On our way back to Tokyo we stopped on one of the road stops between Osaka & Nagoya. I love high way stops in Japan because the little shops frequently sell unique wagashi and other souvenirs. This stop was especially cute as it had it’s own Tankuki Ninja mascot. I loved them so much I had to get a little Tanuki Ninja figurine of my own to take home. While taking pictures I chatted a bit with an elderly Japanese man about the tanuki. We were both equally excited about these cuties!
Back in Tokyo we stayed at Tokyo Bay Tokyu Hotel (address: 7 Chome-2-3 Hinode, Urayasu, Chiba 279-0013, Japan ). It’s one of the hotels that caters heavily to visitors to the Disneyland Tokyo Resort. Initially we really wanted to stay in one of the special rooms at Disney Resort Hotel ,such as the Beauty and the Beast Room, but as we were booking last minute there were no convenient days where we could stay there without having to change rooms/hotels. Out of convenience we opted out of this idea. Tokyo Bay Hotel was a great stay. We had a very specious room with a sea view which was really relaxing and gorgeous. We could also see Mt. Fuji through our room’s window ,although it was a bit hidden behind some buildings. The hotel had a small combini in the basement, vast breakfast buffet area and it’s own shuttle service taking guests to Disneyland and Disney Sea. Overall, it was objectively one of the best hotels we stayed at on our Japan trips thus far.
As I have written in the Osaka/Universal Studios post, I do not actually recommend visiting Disneyland or any other major American attraction park if you are visiting Japan for the first/short time unless you are a particularly big Disney fan or something. I just see it as a waste of a day to go to one of the most American places in the world in Japan which has heaps of fun and unique experiences to offer. Personally, I’d consider myself a pretty big Disney fan but this was my first time actually going to the parks while in Japan. It just never seemed worth my limited time before.
We visited both Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea. It was incredibly busy and we didn’t get to go on many rides. Especially not on the unique ones such as the Pooh’s Hunny Hunt etc. I am just not someone who wants to stand two hours in freezing cold (and rain while we were at Disney Sea) to experience something for less than a minute. My rule of que is usually, no fast pass? won’t waint longer than half an hour. Many of the rides we had already taken before but still went anyway just because of shorter waiting times. Even just to get Mickey churros you end up standing in a line for ages. Eating at the nicer restaurant is near impossible without pre-booking either. Maybe I’m spoiled, because in EuroDisney you still get some periods in a year where you can visit the parks and not just be stuck in crowds at every step (which I heard is pretty much non-existent any more in Tokyo and Florida) so perhaps I just expected to have a more pleasant time based on my previous Disney experience but after the initial excitement caused by my love of Disney it was pretty disappointing. It didn’t help that during our trip the Cinderella’s Castle, the most iconic part & symbol of the park, was under construction. It just kind of took away some of the magic despite all the beautiful Christmas decorations. Tokyo Disney Sea was kind of underwhelming to me maybe because people hype it up so much. I loved the Aladdin area and it is all overall really pretty but I don’t really understand the hype behind this park? Maybe because I’m just not all that interested in the rides but rather the experience as a whole and part of what made Disneyland fun for me to begin with is the feeling of being in the universe a little bit. The magic was not quite there for me but maybe it was just because of all the rain and insane crowds… Perhaps, I’d need to give this park ago again one day (though I’m not planning to return any time soon.) In the end we mostly did a lot of shopping. I got a lot of cute Disneyland kitchen supplies. When it comes to merch Japan definitely does a way better job at it than Paris. I wish I could say something more positive but it really wasn’t as magical of an experience for me the way Eurodisney was. Perhaps one major thing was seeing the Christmas/Winter parade. The parades are my favorite thing about Disney right behind meeting the cast and eating mickey shaped foods so that was great to see even without the beautiful castle in the background.