to more pics of Tokyo!

Thanks hun! I was glad too! More pics coming up!

Ah, this brings back nice memories of what I felt on my first visit to Japan! The vending machines, the toilets, the small hotel rooms (but offering more amenities than most 5* places here) :-)

You may use my photo of the vending machines:

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_z2mbbyw4peM/Rys1WHAijzI/AAAAAAAAAos/Z2dNGDqlyV8/s800/res204546891.jpg

This was taken inside a shrine!

:worship: haha thank you!!! those are exactly what I was talking about! I was soo fasinated by them and the yummy drinks inside them! Totally loved the amenities at the hotel... everyday they would fill a whole bowl full of everything you could possibly use!!

Can't wait to read more.

Thank ya! More is comin up!

Really intersting TR! Can't wait to read more. Thanks for sharing :)

Thank you for following along :)

Great so far. Can't wait for the rest of your report.

Thanks so much!

Loving this report so far! I'm
Another Aussie who spent a week at Tokyo Disney in sept an totally loved it! Can't wait to hear your thoughts! I'm from
Melb too, so would love to join u guys on a Dismeet. Where in qld do you live? Love qld, actually popping up for 4 days in feb to surfers with dbf!

Can't wait for more. Glad your flights etc went well after a disaster night!

Thanks so much! I'm in the Sunshine Coast (in Mooloolaba), when in Feb are you going to be here?? I'll be on a cruise to New Zealand the first two weeks of feb, then in Sydney for a week and then back to the WhitSundays for a couple days after that but i'll be around at the end of Feb and I'm always up for a dismeeet! :) Let me know!

MAGICFOR2
01-06-2011, 02:23 AM
Hi Vallie! Nice to see you here. I was thinking about you with the floods over there. I wasn't sure where they occurred.

As it turned out, we won't be visiting Australia after all - apparently AUS cut back on the budget for our crew hotels, and the US won't foot the bill, so that project is done for us. I'm sad I won't get to visit this time, but we will get there some day - it's on the list.

We are all ready for more of your adventures in TDL!popcorn::

Vallie
01-06-2011, 02:40 AM
Hi Vallie! Nice to see you here. I was thinking about you with the floods over there. I wasn't sure where they occurred.

As it turned out, we won't be visiting Australia after all - apparently AUS cut back on the budget for our crew hotels, and the US won't foot the bill, so that project is done for us. I'm sad I won't get to visit this time, but we will get there some day - it's on the list.

We are all ready for more of your adventures in TDL!popcorn::


Aw, you are too sweet. We have been having floods all around us, but not in my area thank goodness! We did have some fun the other day though, we went to this hedge maze which was half flooded and ran around in the maze, in water up to our ankles in the rain lol. Good times!

It's too bad you won't be able to make it this time, but when you get a chance make sure you visit and make sure Queensland is one of your stops :)

More adventure coming up!

Vallie
01-06-2011, 02:55 AM
Hi All!

Sorry I've been M.I.A... been super busy with the holidays and getting some planning done for our upcoming NZ Cruise and our trip to Sydney to meet Craig's family who is coming to visit us in Australia!

I've also been looking into getting a teaching job in London this upcoming September (which is looking like it may or may not be a possibility depending on money situations after this next semester of school!)

I hope all of you had a wonderful christmas and new years!

Oh and in other exciting news, Craig met Kate + 8 (+ a few other family members) when they came into his resturant the other day! What are the chances of that!! He was pretty excited about it and is convinced that 2011 is gunna be a good year lol

But anyways I haven't forgotten about my TR and here is the next installment!

The Great Camera Disaster!
We woke up at 8am, excited to start our Tokyo Adventure. We quickly got ready to go, armed with our camera, guide map, guide book and all the other touristy things you can think of (minus the fanny pack). We were excited, yet terrified. What were we so terrified of? Well... this...

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/tokyo.gif
What youre looking at right here is a picture of the Tokyo Subway system.

