9 Days in Japan: Part 8 – Last Day in Tokyo

My husband and I got married and went on an incredible six-week honeymoon around the world to England, China, Hong Kong, Thailand, a cruise through Asia, and Japan. I’ve shared our unforgettable journey through a series of 20 blog posts. Today marks post number 21, the final post in the series. It’s been surreal reliving the memories of the most epic trip of our lives and being able to share them with all of you. Thanks for going through the journey with us!

This was our final day in Japan, and although some of our other days included fully jam-packed itineraries, we only had a few items left to tick off of our must-see list. Today, we planned to experience those and then see where the rest of the day took us. We enjoyed yummy foods, Tsukiji Nippon Fish Market, Tokyo Tower, Zojoji Temple, Tokyo Japan Dome City, souvenir shopping, and traveling back home to America. Read on to complete our six-week around-the-world honeymoon journey ending with day nine of Japan: Tokyo!


Day 9 in Japan

We began our day with the most Instagram-worthy breakfast spot: A Happy Pancake Ginza. I found this breakfast spot online, and when I saw the pictures I just knew that we had to have breakfast here one day. First off, I LOVE pancakes. I admittedly am not a pancake cook though, because they always burn and look misshapen. In our house, the Hubbs is on pancake duty.

Upon arrival at the restaurant, the elevator doors opened to a lobby full of people. So I guess everyone else had the same idea as me for a pancake breakfast that day haha! Actually, I had half expected this; I read reviews online about how the wait is long, but it’s so worth it. We weren’t looking forward to killing one of our last daylight hours sitting in a crowded lobby. Fortunately, the restaurant took our name and allowed us to leave and come back in an hour to be seated. This was perfect!

We did a quick google search of what was in the area and came across a Kit Kat Chocolatory and Café that was just a six-minute walk away. My husband explained to me that Kit Kat is the most popular chocolate brand in Japan. The name sounds very similar to “Kitto Katsu,” a Japanese phrase meaning “You will surely win.” Therefore, Kit Kat chocolate bars are often given as gifts particularly among students ahead of exams, or to someone who needs a boost of luck. Who knew?! I had been seeing Kit Kats all over Japan but hadn’t pieced together until this point that they were special.

Since we already had breakfast booked, we knew we didn’t want to dine in their café and spoil our appetites (although the pictures online looked heavenly and were nearly convincing). We figured this could be a fun souvenir opportunity, and we were right. The shop itself is on the small side, but they had all the essentials: dark chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate, and a new glorious pink chocolate that they refer to as ruby. This was the first time both of us had ever even heard of ruby chocolate. How unique! The picture below explains some facts about this new species of cocoa. It’s a bit sweet and sour flavor characterized by its acidity. Super special. Since this was something we’d never seen before, we purchased several individually boxed sticks as souvenirs for friends and family back home. The shop was a bit pricey, but the packaging makes them more special than if you purchase at a grocery store. There are actually over 300 flavor combinations of Kit Kat in Japan. With its wide availability and flavor options, Kit Kats are a fantastic and affordable treat to bring home for family, friends, and coworkers.

After spending some time and money at Kit Kat, we headed back over to A Happy Pancake Ginza. We’d worked up an appetite! The restaurant was still very full with a wait in the lobby. Shortly after we arrived, we were escorted in, past the kitchen which was visible to the diners through windows in the center of the restaurant. It’s so cool that the kitchen is open and you can see the chefs at work. Each pancake is super fluffy at an inch thick and nearly perfectly round (without using a mold)! It’s a pancake dream come true. We were seated at a little two-top half booth table. Everything on the menu looked so great. We ended up picking the tiramisu pancakes for my Hubby which were ¥1,390 (JPY), or $13.28 (USD), and the berries and cream pancakes for me which were ¥1,300 (JPY), or $12.42 (USD).

Each plate arrives with three fluffy pancakes and loads of cream and toppings. The tiramisu dish even included a mini creamer pitcher filled with hot espresso that you pour over your pancakes as extra dipping sauce. Just wow. It was so filling, I couldn’t even finish my plate. If you love breakfast or pancakes, this place is for you. We’ve actually tried to replicate these pancakes back in the states and have not mastered anything quite so thick. I’ve even gifted the Hubbs a Christmas stocking-stuffer of Japanese tall silicone pancake molds. They honestly help your pancakes get thicker, but the batter is just off, so they aren’t the same. We’ll just have to visit Tokyo again to get our fill of fluffy tasty pancakes.

