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My first trip to Japan, FINALLY!


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  • [Question] My first trip to Japan, FINALLY!

    It's been a long couple years of trying to figure out the logistics (mostly financial), but I've finally booked a flight to Japan! I leave December 30th, arrive on the 31st, and depart the evening of January 9th. Not a ton of time, but it's about all I can afford right now. I'd rather go less days and have a great time then go for more days and have to watch what I spend.

    The plan for now is to stay in Tokyo for the first 2 nights, then head out of town for a couple days (Osaka, Kyoto, Hiroshima), and then return for the final 4 nights. Plan is on the final leg to spend a day over at Disney Tokyo Sea!

    I need advice. I'm guessing it would be less crowded on a Thursday as opposed to a Friday or Saturday, right? Any hints tips about getting the most out of my day? Restaurants? Thinking of doing lunch in the park, and then dinner maybe at one of the nice restaurants at the hotel, since the hours that week for DisneySea are 10a-7p.

    Do you think I can manage around that time to do everything in the park?

    Any tips would be greatly appreciated. I'm so excited!!!

  • #2
    Re: My first trip to Japan, FINALLY!

    What I was looking at originally for meals was S.S. Columbia Dining Room for lunch, and then maybe Oceano or Canna for dinner.


    • #3
      Re: My first trip to Japan, FINALLY!

      Itinerary wise:
      Head to Journey to the Center of the Earth get a Fastpass and ride Journey (try to ride on the right side of the vehicle, more happens on that side).
      Ride 20k Leagues under the Sea (dont forget to use the light to look around during the ride)
      Use Fastpass and ride Journey again
      Head to Indiana Jones and get a Fastpass
      Ride Temple coaster
      Use Fastpass and Ride Indy (Take your time through the queue...soak it ALL in)
      Head to Arabian Coast. Experience Genie show, Carousel and Arabian Night
      Explore Mermaid Lagoon and make sure you watch the Mermaid Show
      Then make sure and WATCH ALL THE STAGE and WATER SHOWS ****
      Aquatopia looks and rides great at night
      Save Tower of Terror till night

      I liked having a sandwich and a drink at the Roosevelt room in the SS Columbia.

      It's quite nice and not too expensive
      Last edited by Brisal73; 10-13-2009, 11:18 PM.


      • #4
        Re: My first trip to Japan, FINALLY!

        Im not sure of what to do when. I have only been once. :-) My advice in general is, if you can sit for a bit in the different areas just so you can take it all in. Why I suggest this, is so you don't run though all the areas trying to see everything and miss what you are running through.

        Time change got me the first few mornings. I was up at 3:00 am Tokyo time, ready to go. I took some time getting ready and was up and out in the hotel at 5:00. Got some great photos the sun raise. I can't say I got tired early, due to I was running on excitement. There is a ton to see and its so overwhelming. I keep saying to myself, I ca't believe I am actually here. lol

        Someone here can confirm this. But I think at TDR, you want to shop as you go though the park. Due to things can sell out as the day goes. It will also help you save time.

        To save some time, we ate a really good breakfast, a light lunch and then a good dinner. Oh and i forget the name of them, but there is some and for give me for refering to it as a hotdog. There is something at TDS that is like a hotdog, that I read before our trip had a long line. We happen to be walking over by Center of the Earth about 7:00pm and the line was short. We weren't hungry but got one anyways. It was really good. Sorry I forget what the name is.
        Duffeteer Society of Tenders, Artists & Romantics
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        :love:Bringing the Love since January 10, 2011:love:


        • #5
          Re: My first trip to Japan, FINALLY!

          Hello mkm1998!
          Don't forget that the New Years event is from Jan.1 through the 5th which would be nice to catch! Regarding the restaurants I would recommend Magellan's over S.S. Columbia although both are nice. If you opt for Magellan's it would be nice to try to get the wine cellar room but even if it is full if you ask they will show it to you. Canna and Oceano are both great but I feel the atmosphere and design of Oceano is much more lovely! Check out the free Dining magazine (just ask at the hotel restaurants) when you get here or DisneyFan because some of the menu theming can be very fun which could help you decide as well! Unfortunately both BBB! and One man's will both be lotto by that time but if you need extra chances my husband and I will be glad to help out and give you another chance with our tickets. There are also lucky times for the lotto and we will know more about it when it starts so that will help your odds as well! Have fun planning your trip!
          Please follow me @dreamsweetslove on twitter!


