Japan Day 2: Tokyo Disneyland

Today was supposed to be the most exciting day of our trip because we will be going to the happiest place on earth – yes, the Disneyland!

Unfortunately, it turned out to be the WORST because of the weather (it rained all day) and the insane crowd. I felt so sorry for our boy because he couldn’t enjoy the theme park to the fullest.

The morning started off pretty well. We had a good night sleep and managed to recover from the exhaustion of taking night flight on our first day. After breakfast, we left our hotel with full enthusiasm only to be dampened by the rainy weather.

The rain wasn’t heavy, but it drizzled the whole day. And never stop at all! We had to walk around with raincoats. It’s more convenient to use a raincoat rather than umbrella because we don’t need to fold and unfold, and we can free up our hands from holding something.

Tokyo Disneyland was the first Disney theme park built outside the United States, opening in 1983. However, the park closed for a month in 2011 after the devastating earthquake and tsunami that crippled power supplies and transit routes in most areas in Japan.

Fortunately, there was no obvious sign of damage or disruption at Tokyo Disneyland, and today, it remains as one of the top theme park destinations in the world. Tokyo Disneyland is also the most successful theme park built outside of the United States to-date.

There are seven themed areas in the park – four classic Disney lands (Adventureland, Westernland, Fantasyland and Tomorrowland), two mini lands (Critter Country and Mickey’s Toontown), and lastly, the World Bazaar (main shopping area).

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The very beautiful castle
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Blooming flowers are everywhere

The moment you enter Tokyo Disneyland, you’ll be amazed by its layout. It’s so spacious, clean and organized, the castle is a beauty, the flowers are blooming, and all your favourite rides are just a magical land away.

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Minnie Mouse’s House

My favourite part is Toontown where the major Disney characters live. The pink Minnie Mouse house in Toontown Square is so cute and lovely. The magnificent fireworks that were set to music and lasted for more than thirty minutes made the day-pass totally worthwhile.

Not everything is about rides here in Tokyo Disneyland. This theme park has some pretty unique desserts that will leave you pondering until the end of time if you don’t indulge in at least one of them.

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Our boy carrying the red Mickey Mouse popcorn bucket

My favourite is the flavoured popcorn – something which Tokyo Disneyland is famous for. From odd flavours like black pepper and curry popcorn, to more traditional delights such as salted, caramel and honey popcorn, you’ll be intrigued by the interesting flavours of this magical park.

You can buy these popcorns in beautifully-designed Disney buckets. Almost all the kids are carrying these Disney buckets and eating popcorns as they walk around. You can top it up anywhere in the park.

Shopping in Tokyo Disneyland is so much fun too. While some of the merchandises are identical to those in other Disney theme parks, Tokyo Disneyland does offer its unique and impressive selections of Disney products.

I didn’t take many pictures in Tokyo Disneyland, say to say, because my camera is not water-proof. And wearing that rain coat is a tad too uncomfortable for me to ditch out my camera as and when I need. Here are a few pictures that I took.

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Our lunch – cute Mickey shaped burger
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Rain, rain, go away!
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Tom Sawyer Island
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Pirates of the Caribbean

In addition, the crowd was too overwhelming (it was a Saturday). In my opinion, it’s even more crowded than HK Disneyland, Universal Studios Singapore and Legoland in Malaysia. So if you’re planning a trip to Tokyo Disneyland, please avoid weekend at all cost. And avoid the rainy season too.

 

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Japan Day 1: Tokyo City Tour & Sanrio Puroland

Most of the time after I came back from a holiday, I’ll be too busy and too lazy to blog about the trip. If you’re doing an office job, you sure know how it feels after taking a long break. Works piled up, mailbox is full, and you need at least a week to get back on track.

By then, you heaved a sigh of relief and started to rest and recharge – yes, holiday can be really tiring. When the third week came, some of the details of the trip were lost in the memory and you have difficulty putting them into words.

This cycle seems to happen to me very often.

But I know that I’ll regret in future if I don’t pen down this trip before it’s completely forgotten. So, here I go …

This was the first time we travelled in a group tour with Little Edison. So, I was a bit anxious because group tour is usually very rush and the schedule is packed. V likes to take him own sweet time to take pictures, and on the other hand, Edison also takes his own sweet time to eat. I can imagine myself screaming at them to hurry up.

Luckily, it all turned out well. The boy didn’t fuss over long bus ride, he ate whatever we ate, he followed instructions, no toilet emergencies, and he can actually sleep well on the plane. The 7 hours flight just passed by in a blink of an eye for him.

He is a fantastic traveller, isn’t he?

We flew to Tokyo on SQ 638, arriving at 6:30am. As we won’t get to check-in to our hotel until evening, we brushed our teeth and freshen-up on the plane just before we land.

Our first destination was Senso-ji Temple (also known as Asakusa Kannon Temple). It is one of Tokyo’s most colourful and popular temples. Completed in year 645, this is Tokyo’s oldest temple with a history of more than 1,300 year.

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There is a shopping street of over 200 meters called Nakamise outside the temple. Alongside typical Japanese souvenirs such as yukata and folding fans, various traditional local snacks from the Asakusa area are also sold here. This shopping street also has a history of several centuries.

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Next stop was the Metropolitan Government Building. It has observation decks at the 45th level which provide good panoramic views of Tokyo and beyond.

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With favourable weather conditions, famous landmarks such as Mount Fuji, the Tokyo Skytree, Tokyo Tower, Meiji Shrine and the Tokyo Dome can be seen from the observatories. But unfortunately, it was a rainy day – thus we didn’t catch a very good view of the city.

Our third stop was something that I really look forward – The Sanrio Puroland! It was a kingdom of cuteness for me, but to V, he was more than pleased to find a shelter under the rain.

It was raining the whole day, sad to say, making our trip so inconvenient. Although it wasn’t heavy rain, but moving around with umbrella wasn’t very pleasant either. And I didn’t manage to take pictures from the outside of the building due to the rain. *tsk*

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Sanrio Puroland is an indoor theme park – run by the Sanrio company. It hosts various musicals, restaurants, attractions, and theme rides using popular characters such as Hello Kitty, My Melody, Cinnamoroll, Jewelpet and many more. It has the biggest and most extensive gift shop selling Sanrio character merchandises.

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Can you spot the Hello Kitty character playing with the children at the inflatable playground?

The theme park is not very big; you can spend half a day to get a good experience of it. We had our buffet lunch here. The food was just ordinary, but all the guests were delighted with Hello Kitty character meet-and-greet as well as performances.

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All I have to say is – a trip to this unique theme park is really a MUST for all Hello Kitty fans!

After a wholesome of cuteness, we embarked on a Tokyo Bay Cruise to Odaiba Park. Along the cruise (still raining), we saw the Fuji TV Station Tower, Rainbow Bridge, Tokyo Tower and the Statue of Liberty guarding the Tokyo Bay.

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Odaiba is a popular shopping and entertainment district on a man-made island in Tokyo Bay. The Rainbow Bridge connects Odaiba to the rest of Tokyo. This two-storey bridge is an iconic symbol of the bay and is especially beautiful during its nightly illumination. The bridge supports an expressway, a regular road, the Yurikamome train line and pedestrian walkways along both sides.

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Our last stop, before our legs totally broke down, we had a quick shopping trip and dinner at DiverCity Tokyo Plaza before we check-in to our hotel.

All in all, it was a pretty long and packed day. The itinerary was great; we managed to catch some sleep on the bus and that really kept us going the whole day.

 

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