After we had full bellies, we headed over to the Tsukiji Nippon Fish Port Market, just an eight-minute walk away. If you love seafood and fish, I’d recommend you pass through here a little later for lunch so you can fully experience the dining aspect. Each kiosk had something a little more special than the next. They literally sold every type of seafood imaginable. Everything looked so fresh, like it was caught just the night before. There are proper indoor sit-down restaurants mixed between outdoor grill kiosks where you can grab seafood and eat while you walk, plus raw fish kiosks where you buy the fish and take it home to cook/prepare. We took so many cool pictures in this area and bought a few souvenirs of cute cartoony fish cookies for our coworkers. My favorites are below: flying fish, shark, humongous crabs, lobster, scallops, grilled squid, giant tuna head, and thick sliced nigiri. The streets are narrow, crowded, and smell of fish—it’s an awesome time!

One of the final attractions on our list was the Tokyo Tower, so we headed in that direction and stopped at the 600-year-old Zojoji Temple along the way, about a 36-minute walk. The temple is actually right next to Tokyo Tower, so from multiple vantage points on the property you can see both structures. Breathtaking mix of modern and ancient. We went indoors for a little prayer and then outside to walk through the gardens. A standout feature of this site is the garden for unborn children. The rows and rows of jizo statues represent the souls of children who died before birth (pregnancy loss, stillborn, or perinatal loss). The statues are believed to be protectors of children and unborn babies in traditional Japanese Buddhist teachings. Once a month, there is a ceremony for parents to use the statues as a way to say farewell and ease the child’s passage into the afterlife. Red garments are created and donated to dress the statues, and then gifts such as incense, flowers, and wind spinners are placed in remembrance. These babies never had the opportunity to experience this world, but their place of remembrance is colorful just as their life should have been. And though a somber place of prayer and loss, I found the garden to be beautiful and serene. As a newlywed, I said a little prayer for these babies to look over us in our future fertility.

Side note: In doing some additional post-trip research on Tokyo, I learned of the 200-year-old Suitengu Shrine, just an 11-minute drive from the Zojoji Temple. This shrine is also for babies and specifically devoted to conception and safe childbirth. This is a place for pregnant couples to visit after doctor’s appointments, new parents to bring their infants, and non-pregnant people to provide fertility well wishes. The statue of a dog and its pup on the grounds is a popular photo spot. Had we known this temple existed, we probably would have stopped here for a little prayer too.

Following the Zojoji Temple, we walked next door to the Tokyo Tower. One could call it the Eiffel Towel of Japan. There are two different levels you can gain access to with tickets: The Main Deck is ¥1,200 (JPY), or $11.47 (USD) per person and the Top Deck is ¥3,000 (JPY), or $28.67 (USD) per person. Advance sales are available at a discounted rate, and I do indeed recommend you purchase advance tickets. Unfortunately, at the time of our arrival, all tickets for that window of time were sold. We’d have had to wait around in the area for hours before the next available tickets would open. Since this was the last attraction on our list, and we’d already seen the rest of this area of town, we just took a selfie from below and didn’t actually go into the tower.

That was a huge bummer. After such an absolutely unforgettable six-week honeymoon around the world, we should have planned a more climactic ending for our final day. I know, tall order to fill to find something that would have felt like a proper ending of the trip… maybe we were always setting ourselves up for disappointment? How could it be that we would end our day not actually seeing our final attraction all because of poor planning and not booking the tickets in advance? I was really sad. We took out our phones to see if there was anything else to do in the area (just look at how serious my face is below while I’m searching haha). I had started to think that we’d just end up at our hotel room early for a good night’s sleep before the flight. When nearly all my hope was lost for a fun ending to the day, the Hubbs delivered and found something super fun for us to do!

