Japan 2019 vs 2020

Eastridge

Earning My Ears
Joined
Sep 24, 2018
It's great to see the highly positive trip reports about the new ABD Japan trip.

But ABD veterans also point out that trips lose features after the inaugural year, and there seem to be significant changes and cuts in the Japan trip from 2019 to 2020. More than I would have expected.

Cuts
  • One less dinner (no dinner on the initial night)
  • Day 2: No samurai performance and costume photo op. Only the maiko is listed.
  • Day 5: No mochi making
  • Day 8: They don't mention seeing the Great Buddha and Kotoku-in in Kamakura
  • Day 9: No Sumida river boat cruise
  • Day 10: No Meiji Jingu shrine and Kagura ceremony

Differences
  • They no longer mention onsen, but I assume one can do that during "on your own" time
  • On Day 4 they no longer explicitly describe an optional tour of Dotonbori and Hozenji temple but they mention an optical excursion to Osaka so maybe that is the same thing
  • The junior adventurer dinner is shifted and the activity is bowling instead of a movie
  • 2019: Meiji Jingu shrine under renovation
  • 2019 to March 2020: Kiyomizudera under scaffolding
  • Miyajima floating shrine under scaffolding for much of 2019 and 2020

Maybe the samurai performance and costume photo op isn't a huge deal but it sounds like something fun. Missing Kamakura is disappointing, but perhaps people saw enough temples and buddhas in Kyoto and Nara? The day with the Sumida river cruise is busy so maybe they decided to cut that.

But I don't understand cutting Meiji Jingu shrine. That day looks like mostly "on your own" time so it's not as if they didn't have time for it. Yes, it's not difficult to visit on your own, but that wouldn't include the ceremony, and we pay ABD for guided touring.

For those of you who went in 2019: Do these changes sound significant, or no big deal?
 

sayhello

Have Camera, Will Travel
Joined
Oct 28, 2006
It's great to see the highly positive trip reports about the new ABD Japan trip.

But ABD veterans also point out that trips lose features after the inaugural year, and there seem to be significant changes and cuts in the Japan trip from 2019 to 2020. More than I would have expected.
Cuts
  • One less dinner (no dinner on the initial night) You don't really have one less dinner. This was technically a change this year. They moved the "At your leisure" dinner from Day 1 to Day 7, which was supposed to be an OYO dinner. Day 7 is now the "Dinner at your Leisure" night instead. So you didn't lose a dinner, really, they just moved it. We got a voucher for the initial night because it had been advertised that way, but I was told it would be gone going forward.
  • Day 2: No samurai performance and costume photo op. Only the maiko is listed. That's kind of sad, because the samurai performance & costume photo op, although nothing fancy, were fun.
  • Day 5: No mochi making The mochi making demonstration was not very good. We stood on the sidewalk outside a shop, and watched through the window. There were a ton of people already there, lined up to watch, and we were squeezed up in front of them because ABD had made arrangements with the shop. But the folks who were now behind us were pretty pissed off about it, since they'd been waiting quite a while. It was rather and uncomfortable situation. It was pretty interesting to watch, but a bit of a pain. The mochi *WAS* delicious!
  • Day 8: They don't mention seeing the Great Buddha and Kotoku-in in Kamakura Now this is a shame, because I thought the Great Buddha in Kamakura was really cool.
  • Day 9: No Sumida river boat cruise I also enjoyed the Sumida river boat cruise. I know they had to do a lot of re-arranging of this day to get lunch at a good time, but I had plenty of time to do the activity I had planned that evening, and you have so much OYO time on Day 10.
  • Day 10: No Meiji Jingu shrine and Kagura ceremony This one kind of doesn't surprise me. We had at least 1/3 of our group skip this activity. I do think a lot of folks thought it was one shrine too many. I enjoyed it, and thought the Kagura ceremony was extremely interesting, but some people didn't attend the ceremony, and maybe others didn't think it was as interesting. I don't know. But Takeshita Street being the only activitiy for the last day (besides the Farewell dinner) is pretty lame. It makes almost the entire day OYO.

