TDR Trip Report! Finished! (DisneySea, Disneyland, Tokyo, Hiroshima, Kyoto, Hong Kong, Hong Kong Disneyland)

bibbidibobbidibecky

The Fairy Godblogger
Joined
May 12, 2009
I walked in Disneyland in Tokyo and was like, crap, I don't know where anything is LOL! At least the Disneylands are similar enough that it's easy to figure it out. DisneySea, however, I was totally lost.

My kids always grab the maps. They like looking at them. Go figure.

@wishing4PA I'm sure your daughter will be so excited the closer you get. 2020 does sound far away! Thanks for the kind words!
 

Haley R

With all the strength of a raging fire
Joined
Sep 3, 2017
I walked in Disneyland in Tokyo and was like, crap, I don't know where anything is LOL! At least the Disneylands are similar enough that it's easy to figure it out. DisneySea, however, I was totally lost.

My kids always grab the maps. They like looking at them. Go figure.

@wishing4PA I'm sure your daughter will be so excited the closer you get. 2020 does sound far away! Thanks for the kind words!
I kept my maps and hung them on my bulletin board at home where we put all of our pins and stuff
 


LovesTimone

Christmas Day 2017
Joined
Apr 29, 2009
I thought I read that you flew from Tokyo to Hiroshima... so I skimmed back through your blog, and I found that I remember correctly... Yay me...

So DH and I are going next year, and in my planning, I took your advice and checked it out, we can fly out of Narita or Haneda to Oskas's Kansai - for around 100.00 each bucks round trip.... We want to stay in Osaka to check out Dotonbori and do day trips from there to Kyoto and the Arashiyama district. Did you use Sucia pass for the trains? or did you just pay each time?

I am just wondering if we should just get the JR Pass, for convenience sake. ? It's only for the 2 of us... We both want to ride the bullet train... plus it will be a nice way to chill out zipping along the country side for several hours... Then I think we are only going for 2 weeks, so we should watch the time... So its a matter of time management ... or experiencing the trains... ... Thoughts...
 
  • bibbidibobbidibecky

    The Fairy Godblogger
    Joined
    May 12, 2009
    @LovesTimone I really went back and forth with the JR pass for us. I do think it would be convenient to have it, but in the end for my family it was cheaper and shorter to fly to Hiroshima and to take the faster shinkansen from Hiroshima to Kyoto. Did you plug in where all you're going to see if it's worth it for you? It would have been for us if we had been going back to Tokyo from Kyoto. And you cannot use it for everything, like the metros are a different company.

    We did not get any prepaid cards. I was going to in Hiroshima to use through Osaka, but in the end I didn't want to have to keep track of five of them or get them refunded, so I just paid as we went except I did purchase metro passes in Tokyo and that was very nice to have. It's a JR train to Arashiyama, so you could use the pass for that.

    The trains are nice, but for me it's also fun to experience domestic flights and airports. And I don't think you can take the train for less than $100RT. It was such a breeze to fly, so I think I would still choose a combo of both IF it was cost-effective or comparable. The airport in Osaka is in a fairly inconvenient place, so look into that before you decide.

    Tell me if you need the website where you plug in your routes to see if the pass is worth it for you.
     

    LovesTimone

    Christmas Day 2017
    Joined
    Apr 29, 2009
    @LovesTimone I really went back and forth with the JR pass for us. I do think it would be convenient to have it, but in the end for my family it was cheaper and shorter to fly to Hiroshima and to take the faster shinkansen from Hiroshima to Kyoto. Did you plug in where all you're going to see if it's worth it for you? It would have been for us if we had been going back to Tokyo from Kyoto. And you cannot use it for everything, like the metros are a different company.

    We did not get any prepaid cards. I was going to in Hiroshima to use through Osaka, but in the end I didn't want to have to keep track of five of them or get them refunded, so I just paid as we went except I did purchase metro passes in Tokyo and that was very nice to have. It's a JR train to Arashiyama, so you could use the pass for that.

    The trains are nice, but for me it's also fun to experience domestic flights and airports. And I don't think you can take the train for less than $100RT. It was such a breeze to fly, so I think I would still choose a combo of both IF it was cost-effective or comparable. The airport in Osaka is in a fairly inconvenient place, so look into that before you decide.

    Tell me if you need the website where you plug in your routes to see if the pass is worth it for you.

    That would be great if you could give me the website...
    As well I posted our rough draft, If you have time will you take a look at it, and tell me what you think...