Next stop was the Tokyo Japan Dome City. We took the train over, since this wasn’t exactly in close walking proximity. We’d passed the dome at other times on the trip but never got close enough to see all the attractions it had to offer. By the time we arrived, we were hungry for dinner. We found two of my American favorites: Shake Shack and Taco Bell! Just look at my face and how happy I was haha! What a 180 from the failed attempt of Tokyo Tower. We ended up grabbing a bite from Shake Shack, because it had literally been weeks since we’d had a proper burger. Shake Shack actually originated in Madison Square Park, New York City, so this was a taste of home that ended up turning into a sentimental dinner as we watched the digital picture wall show Shake Shack stores from around the world. When it finally displayed the New York location, I nearly cried. After our once-in-a-lifetime trip, it was time to return to reality. We were headed home—and, honestly, we were a little homesick.

We decided to ride the rollercoaster which winds through the footprint of the site, even going through the walls of the mall at one point. We absolutely love rollercoasters, so this was the perfect high-adrenaline thing to do to cap off the excitement of our epic trip, and it was honestly so fun.

After the coaster, we strolled through the mall. There was a lot to see inside, being multi-levels, and Hubby geeked out and found a store for Shonen Jump, the magazine brand that popularized the mega-hit animes Naruto, Bleach, One Piece, Dragon Ball, Death Note, Yu-Gi-Oh, and so many more. If you’re an anime fan or know someone who is, then this is a great spot to stop for a little shopping. There were traditional souvenir shops where you could buy things like Japan-themed passport holders, and also some home goods shops with affordable but cute items for sale. We also found some quirky “Japanglish” souvenirs (we got a kick out of the hat in the pics below).

We didn’t end up buying anything though, so we crossed the street and found a store called Don Quijote which sold a wide assortment of goods at very reasonable prices, which was truly awesome! We bought bags of individually-wrapped bulk Kit Kats in unique flavors for both our offices, and we bought Sake bottles in nice boxes that we could gift our parents and siblings. The Hubbs even bought a cable for his headphones that had broken on the trip. They had everything! If I had one pro tip for souvenir shopping, it would be to shop where the locals shop. No one really wants a useless trinket that says “Tokyo” or “Japan” on it. But if you bring them a unique food or beverage to consume, or a practical houseware item, it’s something they can use and they will appreciate. Check out some of the silly goods we found (and did not buy haha).

After shopping, we made our way (via train) back to the hotel with goodies in tow. We had a long night of packing ahead. Luckily, we had accounted for the space we’d need, and it all fit fine. We got a little sleep, then headed to the airport super early for our flight back to America (get a load of my early morning grumpy airport mug below). We flew from Tokyo Japan to Beijing China to New York City, which took about 20 straight hours of travel. I definitely require a day of recovery after crossing the globe like this. The jet lag is serious.

Packing Pro Tips:

  • If you’re going on an extended trip, leave half of your suitcase empty. You’ll need that space to fill with goodies from your travels. It costs a fortune to ship items home or buy an additional luggage and pay for a second luggage on the plane. Especially for our multi flight trip – the latter was definitely not an option for us.
  • Wear your bulkiest or heaviest clothing and shoe items at the airport and onto the plane. Why use up that weight in your luggage when you can wear it? This will save you luggage space and weight for more souvenirs.
  • Always keep your heaviest items in your carryon so long as your airline isn’t weighing your carry on (which actually happened to us in China on this six-week trip).
  • Pockets! The only time your bags are weighed is at the ticket counter. On another trip, we had these crystal candleholders that weighted a ton, and we were already overweight. We ended up putting them in our jacket pocket while our bags were weighed, and then put them in our carryon once we passed through security.
  • Paper takes up a lot of space and weight while traveling. Just look at how much paper products we collected over 6 weeks!! Had we been overweight at the airport, this would have been the first stuff I would have dumped. We weren’t overweight, so I could keep it. Most of this was from our cruise (daily itineraries and origami), tickets we purchased, programs/brochures we collected from activities we did, and maps of cities. You don’t really NEED this stuff, and if you have to part with it, just take a picture of the papers (like we did for our rollercoaster tickets above), and then recycle the paper to save weight.


