03 May 2015

Japan: Ramen Bowl

When I used to hear "ramen" I would think of microwave noodles with a seasoning packet with way too much salt.  (Top Ramen anyone?)  Well,  the real Japanese ramen bowl deal is where it is all at!  We went in winter and nothing tasted or felt better than a nice hot, steaming bowl of ramen!  And they were everywhere!

One cool thing was seeing a "vending machine" to place your order.  Quite efficient!  No matter where I went each bowl was absolutely delicious. Now I just have to find a way to make it this good at home now that winter is coming.

30 April 2015

Japan: Tokyo Tower & Skytree

One of the things I wanted to do was to check out a view of Tokyo, all of Tokyo!  At first I wanted to go to Skytree because it was taller and you could see more.  However, the days that worked out for our schedule ended up being the day it was closed and really rainy.  So, we decided to go to Tokyo Tower instead because it was open on the clear day.  (**Keep in mind of the days each attractions are open and their prices before you decide to go.  Tokyo Tower is the cheaper option and still gives great views.)

I'm terrified of heights and I got nervous while approaching the tower, realizing how high I'd be going.  At Tokyo Tower you have two levels to choose from and we decided to pay a little more for both levels.  You take an elevator up to the first observation deck, which also has glass bottoms for you to stand on and view below.  (I could barely peak over the glass, let alone stand on it.)  There are a few activities and a mini shop at this level.

Then we went to the top for a better panoramic view of the city.  The wait for the elevator at this point may take a bit because it's only one lift now.  (There are about 3 elevators to the first observation deck.)  It's amazing how far out you can see!  Check out Mt. Fuji in the next two photos and the Skytree poking out. 

Tokyo Tower/Skytree Quick Tips:

  1. Know what days each attraction is open beforehand.
  2. View the prices and decide what fits in your budget.
  3. Book ahead of time! (Especially for Skytree, we didn't book ahead for Tokyo Tower.)
  4. Bring your camera.
  5. Walk around the area of the attraction to take pictures of the structure itself. 

17 April 2015

10 Things I Miss from the US

Since relocating my life to Australia I've had to adjust to life not being so "convenient or easy to get" as it is back home in the US (Florida).  I was in a city for a few months and was around a variety of shops & places, but not like in Florida.  Then moving to a regional town took it to a whole new level.  No matter where I go in Australia certain things haven't made their way to this side of the world.  It's an interesting adjustment, and something I can easily live without.  But I still miss them.

04 April 2015

Japan: Disneyland & Disney Sea

One thing I was looking forward to before heading off to Tokyo was the chance that I could visit Disneyland (again)!  I lived in Japan when I was a toddler and apparently went to Disneyland Tokyo at 3 years old, but who remembers that far back?  Luckily we had plenty of time to spend in Tokyo and we managed to visit both parks!

Disneyland is similar to Florida's Disney World: Magic Kingdom, most of the popular rides are here.  Plus, various rides from other parks in Florida will be found here.  This is in Japan so everything is in Japanese, which is an interesting experience.  (Especially C3PO panicking in Japanese.)

Disney Sea is such and interesting place!  It's pretty different to what I'm used to and felt like a whole new world. (See what I did there?)  It was raining when we went, but we still enjoyed ourselves.

Few things that I found interesting:

  1. The attention to ALL the details here!  Way to step up the Disney game Tokyo!
  2. SO many ears to choose from!  Not just the mouse ears hats & headbands, they even had ones for the martians in Toy Story!
  3. Disney goers sure enjoy dressing up from head to toe!  AND in groups!  
  4. In Florida Disney employees are to remain happy & upbeat, and they do, BUT Tokyo's employees take it to a new level!  And it's a genuine happy attitude.
  5. You think lines are long at Disney World (FL)?  Take those lines and multiply them by 2 or 3 and you got the normal lines in Tokyo.  No exaggeration!  Thank goodness for Fast Passes.
  6. POPCORN!  They sell these fun plastic buckets to wear popcorn around you to easily eat and go.  And the flavors!  Some interesting flavors of popcorn with a WIDE variety!  They did smell delicious.

02 April 2015

Japan: Temples & Shrines

There are tons of things to see and do in Japan, especially in Tokyo.  One of the wonderful things to do to learn more about the Japanese culture is to visit shrines & temples!  One thing that we found fascinating and respected was that throughout their history there was a mutual respect for everyone, especially when it comes to religion.  We got to see a shrine in Ueno Park, which you can do TONS there! Click here for 15 things to do in Ueno Park!