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Old 05-16-2012, 10:56 PM   #16
battymum
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Well Bec, I dont think that there'll be too much of that going on with five of us in the room!

So looks like we can stay in the one bed - and the children can each have their own!!
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Old 05-17-2012, 08:15 AM   #17
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Two words - DO IT.
Japanese make a fuss of kids and plenty of western burgers, chips, hotdogs, crepes stuffed with icecream, donuts....though most children like the noodle dishes anyway. Tokyo and Disney Resort English no probs. Elsewhere Ok but don't expect a high level of English-but everyone will do their utmost best to help.

One week with kids I'd stick to Disney Resort and Tokyo with maybe a day trip out of town-no time to head south to Kyoto. You can do a day trip to Kyoto but as Lurky Loo found (do read her TR) what you see and experience makes you wonder why bother and masks the attractiveness of the town. Kyoto is beautiful (as I hope my pics on my TR show) but you need time there to suss it out.

Lots of day options ex Tokyo (Tripadvisor good here) if you want a day away such as Nikko or Kamakura. We didn't have time. Hikone is popular and the kids would love the gondala and pirate boat options but I read too many TR with bad weather, massive crowds and not really sure what most posters got out of it and with 2 youngies whinging along the way.... I'd prob skip and do new Universal instead or not plan in advance and only go to Hikone on a day when there's good weather (weather forecasts were amazingly accurate btw there-down to rain will start around 8am and it did).

You need really 2 days for DisneySea (but I could easily fill 3) and 2 days for Disneyland. As BattyMum said watch out for cheap deals on partner hotels. We got a room for 3 at the Sheraton Grande (2 doubles and the single... love the explanation for why you need multiple beds....) for $220-prices jumped about all over the place prior though. We ended up with the best deal at that time through wotif.com - elsewhere I mostly used Expedia or VBRO (self-contained private rental).There are also cheaper hotels closer in to Tokyo that are preferred Disney hotels and some run a shuttle bus-could be worth investigating as there are no real "early guest entry" deals other than at Mira Costa.

The parks do get crowded but like US get there at opening and best for first 3 hours and definately on a weekday. If summer I would be resting at hotel/pool etc in middle of the day and plan on shows, unpopular rides etc in the evenings when the after work/school crowd come in. In contrast Tokyo city is nice and quiet (for Tokyo) weekends for exploring. Just the toy stores will keep your children amused for hours and they will like to ring the bell and participate in the ritual at a shinto shrine. Then there's swan boats at Ueno in summer and some other lakes.

Have fun planning-between Micechat, TA, Theme Parks and Tokyo Board here there is heaps of info about and yes, everyone seems to be going suddenly (its those amazing airfares!)
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Old 05-17-2012, 07:27 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Tara2004 View Post
Did you take young kids with you ? or would it be ok for us to take 2 young children aged 4.5 and 8 ? How was the language barrier for you?
ABSOLUTELY you will be fine! We've been to Japan twice. Once in 2006, which was just me and DH, and then in 2010 with our boys, then aged 3 and 16 months.

We both absolutely love, love, love Japan. On our first trip we spent a week based in Tokyo and a week based in Kyoto. We actually didn't see much of Tokyo, as we spent most of our Tokyo time in Disneyland and Disney Sea. Kyoto though, was beautiful. We did day trips from there to Nara and Himeji as well as exploring the city and going to a J-League soccer game (DH is a huge soccer nut).

On our second trip with the boys, we only stayed for a week in Tokyo and only ventured into the city on one miserable, failed excursion, but that had nothing to do with the city or country, and everything to do with two tired babies, a pregnant mummy, rain and a whole lot of impatience. The rest of the time we spent in the Disney parks and again, BRILLIANT.

Tokyo DisneySea is an amazing park. There is no other park like it. The themeing and just the overall atmosphere is magical. The two combined parks are actually DH's favourite, and very close to being my favourite - although I haven't been to Hong Kong.

The language barrier will most likely not be a problem at all if you only plan to stay in and around Tokyo and if you are only thinking a week, that is probably wisest. I did Japanese in Yr 12, but only remember the basics and some odd phrases like "My car is not old", not really helpful And we didn't have an issue at all. We had one of those billingual dictionaries which helped us in the few instances we encountered non-english speakers. We found that most people automatically spoke to us in English. We even had people come up to us and tell us how adorable our children were in English

On our trip with the kids we stayed at the Hilton Tokyo Bay. It's on the monorail line (well, a five minute walk from the station) and we found it so easy getting the kids back for mid-day naps. We spent the last night at the Mira Costa overlooking DisneySea and it was A-MAY-ZING. Would love to stay there again, but at $400/night it's a tad on the expensive side. I think we got the Hilton for around $180/night. Try checking out the UK Hilton website, they seemed to have better deals than elsewhere when we were booking.

My kids are notoriously picky but plain eaters so they basically survived on Mickey-shaped nuggets, fruit and sandwiches while we were there. We couldn't tempt them with anything more adventurous. Oh, unless you count the honey popcorn from Disneyland (they also have chocolate, strawberry, coconut, cappucino and some other interesting flavours available in awesome collectable popcorn buckets).

The trips were a bit hard to plan, especially since we were use to the ridiculous amount of information there is available for the US Disney parks. We got it all sorted eventually though, the hardest part to organise was the transfer to our hotel from the airport. We flew Jetstar with the boys and our flight got in in the evening. All the bus transfers to Disney hotels had finished for the day. Knowing this in advance, we organised a private car transfer. We would have gone public transport - which is terribly efficient in Japan, like nothing I've ever seen - but with the two littlies, it was easier to go with a private car. It was a little expensive, but the peace of mind, and having the kids in carseats made us feel a lot better, and I got a little kick out of having somebody hold up a sign with our name on it

Seriously Japan is a GREAT place to visit. DH has been trying to figure out a way to make Japan a pitt-stop on our way to the US on our big trip in 2015
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Old 05-18-2012, 12:15 AM   #19
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We went to Tokyo August 2010. We loved it. My DD is obsessed with Japanese culture so that was the main reason we chose to go there. I must admit I wasn't too excited, but I loved it so much.
And Disney Tokyo is AMAZING.
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Old 05-18-2012, 12:27 AM   #20
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I should add, we only had a week there cause DH was between jobs. But we also felt safe everywhere we went. The public transport is amazing. The language was definitely a barrier, but to us, that added to the fun. And there is LOTS of walking.
We did a day trip to Mt. Fuji which was very touristy, but still lots of fun. We definitely will go back one day.
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Old 05-18-2012, 08:42 PM   #21
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Thanks for the responses, we are going to think about it.
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Old 05-25-2012, 01:53 AM   #22
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Trying to work out the park tickets is doing my head in...
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Old 05-25-2012, 08:15 PM   #23
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I left that to DH. I get confused at the best of time Goodluck
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Old 05-26-2012, 08:26 AM   #24
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Add me to the list too I am looking at going in october as a surprise for my other half!
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