The Tokyo subway system looked daunting, but Craig is pretty travel savvy and was convinced wed be ok. I told him to take the lead and we headed off downstairs, where we walked out the door, only to realise that we had no idea where the closest subway system was (the closest one being the Hanzomon Station) so we walked right back into the hotel and asked the front desk. I have to say I was really pleasantly surprised to find that pretty much every staff person we spoke to at the hotel was able to speak pretty good English. They were able to direct us to the station (which was a 5 minute walk) and off we went.

Our first stop was to get ourselves a PASMO card, which is a card you can use to tap on and off all stations. You have to pay 500Y deposit to get the card, which you can get returned to you later on and then you can put how ever much you want on the card. The subway will cost you about 160Y 300Y per line that you take. It can get pretty expensive fast, but thats Tokyo; Expensive!

Our first stop on our agenda was Harajuku. This was the first stop because it was a Sunday, and apparently on Sundays all the Harajuku girls come out to play! For all the fears we had about the subway system, it actually ended up being pretty easy. All the stops are labelled and announced in English and there are maps and signs everywhere. We were able to navigate our way to Harajuku with no problems.

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/DSC04539.jpg

Once we got off the train we stepped out and looked around in awe, we were actually in Tokyo. We took a couple pictures and then found an information map to take a look at where we should go and what there was to do in the area. We decided since it was still pretty early (about 9am) we decided to hit up the Mejjii Shrine.

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/DSC04542.jpg
The Harajuku Subway Station

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/DSC04543.jpg

Meijii Shrine Pics:
http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/DSC04548.jpg

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/DSC04550.jpg

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/DSC04554.jpg

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/DSC04556.jpg

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/DSC04572.jpg

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/DSC04574.jpg

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/DSC04576.jpg

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/DSC04559.jpg

The Mejjii Shrine was really nice, although I was kinda disappointed that there were not very many English signs around, not that I expect it but it would have been nice to be able to read about what we were seeing. While we were there a wedding came by and the bride and ceremony was soo pretty, everyone was taking pictures of this so I decided to sneak a couple shots too.

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/DSC04571.jpg

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/DSC04582.jpg

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/DSC04583.jpg

On the way back out of the shrine I was snapping away with Craigs camera when all of a sudden it made this really weird noise. Now Craig has a pretty expensive camera so this noise made us both very nervous. We quickly turned it off and on again only to have it make the same noise again. This is when Craig started to get mad. Last week his hard drive on his Mac gave out and now this. We kept trying to get the camera working to no avail.

Craig was really upset and we sat down and we both agreed that no matter what we werent gunna let this ruin our trip, and wed just go down to Electric Town (a huge electronics store) and see if he could get it fixed there, or at the very least to buy a new camera because as of this point we were in Japan... with no camera! And that is not acceptable to a picture freak like me! (My camera was broken about a month before in the Gold Coast when it fell out of my pocket and hit the floor at the wrong angle (of course!).

So we left Harajuku and headed off to Electric Town with our hearts full of hope.

DISNEYaddict4evr
01-06-2011, 12:24 PM
Man have I been there before. in 2009 I bought a NEW laptop and had taken it on a two week road trip of Colorado with my mom. Well every night I had been dumping my pic on my computer because I was doing a blog for all my friends back home and thought hey why am I keeping the pictures on the card I can delete them since they are on my laptop. Well around day 12 my brand new, less than 3 weeks old hard-drive took a severe crash :eek:. I quickly rushed it to the closest "dosctor" the next day to fidn out it was completely fried and I coudl not get my pictures back :sad2::sad2::sad2::sad2:. Life sucked at that point for you see I am a professional photographer and well had a national geographic shot of a Bull elk in Rocky Mountain National Park, ALL GONE... ALL GONE. I feel your pain, hope things turn out well, but looking at your siggy you must have gotta it fixed or replaced which is a relief.

