Who would ever guess that the cheapest flight to anywhere in the world from Italy, was to Tokyo? Well, that is exactly what happened when my sister Pam was randomly searching airfares one night. Pam had just moved to Italy and was wanting to plan a trip somewhere while her husband was out of the country. Perfect!
Anxiously awaiting their arrival at Haneda International Airport in Tokyo.
Pam is a very brave soul to travel around the world alone with two small kids, but we were so happy she did! Reunited, and it feels so good.
It was a long 15 hour flight (not including the leg from Venice to Paris!), but the kids did great and did not even seem to struggle with adjusting to the time difference.
We did more of the Tokyo park, playgrounds and mall play area tour, rather than your typical sightseeing, due to the ages of the kids. And Japan has SO much to offer in that department! Here we are trying out massage chairs at the mall. Ahhhh....
And lunch at Pepper Lunch, our favorite! Even Benny, who is normally pretty picky, couldn't lap it up fast enough!
Making new friends. This little gal really took to Benny.
The poor thing just talked and talked to him in Japanese and he never answered back. The strong silent type?
Maybe the only place in the world with a toy sushi bar, as the norm?
Two sushi chef's in the making.
Clara had a "ball" too.
Japan certainly has play areas figured out!
Everyone approved of the taiyaki. It is a pancake-like batter in a fish mold, filled with custard. Yum!
More fun the next day at another play land. (The weather was pretty cool this trip, I was hoping to get them outside more.)
Ben loved the tricycle racing track.
And Ella tried her hand at roller skating. She took many hard falls but kept at it. I love that about her personality.
There was even a live fish pond. We happened in just as this guy caught one.
Eva dared to touch it, but pulled her hand back- FAST!
And our Japanese Costco for lunch!
Time for the train! Anticipation was high.
He felt like such a big shot and looks just like a pro.
We exited the train station just in time to see these little characters pop out of the building and play a song. So Japanese. Then, after the song they disappeared back into the building.
At the Tokyo Toy Museum, we saw lots of original wooden toys, including this interesting ball pit. The balls really had some weight to them.
This was harder than it looks.
Benny, Eva and an ass.
A quick break to try out the limited edition Starbucks Sakura (cherry blossom) Frappuccino. No complaints!
Some of the most fun was had right in our backyard.
Sushi night! When in Tokyo....
They actually really liked it, except for when Benny ate the crunchy tail of the shrimp. He really slowed down after that.
Showa Park is always a good time on a beautiful day.
The kids were in heaven!
Eva is a great little babysitter and very attentive.
Love the Japanese roller slides.
Even Clara, loved the jumpy 'clouds'.
One of our favorite photo spots.
And, the Japanese garden.
After all of that playing, it was time for a treat. Pastries, anyone?
The kids loved this interactive screen, they could've stayed here for hours.
But this is what you get when it's time to go home. Poor Clara!
The visit was off to a great start, more to come in Part 2.....