TR(tdl/sdl/hkdl)-> This Is Where Your Dream Begins; A New World in Every Chapter. COMPLETED 12/8!!!

Discussion in 'Other Lands' started by katt789, Nov 22, 2016.

  1. katt789

    katt789 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2010
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    This is a celebration of smiles and joy!! Children of all ages, join your Disney friends on a merry go round journey of joy & wonders, there’s magic to the brim, so let your magic begin, SMILE, HAPPINESS IS HERE! Feel it draw you in, let the wonder take hold, ready to begin, your story waits to be told, better when you don’t know where its goin’, dive in with your heart wide open Let your precious memories light the way, you’re on a journey that’s only beginning; When your heart makes a wish, the worlds in your hands, this is where your dream begins, following the wishes in your heart, and it’s authentically Disney, distinctly Chinese!!



    …okay…so….SOME of it’s distinctly Chinese, the other parts are Japanese…or from Hong Kong…..but it was ALL SO MAGICAL AND OUR DREAMS BEGAN, CAME TRUE FIVE MILLION TIMES and I STILL can’t believe that we got the chance to experience all of it!!!


    Wait…you don’t even KNOW WHO WE ARE DO YOU?!?!


    Well…that certainly is the most rude of me….I do believe introductions are in order!


    Well, HI!! I’m Katt!!

    [​IMG]13173197_10156989361010360_3625622338247591927_o by Katt McCluskey, on Flickr


    I’m you captain of this OH SO ADVENTROUS trip report, and have been circulating the Disboards for YEARS, with a minor vacation while I spent a year working for the mouse! I live in Vancouver, Canada, while working in the food & beverage industry. I love all things Disney, and all things performing! If the time isn’t too late, I would LOVE to perform for Disney! This love, led me to apply for the Canadian Cultural Representative Program, where I worked in food & beverage, mainly at Le Cellier inside the Canada pavilion in Epcot! While working this program, I found my literal soul mate & best friend; Kara!!


    [​IMG]13151892_10156967623545360_2670940311639208732_n by Katt McCluskey, on Flickr


    She’s the exact same age as me, and lives about an hour outside of Vancouver working at a gym. We share a lot of the same interests as we both grew up dancing, she did acrobatics as well, and is an avid marathon runner! Kara’s also just like the greatest person ever, instant BFF’s!

    [​IMG]13198649_10156989360075360_5464467342196622732_o by Katt McCluskey, on Flickr

    During our cultural representative programs at WDW, Kara & I had made a couple of entertainment friends who, within a few short months of our program, ended up receiving contracts for Tokyo Disneyland! I hadn’t heard or researched much into these parks at that time, but that made me start to pay attention. Our original trip had us going right after our program in October 2015, hitting California on the way over, and hitting Paris, making it a true ROUND THE WORLD trip, BUT, life took its toll on us, and budgets had to be redone, and we started to plan for fall 2016 instead (which was a bonus since Shanghai would now be open too) A few months later we returned to WDW for the Princess Half Marathon, where our friend Abby asked us if she could join in on the China portion of our adventure.





    We met Abby down in Florida on the program as well; she had a huge love for rope drop, character greeting, watching 12 Trolley shows in one day, and she carries a personal supply of pixie dust around, she’s a great person to have around, which is probably a good thing considering we’re roomates too, bahaha!


    So that’s us!! So we’ll get to the other W’s!!


    When: October 3/2016 to November 14/2016


    WhatA round the Asia Disney trip (we REALLY wanted to add Paris in, but it added on nearly $2000 in costs)


    Where Well, obviously we COULD just do Disney, but Kara & I wanted to adventure, and there was SO much to explore in Asia, especially with a YEAR of planning, our final list looked like this:

    -Tokyo

    -Matsumoto

    -Kanazawa

    -Kyoto/Nara

    -Hiroshima/Miyajima

    -Beijing

    -Shanghai

    -Hong Kong


    Accomodations

    I covered a lot more of this in the PTR, and included a LOT of our planning process in there. Obviously, we would have stayed at Disney hotels everywhere if we had the money, BUT, those things are EXPENSIVE. We stayed mainly at Hostels, a few cheap hotels, a few AirBnB’s, and lastly the Hong Kong Hollywood Hotel. Things had been changed around a LOT during the planning stages, but it all worked out in the end!!


    To say it was quite the feet was RIGHT, I have to say, I’m glad we had a year and a half to plan it, as it was QUITE the adventure!!! We were braving 3 new countries 4 parks in total, one that was COMPLETELY UNIQUE TO EVERYWHERE AROUDN THE WORLD, not to mention the language barrier!!


    It certainly was meant to be an adventure, so I do hope you’ll stick around to see what happened!!!

