September 28, 2013

Meiji Jingu Shrine

Today the girls and I visited Meiji Jingu Shrine for our Adventure Friday outing. The shrine is a Shinto shrine in honor of Emperor Meiji, and his wife. The original building was destroyed in WWII, but reconstructed shortly thereafter. This is the main gate, called a torii. There is then a very long, lovely, tree-lined walkway to the actual shrine.

The girls and I at the entrance.

Casks of sake and wine are donated as offerings every year.

The sake.

The wine

Entrance to the shrine courtyard.

Taking a break.

The shrine courtyard.

You can write a prayer on a wooden card and hang it on these hooks.

The main shrine. Pictures were not allowed inside.

There was a traditional Shinto wedding going on, which we enjoyed seeing. This bride  was having a photo shoot done.

The grooms traditional dress.

In contrast, we also saw a very modern bride.

And last, but not least, a bride somewhere in between! We saw this couple on our way back to the train station in busy and fashionable Harajuku. They were nice enough to let me snap a photo!

They were also having photo shoot done.

The train ride home, with friends.

September 21, 2013

Disney Sea resort

We spent our second day at Disney Sea resort. This was similar to the California Adventure park in Anaheim. There were different sea themes throughout, ie; the Mediterranean, a mermaid lagoon, New York harbor, etc.
Here is the volcano and Mediterranean village.

We finally met a character! Not many walking around in either park.

The girls loved the underground Ariel's kingdom.

Waiting for the Indiana Jones ride.

A very cute show full of characters!

The New York harbor area.

Toy Story mania!

We also saw a fabulous broadway style revue in the New York area, called Big Band Beat. This show was the highlight of my trip! It was big band songs, to a live band, and American singers. Lots of tap dancing, swing and familiar songs! LOVED it!

The story of Duffy.....where do I begin?  Duffy is a handmade teddy bear made by Minnie, and given to Mickey before his long voyage at sea, or so the story goes.
The bear never quite took off in the states, but is HUGE over here! People were carrying around bears of all sizes! There were people of all ages carrying around bears, as well, not just teens. I have never seen anything quite like it! (Yes, bear costumes, too)!

Men had them too!


I really almost laughed out loud when I saw the Duffy photo shoots, though.

There were very long lines to meet and greet with Duffy, and his girl counter part, Shelly Mae. One lady was almost in tears meeting this one. (I am getting scolded for taking the pic without standing in the line, oops!)

So, of course, I had to buy a Duffy bear as a souvenir! :) (But, NOT as an addition to my purse!)

The "Happiest Place on Earth"....Tokyo style

Disney has two adjacent resorts in Tokyo, Disneyland and Disney Sea. We spent our first day at Disneyland. Tokyo Disneyland is also celebrating it's 30 year anniversary this year, so everything was decorated accordingly.

We chose a fall day when we knew the Japanese children were back in school hoping for fewer crowds. No such luck! This is a special holiday week in Japan and the place was PACKED! Oh well, better luck next time. We still had a great time and the weather couldn't have been more beautiful.

The park has the same layout as California Disneyland, but is quite a bit smaller. We were happy the Small World ride was working, as it was being renovated when we were in California.

The teacups are always a favorite!

The girls are quite a novelty to the Japanese. These girls really wanted to have their picture taken with Ella and Eva. We heard "kawaii", (cute) a lot throughout the day!

Our selfie, while waiting for Daddy.
We always like the jungle safari ride, but listening to the commentary in Japanese was a new experience!

The Japanese are very orderly people, check out this stroller parking! All the strollers are neatly lined up 2 by 2 with aisles down each row, unbelievable!

A cool view of the castle from the Swiss Family Robinson tree house, at dusk.

We stayed for the electric light parade and fireworks. Both were great!

Totally by chance, we ended up sitting by a nice military family at the parade. The girls became instant friends and were excited that this new friend was also staying at the New Sanno hotel. We even saw her at breakfast the next morning!