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Review 22: Tokyo Secrets

3 Oct

I was recently given two e-books to review from the author.

They are: “Tokyo Disneyland and Disney Sea Secrets” and “7 Secrets to the Perfect Tokyo Cherry Blossom Festival Vacation“.

"Tokyo Disneyland and Disney Sea Secrets"

“Tokyo Disneyland and Disney Sea Secrets”

"7 Secrets to the Perfect Tokyo Cherry Blossom Festival Vacation"

“7 Secrets to the Perfect Tokyo Cherry Blossom Festival Vacation”

The author has lived in Tokyo and still continues to visit often.  Both books are full of helpful tips and useful advice to see the 桜 (Cherry Blossoms) in Japan…which are beautiful but have a short life. If you’re planning a trip here to see them, it could be difficult to decide on which dates to come.
The book “7 Secrets to the Perfect Tokyo Cherry Blossom Festival Vacation” helps with that and more.

The book “Tokyo Disneyland and Disney Sea Secrets” offers, as the title suggests, tips for visiting the Disney amusement parks near Tokyo.
Personally, I have never felt that it was particularly difficult to go to Tokyo Disneyland, but I suppose it could be stressful for first-time overseas visitors.
This e-book would be very helpful for them, I’m sure. One point where I would give contrary advice on is purchasing tickets…Japan has “discount ticket shops” all over the place. They sell all kinds of tickets…for movies, museums, concerts, sporting events, and amusement parks at discounted prices. I always buy tickets there.

Visit Tokyo-top-guide.com to purchase these books and for other helpful tips.

Tokyo with kids…

4 Feb

I’m often contacted by parents in various countries who are planning to visit Tokyo with their children…and ask me for suggestions for places to take them in this city.

So I thought it would be helpful for people who are planning to visit Tokyo with kids if I wrote a post with some places that are popular with kids in Tokyo.

So, in no particular order, here is a brief list of places in Tokyo to take kids:

Tokyo Disneyland and/or Tokyo Disney Sea

KiddylandOne of the giant toy stores in Tokyo. In Omotesando, near Harajuku.

Yamashiroya – Another giant toy store. Near Ueno train station.

Hakuhinkan – This giant toy store is in Ginza.

Odaiba – A driverless train takes you to this part of Tokyo.  Has a shopping center, cat-cafe, bicycle rental, a Statue of Liberty like the one in New York…but smaller, and a life-sizeGundam” robot.

gundam

Children’s Castle

Zoos and/or Aquariums – There are many excellent zoos and aquariums in and around Tokyo. This site tells the government-owned ones in Tokyo limits…there are more than these.

Tokyo Tower

Tokyo Sky Tree – At 634 meters tall, it’s the world’s tallest tower. It’s within walking distance of Asakusa.

I also sometimes give inexpensive (not much more than the cost of my train fare) walking tours of Tokyo to foreign visitors, when my schedule allows.

Feel free to contact me with this form if you need more information:

Disney Halloween

12 Sep

When I first came to Japan, there was no Halloween here.
But it’s become more and more popular in Japan over the years.

It’s different from Halloween in America though. Japanese kids don’t knock on their neighbors doors to “trick ‘r treat” for candy.

There are Halloween parades and some shopping malls let kids “trick ‘r treat” from store to store.

One of the most popular Halloween event in Tokyo is Tokyo Disneyland’s Halloween theme.
It starts in September and goes til October 31st (Tokyo Disney’s X-mas theme starts right after).

halloween

The Happiness Year

15 Apr

Tokyo Disneyland opened on 1983 April 15th … thirty years ago today.

image

I can’t believe how fast time flies!
When I first came to Japan, Tokyo Disneyland was only seven years old.

Tokyo Disneyland is calling this year, 2013, the “Happiness Year”.

Have you ever been to Tokyo Disneyland or any of the world’s Disney parks?

Disneyland for half-price

28 May

From 2011 July 8 until August 31, 「東京ディズニーリゾート」 (Tokyo Disney Resort), which is the collective name for Tokyo Disneyland and it’s neighboring Tokyo Disney Sea together, will offer their one-day passport tickets for children between the ages of four to eleven for half-price (children under four are always admitted for free).

This is the first time Tokyo Disney has cut their prices like this. The reason they’re offering this special bargain is to help raise the spirits of children in Japan since the devastating earthquake last March.