Differences
  • They no longer mention onsen, but I assume one can do that during "on your own" time The onsen was always an OYO activity, only if you cared to do it.
  • On Day 4 they no longer explicitly describe an optional tour of Dotonbori and Hozenji temple but they mention an optical excursion to Osaka so maybe that is the same thing My Adventure Handbook does not mention Hozenji temple, just the optional walking tour of the Dotonbori food district in Osaka (I didn't do this activity). But from what I understood, it was not really a tour, they took folks there, pointed out some places to eat, and set them loose to get dinner. I'm assuming that's the same optional excursion to Osaka. But I'm just assuming here.
  • The junior adventurer dinner is shifted and the activity is bowling instead of a movie Not sure about this, because we arrived so late that day, we all ate at the buffet. Our one junior adventurer asked for a special activity instead of whatever it would have been.
  • 2019: Meiji Jingu shrine under renovation Did you mean 2020 here? Because it wasn't under renovation while we were there. Maybe that's why it's gone from Day 10?
  • 2019 to March 2020: Kiyomizudera under scaffolding Yes, this was true for our trip. Didn't spoil the day.
  • Miyajima floating shrine under scaffolding for much of 2019 and 2020 This is also sad. But nothing that ABD can do anything about.

Maybe the samurai performance and costume photo op isn't a huge deal but it sounds like something fun. Missing Kamakura is disappointing, but perhaps people saw enough temples and buddhas in Kyoto and Nara? The day with the Sumida river cruise is busy so maybe they decided to cut that. The samurai & photo op *were* fun. And while I thought we maybe saw too many temples/shrines, we really only saw 2 Buddhas, and I liked them both. They were *very* different settings.

But I don't understand cutting Meiji Jingu shrine. That day looks like mostly "on your own" time so it's not as if they didn't have time for it. Yes, it's not difficult to visit on your own, but that wouldn't include the ceremony, and we pay ABD for guided touring. I'm a little confused here, because you say the shrine is under renovation. It wasn't when I was there in May, are you saying it is now? See my comments above.

For those of you who went in 2019: Do these changes sound significant, or no big deal? While I wouldn't classify most of these changes as "no big deal", I don't think any of them are a deal breaker. I'm a bit sad about the Great Buddha of Kamakura and the cutting of the samurai performance/costume photo op, but again, I don't consider them a major change. I *am* glad I took it the first year, but I think if I had waited, none of these, except for the lack of activities on Day 10) would make me question taking the trip.

See my answers in purple

Sayhello
 

CaliforniaGirl09

DIS Veteran
Joined
Dec 4, 2009
I"m glomming on to sayhello's responses. We are on the trip right now. See my additions in brackets [in blue]

