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  1. #1

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    Tokyo Disney on 2 Weeks’ Notice: Bonus Day @ Disney + Trip Finally Ends!!!

    I wasn't sure about posting this on MiceChat because long-winded, photo-intensive trip reports don't seem to be de rigueur over here. But this was the first board with really good English-language info about Tokyo Disney and the place I always watched in the years before this trip became a reality, so I thought maybe my experience would be helpful to someone else. So....


    This is the story of our totally last-minute yet totally fabulous trip to the Tokyo Disney Resort, Tokyo itself, and Kyoto — told breathlessly, at length, and in excruciating detail, with waaaaaay too many photos. Buckle up!


    And you are...?

    Lurkyloo and Mr. Lurkyloo, crazy Disneyland fans who’ve parlayed the free WDW annual passes they got with their Epcot wedding into 3 years of bank account-draining trips around Disney’s World.




    The Trip

    Going to Tokyo Disney Resort (specifically, Tokyo DisneySea) has been at the top of our Dream Trip list for years, but it was always sort of a far-off fantasy. I just assumed when we finally could afford it, I would spend a year or two planning the trip, learning Japanese, and intensively researching Japan.

    And then one day Mr. Lurkyloo announced that his puppet company had landed a job building puppets and puppeteering on an ad in Tokyo, and we would be leaving in just over two weeks!

    Miraculously, we were able to plan an almost-three-week trip in that time, including finding Tokyo hotels during peak cherry blossom season, cobbling together four days in Disney hotels during their “Top Season,” and throwing in a bullet train trip to Kyoto at the last minute. The short time frame was both maddening (I have never paid for so much express shipping in my life!) and liberating as it kept me from over-thinking things the way I usually do.


    * Participants: Lurkyloo & Mr. Lurkyloo

    * Dates: March 16-April 2, 2010

    * Hotels:
    • Akasaka Excel Hotel Tokyu (A Disney Good Neighbor Hotel)
    • Tokyo Disneyland Hotel
    • Tokyo DisneySea Hotel MiraCosta
    • Disney Ambassador Hotel
    • Yaesu Terminal Hotel
    • Metropolitan Marunouchi Hotel


    * To Do List

    • See everything there was to see in Tokyo DisneySea & Tokyo Disneyland
    • Tour Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings sites in Tokyo
    • Check out a “cat café”
    • Ride a bullet train
    • View cherry blossoms
    • Visit Totoro at the Ghibli Museum
    • See as many temples, shrines, castles, palaces, and gardens in Tokyo and Kyoto as humanly possible
    • Purchase innumerable adorable stuffed anime characters
    • Eat a bunch of stuff that we didn’t know what it was

    I’ll be switching between updates to this report and my as-yet-unfinished Christmas trip report, so if you get bored waiting for updates…


    Some Light Reading: Past Reports

    How to Get Married In Epcot... and Survive a 12-Day Honeymoon @ WDW!

    2 Haunted Mansions, 1 Day: The story of how we rode Haunted Mansion at Disney World and Disneyland on the same day (plus free dining)!

    Return to the Scene of the Crime: The Lurkyloos' First Anniversary at WDW!

    Wedding Crasher: 4 Parties in 3 Nights with 2 Cameras and 1 Fabulous Hat!

    The Lurkyloos Do WDW: Christmas at Bay Lake Tower… of TERROR!
    Last edited by lurkyloo; 10-05-2010 at 02:41 PM.

  2. #2

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    re: Tokyo Disney on 2 Weeks’ Notice: Bonus Day @ Disney + Trip Finally Ends!!!

    Pictures are on the way, but first…

    Planning

    I thought it might be helpful to hit the highlights of the planning process here since I didn’t get a chance to do a pre-trip report (and for that we should all be very grateful – it was mostly a constant stream of freakouts…).