Aburns8
01-06-2011, 09:35 PM
Glad you are back! I hope you get the job in London, that would be an amazing experience. That subway system seems way too intense. But I am sure that you made it around after a while with no problems. If my camera broke in a foreign country I think I would cry. I am glad that you had some alternatives and I can't wait to hear what happens.

Vallie
01-08-2011, 10:19 AM
Man have I been there before. in 2009 I bought a NEW laptop and had taken it on a two week road trip of Colorado with my mom. Well every night I had been dumping my pic on my computer because I was doing a blog for all my friends back home and thought hey why am I keeping the pictures on the card I can delete them since they are on my laptop. Well around day 12 my brand new, less than 3 weeks old hard-drive took a severe crash :eek:. I quickly rushed it to the closest "dosctor" the next day to fidn out it was completely fried and I coudl not get my pictures back :sad2::sad2::sad2::sad2:. Life sucked at that point for you see I am a professional photographer and well had a national geographic shot of a Bull elk in Rocky Mountain National Park, ALL GONE... ALL GONE. I feel your pain, hope things turn out well, but looking at your siggy you must have gotta it fixed or replaced which is a relief.

Aw that really sucks! As someone who loves photography I can definitly feel your pain in that story :(

The camera was not able to be fixed but we did get a replacement for me :) Thank goodness!

Glad you are back! I hope you get the job in London, that would be an amazing experience. That subway system seems way too intense. But I am sure that you made it around after a while with no problems. If my camera broke in a foreign country I think I would cry. I am glad that you had some alternatives and I can't wait to hear what happens.

Thank you! I hope I'm able to move there too, I'd love to travel and live in Europe for a bit. It was pretty intense but it was a lot easier then it looked!! And the rest of the day is coming right up :)

Rora
01-08-2011, 10:45 AM
Subbing! What an interesting trip you've had so far! Japan looks fantastic! Can't wait to read more!

Vallie
01-08-2011, 11:03 AM
Subbing! What an interesting trip you've had so far! Japan looks fantastic! Can't wait to read more!

Welcome! It was fantastic and hope you enjoy the rest :)

Vallie
01-08-2011, 11:10 AM
Dogs Wearing Sunnies!

We jumped back on the subway and quickly navigated our way through the city and arrived at Electric Town... which wasnt actually a town (like I pictured), it was a huge 10 story (or maybe more?) store filled with every kind of electronic you could think of. We looked around for some signs and figured out which floor the cameras were on. We ran up the escalator and started looking for someone who spoke English. We found a very nice man who didnt speak English but quickly went to find someone who did. We explained our problem and let him listen to the awful noise coming from the camera and the man every so kindly explained to us that we could DEFINITLY get it fixed there... and we could pick it up in about a month!!!

Well that obviously was not going to work for us, so we decided we would just buy another camera for me to use for Japan (since my nice Canon one was broken) and we would send Craigs camera back to Canada when we got home to get it fixed under warranty (which no one can find! Grr!) So anyways I went over to the Canon section and low and behold, there was my same camera that broke a month before.... for $300 LESS then what I paid for it back home just 6 months ago! I quickly decided to buy the camera and the nice man gave me an extra 10% off. I paid just over $100 for a brand new Canon camera and I was a happy lady!

Craig on the other hand was bummed about his camera, but being the fantastic guy that he was he decided he wasnt going to let it bring him down and decided to go take a look at some cool Wii and iPhone gadgets!

After playing with all the cool toys we headed out to find some lunch. On our way out, we ran into this awesome guy who I stopped and took a photo with!
http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_1148.jpg

We walked around the area of Electric Town and decided we would be very adventurous and try some Japanese... Burger King! We walked into BK and were a bit apprehensive about ordering, but luckily they had nice picture menus for us to order from so it was no problem!

After our lunch we decided to head on back to Harajuku and actually enjoy the area this time, so back on the subway we went!

