Wednesday, August 5, 2009

"M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E!"

If you look closely, you can see him on top of the boat, waving to his adoring fans. (including me, of course)

Turns out that Mickey is bilingual! He speaks Japanese in that universally-known, high-pitched voice of his. :) The signs around the park were in both Japanese and English, but most of the Disney songs I heard were in English. Interesting.

A group of eleven of us went to DisneySea, which is the theme park beside Tokyo Disneyland. DisneySea is geared toward an older crowd, so we opted to check out that park. From what I've heard and read on-line, Tokyo Disneyland seems pretty much identical to Magic Kingdom in Florida, with most of the same rides and attractions. DisneySea is unique to Japan, and as you might have guessed, it has an overall nautical theme.

However, there are rides in the park that have nothing to do with water whatsoever. For example, the Tower of Terror...

Ah, look at all the foreigners! I was surprised by the fact that I didn't see many other non-Japanese people at the park.

Outside of the Indiana Jones ride, from left to right: Miyuki, me, Janine, Jarlath, Tina

The rest of our group: Peter, Riyoko, P.J., Lauren, Dan, Tyler

You can click here to see a map of DisneySea. (Sorry, it's the best one I could find.) My favorite area was the Mermaid Lagoon. Maybe because The Little Mermaid was my favorite Disney movie as a kid. (Actually, it probably still is my favorite.) Or maybe because being in that area was like being in the movie! I watched part of The Little Mermaid in Japanese while in the gift shop. Weird.

The next day, in Tokyo, we saw something that looked like it should have belonged in Disneyland...

...a 59 foot-tall, life size statue of the Gundam robot. Apparently it's from manga and anime, Japanese comics and cartoons.

This robot was in Odaiba, an artificial island known for its technology and futuristic buildings. I'd never been to that part of Tokyo before. Afterwards, we went to a nearby mall and a cheeseburger place where I ate a burger so huge, I could barely fit my mouth around it. What a treat!

Overall, it was a very fun weekend, but not at all relaxing since we were constantly on the move. Plus, we did the night bus thing -- which is an absolutely amaaazing experience, ahem, (just ask my visitors in June!) -- but it's really not the best way to get a decent night's sleep. Especially when you have a nightmare about a serial killer who's on a night bus! I almost woke up screaming, which definitely could have been very bad. Anyway, the bus we rode was different because it had these face-cover things (I'm not sure what to call them), but I have a picture to show you...

Ha! Doesn't it look like he's sitting under a hair dryer at the beauty salon!? All Jarlath needs are some hair curlers and a magazine. :)

So far this week I've been busy taking care of visa renewal and driver's license stuff. I already took the written test to get a Japanese driver's license, and I have to go back to the driving center in Morioka again tomorrow to take an extremely difficult (no joke) driving skills test.
Wish me luck!


Lauren said...

It looks like you had lots of fun!!! I wish I was there to experience it with you!!!
You are right when you say that the night bus is a lot of fun!!! I would have to say it was the highlight of my trip in June Not!!!
Ai shiteru

Dawn said...

DisneySea looks like fun - but then again, I've never been to Disneyland or Disney World - haha - I suck.

The night bus looks interesting - I would have been the one waking up screaming from a nightmare and freaking out everyone.

grace said...

Super Danachan!
I had a ton of fun at DisneySea! My sister FREAKED OUT when we rode Tower of Terror. I told her that I didn't think she'd fare well at an American theme park. I thought it was interesting that you had to carry all of your stuff with you on the rides.
I never went to Odaiba while I was in Tokyo but it looks pretty cool. Another place to add to my list...:)
Happy Japanese birthday!