I think we crossed the Rubicon with our kids on just getting to our hotel in Tokyo. A four-hour flight, one hour train into Tokyo central station at 18h00 on a Friday with 2 million fast paced people and then a small connection to Hatchibori, our home for 6 days, all in minus degree temperatures in South African Winter clothes. All in all it took us about 12 hours of planes, trains and walking to finally get to a hotel that, to say the least was crap.
Try swinging a cat in this room!
The hotel room was so small that it made our Hong Kong accommodation look like a palace. It’s difficult to describe how small they can actually make a room and call it a room, including miniature bath..
Normally the kids sleep on the floor, with some pillows and blankets, but this hotel was literally so small that there was not enough space on the floor for two babies to sleep on, so we ended up four in a bed for five nights. Not very romantic, but sake and beer helped us through.
Our planning for Japan was sketchy at best. Ronelle’s dad had told us to expect some cold, but we weren’t prepared for the complete white out of Tokyo and the biggest snowstorm in 20 years.
Our first port of call was the local shops to stock up on Winter clothes and we managed to find a really cheap place, like Ackerman’s to get kitted out. Finally, we were ready to start our Japanese adventure.
We started off with the iconic Shibuya crossing in the middle of Tokyo. A real travel experience, with millions of lights, local food and some very exotic sights, including a miniature dog that Kerala fell in love with. (To take home, not to eat)
We managed to visit Disney World before the storms hit and as expected, it was a kids dream. The local Japanese kids all dress head to toe in Disney clothes and are part of the occasion. Although, initially some of the queues were very long, as soon as we got into the children’s zone, it was quite empty. They have really created a place that is not reality and must be printing cash on a daily basis.
Then the storm hit. I’ve lived in a few places that have snow, but haven’t seen anything like it before. Complete white out and freezing cold! Not ideal to be in a 12 square meter room with two energetic kids.
We braved the cold and hit Legoland, a childrens Lego paradise. We managed to catch two 4D movies. For those of you who haven’t seen a 4D movie before, it includes some of the real things happening in the movie, like rain, snow and wind in the movie theatre.
After Legoland, we were snowed in for two days, with train delays and really deep snow. After leaving our cramped hotel we just jumped on our first bullet train headed for the countryside.
PS: We didn’t mention the food! Its amazing. Tell that lady at Weight Watchers to come and get us!