Sunday, July 24, 2016

japan trip

i've been neglected this blog, mostly because i don't have anything to write about. my life is pretty boring right now. i don't work anymore, and mostly i spend my time with my kids with all their naughtiness. even my husband can get bored with that sometimes. and now, even before i could shop new clothes and wear my old high heels, i'm already pregnant with kid no 3, and it's even faster.. i've just known it halfway. how stupid of me. i guess me and contraception pills are not meant to be. okay.. let's fast forward and skip this pregnancy news. anyway, before i found out that i'm pregnant, we're already planning to go to melbourne on my brother's graduation day and on idul fitri. both overseas. i'm excited for both trip, but i'm more excited to go to japan. i've heard that it's a good place for shopping. okay, so long story short, i want to make this trip efficiently, and i planned this trip carefully, along with a long shopping list. hahaha..  oh, and i went to japan with my husband and both our kids, with me 6 months pregnant. actually my in-laws went together with us, but we rarely went out together, so basically other than sleeping at the same hotel, we got nothing to do with them. it's just me and my husband mostly.

day 1: we arrived late night at haneda airport so i let the kids overslept for awhile. and after having breakfast, we strolled around at the airport. i'm quite surprise. haneda airport was nice. it has shops and restaurants, and overview decks. kids loved it. they could see the airplanes from the decks. and for you nursing mother, it's easy to find nursing room there. even if you gave your kids formula, you could get hot water for your kids in the nursing room. and there were strollers at the airport, so since we only brought one with us, it was a breeze since my first one was tired from long flight. there were small shops of donki and haruhinkan, so i was excited even before going to midtown tokyo. hahaha..
after moving to our shiodome hotel, we took a rest and then head to ginza. we were supposed to eat at tonkatsu wako, but we were wrong, and head to upper level instead. we didn't know that tonkatsu were at basement floor, where other cheaper restaurants were. the upper level was for high-end restaurants. oh well, i forgot the name of the restaurant, but fortunately they had high-chair for baby, and there was kids menu as well. the adult menu was so-so, kinda overprice for me for that taste. it was ordinary pork katsu with several side dishes. next time we will double google-checked everything.
after that, we head to haruhinkan toy store. beware if you had kids, you'd better set the boundaries before stepping in the store since it was 7 stories toys, ranging from gundam, cards, stuffed animals and much more. i told my boy that he could only buy one toy, and he decided to buy a transformer robot, the one that can change from car to robot. i also got my daughter a stuffed animals that can move and make sound. even if you're adult, you will be happy in that store. oh, and they had duty-free option too, so don't forget to bring your passport.
next we headed to don quijote shops. since it was already late, we just bought several stuff, and i still couldn't check everything on my list, so i was hoping we could go back there. luckily, the donki was near our hotel, so definitely will go back there if we had the chance.
haneda airport
wishes tree at the airport
my boy with his toy at hakuhinkan toy store

day 2: we decided to go to tokyo skytree. thank God the weather was nice so we could see the view clearly. there were two options, go to the ordinary observation deck or go higher. we didn't go higher. there were a lot of people, and we couldn't take any proper photo there. my firstborn was grumpy all the time because he wanted to play with his robot, but we didn't assembly it the other night, so he was hoping to get back to hotel as quickly as possible. there were also glass floor where you could see the view down below, but the one in shanghai tower was bigger and more terrifying. the one in tokyo skytree was small. after that we had lunch at the skytree mall. there was a food court there, high chair available. plus surprisingly, they had ippudo express. hahaha.. we accidentally tried ippudo for the first time. and then since it was too early to go back to the hotel, we decided to stop by the uniqlo at ginza to shop. actually we were supposed to do that the night before, but it was already late so we skipped the clothes shopping. then we were back at the hotel to take some rest. it was raining in the afternoon so we decided to stroll around near the hotel. my firstborn decided to stay back at the hotel to play with his robot, luckily my in laws also decided to rest at the hotel, so we left him with my in laws. we went back to don quijote again, and this time, we had longer time to shop, so mostly items in my shopping list were checked. seriously, if you saw something interesting, you have to buy it straight-away since you might not find it again. each stores had different stocks, so just buy it instantly!
failed attempt to take pic there since my boy was grumpy and he kept grabbing the phone
tokyo view from the skydeck