          • #6
            Re: My first trip to Japan, FINALLY!

            Magellans is very nice- I've yet to try eating in the Miracosta. I usually enjoy dining in Vulcania- its more Chinese style food. The Zambini Brothers is good too in Mediterranean Harbor if you like Italian. I've tried eating at the Columbia as well, but wasn't too thrilled by their menu options.

            I'm not into seafood, but my friend absolutely loves the creamed scallop sandwitch in Mermaid Lagoon.

            I was surprised by the park hours, closing at 7p- I always thought the park was open till 10pm year round, but never really checked into it. The park usually clears out after Braviseamo, but check the schedule as well to see if it's playing while you're there. Braviseamo is good, but don't miss Mythica in the lagoon during the day.

            One last thing- if you enjoy shopping for merchandise, make sure you get into the shops around park closing since they usually close the doors about 10 or 15 min after park closing- you have no problem shopping once you're in there, but you won't get in once they shut the doors.

            If you want to make the most of your day, you may actually be better off eating in the hotel- that way you can enjoy the park till closing & dine after 7pm-once the park closes.

            If you really want to splurge, but it isn't too cheap- you can always buy a starlight pass to Disneyland- but you will only get a few hours out of it.

            Either way- enjoy yourselves. Two days at the resort may be better if you can do it- but if you only have 1 day- Disney Sea is the way to go.


            • #7
              Re: My first trip to Japan, FINALLY!

              Thanks for the suggestions guys! Since I'm slowly learning more and more about this trip, let me see if I can give you a little bit more details. I don't exactly know everything, because this was all sprung on me a couple days ago. My folks just surprised me on Saturday with the news. Only reason they warned me this early was because this is everyone's X-Mas/Hanukkah, and me and my Dad's birthday gifts all rolled into one. I realized how expensive this trip is going to be, so I offered to pick the tab for the entire day in Disney Sea for the Family.

              So we leave from LAX on December 30th, Arrive in Japan around 5-5.30p on the 31st. We're gonna be exhausted that first day getting through customs and everything, so plan is to just eat somewhere at the hotel. We're only staying 2 nights in Tokyo during the first leg, so only one day to explore. We were told the 1st is one of only two days a year that the emperor's castle is open to the public, so we're going to try and brave that, plus visit a temple or two as we're being advise that is the thing to do on the 1st. If we have more time, then we might try to make it up to Mt. Fuji.

              On January 2nd we pack our bags and head over to Kyoto. Believe we're staying 4 nights there. Spend 2 days exploring Kyoto, 1 day at Hiroshima, and another day in Osaka. Then it's back to Tokyo for the last 3-4 nights.

              Okay, back to a couple more questions:

              ichigopara: What is BBB? I'm gonna go through some of the restaurants with my folks and we'll see what they think. Is there any place I can find menus online?

              jedimaster7313: Yea I was shocked at the 7p closing too. But that's exactly the plan. To plan on dinner around 7.30-8 at one of the nearby hotels. I would totally splurg for a Twilight pass if Tokyo Disneyland was open past 7p, but I feel we're going to end up needing all 9 hours at DisneySea.

              Also, maybe I should ask everyone here about intensity on rides. I'm sure I'll be find (I can handle everything at Six Flags except Superman), but my folks are another issue. Was thinking if I give you a good guideline of what they can and can't handle in the US, you could maybe warn us of anything they might want to avoid. Haha, I would hate to cause an international incident.

              My mom handles Splash Mountain, Tower of Terror, and Revenge of the Mummy fine. Anything that goes upside down she can't handle. Will not do California Screamin'. Will not even do Space Mountain because 'It's too dark and too fast'. Used to be able to do Thunder Mountain no problem, now it takes some coaxing on my part, haha.

