November 18, 2010 (Thursday) – We’ve been taking the trains to go to Disney Resort for the past 3 days and though the Metro Hibiya station is near us, you still have to spend at least 5 more minutes walking once you go down the station to get to your train and then walk another 3 minutes to transfer to another train. Then you have to walk from Maihama Station to Disneyland. By the time you get inside Disneyland, you may have walked a kilometer or more.

Adults Pay 700Y and 350Y for Kids, one way

Adults Pay 700Y and 350Y for Kids, one way

This Thursday morning, we thought of riding the Disney Bus from Akihabara to Maihama. This is a direct bus so we thought that it would save us the effort of walking/transferring trains, get us there in time and just to try out riding the bus instead of the trains. The bus also stops in front of Disneyland itself so no need to walk to bridge from Maihama Station which is probably another 5 minute walk.

waiting for the driver to let us in

waiting for the driver to let us in

We were just in time to see the Tokyo Bay City Bus parking at East-side Transportation Plaza in front of the Akihabara Central Exit and just across Yodobashi. The first bus is scheduled to leave at 8:05 and we were there at exactly 8.  The driver signaled us to wait for 5 minutes as he waits for the exact time to let passengers in. We were quite surprised that nobody else was taking the bus as I thought this would be filled up. But then again, as you’ll note on my next post, foreign tourists compromise only a very, very small percentage of those crowding the Disney Resort. We would only be 5% of the total crowd.

Suica Cards please...

Suica Cards please...

Once it was time, we hoped in and were asked to show our Suica cards to the driver. We didn’t swipe them yet but needed to show that we had each our own Suica Card. As with the trains, you can’t just pass around your Suica for the use of your other companion. We expected to be in Disney in 40 minutes! We were happy that we had the bus for ourselves and didn’t do a lot of walking this morning. However, after spending 30 minutes stuck in traffic and seeing we haven’t even got far from Yodobashi, we knew this would a looong ride. We all got to sleep and 30 minutes after, we were still in the same street though we’ve crossed one intersection at least! It was crazy as the bus had to wait till he was sure that he gets ample space at the street across him before he crosses the stop light. That meant he had to wait for 30 minutes in front of the stop light and miss at least 5 green lights! It wasn’t enough for the driver to get space enough for a car but the end of the bus shouldn’t be sticking out past the pedestrian line. And what is surprising? Never did I hear a car honk his horn in this traffic.

at last!

We're near Disney, at last!

2 hours travel time
2 hours travel time

2 hours later, as you can note from the photo above, we finally reached Disneyland! I hurried off to get Fast Passes for The Haunted Mansion Holiday Nightmare as Xiane wanted to ride it again while they went to Big Thunder Mountain to line up. I was probably twice as fast as them so I ended up waiting for them for another 5 minutes in front Big Thunder Mountain. Waiting in Disneyland isn’t much of a bore as it’s entertaining enough to watch people walking to and fro. I was even asked to take photos of a group of girls and I asked them if I could take a photo of them with my camera and they gladly posed for me. See below.

Japanese Girls Posing for the camera

Japanese Girls Posing for the camera

Big Thunder Mountain

Big Thunder Mountain

The standby time was just 20 minutes. Since only 2 people can ride, I got separated as Mavis and Xiane got in the first train. And with lines in Tokyo, you don’t get to actually pick where you’d be seated and if you’re in front of the line, you are pointed to the farthest seat. That means, if it’s a train like this, I get to sit at the back instead of the front, and when in a theater-type ride, you get to sit at the back and to the far right or left. Not in the middle. It would be rude to just sit down in the middle and let others pass you and take the seats “allotted” for you since you were first in line. In any case, the ride was enjoyable and I got good shots too!

Wohooo!

Wohooo!

Fast Passes for The Haunted Mansion

Fast Passes for The Haunted Mansion

We proceeded to The Haunted Mansion as our Fast Passes were due at 11:15 then went on to ride “It’s a Small World”. When we went to Hong Kong Disneyland, 3 years before, they were just starting to build “It’s a Small World” so it was great to have seen this in Tokyo.

"It's a Small World" is  humongous

"It's a Small World" is humongous

2nd part of our last day in Disneyland next…



8 Floors of Shopping and Eating Goodness

8 Floors of Shopping and Eating Goodness

Gourmet Court, 8th floor of Yodobashi

Gourmet Court, 8th floor of Yodobashi

One of the biggest buildings in Akihabara is the Yodobashi Camera and is considered a Megastore. It sits across the Akihabara Station and if coming from the Hibiya Metro Line, you’ll get to exit a few steps from its doors. It is 8 stories tall (plus some basement levels) and sells a wide selection of toys, videos, computers, laptops, cameras and audio equipment, including high-end items. It also has a shipping center and camera classrooms in the basement levels. The 8th floor is the Gourmet Court, where you find several restaurants to should cater to whatever your tummy is looking for.

In front of the Japanese-named Restaurant

In front of the Japanese-named Restaurant

Tired and Hungry

Tired and Hungry

After our DisneySea adventure, we went to the Gourmet Court to treat ourselves to hot, yummy, tummy-filling food. All we had since our hotdogs in DisneySea was popcorn! They had Pepper Lunch as well as Sushi Zanmai on the 8th floor but decided to look for something else that the 3 of us could enjoy. Xiane wasn’t into Sushi nor noodles, Udon and Ramen so seeing a restaurant with a big stand-in poster of a Hamburg Steak succeeded in tempting us. Though there wasn’t any English name for the restaurant, it did have an English menu. Usually, a menu is set out in front of the restaurants so you could see the menu and the prices.