So there you have it! This post completed our eight-part series in Japan and our six-week honeymoon around the world. Tokyo was fantastic. Even on a day like this, where we hardly had activities planned, we ended up having a killer time and stumbling upon unique attractions. Morals of the story are…

  • If you’re a type A person like myself, it’s ok to not have your day planned out in 15-minute increments (I’ll do a future blog post on my itineraries one day haha).
  • Do SOME research so you can ensure if it’s a timed entry or ticketed, that you can claim your spot. Also, there’s nothing worse than getting home and seeing a BuzzFeed article about the cool things to do in the city you visited, that you missed.
  • Go with the flow, and if something planned doesn’t work out, there is always going to be something else that’s fun to do. No need to ever go to bed early out of boredom when you’re in a new city.
  • Google Maps can literally save your days open itinerary. On this particular day, we didn’t plan the Kit Kat store, the temple, or the Tokyo Dome. All of that came from Google searching along the way.

Thanks again for joining me on this truly memorable 21-post journey. Now onto blogging about our next adventures! Stay tuned for future posts about our One Year Wedding Anniversary Trip to The Netherlands, Belgium, France, and Spain!

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9 Days in Japan: Part 7 – Tokyo Continued

My husband and I got married and went on an incredible six-week honeymoon around the world. All of the posts on England, China, Hong Kong, Thailand, a cruise through Asia, and Japan can be found on our Amarvelous Honeymoon page. The final country we visited on our trip was Japan, and we’re in the midst of an eight-part series highlighting this amazing country.

This was our penultimate day in Japan, and we had a jam-packed itinerary as we attempted to squeeze in our final Tokyo activities. Today, we planned to spend most of the day in the Shibuya neighborhood. We experienced ramen, conveyor-belt sushi, Starbucks with a view, multiple street performers, the incredible Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, the Meiji Jingu shrine, shopping at Takeshita Street, and the world’s busiest intersection. Read on to learn what makes Shibuya a necessary addition to your next Tokyo itinerary.

Day 8 in Japan

We were staying at the APA Hotel Iidabashi-Ekiminami in the Tokyo suburb of Chiyoda. The two previous days had been spent at Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea. I didn’t think we had such a late start, but we must have been exhausted and slept in a bit. Our first meal of the day was actually two bowls of ramen from a nearby restaurant that was already serving early lunch. The restaurant, which as of this writing has permanently closed, was called Tsujita Okunoin. It was a three-minute walk from our hotel and on the way to the train station. It was a long and narrow restaurant with an open kitchen against the long wall and a bar top with chairs along the kitchen. We found two chairs together and sat to dine. Our favorite ramen from Japan was actually in Osaka (at a restaurant called Ramen Makotoya Shinsaibashi, if you’re ever in Osaka). Although not as good as Makotoya’s, we found these bowls to be tasty and very filling to start our day off.

We decided to quickly begin our day in the Shinjuku neighborhood, which is a popular city district famed for its narrow, winding alleys and numerous snug taverns. We took the train six stops from Iidabashi Station to Shinjuku Station. It only costs ¥160 (JPY), or $1.52 (USD). After the train, we walked over to the Shinjuku Golden Gai. I would actually suggest you flip flop our itinerary and visit this area in the evening, as it was totally closed up and desolate when we were there. I bet it would be a cool nightlife area with bar hopping in the evenings. Wish we could have gone into a pub and enjoyed a beverage, but although it wasn’t too early for ramen, it was too early for drinks.

Along the walk from this neighborhood, we passed several different street activations and performers. There was a small children’s parade, a solo singer busking, a small trio of female singers on a mobile stage, and this random lottery activation where you are supposed to stick your hand inside a giant horse’s mouth and see if you won a prize (we didn’t win haha!). As a New Yorker, I found all these performances and activations to have the same lively vibe as when we walk through Times Square.

Next stop was the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, which was only a 19-minute walk from the previous neighborhood and led us into Shibuya neighborhood for the remainder of the day. The entrance fee was ¥500 (JPY), or $4.74 (USD). So far on the honeymoon, we’d seen some immaculate and very impressive gardens in Beijing China, but the roses and trees at this garden were really special. My favorite parts were the beautiful greenhouse with tropical plants and an indoor waterfall, a foot bridge over a koi pond shaded by a weeping willow tree (my favorite), a lush lawn for lounging surrounded by humongous shade trees including a blooming magnolia with flowers the size of my head, and a French-inspired formal rose garden. I think we spent the most time today in the rose garden. They probably had hundreds of varieties. I really enjoyed reading the name plaques for each one and took photos of the ones I found most beautiful. Hopefully one day I can find their seeds or saplings and plant them at my home. My absolute favorite flower was the hot pink Lavender Lassie Rose.