day 3: it was cloudy and windy, but not raining so it was a perfect to stroll around to akihabara. but we arrived early there. most of the stores haven't opened yet, so we headed to nearby donut stores and had snacks first. i forgot the store's name but the donut was okay.. it was fluffy and soft, and warm.. perfect for windy weather. hubby then headed to his favorite store to buy his wish list. actually there were a few dining options there including the famous gundam cafe and maid cafe, but we opted something nearby, McD.. hahaha..
after buying things that we need, we headed back to hotel to rest. in the afternoon, it was still raining, but only light shower, so we still headed to odaiba. originally, we planned to eat dinner at aqua city mall, then walked to gundam statue and headed to daikanrasha. and if we still had time, we would head back to aqua city to stroll around at baby r us/toys r us. but, since we took a while to figure out where to eat (the mall's website was confusing.. they listed the name of the restaurants even if they haven't opened yet) so we decided to cancelled the other plan and just strolled at aqua city. plus it was still raining outside, and my son didn't want ride the daikanrasha, so it was a good backup plan. if the weather was nicer, i will take a stroll to gundam statue and daikanrasha, even when we didn't ride it. anyway, if you want to spend your entire day at odaiba, that's also in laws spent their entire day there. they took pictures at aqua city, then headed to venus fort and toyota mega web, and they had great time there. so obviously a must visit.
odaiba illumination in front of aqua city mall
liberty statue imitation

day 4: this is our last day at shiodome area so actually i had high hope that we could go to shinjuku or shibuya. but turned out we couldn't. in the morning we headed to asakusa as planned to visit sensoji temple. and then had early lunch at ichiran ramen. if you had kids or brought kids with you and wanted to try ichiran, try the asakusa branch. they had table with chairs and high-chairs. not the private booth like the other branch. and for you who live abroad and wanted to brag about ichiran, they also provided instant ramen there. yes, we bought some for ourselves and for souvenirs too, but we haven't tried it yet, so i didn't know if it had the same taste.
and my daughter decided to have her teeth grow that day. so the night before she had fever and that day she was a little bit crankier than usual, so we decided to just eat dinner outside and went back to hotel to get early rest. there goes my shibuya/harajuku trip... now i wish we could go back to japan to visit the other area that we didn't get to visit.
sensoji temple
street market on the way to the temple

day 5: we spent the entire morning packing to move to disneyland resorts, so we just ate and strolled around the hotel. and then after we moved to the new hotel, we went straight to disneyland to start enjoying the park. we had the 3 days pass, so the first day we went to disneyland, the second day we went to disneysea and planned to go back to disneyland before going home. actually, the park opened at 9, but the parade and most of the shows were in the afternoon, so it was a perfect time to hit the park. we watched all the parade and just rode jungle life boat, mark twain boat, small small world and goofy paint house. my son didn't quite like rides, although my daughter was eager to try but she was still couldn't sit still, so she couldn't ride many rides. plus i was pregnant, so i couldn't accompany her, and my husband couldn't take two kids at once. so we decided to just enjoy walking around and watched the parade. another reason to wish that we could go back there.. with our little one that hasn't been born yet. oh, and made sure that you stayed late until the firework parade. actually, for me the best parade was the one with all the lights.. it was spectacular. though my hubby said the fireworks was great, but turned out it wasn't that great. hubby said it was supposed to be fireworks on both sides, but that night only the right side of the castle that had fireworks. i didn't know what happened.. oh well, it was a day well spent.. luckily it was sunny...
happiest place on earth.. disneyland!
pic from the parade

