With only a few days left in our Japanese family adventure, we raced back to Tokyo. Our first night back in the city we stayed at ROBOT HOTEL. It was a bit of an adventure of its own as it took a couple of subways and a very expensive taxi. A fact we failed to discover was that there is more than one ROBOT HOTEL in Tokyo! After a lot of searching, we hailed a taxi and we became quite optimistic as he stated he knew right where the hotel was located. He dropped us off and we went inside to check in…wrong robot hotel! Second cab also stated he knew where to go so, although we were hesitant and I felt defeated, we piled in and motored off into the city. Thirty minutes later, we were at another robot hotel. Success! We were checked in by two T-Rex robots! They were the only robots at the robot hotel. Once we met them, the hotel was like any other in Japan.
We awoke refreshed, ate a quick breakfast, and hailed a taxi. Destination? Tokyo Disney with the Hilton Tokyo Bay as our home for the next two nights. We were ready for the creature comforts of a luxury hotel and easy access to Disney on the Tokyo Disney Monorail (Where my heart was stolen! See my blog “My Heart was Stolen on the Tokyo Disney Monorail” July 30, 2019). Our bags safely stored at the hotel, we headed to Tokyo Disney Sea.
Our first ride was Toy Story Mania…I love that ride! We waited in line close to two hours because all the Express Passes were gobbled up before we had a chance to find a machine! We managed to make it on several rides and see several attractions that day: Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Crystal Skull, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Journey to the Center of the Earth, and Melissa did a solo stint on the Tower of Terror! And we did most of them the old fashioned way: standing in line for longer than the ride actually lasts! Back at the Hilton that night, we had a delicious Chinese feast.
Next day, we were back on the monorail to Tokyo Disneyland. We arrived at the park just before it opened to find the rainy entrance area packed with people and umbrellas. The gates opened and everyone rushed inside only to be stopped just inside the park. Everyone was squeezed in like a can of sardines. None of us could see why we were banned from continuing into the park. I pushed up near the front and I could see open spaces and the Star Wars ride that I really wanted to experience. Then the flood gates opened with rain and people rushing up stream to the Star Wars: Star Tours Fast Pass Machine! All hell broke loose when those barriers were lifted! We had our first Fast Passes of the day! Using those passes and still standing in long lines, the rides and attractions that day included Monsters Inc. Ride and Go Seek, Star Wars Star Tours, Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters, Pirates of the Caribbean, Jungle Cruise Wildlife Expedition, Haunted Mansion, and Space Mountain. That evening we were mesmerized by the Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade. It was an umbrella kind of day with rain off and on, but we had a great time at both parks!
In the morning we said sayonara to Disney and the bay and headed to central Tokyo for the next two nights. One of the stops on these last two days that I was looking forward to was Sengakuji Temple, where the 47 Ronin are interred. The true story of the 47 Ronin is legendary and the Ako Incident is the greatest samurai example of Japanese loyalty and revenge. The legend of the 47 samurai and their loyalty to their master is inspirational and heartbreaking (See my blog “Tokyo Part Three: 47 Ronin” Feb. 10, 2019).
Rounding out our time in Tokyo, we headed to Ginza to do some shopping. While in the Ginza District, we came across a Nissan dealer with some prototypes on display and we could not pass up the chance to check them out!
One of our last dinners was at a Mexican cafe near our hotel. I had eaten their several times before and it was really good, so it was a must stop for us on this last night in Tokyo together. We should have passed it up as our meal that night was fairly questionable. The service was lousy and the food was either cold or so over-cooked that it was inedible. Very disappointing.
Our last few days in Tokyo raced by us like the Nozomi Shinkansen. Nozomi is Japanese for hope or wish, and we were all wishing we had more time together. Our family adventure in Japan brought us together and gave us a fun filled two weeks of exploration together. Sure we had a few hiccups along the way: train station debates, restaurant and food debates, aggressive deer in Nara, I had several phone mishaps, and Judy lost her airline pillow, some of us walk faster than others, but we had a great time just being together as a family. I cherish those unplanned slow downs over a tea, coffee, or beer, breakfast chats, and just being with the people who really know you…people with whom you share a history…family. We are truly blessed that we were able to spend time with the people we love. It was hard to say goodbye, so we just said, “Sayonara, until we are together again!”
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