After the garden, we continued our walk to the Yoyogi Pony Park. This was totally spontaneous, but we saw it on the map and were intrigued, so we decided to walk over and check it out. It was only a 22-minute walk and not out of our way. Upon arrival, we learned that the rink and ponies were mostly for children to ride, not adults. They were attractive horses, and I did enjoy seeing them though. So if you too are a horse fan, then check it out. Otherwise, you can probably skip this unless you’re traveling with children.

We followed the ponies with a minute-long walk over to the Meiji Jingu shrine. We passed by the main sanctuary, torri-gate, and Ema (tablets conveying visitors’ gratitude and wished). As it’s a sacred place for prayer, we didn’t take too many pictures in this area.

Just a 10-minute walk up the road, we were at Takeshita Street, which is a road closed to vehicular traffic. It’s designed so the heavy flow of pedestrians can meander down the street and shop or dine in the colorful and trendy shops and restaurants. I thought the bright colors and kitschy characters on this street were adorable. Not to mention the great and unique shopping. I found a pair of fancy earrings for a pretty reasonable price. That was a score for Japan, as I found the pricing mostly similar to my hometown, New York City.

After shopping, we needed a pick me up, so we walked down the block to the Tokyo Plaza Omotesando Harajuku shopping mall to a rooftop Starbucks with a garden and great view of the city. Once again, we ordered our favorite drink in Japan, the affogato Frappuccino. Yum!! Then we took a break and sat to enjoy our drinks on the rooftop terrace.

We were walking down the Fire-dori Street and stumbled upon Shibuya Nitori, basically a home goods store. Think HomeGoods or Ikea of Japan. I can hardly resist a home store in America, and I wasn’t about to pass up my opportunity in Japan. First off, it was HUGE, and that had me all the more excited. I didn’t really know what to expect, but I am so glad we went in! It really was set up more as a shop for locals, as opposed to tourists. We found some really excellent and useful souvenirs for ourselves and family back home. The best part is that it was affordable, being that it wasn’t really stuff you would think to buy and fly home with. We got this incredibly delicate clear glass tea pot. It was packaged in a nice box, so it held up well on the flight (as a carry-on), and we use it all the time. Had we found something similar in a more touristy shop, we easily would have spent double.

Just up the road was our main attraction of the evening, the Shibuya Crossing. I know what you’re thinking… a crosswalk, this was the highlight of my day?! Well… this is the world’s busiest crosswalk and totally puts other busy crosswalks around the world to shame. They call Times Square of New York City “the crossroads of the world,” but after experiencing Shibuya crossing, I beg to differ. It’s basically five crosswalks at one intersection where vehicular traffic halts in all directions and then (depending on the time of year) hundreds (or thousands) of people cross at the same time. A literal sea of people. There is a great high-up vantage point from a Starbucks in the intersection if you wanted to experience it in person and then from a bird’s-eye view. It was really cool. While waiting at our crosswalk, we even saw this awesome experiential Super Mario street go-cart group race past us. I mean… seriously, how cool is that?! Had I known this existed, I totally would have booked the experience.

Video Credit: Domanation Travels

Dog lovers: There is a dog statue in the Shibuya Crossing intersection called Hachiko Memorial Statue. This bronze statue honors a loyal Akita dog. The story goes that the dog would meet his owner at the train station every day after work to escort him home. When the owner passed away, the dog continued to walk to the train station every day and wait for the owner to arrive. This continued for almost 10 years until Hachiko’s passing. To honor the dog’s loyalty and fidelity to his owner, a statue was placed at his waiting place. Hachiko the dog was cremated, and his ashes were buried in the cemetery with his beloved master, and his furs were stuffed and are on display in the National Museum of Nature and Sciences in Ueno Japan. Every year on his death day, there is a ceremony in the dog’s memory. Additionally, he is remembered with pop culture references in statues, movies, books, and other various media forms in Japanese culture. What a special pup.

