Tokyo for spring break after a few weeks commuting to DCA for my interim gig sounded like a good plan. right! Well, a 14 hour plane ride. a 1 hour train. A short taxi ride that was a bit funny as the driver got totally lost and drove us into a dead end street and couldn’t figure out how to turn around. Followed by not a smooth entry to The Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho which made us wait over 2-hrs to work through a major hotel screw up (they booked us a family room for 4 people without issue…but they don’t actually HAVE rooms anywhere in the hotel that sleep 4 people…trying to ask where our kids are supposed to sleep if there’s only a king bed was a bit frustrating). In the end, the hotel seems to have made it ok, though and the kids are excited to see their Tio Eric.
Day 1 in Tokyo brought fun and a very expensive lunch. We figured out the subway system (harder than it sounds), visited the Meiji Shrine and gardens, had a teppanyaki lunch, and then met tio eric for dinner at the Ninja restaurant. Jen lost my wine ordering privileges, and probably her shopping privileges for 2018, after she got the exchange rate wrong and ended up accidentally ordering a VERY expensive bottle of wine at lunch!
Day 2 allowed us to spend a large part of today with Eric as he didn’t fly back to the USA until late afternoon (Eric works for Medtronic cardiovascular group and primarily responsible for Japan). We spent the morning wandering through the East Gardens at the Imperial Palace. We did manage to find a few cherry trees in bloom, even though it’s early. After Eric left we decided to chill and enjoy the view of Tokyo from our room as jet lag had set in.
Day 3 brought Disneyland Tokyo (surreal experience hearing Frozen in Japanese). Started with a crazy subway ride during rush hour. I’ve never been so cramped in a subway car in my life…not sure what I thought of being felt up by strangers wearing surgical masks! Belinda got to ride Space Mountain for the first time…she was finally tall enough! We saw very interesting things (the Japanese take their dressing to visit a Disney park very seriously), and saw very interesting snack foods (pizza spring rolls and cream cheese stuffed pretzels are delicious…not so sure about seafood cream pizza or chili con carne stuffed churros)!
Day 4 we headed to Asakusa to see the impressive Senso-ji temple. Amazing is an understatement and the sheer peacefulness you feel when you visit is breathtaking. For lunch we took a chance and ducked into a little restaurant off a side street for tempura and Shabu shabu for lunch. We tried Japanese wine and it was pretty darn good. For dinner we headed to another very expensive dinner (Tokyo is the most expensive city we’ve recently visited) at Mon Cher Ton Ton teppanyaki. It is amazing to see the precision with which these teppanyaki chefs work, and how amazingly clean they keep these grills (not your usual Benihana experience)!
Day 5 was a rainy but warm day in Tokyo. We spent our day in Ginza shopping and walking through the rain. The kids enjoyed playing in the Toy Park, were amazed by the selection of Kit Kats, and enjoyed shopping at Uniqlo. Belinda was overjoyed to find a bit of Paris in Tokyo with a Ladurée inside a fancy Ginza department store. We ended Our day with a wonderful sushi dinner at one of my favorite sushi restaurant in Tokyo – Kyubei Ginza. I was impressed with Kenneth…the shrimp were still alive when they brought them out. They were served raw (about 30 seconds after the chef beheaded them) and were still twitching when we ate them…he didn’t even hesitate! Best meal in Japan to end a fun week taking in all the sights of Tokyo.
ありがとう、東京. (Thank you Tokyo)