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Saturday, March 17, 2012
9:23 PM

// TokyoTravel-DayOne //


When I'm on holiday, I always wake up feeling unrested. As I will go to bed after midnight, feeling excited about the next day. Does everyone feel the same way as I do?

At 9:00am (JST), we were already at Shibuya Station. We purchased the smart card, Suica (¥2000 per card), used as fare card on train lines in Japan. When I got hold of the Tokyo Subway Route Map, I was speechless. The entire network of Tokyo Metro and Toei Subway has 274 stations and 13 lines. Thankfully, I have my friends who have been there before. If not, we will all be wandering around like lost souls.

Shibuya Station ➖➖➖ Ginza Line ➖➖➖ Ginza Station ➖➖➖ Hibiya Line ➖➖➖ Tsukiji Station WE ARE HERE!

As you probably already know, we were heading to the Tsukiji Market, a major tourist attraction...

A 5 ~ 10 min walk from Tsukiji Station, took us to the Tsukiji Market. A large wholesale market for fish, fruits, vegetables in Central Tokyo. It is one of the world largest, busiest fish markets, handling over 87% of 787,782 tons (2,888 tons a day) of marine products.

{Tsukiji Market}

If you would like to catch the live tuna auctions, be sure to be there at 5:00am (JST) to apply at the Osakana Fukyu Center (Fish Information Center) at the Kachidoki Gate. The number of visitors to the tuna auction is limited to 120 per day.

{Tsukiji's outer market}

{Shoes - Boots, clogs, etc}

As we prefer to do our exploring at a reasonable hour, we arrived at approximately 9:45am (JST). Business have already started to wind down. Hence, we won't have to dodge so many trucks and trolleys.

{Large quantities of vegetables + fruits, mostly mandarin oranges}

{Narrow streets packed with stalls}

Instead of visiting the inner market, we visited Tsukiji's outer market located just adjacent to the inner market. It consists of small retail shops and restaurants packed along narrow lanes. There are all sorts of food and kitchen-related goods and fresh seafood and produce for sale.

{Fresh seafood and other specialty items, such as real wasabi}

{Taiyaki shop}

{Waiting for our red bean paste baked sea bream}

Took a longer route, walked through the outer market, to head back to Tsukiji Station...

Tsukiji Station ➖➖➖ Hibiya Line ➖➖➖ Hatchōbori Station ➖➖➖ Keiyō Line ➖➖➖ Maihama Station WE ARE HERE!

If you didn't already know, Maihama Station is the main access point of Tokyo Disney Resort. Yes, we are going there!!! *scream*

But how did I end up at Etchūjima Station?

I was lost (and alone)!

And so the story goes... I was excitedly asking Lisa if we are taking the Keiyō Line. Immediately after she said yes, we dashed down the stairs and ran to the train. And then, the next moment I knew, we were separated. What's the worst that could happen? I was alone, I was all by myself. At least, I wasn't having a panic attack... yet... because Lisa signaled to me with a 'next stop' hand sign.

Never did we expect we will not meet each other at the next stop. Apparently, I took the Keiyō Line local train that stops at all stations between Tōkyō and Soga except Nishi-Funabashi while they took the Keiyō Line rapid service train that stops at Tōkyō, Hatchōbori, Shin-Kiba, Maihama, Shin-Urayasu, Minami-Funabashi, Kaihin-Makuhari and all stops to Soga. In another word, I stopped at Etchūjima Station while they stopped at Shin-Kiba Station, to realize I wasn't there.

When I was at Etchūjima Station, I watched an oncoming train zoomed past me while I was tying my shoelaces. OHGOSH... my friends should be in the train! That was the moment I began to panic. I wondered... am I supposed to wave my hand to stop the train. With a confused mind, I asked for help. Thanks be to God for sending someone who speaks and understands English. I managed to borrow a phone but I can't remember my friend's phone number. Le sigh!

