Travel: Adventures in Tokyo Disneysea

for my 5th and last day in japan, i spent the day at tokyo disneysea. it’s a separate theme park from tokyo disneyland and more catered to adult visitors because this is where the wild and thrilling rides are found.

tokyo disneysea is a bit far from maihama mrt station, so i bought a single journey ticket for the disney monorail to go there. ang cuteeeee ng train!

the first thing i did upon arriving at disneysea was to have a photo-op with mickey mouse. yehey!

disneysea has 7 main areas: mediterranean harbor, mysterious island, mermaid lagoon, arabian coast, lost river delta, port discovery and american waterfront. 

mediterranean harbor, is the first area upon entering disneysea. there you will see mount prometheus, which is the iconic structure of disneysea. this is also where you can ride the venetian gondola as well as see the fortress exploration, where i met captain jack sparrow aka ahem potential lovelife kasi ang gwapo. haha. starstruck!

walking further, you will now reach the american waterfront area.

i also watched the broadway musical show featuring the disney characters. pero na lola mode ako, nakatulog ako. pahinging kumot!

this is the tower of terror. mukhang kalmado on the outside di ba? pero high drop tower thrill ride yan. maiiwan ang kaluluwa sa taas. haha.

ang cute nila, pakalat kalat sa park!!!  :) :)

this is the toy story section area. it was still closed when i visited and only opened last july 9.

i also watched the lumiere and friends show by noon. this is one of the shows i enjoyed so much. sing and dance ang disney characters ang saya.

lakad lakad la la la, i reached the port discovery area. sumakay ako ng isang ride pero byahilo ang nangyari. nakalimutan ko mag bonamine. paikot ikot ikot ikot ikot lang ang ride…

this is the mysterious island zone. i rode the ’20,000 leagues under the sea ride’, a submarine-like ride.

then this is the mermaid lagoon area which is my favorite among the 7. ang cute ng rides at ng pastel colors. hehe. sinakyan ko lahat ng chikiting rides sa mermaid lagoon!!! wahaha.

humahapon na ng onte so i went to arabian coast. this is where aladdin and princess jasmine’s characters are seen. i rode the jasmin’s flying carpet ride and the aladdin’s carousel. hilo-hilo paikot-ikot rides galore.

because the theme park is so huge, i was not able to explore the lost river delta area that much. i just took a picture of the temple of the crystal skull ride.

i super enjoyed my two days of stay at the disney resort. the theme park is very big that a whole day is not enough to cover all the areas and attractions. nevertheless, i really made the most out of my 2 days and rode as many rides as i could.

good-bye and thank you japan for being nice to me. i enjoyed my vacation at your beautiful, warm and friendly country. i wish i can go back there again some day. thank you tokyo for the good memories. :)

Travel: Adventures in Tokyo Disneyland

tokyo disneyland … ✔

japan experience is not complete without visiting tokyo disneyland. since it’s my first disneyland experience, i don’t know what to expect apart from seeing mickey mouse and minnie mouse in person. i’m lucky because the weather is good that day after days of non-stop raining.

tokyo disneyland is located not in tokyo but in chiba area. so i have to travel for an hour and transfer train lines to reach the destination. i bought the 2-day pass, 1 day each for disneyland and disneysea. they are separate theme parks and a whole day is required to visit each place. based from personal experience, even a whole day is not enough because the theme park is so huge and there are lots of attractions to see. the park is divided into 7 themed areas: world bazaar, adventureland, westernland, critter country, fantasyland, toontown and tomorrowland.

i spent the entire day walking around, trying some mini rides and watching the attractions. the morning and evening parades are very nice as well. disneyland is a very happy place, i almost think of staying here forever. someday, i wish i can bring my loved ones here so they can see and experience the happiness i felt that day.

tokyo disneyland jubilation parade

to wrap up the day, i stopped by a 24-hour sushi place near my hostel for dinner. my friends advised that I try eating authentic sushi in japan, of course for experience. :)

Travel: Shinjuku and Mt. Fuji quest

for my 3rd day adventure, i decided to try my luck and go see mt.fuji. since i almost finished the major city spots, i’m basically free for the entire day. i asked my friend for some tips and directions to help me go there. he suggested that i ride the train instead which is easier, though i can also ride the bus but it will take me longer to reach the place.

from my place at asakusa, i traveled city bound going to shinjuku station. this is one of tokyo’s central and busiest stations. i bought a rt ticket for shinjuku to kawaguchiko. the travel time all in all is almost 2 hours by train – 60 minutes from shinjuku to otsuki and another 45 minutes from otsuki to mt.fuji area.

ready for the mountain

otsuki station

after traveling for almost 2 hours and reaching kawaguchiko, it broke my heart to see that the weather was not good. it started to rain badly and the sky was dark and gloomy. i was thinking that the rain will stop anytime soon, so i waited for an hour and ate lunch at the train station.

