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Where Have We Been?

when you heart makes a wish, then the world's in your hand


Japan is officially one of my favorite places in the whole world! But seriously, I have never loved a place so much. My princess pals for the trip, Molly, Tayla, and I left for our Japan journey on Monday evening from Hong Kong and arrived around 4am on Tuesday morning in Tokyo. (Since Mike could not come on this trip, I improvised and brought my baby monsters inc Mike and took him along for the journey instead).






Absolutely exhausted, we headed to our hotel, The Tokyo Bay Hilton Hotel in Tokyo Bay, near Disney. We decided against staying on property at Tokyo Disney because it was a little out of our price range for the trip, but The Tokyo Bay Hilton was the perfect choice. It was close enough to the resort and had buses that took us to every part of Disney property for free! Our room was very high tech and the beds were extremely comfortable. 



We were too early to check in, but they let us freshen up in the spa lounge before heading out for Harajuku. The subway system in Japan was extremely confusing, and I think one of my biggest regrets was not reading a bit more about what to expect in regards to it. I would recommend having a pretty thorough map in English (or whatever your language of choice is) of where you are planning on going so you have a better chance of not getting lost.

Once we finally figured out the subway, we headed to Harajuku and the famous Takeshita Street, where many kawaii shops and restaurants are found. 



Many, many Japanese foods were tried on these trip, some that we had on this street were potato chips and ice cream from Calbee+, strawberry cream puffs, and were too full to test out the crepes, but they looked fantastic. 


Calbee+ chips and ice cream


strawberry creme puffs
My favorite treat was the Sakura Krispy Kreme doughnut...literally the best thing I have ever eaten in my life. If you ever find yourself in Japan, please eat one for me because I still dream about them!



Another pit stop on Takeshita Street was the Tamagotchi store (bringing back all the memories of leaving my sister Hilary's in Chi Chi's when I was younger),lots of fun accessory stores, make up shops selling multiple products that make your eyes look bigger and skin look whiter, and our final stop, the Owl Cafe. Here you get to spend 15-30 minutes getting up close and personal with these beautifully majestic creatures.








note molly in the background safe behind the glass..
Another Japanese must do are sticky pics, where the picture taken retouches your face and makes your eyes look giant. Our expectation of the process was simply taking a picture in a photobooth. This was semi correct, however, it was way more intense but so much fun. When we arrived, there was a million costumes to choose from, as well as hair straighteners or curlers to do your hair. We freshened up a bit and then had to choose from one of the 10 or so photobooths. 






Each photobooth had different backgrounds, stickers, and styles to choose from. We could not read anything because it was all in Japanese, but we chose a booth and prepared our poses. After, you have a set time to decorate your pictures with stickers, background options, and other kawaii things. 














From Takeshita Street, it was a bit of a journey to our next destination, Shibuya, which made me feel like we had almost stepped straight into a comic book.
  The trek to Shibuya was to see the world famous Robot Show, and oh my goodness, it was not a mistake at all.
 Even the entrance to this place was a maze of crazy looking walls and mirrors all coming together to create a beautiful artpiece...
The show itself was very unique to anything else I have ever seen. There are literally no words to describe this...it is just something you have to experience. Before the show began, I noticed there was a small "stage" between the two set of audience seating areas and I thought there was no way they could fit anything that big in this "aisle stage"...oh how I was wrong!


note the anime fur character head....








 We even had a chance to be apart of the show and hold these cool light torches!

After the robot show, we headed to our last stop of the night, Shinjuku where we stopped for some authentic Japanese ramen for dinner. Molly is vegan and the place we stumbled upon just so happened to have vegan ramen so even she got to try it!




this was tradition ramen where the noodles are cold and you dip them into the hot soup
After dinner, we crossed the street to go to the Disney store in preparation for the rest of the week. This store is decorated in a super unique Disney way, containing elements from the movies such as Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, and Beauty and the Beast.








Shibuya is also really well known for having the worlds largest crosswalk which we both walked across and viewed from above.






Next on the to do list was to go to the Kawaii Monster Cafe. When we arrived, they had told us they were closed for a private event, so we unfortunately were unable to go in, but if (and when!) I go back to Japan, this is absolutely high on the list. The menu consists of many rainbow foods, and the entertainment is one of a kind!


A must have souvenir I had decided I wanted before we even left for Japan was a character onesie, so of course Tayla and I couldn't resist when we found Chip and Dale chipmonk onesies at Don Quixote store.


oh the options!






For a full list of Tokyo (non Disney) recommendations click Non-Disney Tokyo Itinerary 


Day two of Japan began veryyyyyy early. We woke up around 5am to go to Tokyo Disney Sea for the opening of the park. We got really lucky this day because the park closed at 6pm for an event, so it was pretty empty and almost nothing had a long wait. Some of my new favorite rides were Journey to the Center of the Earth, Indiana Jones, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and Tower of Terror since they were very unique to this Disney. 


 Also a huge shout out to Caleigh's Crowns for fantastic, one of a kind Mickey ears! We got so many compliments on them and they were so much fun to sport!


journey to the center of the earth
outside of indiana jones (aka matchu pitchu)


inside of indiana jones



 
inside tower of terror



outside of tower of terror
Indiana Jones


20,000 leagues under the sea



 In Japan, there is not a whole lot of English spoken, but Disney, being so accommodating, they provide you with these handy little cards to help assist you with the safety instructions....


In Tokyo Disney Sea, there is also a whole land dedicated to the Little Mermaid ( which was obviously my new home and where I decided to live forever). 





King Triton's Concert; Ariel aerialist show (so incredible!)


they serve seafood here...unacceptable







One of the best parts about this world was getting to swim with Ariel herself, who is a good friend of mine from Disney World.