After much consideration, I decided to leave for Maihama Station. As I stubbornly refused to head back to the hotel (our initial planned agreement if anyone got lost), which will waste time. Moreover, we were already behind time and I couldn't bare to move further away from the Disney Resort. On my way there, I prayed for us to meet. I remembered I told myself not to cry if I see them but once I alighted...... I ran towards them with tears rolled down uncontrollably. Too drama~

Here we are, at Tokyo Disney Resort!

And I wish, I wish, to stay in Tokyo Disneyland Hotel...

{Castle-like towers and Disney-themed gardens}

We headed to the main entrance information & ticket booths to purchase our 2-day park tickets (¥10,700 per adult ticket) that allow us to enjoy access to both Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea. I can't explain how excited I was to be able to visit both theme parks in only two days...

{2-day passports + Tokyo Disneyland Guide Map}

{A warm welcome to Tokyo Disneyland}

Strolling down the street of Victorian-style shops lining the entranceway to Tokyo Disneyland, just imagine yourself in the early 20th-century small-town America! This was where we were, at World Bazaar, heading for the Cinderella Castle...

{Different Disney characters balloons for sale}

Balloons have been a part of Disney theme parks since day one, literally. So don't be surprise if you see multiple vendors selling different main Disney characters balloons. Also, while in World Bazaar, don't miss the Disney's accessories along the way...

{Look out for pushcarts selling Disney's accessories}

{Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck in the wrong gender}

There we were, standing right in front of the Cinderella Castle... Do you ever wonder how it feels like to be living in a castle? I always do.

So, if you're interested in learning about the story of Cinderella, you should enter the Cinderella's Fairy Tale Hall to view paintings, diorama, and other artworks that follow her story and to experience a world of fairy tale princess!

{Cinderella's Fairy Tale Hall}

We needed to get over our fascination with castles and started moving around. Unknowingly we walked towards Tomorrowland and hence decided to move in an anti clockwise direction.

{The smile on my face says it all!}

{It is us, feeling gleeful!}

Here @ Tomorrowland; A realm of imagination, action, and adventure in the space age world of tomorrow. We spotted the Lite Bite Satellite, a special wagon selling the long, thin snacks, churros - It's a MUST try!

{Mickey-shaped strawberry churros - Smelling, looking and sounding delicious}

Grand Circuit Raceway is our first ride in Tokyo Disneyland. As I zoomed through the race course, while mastering the accelerator and brake pedal, I could feel the cold winter wind hit my face...

{Waiting for our turn in a long queue}

{Grand Circuit Raceway - Zoom through a race course!}

We randomly decided to take the Star Tours, a thrilling outer space adventure with high-speed twists and turns. It's kind of meh to me although I have to admit that the animation is a well-executed motion picture. After the tour, we were led through an enclosed tunnel to the Pan Galactic Pizza Port...

{Star Tours - Fly to the distant moon of Endor!}

{Pan Galactic Pizza Port - Galactic in sale}

Moving away from Tomorrowland, we were @ Toontown; A home to Mickey and the gang, a zany town where anything can happen. Walking around Toontown, you will see shops selling Disney character hairbands, toys, and more. Also, there are many wagons situated, selling food and drinks. You may even bump into Disney Character, such as Goofy.

{Toontown Delivery Company - A delivery truck full of Toon favorites}

{Take the time to enjoy your food in this colored place}

{We are lucky! - That's Goofy and us}

Playing around with the 'found' objects... we are like kids with new toys. Getting old but still feeling young. At that moment, I guess we all felt like that. Truly happy.

Lenny, the cartoony taxi cab, is too adorable we couldn't resist jumping into it for a wild ride through the wacky streets of Toontown. If you turn the steering wheel as we did, you will be spinning crazily...

{Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin - A wild and wacky car ride}

As a Mickey fanatic...
I definitely won't miss this Mickey Mouse statue.

{Donald's Boat - Donald's floating home}

Dionne and I decided to take a more exciting ride, Gadget's Go Coaster. It is 'no kick' to us, but we can still let out a little scream. No one will think we were insane since everyone else were screaming at the top of their lungs.