Our first stop was KiddyLand! KiddyLand is a gigantic toy store and being the huge geeks that we are we were super excited to check it out! Everything was just so cute I could barely handle it! But again I resisted the urge to buy anything because I knew wed be back.
http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_1164.jpg

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_1165.jpg

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_1169.jpg

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_1172.jpg

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_1179.jpg

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_1175.jpg

My favourite was the Minnie Couture line. They were sooo cute but so expensive (a Minnie dressed came out to almost $100! which I tried to justify but then I thought of all the clothes and shoes I wanted to buy)
http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_1166.jpg

After KiddyLand we checked out Take****a Street (oh yes, its actually called that!) which consists of all these cool small shops and scary alleyways. I really enjoyed it because I love small boutiques and strange quirky things, but I was sad because I saw no Harajuku girls (and I really wanted to bust out the Gwen Stefani song!)

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/DSC04595.jpg

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_1162.jpg

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_1192.jpg

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_1189.jpg

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_1188.jpg
These creepy mannequins were everywhere!

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_1185.jpg
Octopus balls mmmm!

We exited the other end of the street and were greeted by huge versions of all my favourite stores! From designer Prada and Dior to Forever 21 and H&M I was in heaven!

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/DSC04547.jpg

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/DSC04546.jpg

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/DSC04544.jpg

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_1197.jpg

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_1200.jpg

For some reason this random store we went into had statues of the where the wild things are monsters
http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_1202.jpg

We wandered from store to store and window shopped. I didnt buy anything this day because our other friends were meeting us in a couple days and I knew Id much rather shop with my gal pal while Craig grabbed a beer then torture him with my shopping (Im a crazy shopaholic btw).

We were getting tired so we decided wed eat some dinner and then head home, we started wandering looking for something to eat when we ran into two awesome things.....real live harujuku girls!
http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_1187.jpg

And....these dogs!
http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_1206.jpg

Dressed like the doggy version of a 90s boyband complete with SUNNIES (aka sunglasses!)!! I just fell in love when I saw these pooches and I knew I had to take a pic so I was trying to be sneaky about it and the owner saw me, so he sat the dogs down in a row for me! So cute!

After wandering around a bit more and looking at all the weird unappetizing, yet extremely helpful plastic food displays to figure out what we wanted,
http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_1193.jpg

We decided on TGI Fridays for dinner which was pretty yummy! I was hoping for some sushi but Craig hates Seafood so that wasnt happening today.

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_1211.jpg
Craig was stoked we got the star wars table

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_1210.jpg

After dinner we decided it was time to go home and relax so wed be nice and refreshed for our next adventure!

Aburns8
01-08-2011, 12:47 PM
Wow! What a day. I think I would have had a blast at Kiddyland. It looked fun. I am glad that you got a new camera, but sorry to hear about the other camera. I don't understand why it would take a month to fix a camera. It is also good to know that there is enough "American" choices for food there. I am picky and I don't know if I would eat Sushi.

PrincessInOz
01-08-2011, 06:18 PM
WOW! That would be my worst nightmare.....having something go wrong with a camera on vacay!
Glad you got a nice new one out of it.

The Harajuka looks great! I'm starting to scheme about heading to Japan....someday.

Toy Story
01-10-2011, 06:37 PM
OT: Hi, just checking in to see if where you live is ok with all the flooding. Not sure if you know to listen to your local ABC radio station for updates.

ChrisFL
01-10-2011, 06:51 PM
Wow, Craig doesn't like Seafood? How did he survive!?!? ;)

Vallie
01-11-2011, 07:38 AM
Wow! What a day. I think I would have had a blast at Kiddyland. It looked fun. I am glad that you got a new camera, but sorry to hear about the other camera. I don't understand why it would take a month to fix a camera. It is also good to know that there is enough "American" choices for food there. I am picky and I don't know if I would eat Sushi.

It was really awsome but very very crowded! It is too bad about the camera, especially because we asked Craig's mum to take a look for the warrenty for him back home and she cant find it! Hes hoping for a new lens for christmas!

There are SO many American Food choices there! And all of the food we ate was delish! I LOVE love love sushi but as I found out there's no (americanized) sushi rolls in Japan, they mostly just have sashimi (I'm sure I spelt that wrong).

