Day 1 Honolulu – Narita
Our departure was on Memorial Day so that lines were short both at ANA check-in counter and the security check point. Our flight took off on time too. Here we come, Japan!
Day 2 Narita – Shinjuku
Immigration at Narita Airport was also surprisingly smooth, and we arrived at Keio Plaza Hotel before 7pm. How lucky we were! Even though we were tired, most of us went out browsing the west side of Shinjuku Station to look for FOOD! There were so many restaurants, ranging from fast food to Izakaya, available till late at night. That’s the charm of staying in the mega town Shinjuku.
Day 3 Tokyo
After the good night of sleep and breakfast buffet, we started our adventure at Miraikan, The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, in Odaiba with our English speaking guide Naggi. It recently reopened after a major renovation. There were many hands-on exhibitions that the children in our tour could enjoy. But what we enjoyed most was the 10 min demonstration of Asimo, the artificial brain robot. His sensuous movements were so similar to human beings.
After Miraikan, we proceeded to Asakusa to visit Sensoji. The old structure of Sensoji gives us such nostalgic feeling of Japan. We put smoke from the incense on our head, knees, and stomach to get better just like local people do and enjoyed eating snacks, buying Omiyage at Nakamise. Everyone seems enjoyed having lunch at local restaurants there. Sushi, Unagi, Udon…Yummy!
Last stop of the day was Akihabara. It is famous for Anime related products, the Maid Cafe, and electronics. Children enjoyed shopping at the toy floor of Yodobashi Camera.
Day 4 Tokyo – Hakone
Today was the long bus ride day to Hakone. It was about a 2 hour drive while stopping at the huge Ebina SA on Highway. Our main activity was to spend the whole afternoon at Yunessan Onsen Park. There are outside slides, indoor pool, wine pool, coffee pool, sake pool and many more! Many of us enjoyed experiencing the Dr. Fish. It tickled when fish ate dead skin from our feet, didn’t it?
Yunessan also offers Onsen that has both indoor and outdoor baths. We spent the whole afternoon at this amazing Onsen facility. Our hotel, Kowakien, had Onsen too so many of us enjoyed soaking in hot tub morning and night. Great! Joy of visiting Japan!
Day 5 Hakone – Yokohama
Today was another day of full of activities. First stop was Fuji Safaｒi Park. We hopped on to the animal shaped bus and took a 40 minute long tour. So many wild animals were close by, and we were able to feed the lions, tigers and bears out of the wired window in the bus. It was fun! There was also petting zoo available too.
We could have stayed much longer there but more excitement was waiting for us in Yokohama. Next stop was Cup Noodle Museum. We made our own cup noodle decorated by own drawing with custom toppings and soup. The exhibit was very interesting too. We learned about the very interesting life of cup noodle founder, Momofuku Ando
On the way to the New Grand Hotel, our bus got rear ended. Because of your patience and understanding, we were smoothly moved to the hotel by taxi and continued our tour to Yokohama Trick Art Museum. It was fortunate that no one was hurt in this accident.
Trick Art Museum was very interesting! It took us over 1 hour easily to experience the visual effects of the unique art. Since it was in the Chinatown, we spread out to have dinner on our own after.
Day 6 Yokohama – Tokyo
We left the luxurious New Grand Hotel heading to Tokyo. First stop was Tsukiji Fish Market. Wow! So many fish products! We all enjoyed some of the street foods, didn’t we? Then headed to Makuhari Aeon Mall for shopping. This gigantic mall has a super market, Costco, Uniqlo, Daiso, uncountable retails shops and restaurants. My legs were tired after 4.5 hours of shopping! I missed my gym this week but I made up for it today by walking in the mall!!
Day 7 Tokyo
Free day in Tokyo. Majority of us visited Tokyo Disney Sea. It was very busy, and some rides required 2 hours of waiting. The rest of us visited Akihabara and Harajuku to do more exploring in the popular shopping area.
Day 8 Tokyo – Haneda – Honolulu
Some families walked to the Samurai Museum in East Shinjuku in the morning. Children who went there reported they had such a good time. Wow, I better include this destination in my future tours!
Our bus departed from the hotel at 2pm. We still had a lot to see in Tokyo before departing from Haneda Airport. First stop was Harajuku. Harajuku offers the latest shopping experiences such as Takshita Street, Kiddyland, Oriental Bazaar etc.; however, you can enjoy sacred Meiji Shrine just within walking distance.
After Harajuku, we stopped by busy Ameyoko which has a similar atmosphere to Tsukiji but offers more variety discount goods. Everyone disappeared very quickly there so I hope you enjoyed it.
Our final stop of the tour was the fabulous Tokyo Tower. The scenery changed from day to night while we were on the observatory floor. Looking down on the city of Tokyo, we surely enjoyed a week long of sight seeing, hands-on experiences, hot spring etc.. I hope all the children and adults will come back soon to explore more this beautiful country, Japan. See you again!
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