Thursday, July 25, 2013

Planned Tokyo Itinerary

As everyone and their mother (hi, Grandma!) already knows, I'll be visiting Tokyo for summer vacation next week. I've always wanted to go, at the very least for the last 13-15 years. It's like nerd central, and it's been a dream of mine to go there. So while I'm in Korea, no more than a 2-hour flight away, I figured now was the absolute perfect chance. And the second I found out when my week-long summer vacation was going to be, I immediately began making preparations and whatnot for the trip. So I just felt like sharing my rough itinerary for what I'll be seeing/doing each day. I'm sure everything is liable to change, but it at least gives a good idea.

SUNDAY (7/28)
I'll fly out of Seoul in the late morning and reach Tokyo in the early afternoon. I'll thankfully be able to catch a shuttle bus from the airport to my hotel in Shinjuku, though it's about a good 90 minute to 2 hour ride (from what I've gathered, the airport is outside the city, and Shinjuku is almost right smack dab in the middle of Tokyo). I'll settle in the hotel and then wander around Shinjuku for the rest of the afternoon/evening and get a couple must-see Shinjuku things out of the way early. I'll also try and find a Lawson convenience store so I can hopefully buy tickets to the Ghibli Museum for later in the week. Overall, a pretty easy day.

MONDAY (7/29)
First up is Akihabara, also known as Electric City. This is the nerd central of Tokyo, basically, and the #1 reason I wanted to come. It's where you can find all sorts of gadgets, video games, manga, anime, and all other things in an otaku's dreamscape. I have no idea how long I'll wander around or shop here, but I do hope to eventually end up right next door at Ueno Park, which is supposed to have a very nice zoo and all sorts of neat little places.

TUESDAY (7/30)
This day is really up in the air. The only thing I know I want to see for sure on this day is Shibuya Crossing. If you don't know, this is like the Times Square of Tokyo, famous for the craziness of it all. And generally, if you've seen a movie that takes place at some point in Tokyo, they will have shown it. Also, if I was able to get tickets for Ghibli Museum on Sunday, I'll go visit that on this day, as well*. And then maybe that afternoon or evening, I'll head on over to Sky Tree, which is the tallest tower in the world.

(*Update: As I just discovered, Tuesday happens to be the one day of the week Ghibli Museum is closed. I might end up shifting this to Thursday.)

DisneySea! This is like a vacation within my vacation! Tokyo has a Disney Resort, which is home to two parks: Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea. The former is apparently very similar to the park in California, with a few noticeable differences. The latter is completely unique to Tokyo and can't be experienced anywhere else in the world. So, of course, I'm heading there. I already reserved my ticket and everything. I'm hoping that because it's a weekday, I'll have to fight fewer lines. So barring unexpected queues that take me 3 hours to do one thing, this is my tentative schedule for DisneySea:

I pick up my tickets at 8, then make my way into the park about 8:30. You enter at the MEDITERRANEAN HARBOR. I'll rush to the next area over, AMERICAN WATERFRONT, and grab a FastPass for the Tower of Terror for later in the day. Then I'll head over to the MYSTERIOUS ISLAND and do the fan-favorite, Journey to the Center of the Earth. If I love it enough, I might snatch a FastPass for that evening. And assuming Journey didn't take me 3 hours to get through, I'll head over to 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. After that, I'll get some lunch... either a Gyoza Dog (a signature food for the park--it's kind of like mixing a hotdog with a potsticker) or stop by for some Chinese food as Vulcania Restaurant.

By this point, it'll be into the afternoon, so I'll hit up MERMAID LAGOON and try to check out the Little Mermaid show, which is like acrobatics mixed with them singing the songs from the movie. Then it's off to LOST RIVER DELTA, which is where I think lines and times might get the best of me. The idea is to catch the Indiana Jones ride at the very least. And if the lines aren't too bad, the Raging Spirits roller coaster, though this one might be a pass depending. I need to be back to the Mediterranean Harbor by 4:30 to see the "Legend of Mythica" show, which will last until about 5 PM. It's at this point I hope to use my FastPass to hit up the Tower of Terror and, if I felt so inclined, a second Journey to the Center of the Earth.

Finally, depending on how I'm doing on time, I might take in the Sinbad Storybook Voyage in the ARABIAN COAST area before grabbing some dinner. I'm not sure about where to go for dinner. I like the idea of checking out the famous Magellan's, but it's SUPER expensive (like, the cheapest stuff there is a 4-course meal of 60 bucks). Still, the aesthetic of it all is supposed to be amazing and the food fantastic. Though I'm not sure if I want to spend that kind of money. So I'll probably just hit another little restaurant or vendor. The big point of staying so late is that I have to be back to Mediterranean Harbor by 8 PM so I can see the "Fantasmic!" show, which is supposed to be awesome. And then, unless for some reason I feel inclined to see something else (which I doubt by that point), I'll just head back to the hotel for the evening.

This is where things get tricky. I'm going to just relax most of the day, probably recuperate from my incredibly long day the day before. But then I'm actually going to check out of my hotel that evening and have them hold onto my bags as I catch a bus to Mt. Fuji. Yes, that's right. I'm going to do a night climb up Mt. Fuji so that...

FRIDAY (8/2)
...I can catch the sunrise from the top, which is supposed to be unlike anything you've ever seen. Then I'll head back down and make my way back to the hotel, grab my bags, and head off to the airport to catch my evening flight back to Seoul. It's going to be tight, but I think I can manage.

And that's it! That's the plan for next week! Keep an eye on the blog every day, as I plan to update daily on what's gone down. Will I get to see everything I want? Will my schedule get completely turned upside down? Who knows! But we'll see what happens!


  1. It is so exciting that you're going to Tokyo! I'm so jealous, even if Tokyo wasn't as cool as Nagoya (I guess that's just because I spent much longer in Nagoya). Ahhhh. To be honest, Shibuya is pretty disappointing during the day time, but at night it is so crazy and cool. I guess it was all just a bit overwhelming for us people from Dannevirke, but it was a scary place. If you go down to Harajuku, that's where things get even scarier, but there are some cool shops down there (though I doubt you'll be shopping while you're there, haha). And yay for the Skytree! I love that place. It was breathtaking. And the Ghibli shop was so cool, but you're going to the Ghibli Museum which I'm sure is even better. I wish we had the time to go to DisneySea, because we could see Mount Prometheus from Disneyland and it looked amazing. Mind you, I think going to Disneyland was just enough excitement for us.

    Mt Fuji will be amazing! When I went to school at like, 7am in Nagoya, I could see Mount Fuji in amongst the sun rising. It was so amazing.

    Okay, I'm gonna stop reminiscing now because it is making me a little bit sad. I hope you have an amaaaaaazing time, and I can't wait to see all the photos!

    1. Haha, thanks, Stevee. I'm hoping with my traversing around Seoul, such a place as Tokyo won't completely overwhelm me now.

      Also, I thought about Harajuku. I've heard things. But I'll only go if I find the time.

  2. wow i'm exhausted just reading it. But I'm so excited for you too. What a wonderful opportunity to see and do things you've only imagined. hope your timetable and plans go as planned and you don't have too many things you have to rearrange. have a ball and keep us posted with blog notes and lots of pictures!