    Thanks :worship::thanks:
     
  • LovesTimone

    Christmas Day 2017
    Joined
    Apr 29, 2009
    LOL :rotfl2:- When I read the name of the restaurant, I about spit my coffee out all over my desk, I started laughing so hard.... really laughing out loud... :rotfl2:.... OMG so dang funny...

    Thanks for a great trip report... and a really good laugh this morning....
     

    bibbidibobbidibecky

    The Fairy Godblogger
    Joined
    May 12, 2009
    LOL :rotfl2:- When I read the name of the restaurant, I about spit my coffee out all over my desk, I started laughing so hard.... really laughing out loud... :rotfl2:.... OMG so dang funny...

    Thanks for a great trip report... and a really good laugh this morning....
    I'm so glad it gave you a laugh :rotfl2: Apparently it means good fortune for your mouth LOL. I really didn't notice it until I said it out loud. You're welcome hahaha
     

    heybets30

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 25, 2010
    Wow! What a report!! LOVING IT!!!! We just started "seriously thinking about" a November 2020 trip - celebrate our 10/1/20 15th wedding anniversary and my 11/27/20 big 5-0. We'd bring the 2 kids with us, son who will be 11 & daughter weeks away from 14 when we go. We're at about 76% seriousness level. Japan looks VERY economical, excluding $1000+ airfare from Chicago. We were thinking of doing just Tokyo & Kyoto given we probably at most will have 8 solid days (1 being at DisneySea). Daughter is trying to get us to add on 2 days in Seoul, she's a BTS fanatic! I don't see how that is even possible, though, given the timing.

    So here are 3 questions maybe you can answer having been recently ... what are food selections like for those who don't eat ANY seafood or fish (I'm allergic - not deathly, but get very sick when I consume any). I have a Japanese friend who already offered to write & laminate a card written in Japanese saying allergy for me! My 10-year old son also only eats "fish sticks" or tilapia that's been dipped in breading - i.e., a fried fish sandwich like at Arby's, or frozen costco tilapia! and he's unwilling to bend about trying any other seafood or fish. Hubby & daughter eat sushi, but it would only be a once type thing on vaca, they like their fish cooked all the way through. We eat a TON of middle eastern foods & Indian.

    And, you have teens, how did you feel safety-wise wandering around Japan? I've heard it is ridiculously safe, but I like to get a mom's opinion! ;-)

    Lastly, did you see any laundry facilities around where you stayed? Like laundromats where you could actually take a pile of clothes & wash them?

    The downside of going in November, is our clothes will be more bulky and I wouldn't want to try to handwash jeans or a sweater to trust it to dry in a hotel or Airbnb room.

    Thanks!
     
  • Foxen08

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    May 16, 2014
    Wow! What a report!! LOVING IT!!!! We just started "seriously thinking about" a November 2020 trip - celebrate our 10/1/20 15th wedding anniversary and my 11/27/20 big 5-0. We'd bring the 2 kids with us, son who will be 11 & daughter weeks away from 14 when we go. We're at about 76% seriousness level. Japan looks VERY economical, excluding $1000+ airfare from Chicago. We were thinking of doing just Tokyo & Kyoto given we probably at most will have 8 solid days (1 being at DisneySea). Daughter is trying to get us to add on 2 days in Seoul, she's a BTS fanatic! I don't see how that is even possible, though, given the timing.

    So here are 3 questions maybe you can answer having been recently ... what are food selections like for those who don't eat ANY seafood or fish (I'm allergic - not deathly, but get very sick when I consume any). I have a Japanese friend who already offered to write & laminate a card written in Japanese saying allergy for me! My 10-year old son also only eats "fish sticks" or tilapia that's been dipped in breading - i.e., a fried fish sandwich like at Arby's, or frozen costco tilapia! and he's unwilling to bend about trying any other seafood or fish. Hubby & daughter eat sushi, but it would only be a once type thing on vaca, they like their fish cooked all the way through. We eat a TON of middle eastern foods & Indian.

    And, you have teens, how did you feel safety-wise wandering around Japan? I've heard it is ridiculously safe, but I like to get a mom's opinion! ;-)

    Lastly, did you see any laundry facilities around where you stayed? Like laundromats where you could actually take a pile of clothes & wash them?

    The downside of going in November, is our clothes will be more bulky and I wouldn't want to try to handwash jeans or a sweater to trust it to dry in a hotel or Airbnb room.

