Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tokyo Trip, May 2014 - Tokyo Disneyland (Easter & Spring Celebration) Part 1

It's a Happy Bunny Day!

We finally set foot into Tokyo Disneyland in time for the spring celebration and Easter egg hunt!

World Bazaar
There was a parade going on and it was coming to an end.

Around Disney Town

Mascot Time
After which, we saw the Disney characters mascot hanging around the lobby. The mascots are all so friendly and animated! Here's one pretty Japanese mother with her cute girl

Have you been good little girl?

Wish Granting Fairy Godmother
Can you sign for me Fairy Godmother? If I were a Japanese I would most likely go Disneyland every week to try to collect the autographs from all the characters.

Million Dollars Smile
Obviously, my lucky and very happy nephew enjoy himself very much holding hands with the miss chipmunk and getting hug by goofy.

Mr Popular

Lunch @ Hokusai
After photo-taking, we went for lunch at one of the Disney restaurant Hokusai which sells Japanese food. There are other restaurants catering to western food too but we decide to go authentic with their Japanese restaurant. Haha!

Disney Experience
It's little wonder why kids regardless of age (and bigger kids like me) love Disneyland. The restaurant gave each kiddo a paper table mat with pop up disney cartoon characters to play around.

Tuna, Crabmeat and Ikura Don
That's mine! My family got the tempura set and pork cutlet sets but I have no luck for picture taking as they are tucking in heartily before I take a pic of my dish. By the way, the sashimi in Japan taste divine!

Desserts Time!
We ordered all the 3 desserts to try. The first was a sesami pudding dessert, while the second is more like a brown sugar mochi dessert and the last was a red bean dessert.

Luckily for us, the rain clear up after we finished our meal and the theme park is hardly crowded! It's not long before we spotted one of the many popcorn carts around Disneyland.

Soy Sauce & Butter Popcorn Cart
We tried and it's a pretty unique taste. My bro bought the Easter egg shaped purple popcorn container too because it's too cute to resist. By the way, the popcorn container can be re-filled at any of the popcorn carts for a reasonable fee so in a way and it's so convenient to have something to munch while we walked around. There are many different flavors of popcorn around Disneyland, including the classic caramel, soy sauce and butter, strawberry (which smells heavenly), curry (which my niece and nephew likes), cola, and my favorite which is the milk tea flavor!

And the Easter Parade starts!

It's a Happy Easter Sunny Day~*
It's rainy but it doesn't stop the cute bunny mascots from singing and dancing in the rain with their giant transparent rain coat! The atmosphere is so energetic and awesome!

Marie the Aristocat
My first picture of my favorite cat! She's so adorable!

And after the parade, we started our first ride for the trip!

StarJets in Tomorrowland
Wating for our lift up to the StarJets.

Boarding StarJets

Ready to Soar!
The funny story is I was walking to a distance away in order to snap a picture of the StarJets in action when I saw the jet where my brother and nephew is in. I can see my brother enjoying the ride but I can only see the back of the bright green jacket that my nephew is wearing - no face or head in sight. According to my nephew, he say he can only look down because he will "fly out into the sky if he look up".  

A Walk in Toon Town

Mickey's House and Meet Mickey
We went to Mickey's house to take photos with Micky Mouse! This is quite a long wait, I think we waited 1 hour?  And we walk around the park again.

Around Toon Town

Out of Bounds Ice Cream
No golfing around with ice cream

And we were distracted by the Disney stores again. Maybe I can call it a unofficial Disneyland snack review section.

Easter 2014 Butter Cookies
I am not really a butter cookie fan but I make an exception for this box of cookie anytime probably because their butter cookies have a very light fluffy texture and all of them taste good! I like the chocolate coated mickey head cookies and the chocolate butter cookies at the side best. Great with tea and a nice book on hand.

Mickey and Minnie Milk Chocolate Biscuits
These biscuits are easily my favorite snacks for coffee for the few weeks after my trip. They not only look so cute but also taste chocolately heavenly!

Disney Easter Egg Chocolates
The Disney character's easter eggs are sooooo adorable!

Chocolate Filling Marshamallows
These are the kiddo's favourite!

We got the Disney's chocolate coated baumkuchen (multi layers cake), which comes in a box of 8 soft fluffy cakes - 4 white chocolate coated and 4 strawberry chocolate coated cakes. Unlike the rest of the snacks where their expiry dates are around 2-3 months from our trip, these cakes had a very close expiry dates (within 3 weeks, much like the Tokyo Banana cakes) and so we didn't buy much.

Magical Times Flies!

To be cont'd...


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Tokyo Trip, May 2014 - From Shinjuku to Tokyo Disneyland / DisneySea

To me, a visit to Tokyo will never be complete without multiple trips to the two Disney theme parks - Disneyland and DisneySea! 

We planned take the bus from Shinjuku to Disneyland but we didn't wake up early for it (the bus operates from 6.40am to 9.50am only), I guess it makes sense as Disney tickets are sold at per day basis and visitors will most likely want to make the whole of their day passport. So off by train we go!

It was raining and we didn't bought umbrellas but thank goodness our hotel provides free umbrella for guests. The clear transparent umbrella that's lesser seen in Singapore but commonly seen in Japan and Korea - or the typical Japanese rainy day experience like in a J-drama. Hah!

Shinjuku to Disneyland/DisneySea By Train
The way to Disney theme parks by train includes a transfer at Tokyo station to Maihama station - where the entrance for Disneyland Land and Sea are at different exits. The advantage of taking the train is the time flexibility, the ease of paying through a Suica card (like our ez-link) and that it cost lesser than the bus ticket. 

It's a Banana - No, It's a Potato!

We spot this Tokyo Potato Premium cake at pne of the many stores in Tokyo Station when we are transferring to another line which looks like a close cousin to Tokyo banana.

Shinjuku to Disneyland/DisneySea By Bus 
- From Japan Rail JR Shinjuku Station New South Exit, JR Highway Bus Terminal 

Another way to get to Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea theme part is by bus from the JR Highway Bus Terminal. It took about 60 min. to Tokyo Disney Resort (depending on traffic) and departs punctually every 30 min (check out the exact schedule here) from 6.40am to 9.50am and cost 850 Yen per adult (410 Yen per child) per way and you get a seat. 

It cost more than taking the train but we pretty much prefer taking the bus (to and back from Disney theme parks) because the JR Highway Bus Terminal is a 15 meeting walking journey to our hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku and jostling on the train is one of the last thing in our mind with all our shopping bags and the tired kiddos. The direction is pretty simple - turn right after exiting the hotel to walk toward Takashimaya  (10 min walk at most, where you will pass by JR Shinjuku Building). Once at Takashimaya, turn right and walk straight for 5 minutes. (see map below)

It is recommended to be 15 mins earlier to have sufficient time to buy tickets from the ticket booths (in Japanese) and queue (on popular peak hours, tickets are sold out and you may need to wait for the next bus). On weekend, the traffic is quite smooth and we can easily reach the theme parks in 40 mins but on weekends, the trip can goes up to 75 mins. And their buses are so comfortable that I never need any motion sickness medicine (and it's very rare for me). 

Disney Merchandise Store at Maihama Station

At Maihama Station, there are a huge Disneyland merchandise store where you can find a huge selection of Disneyland products and souvenirs like cookies, key chains and soft toys. So just in case you miss out on any Disney merchandise at the theme park, there's another chance to catch up on those without paying for the entrance fee again. 

The wide range and variety of Disney theme snacks are simply mind boggling. They are so nicely package that I don't bear to eat them. Almost all are made in Japan and only sold in Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea (and not in airport) and they are simply great as souvenirs as well.
Duffy Bear & Shellie May Bear Chocolates

Disney Characters Butter Cookies
I'm not a butter cookie fan but they taste good!

Pooh Cakes

Feeling Fishy?


Chocolates For All Princesses

Sunglasses & Minnie's Ribbons are theme park necessity because Walt Disney Japan knows best =)

Too Cute to Resist
Ok, take my money!

Rainy Dreamy Disney Land
And finally - we are stepping into Disneyland!

Disneyland - Here we come!