happy food

of course, this lunch is another happy moment for me. i bought a pork rice topping which is very good. wala atang hindi masarap dun. then after eating lunch, i board a tour bus found in kawaguchiko station and see if it can bring me somewhere else.

rain rain go away

after endless searching and drenched from the cold rain, i didn’t see any trace of mt. fuji. it’s not a lucky day at all. :( i even got lost somewhere at lake yamanaka and had to pay a cab which cost me 4500yen ($S60) just to be able to reach the main station. the weather and the language barrier made this quest very challenging, yet somehow i enjoyed it. asking directions was difficult because people never speak in english. kaya pag na best in lost and found, bawal mag panic! hehe.

i decided to go back to the city instead. when i reached shinjuku at around 7pm, i called my friend for our dinner meet-up appointment and then had dinner at a nice japanese restaurant.

gastronomic experience (again)

after dinner, we walked around the long avenue of shinjuku as i requested. the bright city lights are nice to look at in the evening. we also scoured the red light alleys and spent almost 1 hour just walking around the area.

shinjuku evening scene

my japan experience would have been complete if i saw the mountain at least. anyway, i can still go back next time. haha. i need to save and will go back in case i want to visit osaka and kyoto next time. (hahaha excuses!) but yeah, there’s still next time. :)

Travel: Ueno and Odaiba

i woke up early on the 2nd day to start my diy city tour adventure. my next target areas are ueno and odaiba. my friends suggested that i include ueno in my itinerary as this place is filled with old japanese culture. but before i officially start the day, i first made a stop at a local eatery for breakfast.:)

i used the vendo machine to buy my order. i ordered curry rice because it’s the cheapest. after getting the stub from the vendo machine, i handed it over to the attendant and waited for my order to be served. it is a small place similar to a carinderia in the ph.

breakfast

after breakfast, i went to ueno park which is just a short walking distance from the train station. it would have been better if it’s spring season because the place will be filled with cherry blossoms. but since it’s summer in tokyo (with occasional rains on some days), the park looks ordinary to me.

ueno park

after visiting the park, i went to odaiba as my next stop. you will see there various attractions such as the newly opened mall with a life-size gundam statue, statue of liberty, rainbow bridge and oedo-onsen. i had no idea what onsen was all about til my friend told me about it. he said i should try it because it’s relaxing and of course…it’s part of the japanese experience.

rainbow bridge, statue of liberty and gundam

the onsen experience was memorable for me. it’s a public bath and hot spring in one. they had me change into a yukata, a japanese robe, before going inside the bath (feel na feel ang culture). aside from the bath and hot spring areas, there are also restaurants and souvenir stores inside.

oedo-onsen

later in the afternoon, i went to see the tokyo tower. i just walk around the vicinity and took pictures from the outside. the tower looks better at night because of the red glow light.

tokyo tower

that pretty much explains the adventures of my 2nd day. it’s as tiring like the 1st day. i noticed that in tokyo, they are never short of vending machines. as a matter of fact, you will see it in every corner be it for food, drinks, cigar,etc. japanese just love vending machines. hehe.

vendo machines everywhere

also, unlike other train systems that i know, eating inside the station and train is allowed in japan as evidenced by the stores inside the mrt platform areas.

stores inside the train platform

i ended the day by eating a delicious, big serving of authentic katsudon. for experience sake it is. :-)

katsudon

Travel: Harajuku, Shibuya and Asakusa

i’m excited to write about my adventures in tokyo, but i don’t know where to start. honestly, a 5-day stay was too short to embrace the beauty and culture of this beautiful city. of all the places i visited, i consider tokyo one of the best. the food, people and culture, everything is wonderful.

arrival
tokyo is my last stop after an 11-hr layover stay in hongkong. i rode cathay pacific and had a wonderful experience with them. the travel time from hongkong to tokyo is 4 hrs and i was asleep during the entire flight.

upon landing narita and passing through immigration, i get my bags and started to find my way to the hostel. this is where my 1st adventure begins. i immediately got lost since i rode the wrong line and it brought me to the outskirts of chiba which is already outside tokyo. my cellphone roaming was not enabled and my travel map do not have all the train lines, so i called my friend noel and asked for directions. finally after 4 tiring hours, i reached my place. i was so tired and haggard from all the walking.