WOW! That would be my worst nightmare.....having something go wrong with a camera on vacay!
Glad you got a nice new one out of it.

The Harajuka looks great! I'm starting to scheme about heading to Japan....someday.

I was glad too, and I'm happy of all the places for it to happen, we were in Japan where the camera are cheap and plentiful!

and DO IT!!! go to JAPAN!!!! :banana:

OT: Hi, just checking in to see if where you live is ok with all the flooding. Not sure if you know to listen to your local ABC radio station for updates.

Thanks so much for thinking of us.... we are OK here but it's a little scary. We invited all our friends over at our apartment as it's on the 6th floor (we have the highest place) We had some wine, pizza, played some board games and watched some movies and the news. I think (hope) we will be ok in our area, we are right on the ocean so I guess in this case its the best place to be. We'll have to see how it is tomorrow, but how horrible all this flooding is :( it's a bit scary as we're all alone out here with no family and have never had to encounter anything like it before, so we're trying to keep spirits up and nerves calm.

Wow, Craig doesn't like Seafood? How did he survive!?!? ;)

haha he survived fine :) so many yummy non-seafood options in Japan!

Dommiekazommie
01-12-2011, 05:02 AM
Wow! Sounda like a huge day! How amazing are the harajuku girls? Did you see many at disney too? Kiddlyand looks like an amAzing shop! Did you go to Tokyo hands at all?
Hope all remains ok with the floods. Seems pretty scary ATM. Is your area under at all?

I'll be in surfers from the 26th feb to 1st march If you wanted to meat up? I'm doing sea world and wet and wild. No epcot or blizzard beach but it's the closest I'll be getting for a while.

Can't wait to hear all about the Girly shopping day!

Captain Hook Jr
01-25-2011, 12:18 AM
I am REALLY looking forward to June even more now!:cool1:

vettegirl
01-25-2011, 08:38 AM
Can't wait to hear about TDL!!

Vallie
01-28-2011, 10:38 AM
Wow! Sounda like a huge day! How amazing are the harajuku girls? Did you see many at disney too? Kiddlyand looks like an amAzing shop! Did you go to Tokyo hands at all?
Hope all remains ok with the floods. Seems pretty scary ATM. Is your area under at all?

I'll be in surfers from the 26th feb to 1st march If you wanted to meat up? I'm doing sea world and wet and wild. No epcot or blizzard beach but it's the closest I'll be getting for a while.

Can't wait to hear all about the Girly shopping day!

All our days were huge! Our poor poor feet by the end of the trip :(

They were pretty awesome, we didn't see many in general on our trip, the ones I took the pic of were the most dressed up that I saw.

We didn't go to Tokyo Hands and all if well with the floods now1

I'll be in school at that time unfortunatly.. wont be able to make the GC :(


I am REALLY looking forward to June even more now!:cool1:

Goood :)

Can't wait to hear about TDL!!
It's coming up soon!

Vallie
01-28-2011, 11:21 AM
Hi Readers, sorry for the lack of updates, Ive been very busy... at the beach! Its finally nice after raining for a month straight so Ive been outdoors enjoying the rest of my school break! Im off traveling around this half of the globe for the next month, so I wont be able to update this TR until the end of Feb (Im Sorry! But I promise Ill come back and finish it!)

But I will leave you with an update before I leave...

This morning we woke up to another beautiful day. We slept in a little bit and then were off to the New Otani Hotel to view their traditional 400 year old garden.

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_1240.jpg

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_1243.jpg

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_1248.jpg

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_1248.jpg

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_1256.jpg

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_1272.jpg

The garden itself was stunning. It made me realize that I was really in Tokyo and it was unbelievable! We took our time wandering and exploring all the different areas of the garden until we decided we better get going to the next item on our list of things to do for the day, head to Ueno Park.

So we caught the subways to Ueno, and headed into the Park. This was definitely my favourite place we visited. The park was full of temples and shrines surrounded by beautiful fall scenery.