Cuts
  • One less dinner (no dinner on the initial night) You don't really have one less dinner. This was technically a change this year. They moved the "At your leisure" dinner from Day 1 to Day 7, which was supposed to be an OYO dinner. Day 7 is now the "Dinner at your Leisure" night instead. So you didn't lose a dinner, really, they just moved it. We got a voucher for the initial night because it had been advertised that way, but I was told it would be gone going forward. [Yes, this is the same for us--we were told about the change and received a voucher for the first night]
  • Day 2: No samurai performance and costume photo op. Only the maiko is listed. That's kind of sad, because the samurai performance & costume photo op, although nothing fancy, were fun. [Totally agree. We loved the performance and photo op. Not a deal breaker but disappointing]
  • Day 5: No mochi making The mochi making demonstration was not very good. We stood on the sidewalk outside a shop, and watched through the window. There were a ton of people already there, lined up to watch, and we were squeezed up in front of them because ABD had made arrangements with the shop. But the folks who were now behind us were pretty pissed off about it, since they'd been waiting quite a while. It was rather and uncomfortable situation. It was pretty interesting to watch, but a bit of a pain. The mochi *WAS* delicious! [I'm not surprised by this change at all. It was a zoo--it's basically trying to shove our huge group onto a sidewalk in front of a shop and trying to block out other people who are trying to push their way in. It was very quick and basically consisted of a guy hitting a batch of dough with a hammer :) I would have loved to see more about it, but not in the place we were standing. I was the only person in my family who liked it.]
  • Day 8: They don't mention seeing the Great Buddha and Kotoku-in in Kamakura Now this is a shame, because I thought the Great Buddha in Kamakura was really cool. [This has already been eliminated. Our group did not see it yesterday.]
  • Day 9: No Sumida river boat cruise I also enjoyed the Sumida river boat cruise. I know they had to do a lot of re-arranging of this day to get lunch at a good time, but I had plenty of time to do the activity I had planned that evening, and you have so much OYO time on Day 10. [We had this today and it was nice to see Tokyo from a different angle. I hope they replace it with something though because there aren't a ton of activities in Tokyo as it is. Today we walked around the garden, did sushi making, and then had free time at a market before getting on the boat. We were back at the hotel by 4:30 and have the rest of the night on our own]
  • Day 10: No Meiji Jingu shrine and Kagura ceremony This one kind of doesn't surprise me. We had at least 1/3 of our group skip this activity. I do think a lot of folks thought it was one shrine too many. I enjoyed it, and thought the Kagura ceremony was extremely interesting, but some people didn't attend the ceremony, and maybe others didn't think it was as interesting. I don't know. But Takeshita Street being the only activitiy for the last day (besides the Farewell dinner) is pretty lame. It makes almost the entire day OYO. [Too funny about the timing of this. We were debating whether to skip tomorrow--I think we might. We're templed/shrined out and want to have a leisurely morning at this amazing hotel and walk around Tokyo Fish Market and explore the city a little more. I think they will have to find something else on Day 10 because otherwise it's just another shopping trip?]

Differences
  • They no longer mention onsen, but I assume one can do that during "on your own" time The onsen was always an OYO activity, only if you cared to do it.
  • On Day 4 they no longer explicitly describe an optional tour of Dotonbori and Hozenji temple but they mention an optical excursion to Osaka so maybe that is the same thing My Adventure Handbook does not mention Hozenji temple, just the optional walking tour of the Dotonbori food district in Osaka (I didn't do this activity). But from what I understood, it was not really a tour, they took folks there, pointed out some places to eat, and set them loose to get dinner. I'm assuming that's the same optional excursion to Osaka. But I'm just assuming here. [I don't recall a temple either, and the night to Osaka is optional. Three of my family of four went and had a blast--Dotonbori is a super cool street with amazing street food. One of my favorite things we did.]
  • The junior adventurer dinner is shifted and the activity is bowling instead of a movie Not sure about this, because we arrived so late that day, we all ate at the buffet. Our one junior adventurer asked for a special activity instead of whatever it would have been. [This has already been implemented and is a great change. We only have one junior adventurer on our trip as well, but we have quite a few older teens and college students (my kids included). They opened the bowling up to include them and every eligible kid went, From what I saw and heard, they had a blast. My husband and I tried to say we were taking college classes so we could go, but it didn't work :)]
  • 2019: Meiji Jingu shrine under renovation Did you mean 2020 here? Because it wasn't under renovation while we were there. Maybe that's why it's gone from Day 10?
  • 2019 to March 2020: Kiyomizudera under scaffolding Yes, this was true for our trip. Didn't spoil the day.
  • Miyajima floating shrine under scaffolding for much of 2019 and 2020 This is also sad. But nothing that ABD can do anything about. [We were so lucky. They took the scaffolding off for our tour as we were there during festival period.]

Maybe the samurai performance and costume photo op isn't a huge deal but it sounds like something fun. Missing Kamakura is disappointing, but perhaps people saw enough temples and buddhas in Kyoto and Nara? The day with the Sumida river cruise is busy so maybe they decided to cut that. The samurai & photo op *were* fun. And while I thought we maybe saw too many temples/shrines, we really only saw 2 Buddhas, and I liked them both. They were *very* different settings.

