Sunday, May 27, 2012

Tokyo Disney and Dragonboat races

We got to see the Dragonboat races in Naha as part of Golden Week, a series of holidays in Japan. May 5, while Cinco de Mayo in the states (not so much in Mexico) is boys' day here. They hang fish streamer kites that, as the carp represents strength, represent boys. We lucked out that May 5th was a Saturday this year, and sunny, and we got to go and see this.

If you have the time to devote, you can even join one of the teams.

The next day we flew to Tokyo, took the bus to the New Sanno hotel in downtown Hiroo by Roppongi, about a block away from the temple

The day after that we went to Tokyo Disney Sea, and as Golden Week just ended, the park was not full at all. A lot of the rides we jumped right on and ran back around to ride a second time.
The big blue world

The undersea kingdom

Our daughter got to meet the resident celebrity princess, and as all of the princesses were American, they had a great chat.

We spent some time in Aladdin's neck of the ocean...

Then we went to the main harbor to watch Mythica, a very Japanese show, as seen below with the bright colors and amazing visuals. Check out the killer dragon jet ski.

These Dragonboats put the Naha ones to shame. See the random Donald to tie it in to Disney? Without him it's kind of its own thing.

The Nautilus, the 20,000 Leagues under the sea ride was excellent.

Not just rides, they had a castle and a ship to play in and on. In this model of the solar system we could move the planets around in their orbit by turning the cranks at the bottom.

Our son could fire the cannon.

 At night they did Fantasmic in the central lake.
It was very cool.

We spent the next two days at Tokyo Disneyland. It was very similar to Magic Kingdom

Aren't they cute?
Japan in It's a Small World. Those are the carp streamers I was talking about.

The top one looks like any parade, but the bottom is very Japanese. Think they're natural blondes?

We got to go in Cinderella's castle, and they even let the kids on her throne.
Not always the happiest place on Earth. Someone needed a nap at this point.
Since Tokyo Disney is owned by the Japanese (Disney sold it to them) the parades all have sponsors. I thought it was an amazing electric light parade.

 Our daughter stood out in the crowd, and she got a special smile and wave from every princess that passed.
As you could see with Pete's Dragon in the parade and Robin Hood here, it was cool to see a lot of the older, rarely seen characters from when we were kids. Our kids definitely liked it.

We can't say enough how cool it was to have American princesses. They we so sweet to our daughter and so happy to talk to her.

 Our son thinks Captain Hook is the end all and be all, so it was most excellent when we ran into him and Mr. Smee.

Color coordinating on the play ground.
So I thought this was hilarious, it was in Minnie's house over in Toon Town where the kids were playing. Another thing I don't think you would see in Disney in the states.

We rode Pirates a ton, then ended our last day in the park with a little window shopping.
Very fun.
Our last day in Tokyo we spent at the temple, the park nearby and Shibuya crossing, which is like their Times Square, and right down the street from our hotel.
The beautiful Tokyo Temple, and just about two blocks from the hotel (right by the subway station, and across from an amazing park).

For some reason the red leaves always remind me of Japan. The kids really loved it, and you would never know that your were in the heart of a major city. I love London and New York, but it is really hard to beat the way Tokyo feels. It's because the Japanese are so orderly, clean, and respectful.

Pretty amazing. Our kids are troopers and put up with a lot to be pulled all over, that was why we tried to make this trip about them for the most part. Dad wanted to see Shibuya, though. I can tell you that it feels a lot safer than Times Square. Smells better, too. Anyway, thus ended another great trip, solidifying my love of Disney and Japan.