I have to hand it to Disney. They did everything they could to try and bring Orlando to Japan. The rides were similar, the shows were familiar, the crowds and the heat were just like Florida. We had a great trip and are so glad we were able to visit.
Where to start. Lets start with the flights. What can I say… 13 hours on a plane is a bit much for even the youngest traveler. When we moved to Australia last May we spent 16 hours on a plane at one point. When we were planning this trip back home for a visit we learned that not only could we break up our flights into smaller segments, but if we flew through Tokyo we could stop at Disney. In all honesty, it was my wife’s idea not that it took me long to warm up to the idea.
The people we met in Japan were great. They were very friendly and tried to help us find our way. That being said, almost none of the people or CMs that we met could speak any english at all. Since none of us spoke Japanese we learned to communicate any way we could.
We spent our first day in Japan adjusting to the time change and exploring Tokyo. Our first goal was to master the trains and subways so we could get around tokyo. Our plan was to take the bus from our hotel to the main train station at Disneyland. After about 30 minutes we arrived at the train station.
I must back up a little and give a little more explanation. Tokyo Disneyland and Disney Sea are two parks. They are located right next to each other and there is a monorail that connects the two parks (It cost us about $10 to ride it). Most guests do not park hop. When you buy your tickets, you have to pick witch park you are going to each day. For the 6 of us we spend about $550 for 2 day passes. Our plan was to spend one day in each of the two parks.
It was nice to see the park entrance and the castle even though we would not be going to the parks that day. Once we arrived at the train station it was time to figure out how to explore Tokyo. We did not rent a car and our plan was to use public transportation. Looking back, it was a great idea but I wish we had looked at the subway maps before we arrived and asked how to use them.
To ride the trains you have to buy a pass. To buy a pass, you go to an ATM like machine and select what type of pass you need and how many you need. This would be easy if we could read Japanese. We decided to purchase an all day pass for each of us by selecting the picture of the bigger people (adults) and the little people (children). This turned out to be the best thing we could do. We found a map of the trains that was in english and were able to navigate ourselves around Tokyo without much help.
We took the trains up to Asakusa. We found a great outdoor market area and had one of the best lunches of our trip while in the markets. The restaurants were very small, and most all of them had samples of the food in the window. I need to elaborate a little here. The samples were plastic examples of the items you could order. This made it very easy for us to pick out what we wanted to eat. The food was awesome.
After exploring some of the temples and gardens in the area, we decided to head back into Tokyo to see what else we could find.