Soup anybody?

Soup anybody?

Yummy Soup

Yummy Soup

Xiane's Platter

Xiane's Platter

Xiane wanted to try some Tempura but wasn’t available so we ordered the next best thing which is a set of deep fried shrimp, baked potatoes and Hamburg Steak. Mavis and I ordered the Hamburg Steak with egg on top. The Hamburg is basically a patty of ground steak. I don’t know what the difference is between a Hamburg Steak and a Salibury Steak but they seemed the same to me.

Waiting for our food to arrive

Waiting for our food to arrive

They seem to like "Hamburg Steak" in Tokyo

They seem to like "Hamburg Steak" in Tokyo

The Open Kitchen

The Open Kitchen

Honestly, though expensive it was, it wasn’t the best meal we had in Tokyo. The set meals were between 1500 yen to 2000 yen so we were expecting better than what we got. We felt that the 100% Beef Hamburg steak wasn’t really 100% beef but had more of a 70%/30%  Beef/Extender ratio. It is not to say it was bad but again, for the price, it was filling but not amazingly delicious.



Strawberry flavored Popcorn

Strawberry flavored Popcorn

I'm Singing in the Rain

I'm Singing in the Rain

Popcorn Bucket

One of the several Popcorn Buckets you can collect in Disney

We did buy ourselves a bucket full of Strawberry Popcorn after our Aquatopia Ride then headed to ride Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Crystal Skull. We did enjoy the ride and even bought the souvenir photo taken while in the ride. We got another FP for it as we wanted to ride it again but we have to wait for 2 more hours. It was already 1:30 P.M. so we went to the Arabian Coast and see what it has to offer.

Bridge to Arabian Coast

Bridge to Arabian Coast

Arabian Coast Facade

Arabian Coast Facade

This guy looks familiar...he he he

This guy looks familiar...he he he

Smells like Curry in here...

Smells like Curry in here...

This was a full Arabian themed area and was done magnificently. The aroma of curry fills the air the moment you step on the Arabian Coast. The line for Magic Lamp Theater was only 15 minutes!

Magic Lamp Theater

Magic Lamp Theater

Presented in a tent that has been pitched in the palatial courtyard of Arabian Coast, this hilarious show of illusion and laughter features Genie from Disney’s animated classic Aladdin and live magicians.

It was good and entertaining. Still not finished with our refilled bucket of Strawberry popcorn, we got ourselves some Curry Popcorn in front of the Arabian Coast.

DisneySea's Curry Popcorn

DisneySea's Curry Popcorn - Surprisingly good!

Xiane with some "K-On" girls

Xiane with some "K-On" girls

We decided to see if we can ride the Journey to the Center of the Earth and was greeted by a 20 minute wait time which was good for us. We then went back to the Indiana Jones Adventure but were too early for our 4:00 PM FP. It was just 3:30 when we got there. We were ok to wait but then it started to drizzle and rain again so we convinced Xiane not to ride anymore and just go home. We took the Electric Railway back to American Waterfront. This time, there was a 15 minute wait which was still better for us instead of walking.

back to Journey to the Center of the Earth

back to Journey to the Center of the Earth

We passed by McDuck’s Department Store to see if we can buy Xiane a small Shellie May stuff toy. McDuck’s Department Store is named after Scrooge McDuck, Donald Duck’s uncle and purportedly the world’s richest duck. The store is probably the second largest shop in DisneySea, after Emporio. Duffy (ダッフィー) and Shellie May (シェリーメイ) are two bears exclusive to DisneySea at the Tokyo Disney Resort. The Japanese people have such a thing for Duffy and Shellie May that there were hordes of people buying stuff notwithstanding unreasonable prices! More about Duffy and Shellie May on another post… Still, Xiane was able to pick her special Shellie May amongst the others in display.

Picking her special "Shellie May"

Picking her special "Shellie May"

after 10 minutes...finally!

after 10 minutes...finally!

Duffy and Shellie May Christmas Tree

Duffy and Shellie May Christmas Tree

After more photos taken, we finally exited DisneySea and took the train back to Akihabara. Yup, we still missed a lot of stuff in DisneySea but fatigue, the rain and the cold simply bested us. It just seems that the 2 times we went to DisneySea, the weather wasn’t that cooperative. In any case, we still enjoyed both times and got to ride and see stuff that we really wanted.

I Rule the World!

I Rule the World!



Tokyo, Japan 2010 Trip

This is our blog of our 14-day trip to Tokyo, Japan! Itineraries, budget, where to go, what to see and what to do!

  • Angie: It's a personal trip. I will be in Manila before the Japan trip and will be back to Doha after a mon [...]
  • xtian001: I am not sure about this and you may have to ask the Japanese Embassy directly. Is this a personal t [...]
  • An jie: Hi. I want to ask if instead of personal bank account (which I don't have here in Qatar), I will hav [...]
  • xtian001: Renato, visit the Japanese Embassy website so you'll know the requirements for you. As for your fami [...]
  • Renato Paglomutan Ilisan: Dear Sir/Madam; I would like to apply for a tourist Japan Visa with my Family on this coming thir [...]


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