But I don't understand cutting Meiji Jingu shrine. That day looks like mostly "on your own" time so it's not as if they didn't have time for it. Yes, it's not difficult to visit on your own, but that wouldn't include the ceremony, and we pay ABD for guided touring. I'm a little confused here, because you say the shrine is under renovation. It wasn't when I was there in May, are you saying it is now? See my comments above.

For those of you who went in 2019: Do these changes sound significant, or no big deal? While I wouldn't classify most of these changes as "no big deal", I don't think any of them are a deal breaker. I'm a bit sad about the Great Buddha of Kamakura and the cutting of the samurai performance/costume photo op, but again, I don't consider them a major change. I *am* glad I took it the first year, but I think if I had waited, none of these, except for the lack of activities on Day 10) would make me question taking the trip. [Ditto from me]

See my answers in purple

Sayhello
 
  • sayhello

    Have Camera, Will Travel
    Joined
    Oct 28, 2006
    Replying to a couple of @CaliforniaGirl09's comments in green:

    Cuts
    • Day 8: They don't mention seeing the Great Buddha and Kotoku-in in Kamakura Now this is a shame, because I thought the Great Buddha in Kamakura was really cool. [This has already been eliminated. Our group did not see it yesterday.] Did anyone say why? It wasn't really that late a day. I wonder if they wanted to miss traffic heading into Tokyo?
    • Day 9: No Sumida river boat cruise I also enjoyed the Sumida river boat cruise. I know they had to do a lot of re-arranging of this day to get lunch at a good time, but I had plenty of time to do the activity I had planned that evening, and you have so much OYO time on Day 10. [We had this today and it was nice to see Tokyo from a different angle. I hope they replace it with something though because there aren't a ton of activities in Tokyo as it is. Today we walked around the garden, did sushi making, and then had free time at a market before getting on the boat. We were back at the hotel by 4:30 and have the rest of the night on our own] If there's one complaint I have of this trip, it's that we really didn't do enough in Tokyo. If I'd known *how much* OYO time we'd have, I'd've made more plans for Day 10. Although a long soak in the amazing tub in my room at the Peninsula was pretty great!
    • Day 10: No Meiji Jingu shrine and Kagura ceremony This one kind of doesn't surprise me. We had at least 1/3 of our group skip this activity. I do think a lot of folks thought it was one shrine too many. I enjoyed it, and thought the Kagura ceremony was extremely interesting, but some people didn't attend the ceremony, and maybe others didn't think it was as interesting. I don't know. But Takeshita Street being the only activitiy for the last day (besides the Farewell dinner) is pretty lame. It makes almost the entire day OYO. [Too funny about the timing of this. We were debating whether to skip tomorrow--I think we might. We're templed/shrined out and want to have a leisurely morning at this amazing hotel and walk around Tokyo Fish Market and explore the city a little more. I think they will have to find something else on Day 10 because otherwise it's just another shopping trip?] Yep, Takeshita street is really just a shopping/absorb the atmosphere kind of stop. They *REALLY* need to replace it with *something*. I think you can skip this morning and not feel like you missed that much. I think your day sounds like a better idea. :)

    Differences
    • Miyajima floating shrine under scaffolding for much of 2019 and 2020 This is also sad. But nothing that ABD can do anything about. [We were so lucky. They took the scaffolding off for our tour as we were there during festival period.] I'm so happy you guys got to see it.
    Sayhello
     
    Last edited:

    disneyphx

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 4, 2010
    I concur with what Sayhello and CaliforniaGirl09 have said.
    Couple of my thoughts:
    - the samurai and costume photo opp were OK - we were really tired from jet lag and could have done without it - we also really loved the geisha, so I dont think the order helped
    - we did not see the Great Buddha and Kotoku-in in Kamakura either - and the guides didnt mention it at all
    - our trip only had one Jr Adventurer too - they invited everyone under about 24 to join for dinner and bowling if they wanted
    - Day 10 is looking thin - I did see signs a couple of places that it is/has been under renovation - nothing like at Kiyomizudera and Miyajima though. The ceremony was what made it special/different. I am guessing the day 9 and 10 changes may in part be so folks have more OYO time in Tokyo....

