December 31, 2016

Day #16~ Back home

Day #15~ Tokyo Disney

Day #14~ Disney Sea

Day #13~ Tokyo Tower

Day #12~ Studio Ghibli

We were so excited for this day for a long time. We love to watch the Studio Ghibli films as a family so this was something we were really looking forward to. The big bummer was that pictures and video are not allowed inside! This was torture for me which means that it was 100 times harder for all the Japanese, they are such camera happy people, lol!

In line ready to go in.

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Final pictures just before walking through the front doors. You can see the incredible detail in everything. It was so much fun listening to the kids recognize the movies they’ve loved in little details throughout the museum. They loved it!

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Our tickets were actual film scenes from a Studio Ghibli movie and the kids each recognized their movie. The ticket lady was impressed.

So, here is where it became impossible for us to follow the “no pictures” rule. There was this big cat bus from Totoro that the kids were allowed to play on and they just thought it was the most exciting thing ever. We had to sneak a picture!

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Up on the roof they had the robot from Castle in the Sky.

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I wish I could have taken pictures of the inside but it was nice to be forced to just enjoy the experience.

Day #10 & #11~ Edo Wonderland

Day 10 was busy but uneventful. We spent the whole day driving. We took the romantic highway which ended up being more nauseous than romantic. We drove to the monkey park and were really disappointed to find that there were no monkeys during that time of the year.

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We enjoyed the walk around and then hopped back in the van to get to our air bnb for the night. The next day we went to Edo Wonderland!

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It was a drizzly and hazy day which was perfect for this theme park.

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The first thing we did was watch this ninja scene that felt like it was straight out of a movie. We couldn’t take pictures or video but really enjoyed it! We went to a cute geisha show and then to this comedy show where they pulled an American guy out of the audience and basically made him the comedy relief for all of the Japanese. Rich was so grateful that it wasn’t him up there.

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We did more exploring…

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then, had some lunch.

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Rich thought I was a total nerd for taking a picture of the menu but I thought it was so cute that they put it on a board.

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After lunch we did the maze.

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Success!

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Then the “sideways house” as Eva called it. I walked in and then walk right out because it made me so nauseous.

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Aidan, Maya, Arabella and I spent our last hour at the park painting our own daruma doll. The idea behind the daruma doll is that you make a wish or set a goal and paint in one of the eyes. Once you accomplish that goal or your wish comes true, you color in the other eye.

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The kids really loved this craft! While we were painting, Rich took Eva for some one on one time.

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Our finished products…

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This day flew by so fast. We didn’t realize until the very end of the day that we could have rented kimonos for the girls to wear all day and a ninja costume for Aidan. We were bummed but they didn’t know so it was fine. We got some fun pics on our way out.

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That haze was so awesome!

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This girl makes me so happy! She saw this character and immediately wanted a pic with it. She is so fun.

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Edo Wonderland did not disappoint. The weather was perfectly overcast, kids were in great moods and we all just enjoyed our time. Another perfect day of a perfect trip.

December 30, 2016

Day #9~ Shirakawa-go & Matsumoto Castle

It’s funny that as I’m making these posts of our Mainland trip, which was over 2 months ago, I’m remembering each day and without fail I say to myself during each post, “That was the best day.” Every single day on our trip was memorable and beautiful and full of once in a lifetime experiences. They were all the best days. Our visit to Shirakawa-go was among my favorites. It was just SO BEAUTIFUL!
We didn’t realize it when we pulled over and took this video but this little village neighbors our destination. We were just one exit away from Ogimachi Village.
 
 
Let’s see how many times I say ‘beautiful’ in this post, shall we?
The bridge we crossed to get to the village.
 
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Ogimachi is known for it’s farmhouses with the unique roof. In the country setting they were just beautiful!
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It was fun to see them working on one of the roofs. Talk about tedious!
 
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Rich took some up close pictures of the roofs and you can see just how incredible they are.
 
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We walked up a path to get a scenic view.
 
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Just another one of those pictures that you look at and wish that it did the moment justice. It’ll have to do.
 
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We hit up the gift shops…
 
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ate at a restaurant…
 
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These drinks were kept cold by the stream water.
 
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Then, we were on the road again. Destination-Matsumoto Castle!
 
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The drive was beautiful and we couldn’t help but stop and take some pics.
 
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Then, we arrived at one of my favorite castles.
 
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These goof balls needed some time to be silly for pictures so I let them have at it.
 
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This is one of my favorite pictures ever! She did these poses completely on her own and they became her ‘go to’ poses.
 
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The sun was going down and we still needed to get some dinner so we loaded back up.
 
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We had the most delicious ramen!
 
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A continuation of the steep stairs theme that Japan seems to have.
 
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Nice shot of me mid chew.
 
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Eva loved the broth but needed a little help keeping clean.
 
 
Our lodging for that night was more comfortable than the night before.
 
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