We finished our evening with the best conveyor belt sushi at Katsumidori Seibu Shibuya. The restaurant was just next to the Shibuya Crossing in an upstairs floor. We actually got there right before they were stopping to take customers. We had to wait for a few minutes to sit down because they were so busy but it was 100% worth it. Conveyor belt sushi is drink and food items that go around on the belt in front of you. Depending on the color plate that you select, that determines price. It’s an adventurous kind of dining experience, because although you have a choice to select what you want from the belt, you are limited to what they are serving. You don’t really order special things as you would at a regular sit-down restaurant. My husband still raves over the rice-to-fish ratio in the nigiri. As you can see from the picture below of our finished plates, we obviously enjoyed the meal!

And that closes out another day on our six-week honeymoon around the world. This seventh day in Japan was jam-packed with an array of activities including dining, shopping, shrines, gardens, and monuments. We had such a great time exploring without a strict itinerary for the day. Some of the best finds were just stumbled upon as we strolled hand-in-hand through the city.

Join us in exactly two weeks when we post our final part of the nine days in Japan itinerary, which also marks the end of our honeymoon. Can’t wait to share it with you!

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9 Days in Japan: Part 6 – Tokyo DisneySea

Hi everyone! Welcome back to my blog. As our world heals from this terrible pandemic, I hope you and your loved ones are in lifted spirits and staying healthy. Especially for those that have experienced loss, I am deeply sorry for the difficulties you are experiencing.

Before we jump into the post, I wanted to explain our recent absence. Due to the global outbreak of Covid-19 back in February, and the significant global travel bans, the Amarvelous Honeymoon Blog had decided to postpone any travel-related blog posts. We continued to share Amarvelous Wedding Blog posts and theme those around Covid-19 event guidance. Then we decided to take a full third quarter hiatus from all posts as the world was learning more about the virus and beginning the long road to recovering and reopening.

And here we are today! I am incredibly grateful for your readership, and I hope I can spread just a little cheer in your life by sharing my travels, stories, and pictures.

So let’s pick up where we left off and recap our most recent travel posts! My husband and I got married and went on an incredible six-week honeymoon around the world. All of the posts on England, China, Hong Kong, Thailand, and a cruise through Asia can be found on our Amarvelous Honeymoon page.

The final country we visited was Japan, and we’re in the midst of an eight-part series. If you’re a Disney fan (assuming you are because you’re here with us today), the last post was on Tokyo Disneyland, and today we’re going to discuss my favorite theme park in the world: Tokyo DisneySea!!

I don’t even know how to put into words how much I loved Tokyo DisneySea. It is a must-visit destination for literally anyone visiting Japan and anyone who loves Disney. It was pure magic and so well done. I share my love of this park with anyone who will hear it, and I can’t wait to make you a believer as well.

Photo Credit: Tokyodisneyresort.jp


Day 7 in Japan

We began our day arriving at the park an hour before gates opened. I had read online in other blogs that arriving at least an hour in advance was the normal protocol for serious ride-goers as lines only got longer as the day progresses. Since we didn’t want to miss a single ride, it was an early (and long) day for us. I’ll note that we didn’t stay at the DisneySea Hotel MiraCosta due to the cost, but if you can splurge, you are allowed an early park entrance, which does help get ahead of the lines.

We arrived an hour early and were still rows of people back from the main gate. We sat on the floor like everyone else, laid out the map of the park, and began to mark out our game plan. I like to pack a marker and cross out rides and shows we know to be closed (for example, Journey to the Center of the Earth was under construction while we visited), and then smaller kid rides that we definitely wouldn’t be partaking in. We’ll marvel at their beauty as we pass, but if it’s not on our ride list, it’ll get crossed off. This helps us to keep organized and ensure we hit every attraction we wanted to see before the end of the night. I also number the rides in the order we want to try and experience them, and I recommend that you do the same, whether your list consists of the thrill rides, the kid rides, the shows, or everything.

Photo Credit: Tokyodisneyresort.jp

The park is nestled into the most perfect piece of land in all of Tokyo. As its name suggests, DisneySea is located on the sea! Similar to other theme parks around the world, there is a central water system that the attractions surround. However, this park has more than one central lake. The center of the park is actually an island floating in the middle of a moat, and then there are more rides on the outer perimeter of the moat. Everywhere you look, there is water. The most special part is that from multiple vantage points in the park, you can see the retaining wall and the open sea beyond it. Truly beautiful. It reminded me of The Little Mermaid 2, when Ariel’s daughter Melody was in the castle looking out beyond the wall to the sea (except this wall isn’t quite as towering).