    When we saw the 2019 itinerary and how jam-packed it was, we had a feeling stuff would get removed, which is what led us to book in year 1 - we were afraid one of 'must do's would get removed - that did not actually happen though.

    Still a great and busy trip!
     

    Eastridge

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Sep 24, 2018
    Thanks for all the responses and feedback. Sounds like the consensus is it is still a great trip even with some cuts and changes. I hadn't realized that some of these changes already started in 2019, despite what they listed in the 2019 itinerary.

    2019: Meiji Jingu shrine under renovation Did you mean 2020 here? Because it wasn't under renovation while we were there. Maybe that's why it's gone from Day 10?
    I'm taking the renovation information from the following webpage:


    It lists the Meiji Jingu restoration as minor, so maybe it wasn't noticeable. I assume they would want to finish prior to the 2020 Olympics, and the expected completion is August 2019.

    Actually, the biggest concern is the Miyajima shrine being under scaffolding, but that affects many 2019 and 2020 trips and isn't something ABD can control. It's one of the "Three Views of Japan."
     

    CaliforniaGirl09

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 4, 2009
    • On Day 4 they no longer explicitly describe an optional tour of Dotonbori and Hozenji temple but they mention an optical excursion to Osaka so maybe that is the same thing
    Oops! My daughter just reminded me that there was a temple on our evening to Osaka. I'd totally forgotten, but it was actually a really nice little stop. It only took a few minutes and it's right off Dotonbori street--basically a little oasis in the middle of fun craziness. I'm sure it will still be included or you could find it on your own if you take advantage of the option to go to Osaka.
     
  • danv3

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 1, 2007
    I wonder how much it will change by 2022 or 2023...that’s about when I might be able to go. :oops:
     

    OhanaCuz

    I can finally say that I've been on an ABD.
    Joined
    Jan 22, 2014
    I wonder how much it will change by 2022 or 2023...that’s about when I might be able to go. :oops:
    That's not a bad thing. There's a big expansion for DisneySea targeted for then.

     

    Cousin Orville

    Inventor of Air Cooling
    Joined
    Aug 27, 2000
    Cousin Orville’s thoughts in Red

    Replying to a couple of @CaliforniaGirl09's comments in green:

    Cuts
    • Day 8: They don't mention seeing the Great Buddha and Kotoku-in in Kamakura Now this is a shame, because I thought the Great Buddha in Kamakura was really cool. [This has already been eliminated. Our group did not see it yesterday.] Did anyone say why? It wasn't really that late a day. I wonder if they wanted to miss traffic heading into Tokyo? we ran into a lot of traffic and the Great Buddha was rushed. Having said that it’s still disappointing it’s cancelled. While I enjoyed the outdoor art museum (earlier that morning), the Great Buddha is more important and doesn’t take that much time.
    • Day 9: No Sumida river boat cruise I also enjoyed the Sumida river boat cruise. I know they had to do a lot of re-arranging of this day to get lunch at a good time, but I had plenty of time to do the activity I had planned that evening, and you have so much OYO time on Day 10. [We had this today and it was nice to see Tokyo from a different angle. I hope they replace it with something though because there aren't a ton of activities in Tokyo as it is. Today we walked around the garden, did sushi making, and then had free time at a market before getting on the boat. We were back at the hotel by 4:30 and have the rest of the night on our own] If there's one complaint I have of this trip, it's that we really didn't do enough in Tokyo. If I'd known *how much* OYO time we'd have, I'd've made more plans for Day 10. Although a long soak in the amazing tub in my room at the Peninsula was pretty great! I was not into this cruise. It’s seemed like just a way to get from A to B. I think it’s a good call to replace it.
    • Day 10: No Meiji Jingu shrine and Kagura ceremony This one kind of doesn't surprise me. We had at least 1/3 of our group skip this activity. I do think a lot of folks thought it was one shrine too many. I enjoyed it, and thought the Kagura ceremony was extremely interesting, but some people didn't attend the ceremony, and maybe others didn't think it was as interesting. I don't know. But Takeshita Street being the only activitiy for the last day (besides the Farewell dinner) is pretty lame. It makes almost the entire day OYO. [Too funny about the timing of this. We were debating whether to skip tomorrow--I think we might. We're templed/shrined out and want to have a leisurely morning at this amazing hotel and walk around Tokyo Fish Market and explore the city a little more. I think they will have to find something else on Day 10 because otherwise it's just another shopping trip?] Yep, Takeshita street is really just a shopping/absorb the atmosphere kind of stop. They *REALLY* need to replace it with *something*. I think you can skip this morning and not feel like you missed that much. I think your day sounds like a better idea. :) I really enjoyed the Meiji shrine and the ceremony. It felt like one of this special ABD moments that would be difficult to do on your own (if you even knew what it was). I agree that Tokyo needs a little work. I’m glad they took us to Takeshita St, but there absolutely needs to be another activity that day. We were just dropped off at Takeshita and went on our own to the 3D Latte cafe and afterwards got the huge rainbow Cotton Candy.