    Chapter Links!

    Day 1: October 4/5
    Travel Day/Arrival in Japan
    Day 2: October 6/2016
    Meji Jingu & Harajuku
    Shibuya & the Disney Store

    Day 3: October 7/2016
    Lake Kawaguchi-co
    Day 4: October 8/2016
    Part 1
    Part 2

    Day 5: October 9/2016
    Senso-Ji, Akihabara Day
    Day 6: October 10/2016
    Ueno Park & Ikspiari
    Disney Hotel Exploration

    Day 7: October 11/2016
    5:00am Wake Up Call, totally Worth It
    Critter Country & CHANS!
    JUMP! SHOUT! And Let it all Out!
    Kara's Best Purchase
    The Best Ride in All the Lands
    Day 8: October 12/2016
    Discovering DisneySea
    Crystal Wishes
    A TRIUMPHANT RETURN
    Chilling, Thrilling Villains
    Imagination, Follow Your Dreams
    Day 9:October 13/2016
    Exploring the Castle
    One Man's Dream
    One Man's Dream Part 2

    Celebrations of Smiles & Joy
    A Villains Wish
    Dream Lights
    Day 10: October 14/2016
    A Morning in Disneyland
    The last night in DisneySea
    Day 11: October 15/2016
    Travel to Matsumoto
    Day 12: October 16/2016
    Matsumoto Castle/Travel to Kanazawa
    Day 13: October 17/2016
    Kanazawa Touring
    Day 14: October 18/2016
    Leaving Kanazawa to Kyoto
    Day 15: October 19/2016
    Arashiyama Bamboo Grove Part 1
    Arashiyama Part 2
    Day 16: October 20/2016
    Fushimi Inari Shrine
    Day 17: October 21/2016
    Nara Day Trip
    Nara Part 2
    Day 18: October 22/2016
    Kyoto Celebration Parade & Kara's Solo Adventures
    Day 19: October 23/2016
    Daigo-Ji Temple
    Day 20: October 24/2016
    Arriving in Hiroshima, Check in at Hostel
    Day 21: October 25/2016
    Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park & Surroundings
    Hiroshima Castle & Some Puppies!!!
    Day 22: October 26/2016
    Miyajiyama Island
    Mermaid livin'
    Day 23: Oct 27/2016
    The Travel Day of Heck
    Day 24: October 28/2016
    Tienanmen Square
    Forbidden City Part 1
    Forbidden City Part 2
    Behai Park
    Day 25: October 29/2016
    The Great Wall
    Part 2
    Part 3
    Day 26: October 30/2016
    The Summer Palace
    Part 2
    Day 27: October 31/2016
    Travel to Shanghai & DISNEYTOWN
    Day 28: November 1/2016
    The Race to The Sunken Treasure
    Royals
    Wait...that Man looks VERY familiar....
    Voyages of Crystals
    A Whole New World
    Do You Want to Build A Snowman?
    Call of the....Sunsets?
    Eat Up Me Hearties!
    Mickey Avenue
    Day 29: November 2/2016
    Making Tomorrow a Better Today
    A Whole New World
    People I CAN TALK TO?!?!
    Reuinted Across the World
    Friendship & Photos
    All the Princesses
    Sunsets & Tron
    Ignite the Dream
    Day 30: November 3/2016
    Last Day at SHDR
    Day 31: November 4/2016
    The city of shanghai
    Day 32: November 5/2016

    Yuyuan Gardens
    The Bund
    The Pearl Tower

    Day 33: November 6/2016 & Nov 7th
    Zhujiajiao Town
    TianZiFang/Travel to Hong Kong
    Day 34: November 8/2016

    Getting Lost
    Victoria Peak
    Ozone
    Day 35: November 9/2016
    Lamma Island Adventures
    Day 36: November 10/2016
    SunnyBay Station
    The Studio Lounge
    Day 37: November 10/2016
    BEST DAY EVER!
    TWO NEW VERY NEW THINGS

    Fairy Tale Forest
    Flights of Fantasy
    Festival of the Lion King
    Old Friends, Shopping & Too much Cuteness
    Paint the Night & Firework Adventures
    Day 38: November 11/2016 -> ALL NEW
    The One with the Disneybounds
    The One with the Princess Medley
    The One With the Evening Star
    The One With the Characters
    The One with the Parade
    The One Where Everything Comes to A Close


    VLOGS!!!
    We obviously vlogged the entire trip, and are in the process of working on the city vlogs. Kara did the TDL, Abby did SHDR & the city of HK, I did HKDL and am working on the Japan ones, uploading a new one each week!

    ETA: Apparently you can only enter a update with 5 pieces of media, so I'm going to throw a link HERE with our vlogs, I'll post when it gets updated!


