We’re off again on another overseas adventure!
We flew out Wednesday from Birmingham to Detroit to Tokyo. Our flight was not our best effort with the kids only getting three, out of thirteen, hours of possible sleep. We still made it and they were happy as could be when we landed. Who can complain! Customs and getting our luggage was so quick; the kids and I packed in the same suitcase this go around. Only having two suitcases and a stroller is awesome! We’re still living and learning as we continue to go! The airport is an hour away in Narita so we luckily slept on the way to our hotel. They drive on the other side of the road here which I did not realize…fun!
In booking our hotel, it was challenging for Cory to find one room to fit all four of us. Hotel Niwa Tokyo was able to accommodate us with three beds:
2 “double” – Cory in one and Bea and I in the other
1 twin – Teddy’s bed (this is his first time not being in a tent on our travel!)
We walked to supper where I enjoyed Udon soup. It’s fall here and soup tasted delicious! As we ate, we overlooked a big, lit ferris wheel at the Tokyo Dome park and Teddy said “it looks like the London Eye.” So nice to know some of our adventures are soaking in to his young mind.
Friday started early with Teddy waking at 2:30am; however, we took advantage of this, got dressed and taxied to the Tsukiji Fish Market Auction. We got the last two spots of the day to get in on the tour…only 120 people get in daily! It was crazy, cool to see such huge tuna and watch the buyers compete for the fish and take them off! Back to the hotel for breakfast #2 at 7am! We got in a little downtime before our next adventure to the Owl Garden. Here we got to pet different kinds of owls and hawks. One didn’t appreciate my attention and bit me. Thank goodness for my most recent tetanus shot! In Tokyo, everything is built up many stories tall (30% of Japan’s population live in Tokyo) so we found a great lunch spot on the second floor of a building where we had delicious gyoza and white rice for Bea.
On to the next adventure…Hedgehog Cafe where Teddy was elated to be able to hold hedgehogs. They’re much pricklier than I expected them to be so the kids put on gloves. After an early morning, everyone was in need of a nap. However, we had to wake both kids for the Kabuki show at the National Theatre of Japan. As it turns out, Teddy never really waked up to see what turned out to be a four hour play! Bea enjoyed it but when Act Two was over and the play wasn’t, we headed to the hotel.
It was a happy Saturday as we headed out for another fun day of sightseeing. Of course, it’s all been in the rain as a typhoon is heading toward Tokyo. Cory navigated the train for us (which isn’t easy when the English is written very small) to Senso-ji Complex in the Asakusa area. This area has a rich tradition starting with the pagoda gate and temple along with lots of market vendors down the walkways. Now they sell souvenirs and food but we imagine it would’ve been mostly meat and produce years ago. Back at the hotel, we participated in an Autumn Tea Ceremony. Every part of the ceremony had a meaning with a lot of bowing. Teddy didn’t care for the green tea but I love that he tried it! Tonight we had a relaxing evening that ended with a trip to Yodabashi Camera, a seven story electronic store. We went for Cory but he’s the only one who didn’t buy anything!
One of my personal favorite parts of traveling is getting a hot breakfast and espresso without having to fix it! Sunday morning was no different. Today we went on a tour to see Mt Fuji. Even though it was cloudy and pouring, they didn’t cancel the tour so on we went. As you might expect, we couldn’t see a thing so we settled for hot chocolate and Mellon bread in the shape of Mt Fuji instead. Unfortunately, the rest of the day’s plans were canceled and we got alternative sites, which was disappointing. Luckily, our evening ended on a dinner with a bullet train back to Tokyo. We typically do not take tours and today might’ve been exactly why we don’t, but again you live and learn.
Now on to Cory working and me navigating the city with my kiddos! Wish me luck!