    The Most Important Lesson I Learned: The only thing keeping a Disney fan from going to Tokyo Disney should be the money (OK, so that’s a HUGE thing…). But none of the other stuff I was worried about turned out to be a big deal: the language barrier, the long flight, booking hotels, figuring out all the transportation networks, getting foreign currency—none of it was a problem. If you can navigate any big city, you can navigate Tokyo.


    Language
    That said, I think you can greatly improve the quality of your trip by learning even the most basic Japanese before you go. I can’t believe how many travel guides lead you to believe that most people in Japan speak or can understand English. That was certainly not our experience—even at Disney—nor did we expect it to be. I won’t get up on my soapbox about cultural sensitivity, but I will say that it is a lot easier if you can say and understand certain phrases. The rest is allllll pantomime! Unless you’re asking for earplugs at a Disney first aid station, in which case they will become convinced you are bleeding from the ears…

    They say Japanese is very easy to pick up but very difficult to master. I only had those few short weeks, but by listening to one 30-minute Pimsleur Japanese lesson twice a day, I picked up enough to speak and understand handy phrases out in the real world. Pimsleur and Rosetta Stone programs are spendy, but I found some good deals on Amazon and eBay. I liked Pimsleur because it’s based on a memory technique that actually has you speaking and understanding the language at the end of your first lesson. I couldn’t believe it! It’s also good for people who don’t want to use books and worksheets – the course is entirely audio, but you must dedicate those 30 minutes to it. You can’t listen while driving or, like, Facebooking. Personally, I would have liked something to read along with it because I’m a visual learner, but it was still really effective.


    The Flight
    This was not that big a deal at all. From the West Coast, you get on the plane in the afternoon and get off it in the evening—it just happens to be the evening of the next day. I set my watch ahead when I got on the plane and didn’t make a big deal out of constantly figuring out what time it was back home. When I got there, I stayed up til my regular bedtime and woke up the next morning feeling fine. I was worried that coming home would be awful; you leave in the evening and arrive the morning of the same day. We were pretty spacey when we got off the plane, and we took a 2-hour nap, but then we stayed up til our regular bedtime and felt pretty decent the next day.


    Subway
    The subway map looks like a bowl of spaghetti, but it’s color-coded and has numbers, so it’s not too difficult to figure out. The hardest part is figuring out which exit from the subway to take. They are usually numerous, and sometimes taking the wrong one can put you blocks out of your way (so I disagree with one author’s advice to just exit the station and then figure out where you are). There are maps at the exits (usually with English on them) that list what sights and attractions can be found if you take that exit. This may be a big DUH for some people, but I had to figure out that these maps are not always oriented north to south the way they were in my guidebook. Eventually I learned to hold my guidebook up next to the wall map, find a common point on both, and then rotate my book until it matched the wall map. But then I also still count with my fingers….

    PASMO/Suica: These prepaid fare cards can be used on virtually all subways, railways, and buses in Tokyo, public and private, including the Disney Resort Monorail line, and they are also accepted as a form of payment by many merchants in and around train stations. Instead of having to figure out what ticket you need for each journey (and then use the fare adjustment machines at the end of your trip if you didn’t pay enough), you charge the card up like a gift card and then just swipe it over the reader at the turnstiles on your way in and out of the station. The turnstiles also display the amount remaining on the card as you walk by.

    There are two brands of these cards—PAMSO and Suica—but they are interchangeable. You can use them anywhere either of them is accepted. The one you buy basically just depends on which brand is sold at the station where you’re buying the card. When you buy the it, you are charged a ¥500 refundable deposit, which you can get back at any PASMO/Suica machine at the end of your trip. You can recharge the card at the same kind of machine, which is found next to the ticket machines at the station. One thing to note: You can only buy and recharge these cards with cash—for some reason, the machines don’t accept credit cards, and you can’t even use credit if you buy them from an agent at the station office. You have a choice of buying an anonymous card or linking your name and info to the card. If you do the latter, you can easily replace the card if it is lost or stolen (for a small fee – but you retain the stored value on the card).