    Asia Disney Parks Vlogs
    Japan City Vlogs
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2017
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  2. katt789

    katt789 DIS Veteran

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    So, the travel day is never that exciting, and I never remember, but I’ll do what I can!


    I had booked off work the two days prior to departure, and converted myself to Japan time, which meant staying up all night and hoping reverse jet leg would work!! I spent a lot of time watching YouTube and trying to finish True Blood. Unluckily for me, this time change meant that I had to be up at the equivalent of 3:00am to go to the airport….which meant I snoozed my alarm, over and over again…. WHOOPS!! Luckily it was SUPER early as I had planned to take the Sky train, so I had time to get up and call a cab to meet Kara at the airport. We were just in COMPLETE AWE that we would be in Japan soon!! It didn’t feel real AT ALL,I mean, we’d been planning this trip for nearly 2 years now, and it was actual reality, WHAT EVEN?! Security and customs and all that was a breeze, and before we knew it, we were having our last meal in North American and boarding our plane.

    [​IMG]image by Katt McCluskey, on Flickr
    [​IMG]image by Katt McCluskey, on Flickr

    There were 2 meals on the plane, and we both went with chicken I’m pretty sure
    [​IMG]image by Katt McCluskey, on Flickr

    [​IMG]image by Katt McCluskey, on Flickr


    I’ve never really understood why airplane food was deemed to be so horrible, I’ve always found it to be good! Don’t know why, but hey!!

    From what I remember we both slept, watched some movies, I found Bring It On and before we knew it, we were descending upon our greatest adventure yet!

    [​IMG]image by Katt McCluskey, on Flickr

    We landed in Tokyo just completely mind blown and absolutely LOVING every second of it! Kara had instructions on where to go to buy our bus tickets, exchange our JR pass and ATM’s, meanwhile I had the instructions on where to pick up our portable WiFi (we rented from Global Advanced Communications and I would 1000% do it again!) We found everything pretty easily, and were feeling SO welcomed and in love with the country before we’d even left the airport. I had trouble with one of the ATM’s, but the other one worked so we were okay! And a lovely worker at the JR exchange counter said that if we didn’t need them right away (we didn’t) we were better off exchanging them at Tokyo Station the day we did, as it was quite crowded at the airport location right now. Yay!



    Kara had the PERFECT directions printed out from our AirBnB host, Dante. Originally we had been booked into 2 separate hostels/cheap hotels, but to save money right before we left, we’d ended up swapping a few more accommodations over to AirBnB, and were hoping that their proximity to Disney Parks were true!

    There was a shuttle bus from the airport to Kasai station; which was about half an hour of a trip.


    [​IMG]image by Katt McCluskey, on Flickr


    The MOST exciting thing happened on the bus too! We were driving in, and it was all dark, like, DARK, dark. Kara noticed some prettily lit buildings off to our left, and said something about it, and that’s when I realized….THAT WAS THE DISNEYLAND HOTEL!!! WHAT?!?!! AHHHH!!!!! We both promptly FREAKED out as quietly as we could, and as we rounded the road, WE COULD SEE THE CASTLE, AND MOUNT PROMYTHEUS, AND OTHER PARTS OF THE RESORT AND IT WAS SEIROUSLY THE MOST EXCITING THING EVER!!!!


    It was definitely real now.


    When we arrived at the station, we bought our Pasmo Cards. I immediately pondered if we were buying the monthly pass or not, as we would be in Japan for a while, but Kara figured it wouldn’t be worth it so we loaded up a dollar amount and made for the next leg of our journey.


    Kasai train station is right across from their bus hub, where we boarded a bus, and were pleased to see a screen up front that had the names of each upcoming stop, and rotated between Japanese & English. The bus driver was also able to tell us when the stop was coming, and a local on the bus gave up her seat and moved further back so we could sit down with our packs! So nice!! At our stop, we started to follow the directions that Dante, our host, had given us. They started out super precise, and we had no problems, until they mentioned something about “turning left onto the street right after the construction”. We saw construction, but no street, further up, there was construction, so we tried that, only to find that the directions AFTER that didn’t match up at all. Thank goodness we were in Japan so it was safe while we wandered around this random neighborhood for like, half an hour trying to figure out where to go. I turned on the portable Wi-Fi but that didn’t help much, Japanese addresses are super confusing. We were pretty sure we knew the building we needed to get to the other side of, but just couldn’t figure it out, after circling around a few more times, WE FINALLY FOUND IT.


    Turns out what Kara & I called a “sketchy looking alleyway where a hobo would live if this was Vancouver” was what Dante called “residential road”…


    Fun times.


    Dante, our host for the week, wasn’t home when we got there, so we had some time to check things out on our own. It was super small, which was expected. Directly in the entrance way was the kitchen (microwave, fridge, hot plate) and to the left was the bathroom (tiny separate room for the toilet, shower on the opposite side) and a laundry machine. The bedroom had a set of bunk beds (for us) and a loft style bed that Dante would sleep in. Kara & I hadn’t eaten since the plane, so we walked back over to the 7-11 we had discovered when we got off the city bus (it was not even a 5 minute walk from us). It was QUITE the experience, trying to figure out what to buy! We picked up a few packs of Ramen noodles, and some pastry like breads for breakfast, and also saw the infamous Milk Tea that our friend Alicia had CONSTANTLY talked about! Bonus points, IT HAD DISNEY CHARACTERS ON IT!


    [​IMG]image by Katt McCluskey, on Flickr


    (we later discovered that this wasn’t THE milk tea but it was still good! It’s basically early grey tea with milk & sugar chilled!)


    Soon after we arrived back at the apartment, Dante made his way back home! We lucked out a lot in having our first host (especially one who was living with us) actually be American! He taught English over in Tokyo, I think he’d been there just over a year? Either way, he was super accommodating, welcoming and friendly! After meeting, we discussed a bit what our plans were, and he let us know that he usually got up around 5:00am in order to get to work on time, which was fine for us since we’d have some pretty early mornings too.


    I let Kara take the bottom bunk, we took turns showering and got ready for bed, it was time for some ADVENTURE!!!






     
    Last edited: May 11, 2017
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  4. zanzibar138

    zanzibar138 DIS Veteran

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    I'm here! Enthusiastically reading along and looking forward to the next instalment :thumbsup2
     
  5. AusAnnie

    AusAnnie Mouseketeer

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    Looking forward to reading more!! I love your trip reports :flower1:
     
  6. camper06

    camper06 Mouseketeer

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    Cant wait to read all about it!! Great start!
     
  7. Aussie Wendy

    Aussie Wendy DIS Veteran

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    I'm here too reading in my lunch hour at work - have to remember your thread title for later! So looking forward to reading on as we loved Japan and are big AirBnB fans too and have a mini china trip being planned (booked) for March.
     
  8. Lynn57

    Lynn57 DIS Veteran

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    So excited to read your trip report! How was your flight? Did you get and walk around a lot? I'm nervous to be on a plane for that long!
     
  9. katt789

    katt789 DIS Veteran

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    Yay!!! Glad you're here!!
    Yay!! Hi, welcome!! Thank you so much, hopefully you enjoy this one!!

    Thank you!! Glad you're joining in on this adventure!!


    Yay!! Hahaha, glad you're looking forward to it!!! We LOVED Japan SO MUCH, I'm already dying to go back! And Airbnb did not fail us during the trip (spoiler alert lol) Yay!!! China was fun!! Are you doing Disney over there?



    Glad you're excited!! I'm excited to share it with all of you!!! The flight was fine! I surprisingly didn't get up that often, Kara was on the aisle & I hate disturbing people lol. The flight there was no problem, it really didn't seem like it was that long, and between meals, movies and sleeping I kept pretty occupied!!
     
  10. katt789

    katt789 DIS Veteran

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    **dealing with technical difficulties & image problems...
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2016
  11. katt789

    katt789 DIS Veteran

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    Thursday October 6/2016

    It here!! It’s time!! AH! It was our FIRST MORNING IN TOKYO!!!! SO BIZARRE STILL!! Dante was long gone by the time we got up, so we had a little bit more space to get ready and eat a little bit of breakfast while we did so! It was back to the bus next, right across from the 7-11 we would be frequent visitors at, it took us to Kasai Station, where, with help from our Wi-Fi and the Tokyo Metro app (seriously, download it, it’s incredible and works offline) we knew where we had to transfer to get over to our destination.

    [​IMG]image by Katt McCluskey, on Flickr[​IMG]image by Katt McCluskey, on Flickr


    [​IMG]v1 by Katt McCluskey, on Flickr

    [​IMG]k5 by Katt McCluskey, on Flickr


    Our first pleasant surprise, was noticing that Tokyo Metro has cars that are only for women during rush hour!! It’s the little touches that make things so much better! I’d feel so much more comfortable if that was a thing everywhere! Another point for Japan! Soon enough, we reached our first destination, Meiji Jingu Shrine!

