North America, Asia · 6 Days · 25 Moments · July 2017

Tom and Ben's Adventure in Japan

14 July 2017

Being the Disneyphile that he is, even though we came home a couple of days early, Ben still wanted to go to Tokyo Disney. Tokyo Disney has two parks, a Magic Kingdom and DisneySea. We opted for DisneySea because it had more new rides. Going to Disney on the Saturday of a national holiday weekend wasn't the best option, but we had no choice. So we braved the heat and the crowds, and tv Erie was heat and there were crowds. But we had a God time anyway. Ben likes to make really scared faces when they take your picture on rides, but we got a real one on the Indiana Jones ride. The whole kiddy ride area was indoors and Little Mermaid themed. It was also Pirate Summer with a Pirates of the Caribbean show in the big lake throughout the day. Ben liked how even though the characters spoke Japanese, still captured that character. Jack Sparrow was still Jack Sparrow just speaking Japanese.

14 July 2017

Ben's pajamas.

13 July 2017

Hakone I started off the day by buying a bottle of water at 7-Eleven, but it turned out to be Pocari Sweat. As Ben said, "Who wants to drink sweat?" This isn't the first time this has happened (it's actually not bad, kind of like Gatorade). We took the bullet train down to Hakone today, which is a touristy resort area up in the mountains. We stopped at the outdoor museum that was really cool. Lots of sculptures and such. They also had a few buildings with collections including one with over 300 works by Picasso. When we got to the Cafe, it started to rain, so we sat there to wait it out. Two and a half hours later, we found out they sold umbrellas. The rain kept up, so the pirate ships were closed and the ropeway was also closed due to lightning. So Hakone was kind of a bust except for the outdoor museum and Woody's Cafe and Bar. Woody's is a Toy Story themed place that could hold 10 people at most. It was a great lunch.

12 July 2017

Sensō-ji Temple Yesterday we were Shinto; today we were Buddhist. Sensō-ji was built in 635. It's nearly 1400 years old. I much preferred the Meiji Shrine yesterday. It felt like a shrine. Sensō-ji was completely filled with tourists. Can you find Ben in the first picture?
The National Museum of Western Art  We recognized a lot more pieces in this museum. We saw some paintings of creepy kids and even a creepy Jesus. Ben almost cursed at one painting blurting out "what the..." Their advertising literature said that they had paintings by Renoir, Van Gough, Monet, and the bunch, but they didn't say that they had an entire room of Monet. Lots of sculpture by Rodin too. We both liked this museum.
The Tokyo National Museum Japan's Smithsonian. The national museum was filled with artifacts ranging the entire history of Japan, from a 13,000-year-old pot to contemporary netsuke. Can you tell the difference between the swords pictured? I couldn't at first. Ben's favorite part was the air conditioning.
Ueno Park. Ueno Park is a city park that was exceedingly hot and humid today. Lots of shade and vending machines though. It houses the city zoo and a few national museums.
The Tsukiji Fish Market. The Tsukiji Fish Market was amazing. Stall after stall of mostly seafood but lots of other iyemd as well: fresh vegetables, kitchenwares, fish knives, a bakery, even an ice cream shop. Even the little dark alleys were filled with stalls and sushi bars. Actually the nicer places were in these alleys. Some of the stalls were walk in stores with multiple employees, but our favorite one was a little 5x5 foot grandma and grandpa stand with one hotpot going. They sold something on a stick that was really good.

11 July 2017

Ben and I ended our first day by getting lost in Akihabara's Electric Town. We were looking for a retro gaming store called Super Potato, and again the GPS and Google maps wasn't working very well. After walking in circles for a while, we look at the store's web page and Ben says, "Oh, I saw that a while back." As it unedited out, we were about 50 yards from it. The picture of the empty hallway is the way to the elevator to the store.
Views of Tokyo from the 45th floor of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building.
Takeshita Street in Harajuku. Takeshita Dori was filled with people and wild stores. We agreed that Genevieve from two years ago would have liked the fashion more than we did. Most of the stores seemed geared towards teenage girls. We went in one store and all the dads were sitting together with the same look on all their faces. The Disney store was exactly the same as all the other Disney stores in the world. Disappointing.
Meiji Shrine in Harajuku. The Meiji Shrine was built in 1920 to commemorate Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shaken. The people of Japan donated thousands of trees from all over Japan and from around the world to build a forest in the middle of Tokyo. It was beautiful. The torii gates were huge. The main shrine was closed to the public because they are replacing the copper tile roof in preparation for the Olympics. But we saw it from the outside, paid or respects at the shrine, and Ben pulled a fortune.
Being adventurous for lunch.
Pictures from Shibuya. You might recognize the Scramble, the busiest intersection in the world, from movies. Ask Ben to tell you the story of the dog Hachiko when you see him. He can also tell you about getting lost all over the place in Shibuya. GPS doesn't work well in the midst of lots of tall buildings. He also could easily be convinced to sing the Don Quixote store jingle.
First stop in Tokyo was the YamaNaka Dental Clinic. Poor Ben. Very impressed with their efficiency.
Soooooo many people
Traditional Japanese Breakfast

10 July 2017

Made it to Tokyo.
The airplane had some cool lighting effects, here was the view from my seat during my favorite one.
Getting ready to board for Tokyo. This castle was at our gate.
DFW is a nice airport. And the flight to Tokyo is still on time today.
Gourmet Dallas Breakfast

8 July 2017

Quaker Steak is always good, but it's even better when the airline is paying for it. A three hour delay might have been worth it.
We arrived at the gate in plenty of time. We'll be in airports or flying for the next 29 hours on our way to Tokyo.