    Differences
    • Miyajima floating shrine under scaffolding for much of 2019 and 2020 This is also sad. But nothing that ABD can do anything about. [We were so lucky. They took the scaffolding off for our tour as we were there during festival period.] I'm so happy you guys got to see it. that’s amazing you got to see it! This was really important to me as I saw it as a teenager. So, I have a strong nostalgic connection to it. While I don’t think it’s a make it or break it issue for any other guests, it probably would be for me.
     

    Cousin Orville

    Inventor of Air Cooling
    Joined
    Aug 27, 2000
    Doing this on my phone makes this a little challenging! Haha!

    More thoughts:

    Onsens - you can do it on your own for sure. I’m guessing they’re not mentioning it because it’s a little controversial for the custom of it (no clothes allowed) and not allowing tattoos. We did it twice, and I’m glad we did. It was beautiful and relaxing. We did wait until later in the evening in hopes it would be empty. One night that worked, one it was packed. Pro tip: if you check out the parking lot and see a lot of tourist busses, it will be crowded.

    The kids bowling night was awesome. One of Gavin's Favorite junior ABD nights on any trip.


    The hozenji temple was a very small temple down one of the side streets. You could throw water on the statues for a wish. My daughter wished for Mac and Cheese on the food tour. 🤣. It was nice, but pretty minor.

    Mochi making was a waste. I’m sure it sounded good on paper, but did not execute well.

    Kiyumizodera Was just ok. It was very crowded. I enjoyed the other temples and shrines we saw on our own in Kyoto a lot more. That area, Higashiyama, is amazing in the morning before the crowds. I highly recommend a visit. In the middle of the hot afternoon with significant crowds it lost its charm.


    Overall these changes are improvements. The only thing that really stinks is the Miyajima restoration. That’s a big part of the trip down to Hiroshima let alone the Ferry to Miyajima island.
     
  • CaliforniaGirl09

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 4, 2009
    Cousin Orville’s thoughts in Red

    Replying to a couple of @CaliforniaGirl09's comments in green:

