strivetoengage

Living with intent, social engagement, learning, growing, giving

Travels with children in Japan, part 2, Tokyo Disney

Entrance to Tokyo Disney

Entrance to Tokyo Disney

The main entry way is full of shops and thronged with people

The main entry way is full of shops and thronged with people

Our children both celebrated their birthdays in the past 2 weeks and we felt a bit guilty for dragging them around Malaysia and Indonesia without much children focused activity so we swallowed our ethics and took them to Tokyo Disney. Gone are the heady days of no merchandise in our home but this was something else altogether. We managed with a few words of Japanese, some gesticulating and the magic keyword Disney to navigate our way there for free on the JR network, which as an aside is delightfully efficient and a marvelous asset for Tokyo.

The attention to detail on the castle is remarkable and it felt like we were in Segovia again!

The attention to detail on the castle is remarkable and it felt like we were in Segovia again!

Realistic knight armour with opulent wallpaper inside the castle

Realistic knight armour with opulent wallpaper inside the castle

Part or gorgeous series of mosaics depicting the tale of Cinderella

Part of a gorgeous series of mosaics depicting the tale of Cinderella

Part of the set for the Peter Pan ride

Part of the set for the Peter Pan ride

Our eyes popped at the attention to detail as we walked in rather a bewildered fashion through the throngs of (mostly) young Japanese adults, decked out in Disney merchandise. We soon realised that we needed to queue for rides and the queues were remarkably long (sometimes over 2 hours). Thankfully dutiful staff marked the time for each queue so we were able to select our few rides to minimize queuing time. The entire place had a strong fragrance of sugar and we watched amazed as the multitudes indulged in expensive and nutritionally irresponsible ‘treats’.

13974790788934The highlight for all of us was the Star Tours ride where we had 3D glasses and were strapped into a moving pod. This is how all action films should be watched!

Not so grand Easter parade

Not so grand Easter parade

There is insufficient seating so people formed orderly lines for picpic lunches.

There is insufficient seating so people formed orderly lines for picpic lunches.

Just like the real world!

Just like the real world!

Biggest bicycle parking lot I've seen

Biggest bicycle parking lot I’ve seen

Meticulously clean Tokyo Station contrasts with many other busy stations around the world

Meticulously clean Tokyo Station contrasts with many other busy stations around the world

Lovely sake set and tasty sake too!

Lovely sake set and tasty sake too!

Fun Restaurant

Fun Restaurant

We thought that the grand Easter parade would give our children the chance to see up close the Disney characters they know but instead they found it boring and our daughter was pretty disappointed not to see a single Disney Princess.

What a great idea to offer soup in a vending machine at a railway station

What a great idea to offer soup in a vending machine at a railway station

Cigarettes Anyone? This would never be approved in Australia with its strict cigarette laws. The vending machines in Tokyo are very slim compared to Australia and suited to narrow alleyways.

Cigarettes Anyone? This would never be approved in Australia with its strict cigarette laws. The vending machines in Tokyo are very slim compared to Australia and suited to narrow alleyways.

That night we had another great meal in our neighborhood. It cost more than double the night before and we had to pay with cash (already dwindling!) but it was a fun place where the staff wore traditional outfits and were full of beans. Once again we were the only foreigners in the place and we used signs, a few words and guess work to figure out what we were ordering and eating.

There's no space in Tokyo for bins so recycling is fastidiously sorted and placed on the curb on the morning of pick up in a collapsible box.

There’s no space in Tokyo for bins so recycling is fastidiously sorted and placed on the curb on the morning of pick up in a collapsible box.

We noticed in Tokyo a reluctance to look at us or acknowledge us. Most people actively looked away rather than interact with us. This surprised us because our kids drew a lot of attention in Europe and Malaysia and Indonesia. I had read that the population density of Tokyo makes people unlikely to look at each other particularly on the trains and that’s certainly what we found. That made each of the few interactions we had more precious and authentic, including the friendly family on the train who saved us from catching the wrong line, the railway station security guard with the most expressive eyebrows you’ll ever see, and the retirement aged gentleman who stopped to share a few words with me as we contravened etiquette by eating our breakfast in a park this morning rather than eat standing up in our cupboard.

Advertisements

3 comments on “Travels with children in Japan, part 2, Tokyo Disney

  1. Maxine
    April 15, 2014

    Love the soup vending machine….

  2. Pingback: Family Top Three Experiences for Japan | strivetoengage

  3. Pingback: Autumn in Bavaria – Legoland | strivetoengage

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Information

This entry was posted on April 15, 2014 by in Asia, family and tagged , , , , , , , , .
%d bloggers like this: