Tag Archives: Tokyo DisneySea

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).

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All in one weekend

22 Oct

I had a busy couple of days this past weekend.
First of all, my family and I went to Tokyo Disneyland together. My kids like the Disney Halloween that is done during the month of October at Tokyo Disneyland.

I also got my driver’s license renewed since it was going to expire next month.

When I was a teenager in Florida I had a U.S. (Florida) driver’s license but I didn’t live in America long enough to need to have it renewed…so I’m not sure where it is easier, America or Japan, to renew a license.
And, actually, my Florida driver license has expired years ago…I have had a Japanese driver’s license for many years but not a U.S. one!

Anyways, I have a “gold license“…so it is the easiest (and least expensive) of the Japanese driver’s licenses to renew.

“What is a gold license“, you ask?

In Japan, driver’s licenses have a stripe that is one of three colors…either green, blue or gold.
A “green license” is a “beginner driver”. These drivers must have a special decal on their car that identifies them as a beginner driver. This license is valid of three years (my oldest daughter has this one now).

A “blue license” is a regular “operator’s license”.

And a “gold license” is a “safe driver“. This license, as I mentioned, is the quickest, easiest and least expensive to renew. It only takes about one hour from the time I walk in the driver license office til I exit with my renewed license.
Also, a “gold driver” pays less for automobile insurance.

As a sidenote, in Japan, if you take a driver license exam with an automatic-transmission car, then that’s the only type you’ll be licensed to drive.
I took my exam years ago with a standard transmission (“stick shift”) car…so I can legally drive both a manual transmission or an automatic. My license also allows me to drive an eight-ton truck.

While I was in the driver’s license office I noticed a poster advertising Tokyo’s bid for the 2020 Olympics.

It says “The 2020 Olympics / Paralympics in Japan!”

I wrote a post about Tokyo’s bid for the 2016 Olympics (that was ultimately unsuccessful).
Click here to read it…it has the official promotion video for the bid campaign.

And finally, my wife and I went to a festival.

There were lumberjacks at this festival that put on a log-rolling show.
Very entertaining!

They also put on a “strong man demonstration“.
At one point they put heavy hay stacks, barrels and a small boat on a man’s chest…and then three other men climbed onto the boat while it was on the man’s chest!

Ultraman was there too!

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.

東京ディズニーランドの写真

25 Apr

Last weekend, my daughters went to 東京ディズニーランド (Tokyo Disneyland) together. They took their young six-year-old cousin with them.

While the four of them were at the amusement park, my wife and I went to IKEA (I wrote about that last week. Click here to read it.)

Here are some of the photos that my daughters took (I’m not posting any of the photographs that have my kids or niece in them):

The Tokyo Disney Resort bus

The Tokyo Disney Resort bus

"Daisy Duck"

"Daisy Duck"

"Pooh-san"

"Pooh-san"

A statue of Walt Disney and Mickey with Cinderella's Castle in the background.

A statue of Walt Disney and Mickey with Cinderella's Castle in the background.

"Buzz Lightyear"

"Buzz Lightyear"

++++++++++

I’m sure you’ve heard in the news about the recent outbreak of a new epidemic in Mexico that has spread to America.
It’s a 豚インフルエンザ (Swine (Pig) Flu)!

First, there was “Mad Cow“, then the “Bird Flu“…and now it’s pigs. Will fish be next?

Japan did a pretty good job of keeping the mad cow and bird flu out of this country. Hoping this new swine flu won’t spread here either!

++++++++++

Anyways, “Golden Week” has officially started today. Students still have school and most people still have to work until Thursday…but some people get to begin their holidays today.
As with most people though, my family all have our Golden Week holidays from next Saturday (May 2) until Wednesday (April 6)…plus this Wednesday (April 29) is off too (But, Thursday (April 30) and Friday (May 1) are work days).

Wednesday, April 29 is 昭和の日 (Showa Day). (It used to be 緑の日 (Greenery Day)).
Sunday, May 3 is 憲法記念日 (Constitution Day).
Monday, May 4 is now 緑の日 (Greenery Day). (It used to be 国民記念日 (Residents Day).
And Tuesday, May 5 is 子供の日 (Children’s Day).

Because 憲法記念日 (Constitution Day) is on a Sunday this year, it’s observed on Tuesday, May 6.
So most people’s Golden Week is from Saturday May 2 – Tuesday May 6.

apr-may

Click here to read my FAQ about the Golden Week holidays.

Also, this year (2009) in Japan, there will be a second Golden Week in September!
This is because 敬老の日 (Respect For The Aged Day) is on the third Monday of September…and 秋分の日 (Autumn Equinox) is on September 23.

This year, the third Monday of September will be on September 21. So since September 21 and 23 will be off…the government made September 22 between them a day-off too.
So, many people will have Saturday, September 19 until Wednesday, September 23 off…a second Golden Week.

sept

Xmas time

23 Dec

It’s Christmas time…and Xmas is celebrated in Japan, but not to the extent that it is in Western countries.
In Japan, New Years is the biggest holiday. Actually, Xmas isn’t a legal holiday here…I mean, it’s a work day (unless it falls on the weekend).

In Japan, クリスマス (Christmas) is mainly for couples and families with children.
Couples often go on a date to look and クリスマス・イルミネーション (Xmas illumination).
(Click here to visit a website that shows many places around Japan to see クリスマス・イルミネーション (Xmas illumination). (That site’s in 日本語 (Japanese) only)).

And they may also go to 東京ディズニーリゾート (Tokyo Disneyland or Tokyo DisneySea) for the Disney Christmas event that they have there (of course, this is less popular with couples who aren’t in the Tokyo area).

Families with children may also go to 東京ディズニーリゾート (Tokyo Disneyland or Tokyo DisneySea), if they’re in this area.

But in Japan, most homes aren’t decorated for Xmas…especially uncommon are Christmas trees. Stores and shopping malls, on the other hand, are very decorated for Christmas from November until Xmas day (after that, the decorations quickly change to the more important New Years decorations).

In Japan, Santa Clause will leave presents near the pillows of young children in Japan on Christmas Eve. On average, Japanese children receive fewer Xmas presents than children in Western countries.

On Christmas Day, it’s popular for families to have a Christmas dinner. But it’s different from Xmas dinners in other countries.
When Japanese people think of Christmas dinner, most think of Kentucky Fried Chicken® and a strawberry poundcake that is called クリスマス・ケーキ (Christmas cake).

Kentucky Fried Chicken® started a campaign about thirty years ago at Christmastime by decorating their shops for the holiday and offering set meals advertised as American style Christmas dinners.
And now, on Christmas Day, Kentucky Fried Chicken® always has long lines outside their stores and their deliverymen are driving all around town on the Kentucky Fried Chicken® mopeds.

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The KFCパーティ・バーレル」 (“Party Barrel“):

kfc-barrel

At Christmastime, KFC Japan even sells 1% alcohol bottles of “Christmas champagne”.

Kentucky Fried Chicken® isn’t the only ones busy at Christmas in Japan, cake shops have lines of customers buying the クリスマス・ケーキ (Christmas cakes):

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Mickey is 80

21 Nov

It’s probably safe to say that nearly everyone knows who Mickey Mouse® is.
The world-famous American cartoon character was created by Walt Disney and made his movie debut in the cartoon titled “Steamboat Willie” on November 18, 1928. Eighty years ago last Tuesday.

Have you ever been to any of the Disneyland® amusement parks?

I believe there are Disney parks in five cities.
Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California USA.
Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida USA.
Tokyo Disney Resort (includes Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea) in Maihama, Chiba Japan (near Tokyo).
Disneyland Resort Paris in Paris, France.
and
Hong Kong Disneyland Resort in Hong Kong, China.

I have been to Disney World® in Orlando, Florida and, of course, 東京ディズニーランド (Tokyo Disneyland) and 東京ディズニーシー (Tokyo DisneySea)® in Japan…but none of the others.

My kids love ディズニーランド (Disneyland)…so we’ve been to 東京ディズニーランド (Tokyo Disneyland) a number of times.

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Speaking of 東京ディズニーランド (Tokyo Disneyland), not only is this year Mickey Mouse’s 80th birthday…but it’s also the 25th anniversary of 東京ディズニーランド (Tokyo Disneyland). The park opened in 1983.
(東京ディズニーシー (Tokyo DisneySea) opened in 2001).
When I came to Japan, 東京ディズニーランド (Tokyo Disneyland) was only seven years old…now 東京ディズニーシー (Tokyo DisneySea) is that old!