day 6: it was sunny as well, but we were going to take it slow since hubby had to accompany his brother back to akihabara. we only watched the first parade. let me warn you though.. you have to wear raincoat to enjoy the parade since they will splash you with water. lots of it. funny though, people there seems didn't mind. they enjoyed being splashed with water, even they danced and sang along. quite funny. while us.. only few clothes left, decided to stay safe and stay away from the water. the song was quite addictive though... it was exciting and entertaining to watch people sang along during the parade. we had early lunch and then strolled around for a bit before headed back to the hotel to get some rest. in the afternoon, we headed to ikspiari mall first to eat dinner. actually there was ippudo, but we thought we shouldn't waste our time to wait in the line, so we decided to eat at the food court. again, the food court was kids friendly, high chair available too. however, if you brought your stroller, the corridor in front of the stall was a bit narrow, so i decided to sit at the table while my husband ordered food for us. the ramen at the food court was okay, the grill meat was okay too. not bad for a food court.. after all, who wouldn't like a warm meal? after that we headed back to disneysea and watched the diner table show and then a parade after that. the parade was okay, but unfortunately, since the schedule between both shows were so close, we didn't get better spot to watch the parade, so we couldn't see some of it. anyway, if you had small kids, perhaps disneyland is better for them. most of the rides in disneysea were quite fast and had height restriction. ah well, the more reasons to get back there, right?
disneysea at night

day 7: after two sunny days in a row, our last day got poured with rain all day long. we had our last breakfast at the hotel and then headed to ikspiari since we couldn't play in the playground due to the rain. we had early lunch at ippudo. we were lucky, the line was short, and they allowed kids too. they even provided high chair, but if you opted to bring your stroller, you could do it too, but only for compact strollers since the aisles were narrow. hubby prefer ippudo better than ichiran. another good news was they sold instant ippudo ramen too. unfortunately, when hubby tried to cook it, he just threw everything in and then turned out it was weird. he didn't like the seaweed paste. okay.. let's get back to our last day.. ah, i forgot to tell you that we found out that there's BAKE outlet at ikspiari. the night before the line was crazy, but that day after eating at ippudo, the line wasn't, so hubby told me to get in the line and bought some. and turned out it was ddeeeellliiiiciiioouuuss.. hahaha.. the cheese cream was light and fluffy, it's not too cheesy, not too sweet either. oh well, we have tried it even before my sisters who live in singapore. hahaha..
and then we thought the rain was going to stop so we headed back to disneyland, but turned out the rain was still pouring, but we had nothing else to do, so we bought raincoats and umbrella since we've packed ours at the hotel. disneyland was still crowded that day even though it was raining all day. even the parade was still going on. actually, that day, there was a new show, but since we weren't planning to watch it, we only got to see it from behind. it was a great show actually, but somehow it was similar to one in disneysea, the one with all the water splashes everywhere. too bad though it was raining, otherwise it will be great on sunny day. and then it was still raining hard and my son was whining to get back to the hotel, so we decided to get back to hotel and just rest there before heading to airport. and that was the end of our holiday in japan...

again, japan is a great destination even if you bring your kids along.. this time we decided to just visit tokyo, but usually the tour destination is tokyo-kyoto-osaka. just plan your trip according to your condition. anyway, if you bring your kids along, i've read that diapers are quite hard to find. the biggest place to get it is toys r us. but some said the price are higher. i don't know since we decided to bring enough diapers along. also if your kids are formula-feed, better bring more since the formula there is very different. baby food is also different. even the fresh milk there only have plain and strawberry version. both my kids like chocolate so it was devastating to find chocolate milk there. *sigh* fortunately we managed to distract them with snacks and other food like bread and hotdog. other than that, japan is a very friendly place to visit with your kids. oh, and another thing, if you're planning to go around using the subway, check the elevator, since usually not all exits have elevator. especially the one in asakusa. if you're heading to sensoji temple, they will direct you to go to A3 exit, but the one that has elevator is A2 exit. it was quite a distance to walk, but you have to consider, carrying your stroller with kids climbing those tiring ladders or walking the extra miles but with your kids inside their stroller.

so, with high hope that we could go back there.. i wish you all happy holiday and have fun wherever you go..