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_1308.jpg

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_1313.jpg

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_1330.jpg

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_1332.jpg

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_1355.jpg

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_1356.jpg

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_1370.jpg

It also had a great market full of plates and chop sticks and mugs. We ended up buying ourselves a nice hand painted bowl and 2 spoons.

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_1358.jpg

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_1391.jpg

After the market I was excited to take some pictures of the small childrens amusement park and go and take a stroll around the Zoo (which was also in the park). However, much to my disappointment, both were closed for the day! I was disappointed but we decided that if we had time on one of our other days we would come back and visit the zoo.

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_1363.jpg

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_1362.jpg

After we finished wandering around Ueno, we headed off to see the Imperial Palace. Our bad luck (and lack of planning) continued as we found out the Palace was also closed (I guess they hate Mondays!) We decided we defiantly would come back to the Palace. Our next stop was Ginza, so we began our walk back to, you guessed it, the subway! As we were walking along the palace parimeter, it was here I found out that Craig.... hates... SWANS! Can you believe it? I see this beautiful swan in the water and I get super excited and go into photographer mode, only to have Craig say... I dont see whats the big deal its just a swan, I see them all the time! and Im like umm ok, first of all when have you ever seen a swan and second of all swans are awesome! to which he replyed In my backyard and swans arent awesome I hate swans! (lol) So anyways apparently Craig has it out for swans, please keep in mind, he was kidding around but still.. who the heck says they hate swans!!

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_1291.jpg

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_1286.jpg

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_1290.jpg



So this swan talk continued all the way to Ginza. Ginza is home to many flag ship designer stores as well as huge department stores. I was most looking forward to Ito-ya (a huge stationary shop), the 11 story high Abercrombie flag ship store and (Disney) famous Mitutoshi Department store.

Aburns8
01-28-2011, 06:33 PM
Loved the pics! I am glad that everything is okay since we haven't heard from you in a while. Enjoy your time off before heading back to class. Can't wait for the next installment!

ben1993
02-03-2011, 10:19 AM
What a fantastic trip! Loving it so far, I want to go to Japan and Tokyo Disney hopefully in 2013. Can't wait to hear about TDL and TDS!:goodvibes

Shir Kahn
03-13-2011, 04:47 PM
Can't wait for you to come back and start posting again! What was inside the store called Store My Ducks by the way? :lmao:

DISNEYaddict4evr
03-13-2011, 05:49 PM
can't wait for you to come back :surfweb: what will i read :eek:

Vallie
03-15-2011, 10:16 AM
Loved the pics! I am glad that everything is okay since we haven't heard from you in a while. Enjoy your time off before heading back to class. Can't wait for the next installment!

Thank you! Classes are back in session but I'm back :)

What a fantastic trip! Loving it so far, I want to go to Japan and Tokyo Disney hopefully in 2013. Can't wait to hear about TDL and TDS!:goodvibes

Thanks so much! You will love it! Make sure you go if you can!

Can't wait for you to come back and start posting again! What was inside the store called Store My Ducks by the way? :lmao:

I'm hereeee!
I didn't even notice that store until you pointed it out haha

can't wait for you to come back :surfweb: what will i read :eek:

I'm back!! :)

Vallie
03-15-2011, 11:07 AM
Hi Everyone, I'm back and ready to finish this trip report! Sorry I've been away longer then expected. I've been really really busy! But I haven't forgotten about this TR! Promise! In the last 2 months we took a two week New Zealand cruise, went to sydney, the great barrier reef and spent a couple weeks with Craig's family, and then came the start of school and some volunteer work I've been doing. I'm going to try and finish this trip report up now though that I have some time agin.