DisneySea is split up into seven ports-of-call (themed lands). Below I have provided a brief description of each port, our favorite attractions, and some photos. (NOTE: FP=FastPass and SR=Single Rider)

  • Mediterranean Harbor: This romantic Italian-themed port town includes mostly shops and restaurants, but also a couple of cool rides.
    • Venetian Gondolas: This attraction can take out as many as 16 guests while two gondoliers ride you around and serenade you as you go.
    • Soaring: Fantastic Flight: This ride actually opened in 2019 after our trip but it’s pretty great so I wanted to add it in. It’s similar to the Orlando Florida Epcot and Shanghai China counterparts, except the aircraft is a Renaissance-era Dream Flyer and some of the landscapes you fly over are replaced by Japanese landmarks such as Mt. Fuji and Tokyo DisneySea.
  • American Waterfront: As a New Yorker myself, I felt all the New England charm while walking through the New York Harbor area and old Cape Cod fishing village. There were a bunch of fun small details that made us feel like we were back at home.
    • Tower of Terror (FP): Japan takes a really unique look at this familiar ride. Since The Twilight Zone is not well known in Japan, the ride is just called Tower of Terror and creators developed a full storyline for the drop ride that is very different from all other versions of this ride around the world.
    • Toy Story Mania! (FP): This was such a fun 3D ride which includes individual cannons that fire simulated projectiles as you compete in five mini-games while you ride through the full experience. They keep score as you go, so you can gloat to your friends if you’re the winner. Lines can get extremely long as it’s probably the second-most popular ride in the park. It’s modeled after the California Disneyland Toy Story ride.
Photo Credit: Tokyodisneyresort.jp
  • Port Discovery: Going from old world ports to this futuristic marina was a trip! It had the most modern vibe in the park.
    • Aquatopia: This was one of the most unique rides in the park. The ride includes 36 personal (two person) hovercrafts which moves around on wheels on a trackless system in shallow water for the illusion of floating on water. The trackless system provides a surprise route, as you don’t know where the hovercraft will take you next.
    • Nemo & Friends SeaRider: A simulated experience where you shrink down and go on a Dory-guided tour through the ocean. Check out this awesome 360° video from Adventures in VR, and don’t forget to swipe the screen around to see the full perspective.
Photo Credit: Tokyodisneyresort.jp
  • Lost River Delta: This port is farthest in the back of the park and is depicted as a remote Central American jungle inclusive of ruins of an ancient civilization.
    • Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Crystal Skull (FP) (SR): This enhanced motion vehicle is nearly identical to the California Disneyland Temple of the Forbidden Eye. What a fun ride, and we hardly waited at all to get on due to single rider.
    • Raging Spirits (FP) (SR): A thrilling roller coaster attraction taking you through ruins of an ancient Peruvian Incan civilization. This ride was inspired by Disneyland Paris’s Indiana Jones et le Temple du Péril. This is the only ride in Tokyo Disney Resort (both Disneyland and DisneySea) to have an inversion.
Photo Credit: Tokyodisneyresort.jp
  • Mermaid Lagoon: This one is for the Ariel fans. Mermaid Lagoon features the Palace of King Triton and seashell-inspired architecture. You will experience under the sea adventures with Ariel and all her friends in this mostly indoor port giving you a true under the sea vibe. This is also the perfect area to visit if it starts to rain, since it’s almost entirely indoors.
    • Mermaid Lagoon Theatre: King Triton’s Concert (FP): This show was really fantastic!! I could have watched it again and again. It included a beautiful display of live actors suspended by cables and floating through the air, puppetry, robotics, and display screens. This is definitely a must-see in my book.
    • Surprisingly, Hubby and I spent two to three hours here. There were lots of smaller rides in this area geared toward children, but Hubby and I rode all of them and enjoyed every single one. There was also a fun area with rope bridges and other obstacles.
  • Arabian Coast: A step into this port feels a bit like you’re in a waterfront Agrabah with architectural influences inspired by the Middle-East and India.
    • The Magic Lamp Theatre (FP): An indoor 3D pre-show and show featuring the Genie and friends was entertaining and a retreat from the heat.
    • Caravan Carousel: This isn’t just any carousel. This is a two-story carousel including famous Disney characters such as the Genie. A beautiful and unique take on a traditional ride. We rode at night, and it was magical. The pictures don’t do it justice.
    • Sinbad’s Storybook Voyage: This was my hubby’s favorite non-thrill ride in the park. It has a similar feel to It’s a Small World. You sit in a boat and ride around while the characters (which are even similar size and look to It’s a Small World) tell you the story of Sinbad. It had a nice song called “Compass of Your Heart” composed by Alan Menken playing in the background.
Photo Credit: Tokyodisneyresort.jp
  • Mysterious Island: Based off of Jules Verne’s novel The Mysterious Island, this island is Captain Nemo’s lair. The center of the island is a volcano (Mount Prometheus), and it’s in this port where you will experience the depths of the Earth and sea.
    • Journey to the Center of the Earth (FP): This ride was regrettably closed while we visited, so although I don’t have a firsthand perspective, I had done my homework in anticipation of going to the park that day. It has similar technology to Epcot’s Test Track and is the most popular ride in the whole park. That is partly because this ride is exclusive to Tokyo DisneySea and you won’t find it anywhere else in the world.
    • 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (FP): After you board a small submarine, you go on a sea journey with some unexpected turns. Although you are not actually underwater, the special effects in and around the submarine are really convincing. This ride is similar to other rides at Disney parks around the world such as California Disneyland’s Submarine Voyage and the Orlando Florida Magic Kingdom 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea ride (which retired in 1994).
Photo Credit: Tokyodisneyresort.jp