Tokyo Disney Resort‘s “one-day passport” is valid for one park or the other (not both) for one entire day.

The price for the “one-day passport” is normally ¥6,200 (about US$76.68) for ages 18-59, ¥5,500 (about US$68.02) for ages 60 and over, ¥5,300 (about US$65.55) for ages 12-17, and ¥4,100 (about US$50.70) for kids aged 4-11.

But from July 8 – August 31, the kids “one-day passport” will be reduced to ¥2,050 (about US$25.35).

This doesn’t affect me since my kids are all too old for the reduced ticket price…but if you have young kids and you’ll be in the Tokyo area in July or August of this year, you should consider taking advantage of this half-price ticket.

卒業式

19 Mar

Today was my second daughter’s 中学校の卒業式 (junior high school graduation ceremony).

In early April (after Spring Break), she’ll start high school.

Last year at this time, my oldest daughter graduated from junior high. (Click here to read the post I wrote about that day).

In America, high school starts at grade nine…but in Japan, elementary school is six years (America is only five), then three years of junior high, and three years of high school.
It totals twelve years just like in America but high school in Japan starts at the equivalent to grade ten in the U.S.

Last week she and her friends from school went to Tokyo Disneyland together.

Tokyo Disneyland was having it’s annual 「春のキャンパスデー」 (“Campus Day”).

This promotion is from 2010 January 4 – March 19.
So it ended today.

On Campus Day, students can buy a 「キャンパスデーパスポート」 (“Campus Day Passport“) to enter the park at a discounted price.

The price for junior high and high school students is usually ¥5,000 but during this campaign it’s only ¥4,000 for them.
College students usually pay ¥5,800 admission to Tokyo Disney, but on Campus Day the price is ¥4,500.
Of course, to qualify for these discount prices students must show their student ID card.

I grew up in Florida. Not too far from Orlando Disney World, but I’m not sure if they have “Campus Day Passports” there or not.

Have you ever been to any of the Disney parks in the world? What types of sale promotions do they have?

About five years ago, Tokyo Disneyland began going by the name “Tokyo Disney Resort because they built a second park.

So Tokyo Disney Resort comprises both Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo Disney Sea.
They are next to each other, but they’re two separate parks.

————

So, at my daughter’s junior high school, the students who graduated today are now on Spring Break.
They’ll start high school in a few weeks.

My other two daughters have another week of school before their spring break starts.
But this is a three-day weekend. Monday is 「春分の日」 (Spring Equinox), which is a holiday in Japan.

Already 15

11 Jan

Today is my second daughter’s fifteenth birthday.
They grow up so fast!

Also today is 「鏡開き」 (Kagami-biraki). They day to eat 「お汁粉」 (O-shiruko)…which is a traditional bean and mochi dish.
We had it for breakfast today.

In addition, today is the Japanese holiday 「成人の日」 (Adults Day). It’s the day for young people in Japan who are twenty years old (an adult now) to dress up in suit or kimono and attend a special ceremony…after which they usually go somewhere with their friends (Tokyo Disneyland is popular).

So, if you’re in Japan today, you’ll see many young adults dressed in kimono.

Yesterday one of my favorite TV shows aired.
It’s called 「欽ちゃん&香取慎吾の全日本仮装大賞」 (Kinchan & Shingo Katori’s All-Japan Costume Talent Contest).
This show airs only twice a year.

One of the best skits, I thought, was called 「腹ペコのカエル」 (“The Hungry Frog“).
In it, the father was the frog’s “tongue” and his two very young kids were a bumble-bee and a lady-bug.
The “lady-bug” was nervous and cried and didn’t want to participate. Her father tried to lure her with a cookie.
It was cute.
Here it is:

In the end, this family didn't win any of the prizes…but I still thought it was one of the best.

Click here to read my post about my favorite TV shows.

Click here to read my post about 「欽ちゃん&香取慎吾の全日本仮装大賞」 (Kinchan & Shingo Katori’s All-Japan Costume Talent Contest).

Click here to read my post about 「鏡開き」 (Kagami-biraki)…and it also has a video from last year’s 「欽ちゃん&香取慎吾の全日本仮装大賞」 (Kinchan & Shingo Katori’s All-Japan Costume Talent Contest) show.

Click here to read my post about 「成人の日」 (Adults Day).