Also I just want to say all this horrible news about Japan is just breaking my heart. It seems like this side of the world is just going crazy. With the floods, the New Zealand earthquake and now this, it's hard and scary to see. It feels almost weird to be writing this TR about Japan, knowing whats going on over there. It doesn't seem real. Japan is in my heart and my prayers at this awful time.
----------------------------------------------

When I last updated I was on my way to Ginza. I was excited for Ginza because it is one of the most ritzy shopping areas in the world. They have huge flagship designer stores everywhere, along with amazing department stores such as the Mitutoshi Department Store.

When we got off the subway in Ginza I was taken aback by how amazing it was there. Every store you could possibly want was right there in front of you, in gigantic form.

We walked around from store to store, window shopping mostly because everything was very expensive.

The highlights of Ginza was visiting Ito-Ya which is a huge stationary store (which didn't have as much Disney stuff as I expected it to have) and the 11 Storey A&F Store, which had shirtless male models, an elevator tour and happy Japanese sales people asking you "hey, hows it going?!" in a faux surfer/japanese accent. I loved it!

Here are some Ginza Pics,

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_1401.jpg

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_1402.jpg

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_1406.jpg

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_1409.jpg

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_1410.jpg

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_1411.jpg

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_1414.jpg

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_1416.jpg

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_1419.jpg


After Ginza we headed off to Shibuya, to see for ourselves the great Shibuya Crossing. Shibuya Crossing is a huge scatter crossing that a million people seem to cross every which way. It's featured alot in movies (though I can't think of one off the top of my head). Shibuya was EXACTLY what I pictured Japan to be, busy, futuristic but also somewhat of a China town feel to it (if that makes any sense). I really enjoyed the area! We played some in some of the arcades, got some dinner and had a yummy strawberry and whip cream crepe for dessert.

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_1420.jpg

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_1425.jpg

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_1427.jpg

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_1438.jpg

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_1439.jpg

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_1440.jpg

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_1441.jpg

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_1445.jpg

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_1447.jpg

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj63/vodisney/IMG_1449.jpg


After some time at Shibuya, we decided it was time to call it a night. We needed to get home and get some sleep because tomorrow was our first Disney Day and I could hardly contain my excitement! I don't know how but somehow I managed to fall asleep and dreamt some dreams of Tokyo Disneyland.

vettegirl
03-15-2011, 12:52 PM
Thanks for the update.

MAGICFOR2
03-15-2011, 12:56 PM
Beautiful pics from January! I thought I had posted, but anyway loved it - funny about the Swans.

Looks like a great shopping time in Ginza! I would have gotten lost at LV!

I'm looking forward to your TDL day!!!!

I'm also so sad at what has happened in Japan - wondered how you did with all the floods, too. I guess you were in a dry area? The world is crazy right now - people really need to pay attention!

sweetpee_1993
03-15-2011, 02:22 PM
Long time lurker, I've been enjoying your report for quite some time. That *was* a long break but it happens. Glad to see you back...especially with everything going on over in Japan right now. Can I just say that your TR is absolutely inspiring to me?!?! Earthquake, tsunami, & nuclear emergency aside, Tokyo is a place I really want to experience. I thought my sons (15 & 13 yrs) were nuts how they carried on about everything Japanese since they were little guys psyched about Tokyo Drift and tuners. You describe things well which really contrasts to what us 'Westerners' think of as the norm. You've done a fab job of showing just how fascinating a place Tokyo is and you haven't even taken us to the Disney parks yet!

Love the perspective! Harajuku...Ginza...Shibayu...it all just calls to me. BTW, where were those black & white Mickey & Minnie's in your picture??? They look like they were huge. Love them!

I don't know how you resisted the Minnie Couture stuff. I woulda fell to my knees and cried.

So someday when I make it to Japan I hope to buy yards and yards of their incredible Disney fabrics and make quilts for everyone in my family with all our favorite characters. That stuff is insanely expenive on Etsy but you just can't find such amazing prints in the US markets. The Japanese get all the good stuff. I just need to go there. LOL!