    [​IMG]image by Katt McCluskey, on Flickr

    [​IMG]v2 by Katt McCluskey, on Flickr

    [​IMG]v3 by Katt McCluskey, on Flickr

    And before you ask, yes, we were definitely those people with a selfie stick…but like…everyone had them, and we were the LEAST obnoxious so it’s okay… The Shrine started out with a lovely walk through a huge park, and we spotted some barrels of Sake off to the side

    [​IMG]v4 by Katt McCluskey, on Flickr

    To enter into the main part of the shrine, you go past a little “cleansing” station, where you scoop up the water using the ladle, rinse one hand, then pour into the other, to rinse your mouth (and spit it back out) then rinse that hand, then the ladle itself, and then you can head on in. This practice is not required, but we both did it (though I skipped the mouth part…) and we headed inside!


    [​IMG]v5 by Katt McCluskey, on Flickr

    [​IMG]v6 by Katt McCluskey, on Flickr

    [​IMG]v7 by Katt McCluskey, on Flickr

    We took some time to explore around, there was an entrance looking thing over into what we figured was the main shrine area, but there was either a cost, or a huge crowd, so we continued out the other side to continue on our explorations!

    [​IMG]v8 by Katt McCluskey, on Flickr

    We ended up circling back to the front of the shrine, and Kara knew there was a park nearby that she wanted to check out, so we pulled up the Google maps to check things out.

    [​IMG]v9 by Katt McCluskey, on Flickr

    It was super pretty, and we had a nice little walk around to explore it! Everything in Japan was still super lush and green, it was basically still summer today! SO HOT! Like, Florida hot! Luckily we were able to find some shade to relax in for a bit in the park.


    The slightly more exciting part of our day was coming up next, as we were headed into Harajuku to explore and of course, SHOP! We were even able to walk over there since it was only 1 train stop away!

    [​IMG]v15 by Katt McCluskey, on Flickr
    [​IMG]v10 by Katt McCluskey, on Flickr
    [​IMG]v11 by Katt McCluskey, on Flickr



    It was super neat, the bustling alleyways, full of people, eclectic shops, and TONS of amazing things to look at!

    [​IMG]v12 by Katt McCluskey, on Flickr

    Daiso ended up being one of our FAVORITE places in all of Japan, and would definitely come into play all the way through the country! It’s their version of a dollar store, and they legit sell everything, and the quality is decent too! I’m sure we both threw away SO much money into Daiso! Lol! We popped in, and discovered it was multi floored, and held lots of practical things, but nothing that we really thought we needed at that point, and not a lot of Disney souvenir stuff.


    An obvious big pull towards Haraujuku is the specific style that it holds, the Harajuku girls that Gwen Stefani made so famous those years ago! The outfits are to the extreme, and then there are others that are just adorable!

    [​IMG]v13 by Katt McCluskey, on Flickr

    We definitely noticed that the Japanese were a well dressed country, nothing too crazy, but most women were always in skirts or dresses, and always looked kawaii!!


    I’m apparently out of photos for a bit, so I’ll jump through the next bit! We were starting to get hungry, so we stopped into a little food court place (things at first were a bit hard to find, Japan is a very stacked place, and you often have to go into buildings and then up or down to find what you’re looking for). We both got a shwrama (I can’t for the life of me figure out how to spell that) style wrap, and it hit the spot! To finish off Harajuku on a high point, we headed to the obvious spot, the DISNEY STORE!!!! It was CRAZY exciting and obviously we instantly wanted to BUY EVERYTHING!!!! Japan is KNOWN for it’s AWESOME merchandise, and stuff that’s SUPER exclusive!! AND the TSUM TSUMS, oh man, it was crazy! We both picked up a couple of things, but the biggest thing we were there for was the Tokyo Disneyland Park tickets, since we’d been having struggles buying them online prior to leaving. Unfortunately, we found that they don’t sell them at that location, just at Shibuya, but we were headed there anyways!!


    On our way over to Shibuya, we came across another fun looking store;

    [​IMG]image by Katt McCluskey, on Flickr
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2017
  12. katt789

    katt789 DIS Veteran

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    It was obviously STUFFED to the brim with cool toys and other such merchandise, various animes, the like, and it was like 5 floors of store!! INSANE! We were both a bit disappointed in the lack of Sailor Moon stuff though! It was okay, since our next stop was about to BLOW OUR FREAKING MINDS.

    [​IMG]v16 by Katt McCluskey, on Flickr



    I MEAN JUST LOOK AT THAT!!! Upon entering the first floor, we were welcomed with 100% TSUM TSUM MERCHANDISE WHAT EVEN AN ENTIRE FLOOR OF TSUMS HELLO THANK YOU THIS IS WONDERFUL!!!

    [​IMG]v2 by Katt McCluskey, on Flickr

    [​IMG]v3 by Katt McCluskey, on Flickr

    [​IMG]v4 by Katt McCluskey, on Flickr


    IT WAS INCREDIBLY AWESOME!!

