Trip Report - Japan 5/2019 UPDATED 10/26!! ABD Day 10 - Tokyo in Color

CaliforniaGirl09

DIS Veteran
Joined
Dec 4, 2009
Ha, I was going to ask to see the picture of the hairpin, too! I bought a hair item that day as well, but unfortunately it broke pretty much right after I got home. It was a really pretty painted rose design with an elastic band to put your hair in a ponytail. The elastic band broke :( Love the photos as the reminders of the trip. We did the cruise as well, and I wouldn't have minded it as much if it had been narrated loud enough to hear what we were seeing. I wonder if there is another company they could find that would feel more private? I love the idea of seeing Tokyo by the river, but that cruise was kind of "meh" and disappointing for me.
 

sayhello

Have Camera, Will Travel
Joined
Oct 28, 2006
Loving your pics, thank you !
You're welcome! :) I'm so glad you're enjoying them!
Ha, I was going to ask to see the picture of the hairpin, too! I bought a hair item that day as well, but unfortunately it broke pretty much right after I got home. It was a really pretty painted rose design with an elastic band to put your hair in a ponytail. The elastic band broke :( Love the photos as the reminders of the trip. We did the cruise as well, and I wouldn't have minded it as much if it had been narrated loud enough to hear what we were seeing. I wonder if there is another company they could find that would feel more private? I love the idea of seeing Tokyo by the river, but that cruise was kind of "meh" and disappointing for me.
:( It's always sad when souvenirs break.

I don't remember seeing many other boats on the river. I wonder if there *are* other companies? Who knows? The cruise definitely was lacking due to the (lack of) narration. I guess it's a moot point now.

Sayhello
 

sayhello

Have Camera, Will Travel
Joined
Oct 28, 2006
Day 10 – Tokyo in Color

So, I had a strange experience this morning of the ABD. People had written about having breakfast upstairs at one of the restaurants at the Peninsula Tokyo, but we only had the option of the restaurant on the first floor, or a tiny buffet in the basement. I went down there this day, and was told there was no room for me, that there’d be at least a 20-minute wait for me to be seated! While I wasn’t exactly running late, I didn’t have time to wait 20 minutes or more to start my breakfast, and I certainly didn’t have time to go up to the actual restaurant on the main floor at this point and order off the menu. I tried to find anyone from our group to see if I could share a table, and only found one couple, but they were at a teeny, tiny round table that really didn’t have room for the 2 of them let alone a third person. Fortunately, the husband noticed that there were a couple of upholstered chairs just outside the other end of the room, with a small coffee table in front of them, and asked the person not seating me if I could sit there. The server didn’t seem thrilled with the idea, but agreed, and set me up there. “Crisis” averted! But I’ve *never* had a buffet tell me I couldn’t be seated! Something to keep in mind going forward, I guess!

The weather this morning was a HUGE improvement over the previous day. It was a bit overcast (and a tad windy at one point) and nowhere near as HOT as it had been the day before. Thank goodness!

Our first stop of the morning was at the Meiji Jingu Shrine, which had a gorgeous, lush park. We walked through a beautifully green area towards our first goal, this beautiful, non-red Torii Gate.

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We saw workers sweeping up leaves using these really interesting brooms.

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Outside the Gate were these huge walls of barrels. One side had painted sake barrels, and the other had wine casks, both of which were offerings to “the divine enshrined souls” of Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shōken.

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After the requisite picture taking, we headed into the shrine. We stopped at the designated area to wash first, and then had some time to wander around the grounds.

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We were given a time to meet up if we were interested in an activity, which was going inside one of the buildings and watching a traditional Kagura ceremony. Some people chose not to participate, but those of us who wanted to went in with Tomomi, while the others hung with James. We waited a while, and eventually were led into the area where the ceremony would take place. We were sat on the floor on bamboo mats. No photos were allowed inside this area.

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We had an explanation from one of the younger monks before it all started, so that we would understand what we were watching. The head monk had beautiful robes and a headdress, and went through the blessings. Then two women in beautiful outfits came out and performed a traditional dance. It was all fascinating to me. Tomomi had an Ema, or wooden plaque, that had some writing on it along with “Adventures by Disney”. The Ema was blessed as a part of the ceremony, to provide us with safe travels. Tomomi was going to collect all of the Emas for all the departures, and bring them back to the Shrine to be burned at New Year's.

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After the ceremony, we headed back outside to meet up with the rest of our group and head back out to the parking lot. As we were walking out, a sea of women were walking in. James surmised that there was some sort of convention meeting there, as we passed what looked like a registration table. (They also had what appeared to be some sort of nametags on.) We also noticed a lot of helicopters overhead, and guessed that that had something to do with Trump being in town. (The women at the shrine did not appear to have anything to do with that).

Continued in next post.
 
  • sayhello

    Have Camera, Will Travel
    Joined
    Oct 28, 2006
    Our next stop was at Takeshita Street. Takeshita Street is this crazy pedestrian street that is lined with shops. It is very definitely aimed at Japanese youth. Anime/Manga characters on everything, junk food galore (including this rainbow cotton candy that was bigger than people’s heads), cosplay costumes, etc. It was definitely an experience! Some people got crazy snacks, a lot of us just wandered up & down the street and marveled at the craziness of it all.