One of my favorite snacks at Tokyo Disney Sea was in Mermaid Lagoon. The sea salt and raspberry sorbet ice cream which was so delicious is a must have here (also its shaped like a seashell which adds to the fun!).




The Arabian Coast is a land similar to Morocco at Epcot, where we bumped into Aladdin and Jasmine, rode a few rides, and had a few snacks. The must have treat here is the Chandu Tiger Tail. It is a steamed bun filled with chicken and corn, and actually really delicious.











Sinbad's Voyage

Another land at Tokyo Disney Sea was Discovery Port where Molly "drove" us around on Aquatopia. If I learned anything in this land, it's don't let the Brit drive...

It is a little tricky to meet the characters in Tokyo's parks because unlike other Disney parks, there are not set times for them to meet, you have to just be lucky enough to run into them. We were lucky because when we were heading out of the park, Mickey and some of his pals were hanging out around the entrance and we got to say hello. 


Cruella DeVil


Marie


she loved our ears! Thanks Caleigh's Crowns!!


Pluto


Seccy Chipmonk, aka Clarice


Chip
The new show "Crystal Wishes Journey" opened while we were there this day as well to celebrate Disney Sea's 15th anniversary.

We left the park pretty early that first day because we were exhausted. We headed back to the hotel for a quick nap before heading out to Japan's version of Downtown Disney called Ikspiri. We ate dinner (traditional tonkatsu) and got some groceries for the vegan, Molly, but of course, we did a little shopping as well.

The Japanse version of Mickey and the Wondrous Book princesses


pork tonkatsu 






For a full Tokyo Disney Sea itinerary and helpful hints click Tokyo Disney Sea Itinerary

Day three was Disneyland day and it was incredibly magical from start to finish. We rode the Duffy train (aka the most Kawaii train ever!) to Disneyland from our hotel.


We started the day off with Winnie the Pooh ride (extremely popular here), and tried out some other rides similar but different to Disney World and Hong Kong Disneyland.
 Winnie the Pooh

stitch themed Tiki Room
Jungle River Cruise 
Splash Mountain (where we totally thought we wouldn't get "thatttt" wet...)


we got soaked.
Peter Pan Ride (classic fav)
 
Star Wars simulator (all in Japanese)
TDL favorite, Monsters Inc ride and go seek




Space Mountain (similar to the one in HK, not so much Disney World)
Small World (it is indeed!)
Pinocchino's Daring Adventure
Since we didn't have time to see the Cherry Blossom's in Harajuku, I was pretty excited to see that Disneyland had a few Cherry Blossom trees.


The rides were so much fun, but we also went to see some of the shows at both parks. The system at Tokyo Disney is really different because you have to enter a lottery to win tickets to see the shows instead of lining up. We got extremely lucky and won the lottery to all the shows we wanted to see, like Big Band Beat and One Mans Dream II. 


One Man's Dream II






 
Minnie Oh Minnie

 
A Table is Waiting


 
Big Band Beat(which had just premiered that day!)

 Not only were the shows spectacular, the parades were so wonderful. The normal parade, Happiness is Here was not there while we were visiting, but we got to see Hippity Hoppity Springtime parade (and the song is still stuck in my head), which is their Easter parade, and the most kawaii thing!




In Hong Kong, I find myself often eating Japanese cuisine anyways, and in Tokyo, I was never disappointed. All the park snacks and meals we had were unlike anything I had ever tasted. They are really well known for their various popcorn flavors, in fact, most people wear their popcorn containers around as accessories. Tayla and I tried both the milk chocolate and white chocolate flavors, and they were fantastic. 
milk chocolate popcorn (no we didn't get the fashionable container)
Some other snacks we tried were....
Little Green Men mochi (chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla flavored on the inside)



(one of my favs), it's like a dumpling with frozen chocolate pudding inside


pizza flavored spring rolls


Minnie raspberry-peach flavored ice pop
Donald Ukiwa shrimp steamed bun

One of meals I was most looking forward to was the Queen of Hearts restaurant, where we ordered the burger patty with raspberry sauce, which sounds strange but was so tasty. Plus the ambiance of the place itself was so whimsical. 


 Another sit down place we went was Grandma Sara's Kitchen where we tried the tomato beef stew (not in a bowl) and buttered rice with a baked doughnut. We also could see the riders on Splash Mountain get soaked as an extra bonus.




 A really big reason I wanted to go to Tokyo Disney during this time was to see some special friends who are near and dear to my heart from Disney World in Orlando.















As I said earlier, characters don't have a set schedule when they come out and meet at Tokyo Disneyland, but we were so lucky to meet some rare characters that don't come out to play at other parks.The meet and greet experience does not consist of waiting in a line either. Everyone simply gathers around the character, and they choose which guest they would like to see next.


big bad wolf






Esmeralda from Huntchback















For a full Tokyo Disneyland itinerary and helpful hints click Tokyo Disneyland Itinerary


The night shows at both parks were so enchanting, we spent most of the time crying, it is surprising we saw any part of them at all. The nights it cooled down a bit, which resulted in Tayla and I wearing our chipmonk onesies to the park since we didn't have any warmer clothes with us. The night parade at Disneyland is called "Dreamlights" and that is exactly what they were.





Blue Fairy!


Snow White!







At Disneyland after Dreamlights was the fireworks and castle show, "Once Upon a Time".


















At Disney Sea the last night, we watched (and cried our eyes out) for Fantasmic and the fireworks, "Sky High Wishes"








The very last day of Tokyo was a mixture of both Parks and fitting in all the stuff we had missed. We really did not want this trip to end because the magic was so real.




 Thank you for the magical memories Tokyo!
Until then....





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