We hope you enjoy our journey through Japan.
~The Payne Family

Tokyo Vacation 2009

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Well we are back from our first official vacation in Japan. “Tokyo 2009” is now complete and we are all well rested from our miles and miles of walking, standing, and waiting in line. Our vacation started a day earlier than expected with a shorter than expected drive to Tokyo with a stop at Yokota Air Base. We stayed there a night (after checking in at 1 am) and enjoyed an early morning stop to their BX and commissary. Sounds exciting right? Well it was for us, buying big boxes of freezer pops, clothes, and shoes for the kids that you can’t always find here at Misawa. Following our quick shopping stop we journeyed to the New Sanno Hotel in downtown Tokyo. We navigated our way without getting lost at all and found our Military Resort Hotel quite easily and were very impressed from the beginning. After a quick stop to Tokyo Tower and a long walk (we got lost walking back to our train station), we returned to our hotel and journeyed back out to Roppongi and T.G.I. Fridays for a meal and drink. We definitely miss the States…

We decided then that we should consider getting started early in Tokyo for day 2. So we did. Disneyland was next. The characters, rides, and overall initial experience of Disney was overwhelming to the kids, but it didn’t climax until the next night at Disney Sea. The third day overall (second day at Disney) found us at a parental moment where it makes us realize why having kids are special. Brianna started to cry as we were leaving Disney knowing that there wasn’t a third day planned for Disney on the schedule. It was quite the moment and hopefully made her realize that these situations are not always going to be there. It was definitely a “Kodak” moment.

Throughout the next 3 days and 2 nights that were left, we went on a train/metro trek through Tokyo, stopping at Krispy Kreme in Shinjuku, Claire’s Boutique in Harajuku, and the Imperial Palace in downtown Tokyo. We also drove to Ikea in Funabashi to get some more shopping in and stopped by Rainforest Café near the Disney Resort for a quick lunch. Our final night in Disney, we hiked through Roppongi again and stopped by Outback to satisfy some more cravings and Hard Rock Café for desert. Mmmmmm…..

The final day we spent with one more trip to Ikea, Krispy Kreme, and surprise stop at the largest mall that we’ve ever been to at LaLaPort at Tokyo Bay. Huge!!! It wasn’t planned but we couldn’t resist. A stop by the Wendy’s for burgers and Frosties made it worth it. Yes, we miss (and love) American food!!!

Although we probably walked a total of 50 miles (it felt like more), stood in heat, and spent more money than we planned, it was worth it. We didn’t spend a lot of time in the hotel (and the time we did it was either for breakfast, sleeping, or swimming) and we spent a lot of time out and about. We didn’t do everything that we wanted to do and that’s why we’ve decided to do it again next year. Stay tuned…

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