    Hotels
    We booked our hotels a couple of different ways, all of them easy. For our longest Tokyo stay, we booked through Expedia just because it was offered there and we had an Expedia coupon code. However, many Tokyo hotels have English websites on which you can book directly, which is what we did for our one “fill-in” night when the ad shoot dates changed. I found this site to be a great resource for finding hotels by location and, in some cases, at a lower price. You kinda have to shop around though, and definitely figure out what neighborhood you want to stay in first. Tripadvisor is great for seeing photos of actual rooms, although you find wildly positive and negative reviews about nearly every hotel.

    For the Disney hotels, I thought that calling would be best, but it turned out that they were basically just reading me all the info found in their extremely easy to use online booking engine. So just book online! If you don’t see the room type you want, book something else and check back every day. No deposit is required, and you can cancel anytime up to 2 weeks ahead. We booked just weeks ahead for travel during Disney’s very busiest time of year. I just kept making reservations, checking back, canceling and replacing them until I got exactly the combo we wanted (well, OK, we weren’t able to get 4 consecutive days at MiraCosta, but it was fun to try out all three hotels!). Availability changes daily; room types that had been previously sold out miraculously appeared the next day.

    Tours
    We are not “tour” kind of people, but we made two exceptions on this trip because we were pressed for research time.

    1) The Ghibli Museum – I’ve been wanting to see this place ever since I discovered Totoro! Unfortunately, the exhibits are all in Japanese. Plus, only a limited number of tickets are available each day, and the process for buying them from the US is very complicated. So I found a tour aggregator called Viator that works with Japan’s Sunrise Tours. It’s a little funky how it works – you meet a guide who leads you on the subway and local bus system rather than riding in a motorcoach – but the guide stays with you for an hour at the museum and translates all the exhibits for you. I felt like we got so much more out of the place than if we’d been on our own.

    2) Kyoto - When we decided to go to Kyoto and back in one day on the bullet train, we wanted to see as much as possible. So I used Viator again to book back-to-back morning and afternoon tours of 6 sites, total. I’ll describe them in more detail later, but there were SO many tourists and tour buses swarming Kyoto the day we went, I think I would have freaked out if we’d been on our own.

    Money
    The thing I was most worried about was an inability to access cash or use credit cards. They say that the worst thing to do is exchange money at the airport (and Travelex online – talk about bad exchange rates and high fees!) or before you leave the States. I’ve also heard that it’s getting harder to find places that will cash travelers cheques, and I didn’t want to be hunting down banks all the time.

    You’ll get the best exchange rate by using a credit card or withdrawing money at a foreign ATM. But most banks and credit card companies impose fees of up to 3% on each transaction, plus ATM owners may impose an extra fee. On top of that, credit cards are still not accepted by many smaller merchants and restaurants, and most Japanese ATMs do not accept US ATM cards. (Those that do can be found at 7 Eleven, post offices, airports, some department stores and train stations, Citibank branches, and Shinsei Bank and Sumitomo Mitsui bank branches.)

    So this is what we did…

    Cash: We exchanged dollars for about ¥200 in pocket money before we left. Our bank didn’t give us too terrible an exchange rate, and there were no fees. However, it took them 3 days to order yen.

    Credit Card: Capitol One and Charles Schwab are currently the only US companies that don’t charge any fees on foreign transactions. I signed up for a Capitol One card only to learn, a week before we left, that the credit limit was too low to charge more than 2 of our 6 hotel stays! Then I found out that they have lousy customer service and have been known to freeze your spending abilities even when you’ve notified them you’ll be using the card abroad. So I called Charles Schwab, and within 48 hours I had their Invest First Visa Card with a reasonable spending limit and great customer service.

    ATM: While I was signing up for the Schwab credit card, I learned that they offer a bank account that charges no fees for international ATM withdrawals AND refunds any fees imposed by the ATM owner. So I signed up for one of those too!

    When we got to our first hotel, there was a 7 Eleven on the first floor, so I took out a bunch of cash. Then for the rest of the trip, we’d ask “Crejito cardo?” at every checkout counter and only use the cash if they didn’t take credit. We found that every place at Disney took credit cards except the popcorn carts in Tokyo Disneyland.

    Cell Phones
    As of this writing, only 3G phones will work in Japan. If you have a 3G phone that's not SIM-locked, you can rent a Japanese SIM card to use while you're there and get cheap calling rates. If you have an iPhone, you can use it but will pay through the nose. If you have any other kind of cell phone, you'll need to rent a Japanese phone for delivery either to your house before you leave or to your hotel in Japan. You can also rent them at kiosks in the airport. Both of us needed phones so we could be in touch when Patrick was working, but only mine is 3G. Here's what we did:

    iPhone: We decided to bite the bullet and just pay for international calling and a small data package so I could use my phone to call Patrick, send a few Tweets and use GPS in a pinch. For voice service, you have to add the $5.99/month World Traveler Plan and pay $1.69/minute (vs. $2.29/minute without the plan) and $0.50/text message to use it. For data service, you have to buy a Data Global Add-On unless you are completely made of money: Regular rates start at $0.0195/kb, which is $159/MB! Even the add-ons aren't cheap—they start at $24.99 for just 20MB of data. Check your average monthly usage to determine how much you'll need, because in an typical month of Tweeting, checking my email, and searching for things with Google Maps, I use about 200 MB! As it turned out, I was so parsimonious with the 50MB package I bought, I actually only used about half of the data I'd paid for—argh!

    Rental Phone: Trying to compare all the different phone rental services for Japan was so confusing. Some offer free phones but charge hidden fees or higher per-minute rates. Some charge a fee for the phone with lower rates on calls. Some give you free incoming and/or outgoing calls, but sometimes only to/from Japanese phones. Some can only be delivered in the US and some only in Japan. We finally went with Rentafone Japan because the process was easy and the rates seemed competitive. The whole thing is done online, and the phone is waiting for you when you check into the hotel. When you're done, you put it in the pre-paid envelope and mail it or give it to the front desk staff. (You can also have it sent to the airport and return it there.) We paid ¥3,900 for a week's rental of the phone and ended up spending ¥2,308 on calls. One trick was that to get really good rates with the phone, you had to use a dial-around code before entering the phone number. However, it's programmed into the phone's memory so you just have to remember to push the button.

    One thing I kind of wish we'd done is hang on to the rental phone for our whole trip. There were times at Disney when we split up to accomplish things quicker—like grab FASTPASSes or wait in a line—and then couldn't find each other because only I had a phone.


    Whew! OK, to reward you for reading (or scrolling) this far, here is a picture of the early-morning dress rehearsal of Tokyo DisneySea’s spring-themed lagoon show Fairies Primavera, as seen from our room at Hotel MiraCosta.



    Up Next: Breakfast in San Leandro, Dinner in Tokyo!
    Last edited by lurkyloo; 06-02-2010 at 09:54 AM.

  3. #3

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    Day 1

    Tokyo – Day 1

    The first day is never that exciting, yet somehow we managed to take 40 pictures of it!

    SFO


    We flew out of San Francisco because Swazzle had been up in the Bay Area for 2 weeks shooting another project during the day and building puppets for the Tokyo job at night. The previous day Patrick had stayed up all night finishing those puppets so they could be shipped ahead for their flight to Tokyo from LA, and then he went off to finish shooting his scenes on the other project—which meant he stayed awake for about 42 hours straight. Needless to say, he had no trouble sleeping on the plane!

    Because all the travel arrangements were being made by the ad firm’s travel agent, we didn’t find out when we were leaving, what airline we were flying or where we were staying until about a week before we left. The answers turned out to be: Tuesday at 1:25pm, JAL, and the Akasaka Excel Tokyu Hotel.

    The puppeteers all got to fly in swanky Business Class with lay-flat pod beds and free slippers, but Patrick gave up his seat to fly with me in Economy—I knew I’d married the right guy! Besides, as it turned out, all the Japanese hotels ended up giving us enough free slippers to choke a horse. (Although, really, just one free slipper would prolly be enough to choke a horse…)

    Now I don’t know how JAL rates among frequent fliers to Asia, but as someone who’s been subjected to United Airlines’ service from LA to Orlando a few too many times, I found it pretty dang good.

    “Japan Airlines: We’re pretty dang good!”


    The plane seemed fairly new, with on-demand TV at every seat and cool drop-down overhead bins for every three seats, so you never had to fight with anyone to fit all your junk in. The seat pitch was respectable – not great when the person in front of you leaned his seat back, but it felt an inch or two deeper than on domestic US flights. It was also very exciting to become instantly immersed in Japanese – the announcements were made in Japanese first, then sometimes Chinese, and then English. It helped us get used to smiling and nodding and pretending we knew what was going on.

    Oh my gosh oh my gosh! We’re really going to Japan!


    The 11-hour flight was uneventful except for being seated behind one of only two kids on the entire plane, who had struck up a friendship in the boarding area and spent most of the trip together, screaming. Then, when they were separated, they would scream some more until they were reunited.

    The flight started with dinner, which was some kind of chicken on noodles:



    Voila!


    Then they dimmed the lights so we could pretend it was night. I hadn’t had any time to read guidebooks before we left, so I crammed for most of the flight, did a Japanese lesson on my iPod, and still had time to glaze over during “Whip It” on my seatback TV.

    At one point, Patrick discovered that it wasn’t really night when he opened our snoozing seatmate’s window shade and saw this…

    Holy crap, it’s Alaska!





    I can see Russia from here!






    I only dozed for about 30 minutes after dinner/lunch/whatever, but I ended up feeling OK. About two hours before we landed they turned the lights up and fed us salmon on noodles, which I think was s’posed to be breakfast.




    After we landed, we went through Passport/Immigration control with no trouble, got our bags easily, and then skipped through customs.



    Narita Airport Terminal 2



    I asked Patrick to take lots of pix of everything for PassPorter’s forthcoming guide to Tokyo Disney….




    I think this was Customs



    This is the counter for the Airport Limousine, which is not a limousine at all—it’s a bus! It’s prolly the way we would have gotten into Tokyo from Narita if we hadn’t been met by a rep from the ad firm. For reference, it’s ¥30/person one-way and they only take cash.




    And here’s where you can buy train tickets…



    Thank goodness we didn’t have to figure THIS thing out!



    We’d been told to look for a guy with a sign that said “Rock ‘n’ Roll Tokyo” – how awesome is that? Sure enough, a rep from the production company, Hiro, was there to meet us and get us to the hotel. The trip took about 45 minutes, and Hiro must’ve thought we were delirious as we oooohed and aaaahhhhed over every bunker-like building and road sign and vehicle we saw on the way into town. Of course the biggest “oooooh!” came when we whizzed by Space Mountain. Then Patrick asked, “What’s that building all outlined in white lights?” and I said, “I dunno – I think it might be a Ramada or something…?” It later turned out to be the Tokyo Disneyland Hotel – whoops!

    When we got to the Akasaka Excel Tokyu Hotel, which turned out to be right across the street from a subway station, Hiro helped us check in—a godsend when you’re tired and disoriented and have spent most of your two weeks of Japanese language study learning how to ask for two beers…




    The lobby’s on the third floor






    Pay attention to this sign. I didn’t, and it later turned out to be a huge, wonderful surprise



    Our hotel room was much nicer than I expected – it had been recently redecorated and didn’t have the IKEA feel I saw in older pictures on TripAdvisor. It was also a decent size—not huge, but you could actually walk around the bed. It turned out to be the biggest non-Disney room we had.





    My favorite part was the corner window into the bathroom cuz it made the place feel bigger. Although it was a trick figuring out which way to dial the blinds so your spouse couldn’t see in!




    The view wasn’t half bad either.




    Patrick loved the soaking tub and shower…



    …But most of all, he loved the complicated toilet!



    This thing had enough buttons to launch a missle attack… on your bottom! There’s a button for a spray of water, and one for a stream, one to make the seat hot enough to fry an egg and then an automatic function that runs the water to cover up embarrassing noises. On that first night we had each other in stitches as we tried out all the various functions and shrieked in surprise at what we got.

    Other cool features of this hotel: It has a 7-Eleven on the first floor, which means an ATM that accepts US ATM cards and a cheap meal are always close by; it is adjacent to a small shopping complex with restaurants and stores and even a post office; the subway station across the street connects you to the central Marunouchi and Ginza lines; and there is a street running behind the subway station that is jam-packed with restaurants and clubs.

    I never thought I’d be so glad to see a 7 Eleven!



    McDonald’s… not so much….



    After we’d dropped our stuff in the room, we wandered down this veritable restaurant row trying to decide where to eat.



    We almost randomly picked a traditional sushi place and got what we think we wanted through a combination of my pigeon Japanese and lots of hand gestures. Oh, and the picture menu, kindly handed to us by a German couple. We felt very cosmopolitan sitting there eating sushi for dinner in Tokyo after starting the day with breakfast in San Leandro, CA. …Never mind that it was the next day!






    Dinner was good! The only drawback was the haze of cigarette smoke filling the place. After dinner, Patrick had a 9pm costume fitting for the ad (!), but before he left we had time to pick up our first weird Japanese dessert at 7 Eleven.




    It was blue flavor!


    He was out til about 11pm, so I stayed in and web surfed with our free Internet access, trying to get my head around the fact that we were ACTUALLY IN JAPAN!

    Up next: My first solo day in Tokyo!

  4. #4

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    re: Tokyo Disney on 2 Weeks’ Notice: Bonus Day @ Disney + Trip Finally Ends!!!

    cool stuff.. keep it coming!
    Check out my blog - Coreplex: Rambling from inside the Grid


    Am I evil? yes, I am
    Am I evil? I am man, yes, I am

    Quote Originally Posted by sleepyjeff View Post
    Disneyland was meant to be sipped not chug-a-lugged

  5. #5

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    re: Tokyo Disney on 2 Weeks’ Notice: Bonus Day @ Disney + Trip Finally Ends!!!

    How interesting...on all my trips to Tokyo Disney, I have found many of the Cast Members I interacted with had basic English language skills. Especially at the Disney hotels. Bare minimum, they directed me to another Cast Member who did.

  6. #6

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    re: Tokyo Disney on 2 Weeks’ Notice: Bonus Day @ Disney + Trip Finally Ends!!!

    Now this is the kind of Japan Trip Report I'd like to read! Can't wait for more and don't spare the little details. I love all of it!


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  7. #7

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    re: Tokyo Disney on 2 Weeks’ Notice: Bonus Day @ Disney + Trip Finally Ends!!!

    Yeah, this is a really fun read, and I can live vicariously through your photos and descriptions. I actually like all the little things you're talking about. It's stuff I would probably notice and do myself too.

  8. #8

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    re: Tokyo Disney on 2 Weeks’ Notice: Bonus Day @ Disney + Trip Finally Ends!!!

    I'm happy you enjoyed your trip- I've been there several times- but the flight gets to me every time- about 1/2 way thru it I get stir crazy and really don't know what to do with myself- but I still love going to Japan & it's worth all the anxiety I go thru during the flight.

    Can't wait to hear how the rest of it went.

    I still don't really understand or like the heated toilet seat- I mean I can't even stand having to use the toilet after someone else just used it and the seat is a little warm. It took me a few days one trip to get our room service to finally understand that I don't want the heated seat on!

  9. #9

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    re: Tokyo Disney on 2 Weeks’ Notice: Bonus Day @ Disney + Trip Finally Ends!!!