    Thanks!
    heybets30,

    We did Tokyo/Kyoto/Hiroshima in roughly 10 days (June 2018) with just my wife and I and that was pretty tight even without kids. We easily could have added another day to each city and still not seen/done everything. We flew from Chicago on a Saturday and arrived into Narita just after 3pm on Sunday. Originally we thought we'd do TDL for the afternoon/night but we were so jetlagged that we ended up just walking around Ikspiari (the shopping area) on that first afternoon/night and doing a 3 day ticket with TDL on day 1 and TDS on day 2 with a hop day on day 3 to hit the highlights in both parks one last time. Then after two-ish days of general Tokyo sightseeing after Disney, we took the shinkansen (bullet train) from Tokyo to Kyoto using the JR pass (also splurged for the green car). Picking out an ekiben (bento box) for the train in the maze that is Tokyo station was a ton of fun. The train ride itself was very cool and highly recommended. On the subject of food, there is PLENTY of non-seafood options all over the place. Don't overlook convenience stores like 7-11, Lawsons, and Family Mart. The number of times where we opted to skip full sitdown meals and instead picked a bunch of random things out from a convenience store (which are everywhere) is more than I want to admit. In Tokyo at least, there's also a bunch of western fast food if you have someone who is scared to get out of their comfort zone.

    Safety-wise, I have to tell the story of our arrival in Kyoto. After off the bullet train we decided to take the local metro to get within a few blocks of our hotel and then walk the rest of the way. Being a pair of typical American tourists, here we are dragging our suitcases up and down the stairs at the stations and focused on trying not to get completely lost. So we get to our hotel and immediately crash on the bed to relax and as is habit, my wife immediately goes to grab her phone only to realize it is nowhere to be found. We know she had it on the bullet train and on the subway when we got on so it is either on a train running around Kyoto or it fell out of her pocket while we were hauling suitcases up the stairs in a station. We're from Chicago, so we figure that wherever it is, it's gone and we're not going to see it again. We tell the hotel staff the situation and they offer to help make a few calls to see what they can do. We describe the case and give them the phone number so they can try to call it to confirm its the right one if they find it. My wife is in tears at this point and the staff tells her not to worry and that it's very likely that someone will find it and turn it in at the closest station. They tell her, "you could drop a 10,000 yen note on the ground and someone will almost always pick it up and chase you down the street to return it". My wife still upset, we continue enjoying Kyoto for another day and a half before it's time to check out and head back to the bullet train to continue to Hiroshima. We check with the hotel staff one last time to see if there is any news and they say "no, but where are you going next and if it turns up we will send it to your next hotel". We give them the info and continue on to Hiroshima fully believing that's the end of that. Well, we're on the shinkansen for less than an hour before I get an email from our Kyoto hotel saying they found the phone and that they will be overnighting it at no cost to our next hotel. There's no way they found the right phone or it's destroyed beyond use, there's no way this story ends that happy. Sure enough, the next morning we are called down to the front desk at our Hiroshima hotel and they hand us a carefully wrapped package with a nearly pristine iphone inside. We could not believe it. This was a long-winded story but the point is, Japan has easily been the safest country we've traveled to and it is full of people who will literally drop whatever they are doing to help, especially if you look lost or in duress.

    For laundry, there are a ton of laundromats around. We just picked a random one (I think we just did a Google search when we were there) in Kyoto a few blocks from our hotel. The machines were not super easy to understand (very little, if any, english instructions) but we fumbled our way through a few loads. A very nice older Japanese gentleman tried to help us understand which washing machines needed detergent added and which ones did it for you but in the end, we just figured that it wouldn't hurt to put some in either way just in case we understood wrong. In another nod to safety and how safe we felt, this was well after dark in an area we knew nothing about and didn't speak the language and not for a minute did we ever feel unsafe. We NEVER would have done the same thing if we were just about anywhere else in the world. As long as you a smart about not making yourself a target by flashing a bunch of cash, wearing flashy jewelry, or being a drunken fool, you shouldn't feel unsafe.

    We loved Japan and are still talking about how we want to go back as soon as we can. As part of the same trip, we did China and Hong Kong but our time in Japan was by far the highlight. Maybe someday I'll get around to posting a full trip report including the thousands of pictures we took...
     

    heybets30

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 25, 2010
    Foxen08! Thanks so much for your input!! We can really only do a max of 7-8 days, we would do Tokyo & Kyoto with kids, my 10-year old is a very naive & semi immature young lad, so not prepared to bring him to Hiroshima - nor did we bring the kids to Pearl Harbor a few years ago on a Hawaii trip. My 13-year old still hasn't learned about WWII outside of the Holocaust. My husband and I would love to see this historical aspect of Hiroshima, but have to be realistic that our kids would be bored stiff (which is expected given the gravity of the history that they haven't learned yet). Given time constraints, it is the most logical to not visit.

    I've seen pics of the washer/dryers in Japan, and they are both confusing & entertaining at the same time (those that are the all-in-one). I really hope to try to travel lite if we do end up booking & try to do laundry. I don't sleep well on vacation, so It's not unusual for me to be doing laundry instead of sleeping.

    Daughter is DYING to do Seoul, South Korea, but we just can't swing the time this visit.

    What a story about the phone - that is CRAZY!!!!!!!!
     

    Foxen08

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    May 16, 2014
    Foxen08! Thanks so much for your input!! We can really only do a max of 7-8 days, we would do Tokyo & Kyoto with kids, my 10-year old is a very naive & semi immature young lad, so not prepared to bring him to Hiroshima - nor did we bring the kids to Pearl Harbor a few years ago on a Hawaii trip. My 13-year old still hasn't learned about WWII outside of the Holocaust. My husband and I would love to see this historical aspect of Hiroshima, but have to be realistic that our kids would be bored stiff (which is expected given the gravity of the history that they haven't learned yet). Given time constraints, it is the most logical to not visit.

    I've seen pics of the washer/dryers in Japan, and they are both confusing & entertaining at the same time (those that are the all-in-one). I really hope to try to travel lite if we do end up booking & try to do laundry. I don't sleep well on vacation, so It's not unusual for me to be doing laundry instead of sleeping.

    Daughter is DYING to do Seoul, South Korea, but we just can't swing the time this visit.

    What a story about the phone - that is CRAZY!!!!!!!!
    Honestly, the best part of Hiroshima wasn't the atomic bomb stuff (although that was extremely sobering/sad) but it was going to Itsukushima/Miyajima to see the floating torii gate. Being huge Disney people, we are very familiar with the replica at the Japan pavilion in EPCOT. As cool as the Florida version is, the real thing is even better. We were there long enough to watch the tide rise and fall to the point that when we arrived there were kyaks paddling through the gate and just a few hours later, you had people walking out and touching the gate while on dry ground. We also loved walking around the island and trying some really good food. The area is known for great seafood (although I know that's not your thing) and these really yummy maple cakes called Momiji. The cakes come in a bunch of flavors (fillings) and are otherworldly when they are still warm. There are also a bunch of "wild" deer that walk around the area who love to be fed by all the tourists. Similar to the deer in Nara, some will do "tricks" like bowing and then you reward them with a piece of food. They are totally harmless (if not annoying sometimes) but are avoidable if you don't want to roleplay as Snow White. The ferry from the mainland to the island does accept the JR railpass which is nice and the ride over is pretty. We went on a day with a ton of fog in the morning so the torii gate was hidden until the ferry got close to the port and then it just "appeared" and that was cool. While the atomic bomb park/museum was certainly a bucket list item to check off and see in person, there isn't that much to do there and shouldn't be the only thing you plan to do there if you go. The bullet train is so convenient, you could always do a day trip and just do Itsukushima/Miyajima (no atomic bomb stuff) and I think it would still be worth it. If you end up taking a streetcar from Hiroshima station (where the bullet train comes in) down to the atomic bomb park just to see it quickly (really just say you were there and see the dome), just make sure you remember to tap your Suica/Passmo card both when you get on and when you get off. We forgot to do it when we got on and then when we tapped to get off we had to get help from the girl running the streetcar to be charged correctly (it was crazy cheap). You could also just walk since it's less than a mile but the streetcar is an experience. I can totally understand not wanting to give up time elsewhere to do Hiroshima, and for sure there is plenty to do in Tokyo/Kyoto, but there is more to do than just the atomic bomb stuff if you're so inclined.
     

    bibbidibobbidibecky

    The Fairy Godblogger
    Joined
    May 12, 2009
    Wow! What a report!! LOVING IT!!!! We just started "seriously thinking about" a November 2020 trip - celebrate our 10/1/20 15th wedding anniversary and my 11/27/20 big 5-0. We'd bring the 2 kids with us, son who will be 11 & daughter weeks away from 14 when we go. We're at about 76% seriousness level. Japan looks VERY economical, excluding $1000+ airfare from Chicago. We were thinking of doing just Tokyo & Kyoto given we probably at most will have 8 solid days (1 being at DisneySea). Daughter is trying to get us to add on 2 days in Seoul, she's a BTS fanatic! I don't see how that is even possible, though, given the timing.