              My dad is the real problem. Will not do ANY mountains at Disneyland. We got him on Splash Mountain once, but he vowed never again. It's not the speed, as he loves Test Track, but he doesn't like any drops at all.

              From what I saw the only two high intensity rides were Journey to the Center of the Earth and Indy. How does Indy compare to the Anaheim version? How intense is Journey? Is there anything else there I should warn them about?

              Thank you so much guys! My only complaint about this trip is that I can't do everything! There is just no way we can squeeze in Nagano or Sapporo. There's always next trip!


              • #8
                Re: My first trip to Japan, FINALLY!

                Indiana Jones at DisneySea is not very different from the one at Disneyland. It has a different theme (Central America vs India) and some special effects are altered and/or enhanced due to it being built after- for example the rat room has been completely replaced with a superior "fireball" effect. The great thing is that both are special in their own way; you should enjoy it just as much as the Disneyland version.

                Journey to the Center of the Earth is not intense at all. It has just the right amount of thrills to please almost every age group (I've seen 70+ seniors on it). The acceleration at the end peaks at around 45 mph or so and forces you over a drop similar to Splash Mountain's. It is very smooth, but you will get a decent amount of airtime. If I had to choose one attraction in the park, this would be it.

                Tower of Terror is much smoother and milder than the other versions due to the straps in the seats. The preshow and queue are far better than the other versions though. And the storyline is completely unique.

                I also want to echo the recommendation for Magellan's. It is the finest and most elegant restaurant in the resort, with amazing food and a great wine list. The MiraCosta has some fantastic restaurants too. BellaVista Lounge is very relaxing with its panoramic views of the harbor, and Oceano and Silk Road Garden are both upscale experiences. The decor at Oceano is modern while Silk Road Garden is more traditional.
                Arabian Coast at nighttime ~


                • #9
                  Re: My first trip to Japan, FINALLY!

                  Don't forget to get a "gyoza dog" in the Mysterious Island!

                  I forget what they call those really, but just look for the line.


                  • #10
                    Re: My first trip to Japan, FINALLY!

                    I would advise you to avoid eating in the hotel restaurants. They are overpriced and the portions are tiny. There are better restaurants in Ikspiari, such as the Korean Barbeque (the Japanese call it Yakiniku) and Imahan (for shabu-shabu or sukiyaki).

                    In Tokyo DisneySea, I recommend Ristorante di Canaletto very highly--it's not as horrifically expensive as Magellan's and the food is more substantial (and far better than any other Italian food at the park). Avoid Zambini Brothers. I would also avoid Vulcania--it's a scramble-style tray sliding restaurant where the food is pre-cooked and sitting in steam tables. You'll do better for Chinese food at any restaurant where you live.

                    If your father doesn't like the drop in Splash Mountain, he will hate the drop in Journey to the Center of the Earth even though the ride is the highlight of the park. However, you can show him the drop in advance because it's the one part of the ride that is exposed. Just stand inside the volcano and watch the track--then let him decided if he wants to go on it. Needless to say, he won't like Tower of Terror, either. But, hey, if he wants to sit on a bench while you guys have fun, don't let him slow you down. The rest of you really do need to go on those two rides if you're going to get the most out of DisneySea.
                    Born in a shoebox and making the most of it.


                    • #11
                      Re: My first trip to Japan, FINALLY!

                      My advise is to not expect the same guest behaviors or the same management style of operation as those of the US parks. Here.. guests wait early before park's opening and they run to get fastpasses right away. There are a lot of unique aspects to TDR's operation that guests need to be awared of.. like the show lottos, and how important is to arrive early so you can do fastpass from morning till dawn (or until they run out). Lines are long here. There are also a lot of unique and lavish shows and parades and you must take time to enjoy that aspect of TDR parks.. as their shows/parades are the best produced and biggest of any Disney park on Earth. Take time to shop for uniquely TDR gifts and try some of their interesting food choices and snacks from carts around the park. Do not be shocked to see long lines for popcorn. Etc etc. There is so much you newbies need to learn about TDR... it is overwhelming.


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