    Fantastic report so far, I especially enjoy the fact you're describing details usually overlooked in these things. And the layout is great too! I'm looking forward to reading the rest.
    I lurk.

  10. #10

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    re: Tokyo Disney on 2 Weeks’ Notice: Bonus Day @ Disney + Trip Finally Ends!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by flynnibus View Post
    cool stuff.. keep it coming!
    Aye aye!

    Quote Originally Posted by Grizzly View Post
    How interesting...on all my trips to Tokyo Disney, I have found many of the Cast Members I interacted with had basic English language skills. Especially at the Disney hotels. Bare minimum, they directed me to another Cast Member who did.
    Yes, this was our experience too. In fact, we met a bellhop at MiraCosta who'd studied at Cal Poly Pomona for five years! I think I was just surprised because many travel resources make it sound like you'll be able to converse easily with the CMs, rather than mostly pointing and pantomiming and stringing together nouns from a phrasebook. Or I could just be sensitive because I was embarrassed that I hadn't learned more Japanese before we left.

    Quote Originally Posted by Coheteboy View Post
    Now this is the kind of Japan Trip Report I'd like to read! Can't wait for more and don't spare the little details. I love all of it!
    Whohoo! That makes me feel better, cuz I do tend to go on at length...

    Quote Originally Posted by gurgi View Post
    Yeah, this is a really fun read, and I can live vicariously through your photos and descriptions. I actually like all the little things you're talking about. It's stuff I would probably notice and do myself too.
    So glad you're enjoying it!

    Quote Originally Posted by jedimaster7313 View Post
    I'm happy you enjoyed your trip- I've been there several times- but the flight gets to me every time- about 1/2 way thru it I get stir crazy and really don't know what to do with myself- but I still love going to Japan & it's worth all the anxiety I go thru during the flight.
    I could see that - the flight back was a lot like that for me, prolly because I didn't have Tokyo Disney to look forward to anymore!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mousekiteer View Post
    Fantastic report so far, I especially enjoy the fact you're describing details usually overlooked in these things. And the layout is great too! I'm looking forward to reading the rest.
    Thanks for the kind words! OK, I feel less self-conscious about my rambling now...

  11. #11

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    re: Tokyo Disney on 2 Weeks’ Notice: Bonus Day @ Disney + Trip Finally Ends!!!

    Great so far! Looking forward to more.
    Follow me on --> Twitter (@soda)

  12. #12

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    re: Tokyo Disney on 2 Weeks’ Notice: Bonus Day @ Disney + Trip Finally Ends!!!

    I like all the little details too! Eagerly awaiting more!
    I want my cake back!

  13. #13

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    re: Tokyo Disney on 2 Weeks’ Notice: Bonus Day @ Disney + Trip Finally Ends!!!

    I still get a kick when westerners go gaga over the toilet seats in Japan. And yes, this is a great trip report, and can't wait for the inevitable "TDR is so much better overall to WDW in every level" comment sure to come soon enough.

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    re: Tokyo Disney on 2 Weeks’ Notice: Bonus Day @ Disney + Trip Finally Ends!!!

    Keep it coming

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    re: Tokyo Disney on 2 Weeks’ Notice: Bonus Day @ Disney + Trip Finally Ends!!!

    I always fly United, though am seated in Economy Plus with that extra 5 inches of room, which really makes a big difference on any flight, whether it's two hours or 14 hours. Never had a delayed flight to Japan, never had a cancelled flight, my luggage has never been lost. Never a problem.

    By the way, that sign that spooked you in Narita airport is easy to read: you will see English below the Japanese. It tells you where all the bus stops are.

    I only speak about 14 or 15 Japanese words, but have managed to make due over 45 trips to Japan in the last 35 years. Sometimes if you can't make yourself understood, it's easier just to apologize and give up.

    So far, a very good and detailed report. Looking forward to more. Why, I don't know, since I just got back from Japan two weeks ago and am leaving for Tokyo again tomorrow! Perhaps you have an interesting way of catching the perspective of a first-timer.

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