It depends on the weather but usually it's pretty consistent. There are times when it gets cancelled a few days in a row like last winter there was a while when I started checking for it because it was cancelled so many days! Then sometimes it is very windy but it is not cancelled!! I wouldn't want them to stop the fireworks because it is a nice way to end the day! (and a good indication that it's the child's bedtime!)
So its time once more to continue my Trip Report. This time looking at Tokyo and stepping away from the parks.
Mt Fuji The best way to see this tour is by Sunrise Tours, but be aware when picking days, as if the weather is cloudy chances are you will be unlikely to see anything which in my case was a complete waste of a day. Unfortunately I was aware of this before I left but my itinerary was arranged months earlier so I couldnít predict back then that the day was going to be a complete let down. Pick up was from the Keio Plaza, a hotel I have stayed at on a previous trip. We were met and picked up and dropped off at the terminus building, where everyone transferred to another bus. Our Tour Guide was amazing and went by the name of Katz or something like that. The guy spoke a number of languages including a dodgy Australian accent, his words. Also made me laugh when he informed the entire bus while passing Fuji-Q High Land that there would be no time for Roller Coasters today. We first arrived at the Welcome Centre, followed by a trip to the 5th Station where the Volcano could be seen, except the cone. After a endless supply of gift shops we boarded the Coach back to some Hotel where everyone had lunch. I opted not to go for it and visited the Hotelís Bakery where I was able to access the net. The Afternoon was followed by a short cruise on Lake Ashi, before taking a ropeway cable car for what is meant to be stunning views. But turned out to be nothing but white cloud. Return journey was made by Shinkansen. Had the weather been good with clear sky this tour may have been worth doing but sadly for me it was a bit of a waste and I recommend anyone considering this tour to not book too far in advance until you have a better idea on how the weather is going to be.
Tokyo Tower Made the trip up on the Tokyo Tower and it does offer some good views, but I would likely die if I was up there during an earthquake.
Wow what an interesting Shopping district, I loved the vibe and walking across the crossway was an experience in itself. I did a little shopping at HMV and checked out the Disney Store although I wasnít that impressed by it. Much prefer the store in Ikspiari, the Shibuya store has a very cute entrance with a cute looking castle faÁade, but the Store was located on three different floors, which you had to get to by walking up a narrow stairway. The place also felt a little run down. But great Cast Members who were very helpful. Iím not sure what it is about Shibuya but everyone was a lot more friendly and outgoing. I also did something very cool and visited the Apple Store.
Rainforest Cafť I am a big fan of the Rainforest Cafť brand but after a second meal here Iím convinced the Tokyo Rainforest Cafť is the worst Restaurant out of the chain. The service was quick and friendly enough but the actual food selection were abysmal. In defence of the menu its heavily focused on Seafood options which is fair enough as you are catering to a Japanese audience, but the food is terrible. itís the sort of quality you would find in the fast food served at the parks. Donít get me wrong there is nothing wrong with the fast food served at both parks, but you donít expect it in a restaurant outside of the parks. I ordered a pork sandwich which was ok, but nothing special. Just to report back on how packed the restaurant was, it was filled to capacity but waiting time was short, I put this down to the set up, and how quickly the food was coming out. I guess because the food was theme park quality it was also quicker to dispatch.
Tokyo Disneyland Hotel I made time to check out the hotel one afternoon while waiting for a showing of Zed, and I was impressed with what I saw. The Victorian architecture was beautiful and the detail was massive. I spotted a lot of people in the hotel just hanging out taking pictures. A good find is the gift shop which sold a number of exclusive TDL Hotel merchandise.
Zed I had pre purchased tickets by using an e-mail address found on the Zed website. The tickets would be waiting for me at Will Call. This turned out to be a good option as the seating was directly in front of the stage about middle of the theatre and I honestly think it was the best seat in the house. I had an amazing view of what is a incredible performance. A bit disappointed no Zed soundtrack was available but I ended up purchasing a programme and will be seeing the show again next time Iím in town. I highly recommend if your on vacation visiting the Resort you make the time to watch and enjoy Zed. This show sadly was half empty and itís a shame because the venue is fantastic and the performers put a lot of work into it, so check it out.
Ok that should do it for today, but Iíll be back soon with Tokyo DisneySea.
Another alternative to Sunrise Tours for visiting Mt. Fuji is Gray Line Tours. I booked them the day before and was satisfied with the trip. Like Malin's we did the boat tour on Lake Ashi and we took a gondola up but over the Owakudani valley which stinks like sulfer cause of the hot springs underneath the ground--you get an opportunity to hard boil a white egg there and when you do it turns black (a chemical reaction with the sulfer). We also had lunch at a hotel in Hakone. The trip to Mt. Fuji only consisted of a stop at the 5th station and one gift shop, and a 10min stop at a rest stop on the way. We had beautiful weather and a couple of us took pics of Mt. Fuji and ourselves at the rest stop--and it's a good thing we did, cause by the time we got closer to Mt. Fuji the top had clouded over. I'm sure the tours are priced similiarly. In my opinion the only cool part was the Mt. Fuji view from the rest stop and the 5th station. Hakone, Lake Ashi and Owakudani valley I could've done without. They were just fillers IMHO. My advice here--book the day before so you know the weather and any chance you get to view Mt. Fuji or take pics of it, do it--cause the weather is very unpredictable and you may lose the chance of you and Mt. Fuji in a snapshot.