    [​IMG]v19 by Katt McCluskey, on Flickr


    It was also just fantastically awesome because they had SO many that have been discontinued in North America! We were able to pick up SO MANY that we had missed, or that had gone missing since we’d bought them! It was nice to notice too that the QUALITY of the Tsums were way better too!! I ended up buying Tinker bell, Perry the Platypus, Elsa, Snow White, replacing my lost Prince Eric, and a Minnie Halloween pumpkin one!


    [​IMG]image by Katt McCluskey, on Flickr


    While Kara picked up Alice, the Halloween Minnie, and Dory


    [​IMG]v7 by Katt McCluskey, on Flickr

    [​IMG]v1 by Katt McCluskey, on Flickr

    [​IMG]image by Katt McCluskey, on Flickr


    Our adventure took us through 4 floors of amazingness, where we found so much merchandise that we wanted, but did hold off on most knowing that we still had 4 days in the parks after!! Up on the top floor, was where they sold the Disneyland tickets! The park tickets are assigned to dates and to which park you want to go to (for the first two days) so it was a little bit of a process to get to the point of actually purchasing. Kara had no problem…and then my card began the saga of being a pain in the BUTT!! My Visa was my ONLY income of money for this trip, and on day 1, it was already not working….I got them to try again, and then said I’d have to go take money out and come back.


    Kara was already on it, searching for an ATM, and we headed over to one to take some cash out. Unluckily…it didn’t work either…and naturally, it was the middle of the night back home, so I was unable to get a hold of my Mom to call Visa right away, not that Visa would be open to do anything anyways. I’ll also point out that I CALLED VISA FROM THE AIRPORT TO LET THEM KNOW I WAS GOING TO JAPAN, and the lady had snarkily replied “you don’t need to tell us when you’re travelling anymore”.


    **sigh*


    I of course, was freaking out, the card working was pretty important, and getting the tickets were PRETTY IMPORTANT. Especially since they were date assigned, and sell out on regular occurrence! I left various forms of messages for my Mom, and double checked how much cash I had in my BMO account, and figured I would have enough. I had another pay cheque coming in before rent was due for the next month, so I had JUST enough to cover it, IF it would work….


    THANK GOD IT DID.


    It was BACK to the Disney store to pay with cash this time, but at least the tickets were secured for both of us now!! Feeling relieved, we adventured throughout Shibuya over to the famous Shibuya crossing, the busiest crossing in the world!!


    [​IMG]image by Katt McCluskey, on Flickr


    It wasn’t anything TOO crazy at the time, but it was still cool to see, and we still got to see the dog statue! I can’t remember the name, but the story is that the dog would always meet his owner at the train after his work day, and when his owner died, he continued to come and wait every day!

    [​IMG]v11 by Katt McCluskey, on Flickr

    [​IMG]v9 by Katt McCluskey, on Flickr

    Our afternoon was spent simply wandering around, checking things out, we found a Donki store, which was THE place for the Disney onesies! We were mildly confused as they barely had ANY, and not a lot of Disney ones. I think this was the location that had a Stitch one, but Kara was holding out for Scrump or Angel, so we held off. The store was amazing though, again, like, 6 floors and TIGHTLY PACKED full of stuff; there were toiletries, make up, electronics, snacks, beer, everything! We got some water and took a little bit of a break on a bench outside the store.


    [​IMG]image by Katt McCluskey, on Flickr

    The Kawaii Monster Café was in the area, and we knew we wanted to head over there, so after finding out it was back near Harajuku, we began our adventure back that way. We were crossing a street just past the Disney store, when I saw something that looked SUPER kawaii and mysterious!


    [​IMG]image by Katt McCluskey, on Flickr


    Having NO idea what it was, we clearly went right inside.


    [​IMG]image by Katt McCluskey, on Flickr

    [​IMG]v10 by Katt McCluskey, on Flickr

    It was this simply ADORABLE shop, obviously all themed to Alice in Wonderland, and they had so much cute stuff!


    [​IMG]image by Katt McCluskey, on Flickr
    [​IMG]image by Katt McCluskey, on Flickr

    Kara ended up buying one of the drink me bottles, and we made on our way, distraction out of the way! While we finally arrived closer to Harajuku, I opened Googlemaps again to find the way exactly to the café, to find that it WASN’T ACTUALY OPENED YET! It was closed between 4:30 to 6:30 every day, and we were too hungry to wait that long! Defeated, we decided to find another place, and discovered there was a conveyer belt sushi place nearby!


    [​IMG]image by Katt McCluskey, on Flickr

    [​IMG]v5 by Katt McCluskey, on Flickr


    It was okay, the quality wasn’t as fresh as I’d hoped, and I personally just wasn’t feelin it, or sushi that night, so I didn’t eat much. It was also kinda confusing since it was our first time and we weren’t really sure how it worked, but hey, we experienced it.


    Finding our way home was much easier than we’d expected, and we noticed that when you scanned your Pasmo card on the trains, it would tell you how much was left on it, so that was a huge bonus! We’d know when to top it up! Once back in Edogawa (where we were staying) we stopped at 7-11 again, obviously, and picked up a few more things, including some of the ACTUAL milk tea that Alicia recommended (the Lipton brand)

    [​IMG]v6 by Katt McCluskey, on Flickr

    Since Dante wasn’t home yet, we decided that now would be a good time to try out our Disney face masks that we’d picked up! They have these HILARIOUS masks that look like the faces of various Disney characters, and we’d both picked up a Stitch one to try out!


    [​IMG]v8 by Katt McCluskey, on Flickr


    Naturally, we’d had them on for like, 2 minutes when we heard the door start to open and promptly RIPPED them off and into the garbage they went! Bahahha! We barely knew Dante at that point and didn’t want to be the weird Airbnb girls on our first day, lol!


    We chatted about our day with him briefly, took turns showering and attempted to update some photos/blogs, etc before we headed to sleep!!






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    Last edited: May 11, 2017
    camper06 and Agent 86 like this.
  13. Aussie Wendy

    Aussie Wendy DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2008
    Messages:
    2,223
    Your TR is bringing back great memories of out time in Tokyo though tsum tsums hadn't been invented then. I like the look of the alice store too. We are lucky to have had Daiso in aus for a few years now - always fun. looking forward to your first impressions of TDL!
     
  14. missangelalexis

    missangelalexis DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2012
    Messages:
    5,365
    So glad you've started, following along!

    I'm glad your initial travels all went smoothly!

    Your first day in Japan sounds so fun. All those tsum tsums!!
     
  15. Grumpy's Wife

    Grumpy's Wife Dollar Tree gal here

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2005
    Messages:
    26,849
    I am so thrilled the trip report has started. I can't wait to hear all about your journey.
     
  16. MomoMama

    MomoMama DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2013
    Messages:
    521
    I myself just came back from a short Japan trip. Wish I could have gotten that Stitch mask! That is so cute and hilarious!

    Were they not giving tickets to enter that Alice store? Maybe it's only the weekends, but I heard you have to get a ticket just to go inside the store because the store is so popular.

    And that dog's name is Hachi-ko. The american version of the movie made me cry!

    Looking forward to reading more of your Japan days! :)
     
  17. katt789

    katt789 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2010
    Messages:
    6,885
    Awee, yaya!!! It helps me relive it! I'm so sad it's already over and can't wait to go back!! Bahaha, god Tsum tsums!! I WISH I didn't have as many of them as I did!!! The Alice store was cute & I regret not buying anything!! We actually have 2 Daiso's in Vancouver, one actually called Daiso and one is called something else but when I google mapped it it popped up!! Tokyo Disney is coming up!! Our last TDL day til bascailly the end of the trip I trip reported while we were there, so I wanted to make sure I had enough typed before I spam posted lol!!


    Yay!!! Glad you're here! Japan was wonderful!! There were so many tsums!! I bought WAY too many!!


    Yay!!! Glad you're here and excited!! I'm excited you're here!!


    Haha!! They had ALL SORTS of disney character face masks, one of my friends just bought a bunch and has been instagramming them since he bought them and they're JUST INSANE, esp if you leave the eye flaps over your eyes for the picture! Lol.

    No...there were barely any people there when we were, but there was a worker out front!

    Ah! Yay! I didn't know there was a movie!! I'll have to check it out!!
     
  18. katt789

    katt789 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2010
    Messages:
    6,885

    Friday Octobr 7/2016


    Are you ready for ONE HECK OF A SMALL UPDATE….cause this is it… (I don’t know what happened to my notes… #whoops)


    We were up CRAZY early today, probably around the same time as Dante, got up and ready and peaced out. This morning we had to walk to Kasai Station since the bus wasn’t even running yet (but it wouldn’t be during our Disney days, so this was good practice), we were running late, and missed the train that we should have connected to….and got to Shibuya Station with about 2 minutes to catch the long distance bus we wanted that would take us out to Kawaguchi; where we would be able to see Mt Fuji….problem was that WE HAD NO IDEA WHERE THIS FREAKING BUS WAS SUPPOSED TO BE, OR WHERE TO BUY TICKETS FOR IT!!


    We spent about ANOTHER 20 minutes wandering around, getting super frustrated, having NO clue where to go, we finally found what we THOUGHT was the right spot, but then there wasn’t even a bus for way too long. Ugh. WHAT a way to start the day. Thank goodness for the portable Wi-Fi that day because we were able to figure out a HORRENDOUSLY long way, but a way, to the spot via trains. It involved a lot of help from an employee, and a few stopovers….(but at least there were vending machines)


    [​IMG]image by Katt McCluskey, on Flickr


    [​IMG]image by Katt McCluskey, on Flickr


    I KID YOU NOT….guys…that 5 hours was legitimate information. It took us FIVE HOURS from the time we left that morning, to the time we’d FINALLY arrived to see Mount Fuji…how does that EVEN HAPPEN?!


    [​IMG]v4 by Katt McCluskey, on Flickr


    Not sure of where to go, we followed the signs down to the lake to hope to catch a glimpse of the mountain. It wasn’t anywhere around there, so we tried to find some lunch, after a few misses, ended up in this little ramen place over looking the lake ran by legit 2 old ladies, it was super cute.

    [​IMG]v5 by Katt McCluskey, on Flickr

    A beer was needed with lunch today, I am telling you!


    [​IMG]image by Katt McCluskey, on Flickr



    After lunch, we figured if we circled around part of the lake, we should be able to find a view of Fuji, right? So we started our trek, commented on how similar it was to Vancouver.

    [​IMG]v6 by Katt McCluskey, on Flickr

    [​IMG]v7 by Katt McCluskey, on Flickr



    It was a super pretty walk, and beautiful town, a nice relaxing time for the both of us!

    [​IMG]v8 by Katt McCluskey, on Flickr




    The highlight of our day was while we were walking through this little town, we passed a school/daycare, where a family was getting their kids ready to take home. As we walked past, the smaller girl (which from now on we’ll be calling kids chans, just a heads up) called out to us (and in such good English) “Have a nice day!” and waved with a big smile, and it was JUST SO ADORABLE, and made us smile a lot.


    Not smiling so much was the fact that we’d been here for a few hours, and STILL HAD YET TO FIND MT FUJI! HOW HARD COULD IT BE! IT’S A FREAKING MOUNTAIN!! We had basically given up, and bought our tickets to head back home, this time on a bus. Since we had time to kill, we stopped inside the train station café for a snack, and while we were sitting there, Kara turned to look out the window, and noticed something peeking out from behind the clouds!


    [​IMG]image by Katt McCluskey, on Flickr


    WELL IT IS ABOUT TIME SIR!!!


    We promptly headed outside to try and get some better pictures from across the street.


    [​IMG]v9 by Katt McCluskey, on Flickr

    [​IMG]v10 by Katt McCluskey, on Flickr

    [​IMG]v11 by Katt McCluskey, on Flickr

    [​IMG]v2 by Katt McCluskey, on Flickr

    Well…I guess you can say that we saw it, so our day wasn’t completely wasted!! It was just so WEIRD to me that Lonely Planet had recommended Kawaguchi as a great place to see it from, yet, the only view was OVER the train station…at least that we could find….oh well…lesson learnt, you can’t always trust the books! And at least we got to see Fuji for a little bit!


    [​IMG]image by Katt McCluskey, on Flickr


    The bus we’d booked to get home, Kara bought her ticket via a machine, while I had to go to a person, so we ended up NOT sitting together, and seat assignments were enforced. Ugh. Luckily I had my ipod, and was able to work on some notes and such on the way home. Once back into Tokyo we crossed back near Shibuya Crossing, which was much more bustling at night!


    [​IMG]image by Katt McCluskey, on Flickr

    [​IMG]v3 by Katt McCluskey, on Flickr


    But it wasn’t a bit night for us, just some snacks, and heading home, it had been a VERY long day, and we were very tired!!

     
    Last edited: May 11, 2017
  19. Kyjin

    Kyjin Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2009
    Messages:
    200
    Oh man, sorry you didn't get a great view of Fuji! There are a lot of places to see it, but it really depends on the weather. (I actually saw it from Disneyland last week! First time that happened. :D) Once I was in Fujinomiya, right by the mountain, and we couldn't see it. My friend's dad (Japanese), said that the mountain was embarrassed because such beautiful women were there, so it was hiding from us. XD
     
  20. nycdisneygal

    nycdisneygal DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2010
    Messages:
    732
    Oh what a fun trip so far! Well, except for the 5 hour trip to Mt Fiji...Looking forward to more (meanwhile I am busily planning MY trip to Vancouver for my DCL cruise!).
     
  21. missangelalexis

    missangelalexis DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2012
    Messages:
    5,365
    5 hours?! Woof that sounds frustrating! I'm sorry the day didn't turn out exactly as planned and that you didn't get the best view of Mt. Fuji. But it sounds like you made the best out of it! And that little girl sounds adorable!!
     

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