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    Ice cream done up as anime characters. PS. that's not my hand! :)

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    We were given a time to meet back up at the motorcoach. The rest of the day (up until the time to meet for the Farewell Dinner – how did *that* happen??) was on your own time. People had the choice to just head out from Takeshita Street on their own, or take the motorcoach back to the Peninsula and head out from there. It turned out a group wanted to go to an area that was not too far from Takeshita street, and our bus driver dropped them off there. I joined those heading back to the Peninsula.

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    I had a crick in my neck that would not go away, so my immediate plans were to take advantage of the AMAZING bath in my room, and see if I could soak the stiffness out of my neck. The bathrooms at Peninsulas have a mode on their control panels called SPA mode. I filled the tub with nicely hot water, threw in some of the delicately fragrant bath salts that they had on the side of the tub, and then hit the SPA Mode button. The lights dim, go multi-colored, and soft music starts to play. It was SERIOUSLY relaxing!! And I have to say, within 5 minutes, the crick in my neck was GONE!! I’m so sad it didn’t occur to me to throw the rest of those bath salts into a baggy and take them home with me. They were *amazing*!!

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    After about 20 minutes or so, I emerged from my bath much refreshed, and pain free! I showered and got all dressed again, and headed downstairs to the restaurant on the main level to grab some lunch. It was an OK lunch, but hugely overpriced for what it was. I wish I’d done a bit more research, because apparently there was a pretty great ramen place not too far from the hotel. Oh, well! Next time!

    My afternoon was spent shopping in the Ginza district right up the street from the hotel. It was pretty overcast, but not raining, so it was a good afternoon for wandering. The first place I stopped was at a Gucci shop where I had seen a really beautiful dress in the window on my walk home the night before. I figured I likely could not afford it, but I thought I’d check it out anyway.

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    It *was* really pretty, and I was *almost* tempted, when a glance at the tag said it was $320. Until I looked again, and realized it was *$3200*!! Um, NO WAY! But it *was* an interesting experience being in the Gucci shop where they fawned over me, and got me water and cookies while they went to see if they had the dress in my size. Which, aw shucks, they did not. They apologized profusely, and I let them know it was OK.

    Continued in next post
     
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    sayhello

    Have Camera, Will Travel
    Joined
    Oct 28, 2006
    My next stop was right up the block: the humongous Mitsukoshi department store.

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    It was fascinating shopping there, but the only thing I could afford (or even *wanted* to afford) was a new eyeshadow. It was quite fun having the salesgirl pick colors for me, and do my eye makeup for me.

    I did some more wandering and window shopping, including passing this Nissan dealership.

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    I’ll take one!

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    Eventually it was time to head back towards the Peninsula so I could start getting ready for the Farewell dinner. I ended up walking past this place, and went in and bought a hair scrunchy and a couple other trinkets.

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    The Peninsula Tokyo

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    The restaurant for the Farewell Dinner was called Happo-En. The walkway to the restaurant winds through a beautiful garden, and one portion of it is lined with a whole series of *very* old bonsai trees (like some are several hundred years old!)

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    There were flowers and a lovely pavilion and Koi fish in the pond. It was quite a beautiful, peaceful walk!

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    Continued in next post.
     

    sayhello

    Have Camera, Will Travel
    Joined
    Oct 28, 2006
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    Along with Dinner and the slide show, we had an art project. We had seen samples of Daruma dolls on our trip, and were given blank ones to paint. It was a fun activity! People were very creative. A tradition is that you create your Daruma with only one eye painted, and you paint the other eye when you return to Japan. I’m looking forward to painting that second eye in some day! I really thought going to Japan would be a one and done trip, but I really, really loved it, and can totally see me going back some day!

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    We took some last photos, said some goodbyes to the folks who weren’t continuing on to Tokyo Disney, and then headed back to the Peninsula. It was time to pack and get ready for our post-days at TDR. It would be an early start, but we all wanted to get to the Parks early.

    I smacked poor James right in the nose while getting in place for this shot!

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    The better shot.

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    It was an AMAZING trip, with FABULOUS Adventure Guides, and a fun group. I’m so glad I took this ABD! I think the Tokyo days of the trip could use a little re-working, but even so, this trip was amazing, and has jumped to my #1 favorite ABD. Truly a trip of a lifetime!

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    Up next: Day 11: Sayonara Nippon! And Tokyo Disney Resort
     
  • sayhello

    Have Camera, Will Travel
    Joined
    Oct 28, 2006
    Love the report @sayhello bringing back so many great memories! I don’t think I’d realized it had knocked Greece off you #1 post. Very cool! It was among the top for us as well.
    Thanks, @CaliforniaGirl09 ! :) Greece is still a *very* close #2. But for now, Japan just inched it out! I still think Greece is a lot more accessible for people who aren't seasoned travelers, but Japan was just super special!

    Sayhello
     

    Theta

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 30, 2007
    I showered and got all dressed again, and headed downstairs to the restaurant on the main level to grab some lunch. It was an OK lunch, but hugely overpriced for what it was. I wish I’d done a bit more research, because apparently there was a pretty great ramen place not too far from the hotel. Oh, well! Next time!

    Thank you so much for the pics and review.

    Do you recall what the ramen place was called?
     
  • sayhello

    Have Camera, Will Travel
    Joined
    Oct 28, 2006
    Thank you so much for the pics and review.

    Do you recall what the ramen place was called?
    You're welcome! :) Glad you enjoyed it!

    And as for the ramen place, no, I just heard about it after the fact from @CaliforniaGirl09 's Trip Report that she did. I don't recall if she gave the name. Hopefully she'll comment here if she remembers. :)

    Sayhello
     


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