Can't wait for more. Thanks so much for all the time & effort in sharing your adventure with us. Looooove it!

sherpasmom
03-15-2011, 03:06 PM
Just found this TR and in reading backwards (i do this crazy i know) I wanted to add how heavy I've felt for this land and her people, and that in addition to my *every*thing I send my HOPE. Disney Tokyo is a dream of mine too, so I can't wait working backwards and finding positive energy to send to everyone in this part of the world :lovestruc

because it's a small world after all ♥

superdoodleable
03-15-2011, 11:18 PM
Could you please give a list of great things to do and see in Queensland? I plan travel to Australia soon and I am undecided to visit Alice Springs or Queensland. (BTW I am a teenage underaged girl so my parents would be with me. They have approved of the trip already.)
Thank you so much for you time this trip means a lot to me. :)

Aburns8
03-16-2011, 07:49 AM
Great to see you back! Sounds like you have been busy in a good way! You are very lucky to be doing all this travel!

Thanks for the update. If I ever make it over to Japan I will have to check out Ginza. I don't know how excited my DH will be about shopping, but I think it would be interesting to see everything. Yummy looking ice cream as well!

PrincessInOz
03-18-2011, 10:28 PM
Catching up.....Tokyo looks amazing. Looking forward to the next update....with everything that is happening over there, I want to see pictures of how life can be like overthere.

TosaTrio
04-03-2011, 09:12 PM
Can't wait for the rest of the TR! :)

DisneyMomma81
04-06-2011, 11:58 AM
I'm looking forward to more..... :)

BecBennett
05-13-2011, 12:21 AM
No! What happened? Where's the rest?? :eek:

Minnie Rose
06-01-2011, 08:19 AM
Loved your TR.
My dream is to go to Japan one day.
I would love to hear about the rest of the trip!

danceintherain
06-04-2011, 05:13 AM
I'm hopefully going to Tokyo Disney within the next year or so. This trip report is making me very excited. We're not planning on spending that much time in Tokyo though. Just a few days for Disney, then we want to go down to Kyoto and spend the rest of the week there.

Feistygirl916
07-03-2011, 05:35 PM
Where's the rest of the trippie? We are all anxiously waiting for the Disney aspect of your trip! :surfweb: :wizard:

franandaj
07-10-2011, 11:38 PM
Hoping we will get to the Disney part of the TR....Before the EQ we were considering TDL for 2013, but not sure at this time...

Want to hear about the park and curious how it all works out.

skiingfast
07-16-2011, 11:36 PM
I hopped in and after seeing lots of great stuff am excited to see more.

breakaway
09-21-2011, 12:33 AM
What happened to the reports?

heaven2dc
11-23-2011, 05:06 PM
I just found this TR and was having so much fun seeing all that Australia and Japan has to offer and then it stopped! Hope all is well - please come back!!

MotoWifey185
02-25-2012, 02:47 PM
Aw I was hooked! :confused: I hope everything is ok with miss Vallie and I hope we get to hear about the rest of her trip. But this TR has sure given me new light, I just never had an interest to go to Tokyo but now I think I'm adding it on my bucket list. :)

chum
04-07-2012, 08:46 AM
Well, this TR was going well and built anticipation with it's title and multiple updates of the journey to Tokyo Disneland but then....pftt.

Pretty funny.

Maybe a separate forum for just TR's on getting to your Disney destination?

dee slack
04-07-2012, 09:00 AM
the op hasn't posted on ANY thread since 7/7/2011 - hope all is well, and maybe that someday we'll be able to read the rest of the tr.

aussietravellers
04-07-2012, 06:09 PM
Have just found your report OP and loved it. Hope you come back one day and post about Tokyo DL :goodvibes

NOLA_Tink
04-28-2012, 12:28 AM
the op hasn't posted on ANY thread since 7/7/2011 - hope all is well, and maybe that someday we'll be able to read the rest of the tr.

She's been busy on Pinterest (so, I think all is well), but I think she must have lost interest in the Dis.

BecBennett
05-22-2012, 09:59 PM
She's been busy on Pinterest (so, I think all is well), but I think she must have lost interest in the Dis.

What a pity :sad1: