Traversing Tokyo

These days, travel just seems like a distant dream. Being cooped up inside our home for the past 6 months since the pandemic has made me even more grateful for all our past adventures with Elian and before Elian was born. One moment in Tokyo that I will always happily look back on is the time last year where we went there to celebrate our 7th wedding anniversary.

For our anniversary trip, our itinerary included Osaka – Nara – Kyoto – Tokyo. I got our intercity tickets at such a steal price of just 10k each (Manila – Osaka, Tokyo – Manila) from AirAsia and it was right in time for our anniversary. For sure, after this pandemic tickets to Japan will no longer be that cheap. For 7 days, we were able to do explore these places and do a lot of things. This trip featured a lot of firsts — first time to explore Osaka, Nara, Kyoto, first time to take the Shinkansen, to go to DisneySea, see the flower fields of Japan, explore the countryside of Tokyo (lavender field, peach farm) and more.

From Osaka, we ended up walking (and running!!) to the train station to catch the Shinkansen to Tokyo. Since we travelled with huge luggages, Elian’s stroller and more, no cab could fit us. And we were scared to miss the train so we really just ran it from the hotel. It was such a workout it felt like we walked from Osaka to Tokyo, since we also walked going to our hotel in Tokyo. Good thing the hotels I chose were near the train stations.

The Shinkansen was a fun experience as it was really so hassle-free and comfortable. In just 2 hours we were already in Tokyo. I read that if you take the bullet train from Tokyo to Osaka you can get a beautiful view of Mt. Fuji by sitting in the left side. So next time, we’ll definitely try that.

Our first full day in Tokyo was the day of our wedding anniversary. Since we were traveling as a family, we decided to spend it in the happiest place on earth — DisneySea for Elian! πŸ™‚ It was our first time here and we wish we could have spent more days here because a day is not enough to go to everything. We had to plan our time wisely. Since Elian was a big Toy Story fan during this time, it was the first thing on our list. The moment we arrived, we ran straight to Toy Story — and boy oh boy were the lines so long it was a 2-hour wait!! Now it feels like a lifetime ago because I can’t imagine going to theme parks with heavy crowds and lines. But Elian had a blast and so did we.

Little Mermaid was my favorite! Watching Ariel belt out “Part Of Your World” in Japanese was equally enchanting and got me teary eyed. It’s always been one of my favorite Disney songs. Elian loved the rides too. One thing we also enjoyed as a family is watching Sing Live! Sing is one of Elian’s favorite movies and he loved seeing all the characters from the movie perform. That’s definitely part of my must-do in DisneySea. πŸ™‚

I wish we had more time to explore the world of Aladdin. Since it was on the other side and we stopped to do the “Journey to the Center of the Earth”, when we got to Sinbad, the lines were all too long for the rides. So we just chose to take photos and enjoy a break and had popcorn. Popcorn in DisneySea is definitely an interesting bit of our visit. We noticed almost everyone was carrying a Disney character tumbler and it turns out it’s a popcorn tumbler. The park has different flavour of popcorn you can buy in each section — like curry popcorn in Sinbad, garlic shrimp in Little Mermaid, blueberry, herb tomato, etc. etc. We ended up getting a super cute Buzz Lightyear popcorn tumbler and we wanted to get other characters/flavours in the different areas but the lines were so long. We hope to get to go back to DisneySea and stay until nighttime for the fireworks. For that, we’ll have to check-in a hotel in the area. Next time, we’ll have a better game plan but we surely had fun during this time! πŸ™‚

For our 2nd day in Tokyo, we did a countryside tour and went to Tambara for their lavender field. I’ve always wanted to see the flower fields of Japan and we were lucky our anniversary month, July, falls on summertime on the dates where lavender starts to bloom. It was a 2-hour bus ride away from Tokyo and the tour bus was very comfortable. I only wish we had more time to explore more of the resort. The place was lovely and cold in the morning since it’s by the mountains and it would be good to spend the day there or even stay for a night. During winter you can ski on their slopes while it turns into flower fields during the summer. It was a really fun unique experience for us. We plan to go back during winter next time.

After our morning in Tambara, we went to the an apple farm on the way back. Since peaches were in season, we grabbed the opportunity to have our first peach-picking experience! πŸ™‚ Someone from the farm taught us how to choose the right peaches and whatever you touch should already be picked. We got to bring home our harvested peaches plus we got to as much fresh peaches as we can. It another fun experience for our little family and educational too for Elian. These are moments outdoors that I really treasure and miss during this pandemic. Here are some photos from the peach farm where I matched with the peaches with my jumpsuit from Bub & Weave. πŸ˜€

On our last morning in Tokyo, we ended our 7-year anniversary trip with some family portrait shots in Hamarikyu Gardens. This garden is really a gem found in the city. I never knew that a place so zen and charming like a scene from a storybook is found right in the bustling streets of modern Tokyo. It’s immediately become one of my favourite gardens in Tokyo and I’m glad we chose this for our anniversary family portrait. Our Japanese photographer was very nice and we’re very happy with our photos. Her shots are now part of our home. πŸ™‚

Our family portraits for our 7-year wedding anniversary. πŸ™‚

This trip will definitely one of our most memorable trips as a family. And I guess I’m glad we decided to celebrate our 7th anniversary with a lot of special places and activities because for this year we just had to stay home lol. Hoping next year things will be better and we can travel again. For now, these memories will do! πŸ™‚

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