    So here are 3 questions maybe you can answer having been recently ... what are food selections like for those who don't eat ANY seafood or fish (I'm allergic - not deathly, but get very sick when I consume any). I have a Japanese friend who already offered to write & laminate a card written in Japanese saying allergy for me! My 10-year old son also only eats "fish sticks" or tilapia that's been dipped in breading - i.e., a fried fish sandwich like at Arby's, or frozen costco tilapia! and he's unwilling to bend about trying any other seafood or fish. Hubby & daughter eat sushi, but it would only be a once type thing on vaca, they like their fish cooked all the way through. We eat a TON of middle eastern foods & Indian.

    And, you have teens, how did you feel safety-wise wandering around Japan? I've heard it is ridiculously safe, but I like to get a mom's opinion! ;-)

    Lastly, did you see any laundry facilities around where you stayed? Like laundromats where you could actually take a pile of clothes & wash them?

    The downside of going in November, is our clothes will be more bulky and I wouldn't want to try to handwash jeans or a sweater to trust it to dry in a hotel or Airbnb room.

    Thanks!
    Hi and sorry for the late response... holidays got me :P I'll answer to the best of my ability!

    1.) I am a vegetarian, eat no meat (including fish) at all, not even broths. I did OK. It was not the easiest country to visit as a vegetarian, but it was fine. They do have a ton of seafood, but also a lot of pork and chicken. I think your kids will be just fine. There's always pizza and curry! Like ALWAYS curry. I don't recall seeing fish sticks or really much fried food other than french fries.

    2.) Japan felt so SO safe. I didn't let them wander alone, but I would have the older two with no problem.

    3.) In Kyoto there was a clothes washing facility right by our rental. I didn't see them elsewhere, but I feel certian they much exist since this one did.

    I think you should consider Hiroshima. With your age kids, it will be very impactful and they will love visiting Miyajima Island with the deer! I wasn't going to go, but am so happy we did. Both of my teens discussed Hiroshima in class this year and they were able to contribute in a very meaningful way to the conversation. You will love Japan!
     

    Piglet18

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Sep 13, 2008
    Hey, just popping on here quickly. I read your reports for DisneySea (fantastic!) and while stuck here in quarantine we're dreaming and planning...

    How was the use of English at the park? We've traveled a fair bit through Europe but never anywhere in Asia and are thinking of maybe a Tokyo trip... during which DisneySea would be a necessity of course. Did the cast members speak English? We get its a different country and everything; just like to be prepared.
     

    bibbidibobbidibecky

    The Fairy Godblogger
    Joined
    May 12, 2009
    Hey, just popping on here quickly. I read your reports for DisneySea (fantastic!) and while stuck here in quarantine we're dreaming and planning...

    How was the use of English at the park? We've traveled a fair bit through Europe but never anywhere in Asia and are thinking of maybe a Tokyo trip... during which DisneySea would be a necessity of course. Did the cast members speak English? We get its a different country and everything; just like to be prepared.
    Hi! I understand about dreaming and planning! It's almost all I've been doing :)

    We did not have an issue in our trip to any part of Asia. We really were concerned before going and it was not a problem. The fact that we knew how to say hello and thank you very much, made most Japanese people we met so happy they went out of their way to talk to us in English. I did have a Google translate app with a camera feature that I needed a few times, but not in the Disney parks at all.

    Thanks for reading and I'm happy to answer any questions!
     

    Piglet18

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Sep 13, 2008
    Hi! I understand about dreaming and planning! It's almost all I've been doing :)

    We did not have an issue in our trip to any part of Asia. We really were concerned before going and it was not a problem. The fact that we knew how to say hello and thank you very much, made most Japanese people we met so happy they went out of their way to talk to us in English. I did have a Google translate app with a camera feature that I needed a few times, but not in the Disney parks at all.

    Thanks for reading and I'm happy to answer any questions!
    Thanks so much! That helps a lot with the dreaming and planning! :)
     





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