Saturday, October 10, 2009

Tokyo: Day 4 (Theme Parks!) --

The day began with breakfast at Mos Burger -- Johann and I ordered their rice burgers (because we loved them when we were in Singapore and we wanted to taste the "original" --)

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<-- beef

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<-- seafood

Then we took the train to Asakusa to do the temple bit --

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<-- Buddha's sandal (the other one was hanging on the other door)

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We shook the fortune sticks to find out our fortune --

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And I tied mine to the "tree" because my luck was so-so.

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We walked around the gardens and my brother brought us to a little-known part of the complex -- way, way at the back -- where the parking lot is located, is the statue of a famous Kabuki actor --

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I felt sad because he was relegated to the back and no one was there to visit him.

On our way out, we visited the market stalls outside of the temple --

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<-- these are supposed to be charms. You buy the one that corresponds to the area of your life that you need the most luck/help with.

Walking around, we heard the sounds of screaming (joyous ones, not the panicked ones) and asked my brother about it -- he told me there's a theme park nearby. It was not on his itinerary but we outvoted him and went in.

It wasn't just any theme park -- it was the oldest theme park in Tokyo. The Hanayashiki has been around and entertaining kids since the early 1900s.

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Entrance fee was 900 yen, which is a far cry from the entrance fee to Tokyo Disney and other theme parks.

Johann was very excited -- believe it or not, this is his very first theme park experience and he's always wanted to try out the thrill rides.

The Space Shot looked interesting enough so he lined up for it.

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It was fun (and funny) watching him shoot up to the top and then go back down again. (He said he was screaming, but we couldn't hear him because my brother and I were laughing so hard.)

We walked around the whole park, which isn't very big --

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<-- remember Hi-C? They have a vendo machine that dispenses it in bottle form pa!

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<-- Japanese Dr. Pepper!

Hanayashiki is simple, as theme parks go, but it as it's own charms -- they have 2 haunted houses and one of them is simply called "Bikkuri House" (Surprise House) -- a far cry from the sophisticated ride names found in other theme parks.

It was fun to see kids get so excited over the rides -- (I'd love to bring Seth and Anya there when they're bigger. ^_^)

We were supposed to go somewhere else but, when my brother checked the weather forecast, it said that the next day was going to be rainy (and we were scheduled to go to Tokyo Disney for the day) --

We made the quick decision to cut our tourist-y bit short and just go to Tokyo Disneyland that afternoon.

We said goodbye to my brother and took the train to Tokyo Disney by ourselves! (At this point, we could understand a bit how the systems go and could figure out which train/line to take given a few minutes to pause and plan.)

The special thing about Tokyo is that they have 2 Disney Theme Parks -- Disneyland and Disney Sea. Our original intention was to go to Disneyland -- but my brother convinced us that it would be better for us to go to Disney Sea because it can only be found in Tokyo. (There are Disneylands everywhere else.)

We arrived at Maihama Station at around 2 in the afternoon and the first thing we did is have lunch -- outside Tokyo Disney -- turns out, this was a good idea because when we got in, there were lines EVERYWHERE! Not just for the rides, but for the food and popcorn and drinks!

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My brother shared a very helpful tip with us -- go souvenir shopping first (there's a big Disney Store outside of the theme parks) so that we could focus on the rides and attractions when we are inside. He predicted that, if we left this off for last, we would be too tired to get it done.

We took the Disney train to Disney Sea and this is the welcoming area --

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<-- Halloween!

We had already planned out which rides to line up for: the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea one and the Indiana Jones one.

Wait time was 2 hours for each ride, but it was worth it. (Especially the Indiana Jones one) -- we wanted to go to the Tower of Terror next but when we got there, the line was so long (and the wait time was more than 2 hours!) so we passed and decided to walk around instead.

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<-- American Portside

The cute thing about Tokyo Disney (Land and Sea) is that they have popcorn stations in each area -- if you have the Disney Popcorn bucket, you get your popcorn at a discounted price. We bought a Tinkerbell one for Anya and were looking for a nice one for Seth.

We discovered later on that they have a different design for each quarter(?) and for the time that we were there, they only had the Minnie Mouse and Tinker Bell design.

We did enjoy the Black Pepper popcorn -- we also stumbled upon Curry Popcorn (which Johann wanted) and Caramel Popcorn (which I wanted) -- but we weren't able to get either because we couldn't resolve the impasse. (Plus, we still have some Black Pepper popcorn which we were planning to share with my brother the next day).

Tokyo Disney Sea has two areas that are meant for the younger crowds -- they have a Little Mermaid-inspired one and an Aladdin-inspired one. (Forgot the names -- sorry!)

It was almost 8 at that point and we hadn't had dinner yet -- only Black Pepper Popcorn -- so forgive the silliness of the next set of pictures:

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<-- see the thing around my neck? That's the popcorn bucket. ^_^

We were so, so tired after this -- and we still had a long-ish train ride back to the hotel.

Dinner that night was instant ramen. ^_^

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Best part of Day 4 --

The theme parks were amazing but nothing beats stumbling upon Donner Kebab!

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I will ask my younger brother where we were when we found it. (They have roving branches that park in empty lots in major areas -- we found one in Ikebukuro the next night.)

1 comment:

elrat said...

Kebab was in Ueno (Ameyoko)
Gashapon was in Shinjuku (Yodobashi Camera west exit)
English Bookoff Store was in Shirokanedai