Tokyo train line and ticketing system

accommodation

i stayed at sakura hostel at asakusa area. it is near the airport but far from central tokyo. i was looking for a cheap place but with good standards. it seems i find the right choice because the place is good. there’s a common area for dining and internet, sala for those who want to play video games and laundry room. upon checking in, i was given a security card door key and went to my room. i booked a bed in a 6-bed female dormitory room. initially, i was hesitant with this kind of setup since i want my own room so i can have privacy. but since tokyo is expensive, i opted to get a cheaper alternative. apparently, the dormitory room is very safe and i met other travelers and chatted with them. i have my locker to store my valuables every time i leave.

sakura hostel in asakusa

adventures

i wake up early everyday to maximize my 5 days of stay in tokyo. for 3 days, i tour around the city searching the must-see places. with the help of my tokyo guide map, i was able to find my way through the crazy interconnecting subway lines. tokyo has a massive train line system, so getting lost in the first few days is very normal. unlike singapore where it has only 4 major train lines, i think tokyo has a 100 or more. it’s crazy when you experience it. getting off and riding on a wrong line will get you all wrong and will bring you some place you don’t know, just like what happened to me when i arrived from the airport. hehehe.

1st day

on my first day, i went to harajuku and shibuya area. harajuku have lots of fashion boutiques as well as youth in various cult and goth costumes.  i came across a bunch of girls outside harajuku station, all dressed up in gothic-inspired costumes.

harajuku weekend  girls

tokyo fashion scene

after that, i met up with a friend, and we both went to shibuya station to see the famous hachiko statue and crossing. hachiko is the famous dog known for his loyalty even after many years of his master’s death. this statue serves as a meeting place for everyone in the station.

hachiko statue at shibuya station

i also had the chance to see the famous shibuya crossing, seen in the movie ‘fast and the furious: tokyo drift’. i went to starbucks 2nd floor, just across the crossing to have a good view. i can’t get a good shot so i’ve decided to take a video instead.

shibuya crossing at night 

my friend noel brought me to a nice japanese restaurant and treated me for dinner. this is my first authentic japanese food experience (thanks for the treat!). :)

dinner treat and meet-up

after the long tiring day of non-stop walking, we parted ways and went home. i stayed at asakusa area which is an hour away from central tokyo. as i walk towards my hostel, i took some night shots of sensoji temple which is one of tokyo’s oldest and colorful temples. i’m lucky that this is just a walking distance from my place since it’s a must-see itinerary for tokyo visitors.

sensoji temple at asakusa

i arrived the hostel very tired from 2 straight days of non-stop walkathon. i need to regain my energy for next day’s adventure. hehehe.

(= to be continued =)

other pics here

Travel: Hong Kong and Layover

it’s my first time in hong kong and i’m happy that at least i get to cross it out of my bucket list. thanks to the cheap tickets for tokyo, i get to have an 11-hr layover in hong kong and i can still stroll around the city.

my first adventure started from riding the plane bound for hong kong. it’s my first time to ride cathay pacific and i’m quite excited for this experience. they were the cheapest that time but the only downside (which turned out to be a blessing after all) is the long layover. the experience was ok, very similar to when i rode sq a few months back — wide space for leg room, entertainment audio/video experience and pillow/blankets for long-haul flights. i guess i’m still used to with budget airlines experience that i find these things very extraordinary. haha.

in flight meal

haagen dazs ice cream for dessert. once pa lang ata ako bumili ng haagen dazs ice cream dahil namamahalan ako. haha! dito lang pala ako makakakain.

when i arrived hong kong, i rode the mtr airport express and immediately went to ngong ping 360 for my 1st stop. i’m impressed by their airport mtr express train, i thought all trains in hong kong are like that…but i was wrong. haha! unfortunately, it was also raining hard that day so i didn’t see the big buddha nor the monastery. the loooooong booooring cable car ride wasted my 1 hr where i should have gone somewhere else. pffft.

mtr airport express

ngong ping 360

booooo rain!!!

after going to ngong ping at lantau island, i rode the mtr bound to central station to go to ‘the peak’.

hong kong mtr system

‘the peak’ offers a beautiful view of the hong kong sky line and business district. this was the most tiring part of the trip since i had to stand in the queue for a long time to buy a ticket, wait for another couple of minutes for the tram, standing inside the tram, still standing there at the top for so long just to save some space for myself for the beautiful view…and another long minutes of waiting for the tram for the return trip. i prefer the view at night-time.

long queue

jampacked

the peak

i swear that i’ll go back to hong kong again some day since 11 hrs is really too short for me. haha! i never saw the madame tussaud exhibits, except for the few free ones. ;)

madam tussaud’s free access 

after that, i went to avenue of the stars as my last stop. roocie suggested this to me so i can see the symphony of lights show at 8pm. unfortunately, i got stuck at ‘the peak’ for so long so i just strolled around the bay enjoying the evening view and breeze. i’m quizzing myself if i know any hong kong stars and saw few familiar names. hehe!

avenue of the stars

i arrived a bit early at the airport and prepared for my next flight. it was a long very tiring day that i was very asleep during the entire hk-tok flight.

i will definitely go back to hong kong because i want a more comprehensive lakwatsa trip. hahaha!

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