    Cuts
    • Day 8: They don't mention seeing the Great Buddha and Kotoku-in in Kamakura Now this is a shame, because I thought the Great Buddha in Kamakura was really cool. [This has already been eliminated. Our group did not see it yesterday.] Did anyone say why? It wasn't really that late a day. I wonder if they wanted to miss traffic heading into Tokyo? we ran into a lot of traffic and the Great Buddha was rushed. Having said that it’s still disappointing it’s cancelled. While I enjoyed the outdoor art museum (earlier that morning), the Great Buddha is more important and doesn’t take that much time.
    • Day 9: No Sumida river boat cruise I also enjoyed the Sumida river boat cruise. I know they had to do a lot of re-arranging of this day to get lunch at a good time, but I had plenty of time to do the activity I had planned that evening, and you have so much OYO time on Day 10. [We had this today and it was nice to see Tokyo from a different angle. I hope they replace it with something though because there aren't a ton of activities in Tokyo as it is. Today we walked around the garden, did sushi making, and then had free time at a market before getting on the boat. We were back at the hotel by 4:30 and have the rest of the night on our own] If there's one complaint I have of this trip, it's that we really didn't do enough in Tokyo. If I'd known *how much* OYO time we'd have, I'd've made more plans for Day 10. Although a long soak in the amazing tub in my room at the Peninsula was pretty great! I was not into this cruise. It’s seemed like just a way to get from A to B. I think it’s a good call to replace it.
    • Day 10: No Meiji Jingu shrine and Kagura ceremony This one kind of doesn't surprise me. We had at least 1/3 of our group skip this activity. I do think a lot of folks thought it was one shrine too many. I enjoyed it, and thought the Kagura ceremony was extremely interesting, but some people didn't attend the ceremony, and maybe others didn't think it was as interesting. I don't know. But Takeshita Street being the only activitiy for the last day (besides the Farewell dinner) is pretty lame. It makes almost the entire day OYO. [Too funny about the timing of this. We were debating whether to skip tomorrow--I think we might. We're templed/shrined out and want to have a leisurely morning at this amazing hotel and walk around Tokyo Fish Market and explore the city a little more. I think they will have to find something else on Day 10 because otherwise it's just another shopping trip?] Yep, Takeshita street is really just a shopping/absorb the atmosphere kind of stop. They *REALLY* need to replace it with *something*. I think you can skip this morning and not feel like you missed that much. I think your day sounds like a better idea. :)I really enjoyed the Meiji shrine and the ceremony. It felt like one of this special ABD moments that would be difficult to do on your own (if you even knew what it was). I agree that Tokyo needs a little work. I’m glad they took us to Takeshita St, but there absolutely needs to be another activity that day. We were just dropped off at Takeshita and went on our own to the 3D Latte cafe and afterwards got the huge rainbow Cotton Candy.

    Differences
    • Miyajima floating shrine under scaffolding for much of 2019 and 2020 This is also sad. But nothing that ABD can do anything about. [We were so lucky. They took the scaffolding off for our tour as we were there during festival period.] I'm so happy you guys got to see it. that’s amazing you got to see it! This was really important to me as I saw it as a teenager. So, I have a strong nostalgic connection to it. While I don’t think it’s a make it or break it issue for any other guests, it probably would be for me.
    It's beginning to look like a rainbow, so I'll reply the old fashioned way. It was a bummer about the Big Buddha change, but by that time I was glad not to have any more bus time. There was way more on this trip than I expected.

    Tokyo days really need to be reworked. We loved our visit to the bustling fish market, but I really thought they should at least include some optional activities like to Tokyo museums. I think there are sword and kimono museums in addition to the main Tokyo museum. Maybe a visit to Tokyo Tower?

    We were *so* excited to hear that we lucked out with the scaffolding. I was told it was only for the festival week while we were there. I wonder if it was back up for the next tour?
     

    PrincessDisneyFan

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jul 2, 2014
    @Cousin Orville About what time would you say the Shrine portion of Day 10 Ended for your group? I am thinking that we are going to hire a private guide to come meet us there (if its later in the morning and head off before being dropped at Takeshita street)
     

    Cousin Orville

    Inventor of Air Cooling
    Joined
    Aug 27, 2000
    @Cousin Orville About what time would you say the Shrine portion of Day 10 Ended for your group? I am thinking that we are going to hire a private guide to come meet us there (if its later in the morning and head off before being dropped at Takeshita street)
    We left at 10:20am to head to Takeshita Street. (Thanks Google Timeline!)
     

    PrincessDisneyFan

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jul 2, 2014
    @Cousin Orville Thanks for your timeline. That was super helpful in planning our private guide now that day. I'm sorry I didn't quickly respond here... I am so excited in the trip and have been responding in a bunch of different threads here. LOL
     

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