{Gadget's Go Coaster - Toon-size roller coaster}

Next to Toontown, @ Fantasyland; All your favorite heroes and heroines are here, waiting to make your dreams come true. Most rides in Fantasyland such as Snow White's Adventures, Pinocchio's Daring Journey, Haunted Mansion have the same concept, but certainly not boring.

{Pinocchio's Daring Journey - Re-live the touching moment from Pinocchio}

Due to time constraints, we didn't have a chance to take some of the rides. I secretly wish we had chosen Peter Pan's Flight over It's A Small World. Personally, I would rather fly through the skies than sail along the river. Even though we were cruising around the world, literally.

{It's A Small World - Around the world}

{To enjoy a vision of world peace and happiness in the world}

{Haunted Mansion - A mansion haunted by ghosts}

Don't miss this Haunted Mansion! Onboard the eerie buggy, through many mysterious, dimly lit rooms that are frightfully mesmerizing. The last thing I remembered was to be shocked to see myself sitting next to a 'ghost'. You will definitely be captivated!

{I'm holding on to 'Maria the Cat' balloon}

Before the sky grew darker, we moved past Critter Country; A full-filled world of lovable, little Disney critters! There are only two attractions in Critter Country, namely Splash Mountain and Beaver Brothers Explorer Canoes. I would love to take a ride on a hollowed out log boat but I don't want to get drenched in the cold and windy weather, so I decided to give it a miss.

{Splash Mountain - Get ready for one big splash!}

We quickly moved to Westernland; Old American frontier. We were hoping that we could take the Mark Twain Riverboat to enjoy a leisurely trip down the Rivers of America, and the Big Thunder Mountain for the wildest ride in the West. However, they could both be closed as we couldn't find our way to the entrance queues and it was winter dusk, therefore the sky was dark at 5:00pm (JST).

{Mark Twain Riverboat - A leisurely journey on a white sternwheeler}

With that said, we also missed all the attractions @ Adventureland; Cruise along tropical jungle rivers, glimpse into the mysterious world of pirates, and even travel back in time. I highly suspect we didn't even pass by Adventureland as I barely remember how it looks like.

We therefore came to the conclusions that if you're an adult, you should move in a clockwise direction from World Bazaar to Adventureland and so on. But if you're with a junior or child, you should move in an anti clockwise direction from World Bazaar to Tomorrowland and so on. The next time I am there, I'm definitely going to take the Pirates of the Caribbean, Western River Railroad, Mark Twain Riverboat, Big Thunder Mountain, Tom Sawyer Island Rafts, Splash Mountain, Peter Pan's Flight, Space Mountain and more...

Even though I was tired from all the fun we had, I couldn't help but to smile when I looked at the gorgeous sunset which made my day a beautiful one.

{Beautiful sunset and moon}

Good-bye Tokyo Disneyland, I hope to see you again!

It took us approximately 1.5 hours to be back at Shibuya. When I first crossed the Shibuya Crossing, I was amazed by the masses. The famous Shibuya pedestrian scramble, also known as the 'X' crossing or diagonal crossing, has thousands of people crossing within minutes, all day, everyday.

{Shibuya Crossing}

They say, it would be a shame to go to Tokyo and not take a walk across this famous intersection outside Shibuya Station. I was WOWed while observing a moment of organized chaos, when the traffic stops completely and pedestrians surge into the intersection from all sides, like marbles spilling out of a box.

{Menu - Now you know the prices}

{Nanashi Ramen - ¥700}

By that time it was late in the night and most of the restaurants were closed. We settled down in a ramen restaurant anyhow but were expecting the noodle served in a meat broth to be as awesome as everyone described this popular noodle dishes in Japan. And yes, it definitely didn't disappoint us. It was too good to waste... one more reason to slurp down the soup at the end of the meal.

We headed back to the hotel... feeling very satisfied.

End of Day Two. Stay tuned for TokyoTravel-DayThree...

{Some photos credited: Lisa}


jqMEow |

be happy.
love life.

09 July 1990

Typical ♋ian;
I'm a suffering soul and sometimes lose control of my emotions. I need you to be understanding and not give up on me.

I don't want to own anything until I know I've found the place where me and things belong together.

✉ tan.jiaqi@live.com

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