Pro Tips:

  • FastPass: Maximizing FastPass while at the park will help you to see everything in one day. Disney app now allows you to do FastPass directly from your smart phone. It’s so convenient, because you used to have to go back to the ride to scan your ticket. Now you can sign up for FastPass from anywhere in the park. Don’t forget to keep an eye on time and ensure you don’t miss the ride window. Once you are allowed to reserve another FastPass, do it! All rides that offer FastPass are listed above as “FP”. As you can see, there are plenty of options.
  • Single Rider: There are two rides in the park that offer single rider options: Indiana Jones Adventure and Raging Spirits. Single rider allows you to go through an entrance separate from the main line which will save you a bunch of time (similar to FastPass). Although my husband and I were in a new country, we didn’t mind splitting up for a few minutes of the ride to save the hour wait time. We made a game plan of where to meet when the ride ended, and basically walked onto both of these rides without lines. If you are trying to accomplish every ride in a single day, plus some shows and dining, then this is an awesome option for you to take advantage of.


Disney is well known for creating inventive treats that are new concoctions, as well as serving familiar treats in the shapes of our beloved Disney characters. While in this park, we enjoyed several treats that were sometimes really yummy, and sometimes not.

  • First things first, a MAJOR shout out to the staff in the show lottery kiosk (more info on that process below) that truly made our entire day of snacks possible. Hubby and I had been wearing Disney celebratory pins for our wedding and did not win lottery tickets for the show. The staff recognized our pins, and the fact that we were not granted tickets, and asked us to hold a minute. They came back and presented us with two lanyards and a small piece of paper. This gift allowed us to consume UNLIMITED popcorn all day long from popcorn kiosks. It was incredible. Popcorn is nothing new. We have it in America and all over the world, but Japan Disney does it right. They offer the most variety of, and in some cases inventive, flavors that we’d never seen. On that particular day, they were offering seven flavors (an example of this can be seen on the bottom left hand corner of the park map above). As we went through the park, we tried every flavor, some more than once. It was wonderful. I think I liked all the flavors except the seaweed flavor which was too fishy for me. What a generous gift. We have never received any type of kindness like this from theme park staff. It truly made our day. We actually filled up on so much popcorn that we hardly ate anything else, but it was worth it.
  • I ordered a really tasty seashell-shaped sea salt (wow say that three times fast) ice cream in Mermaid Lagoon.
  • From the not-so-great side, we had a pasta dish from a restaurant inside the Mediterranean Harbor that was actually really awful. As an Italian myself, I’m a very tough critic and shouldn’t have ordered a pasta dish in a Disney Park in Japan. Mistake number one and I really blame myself for that. But word to the wise, just because it looks like you’re strolling down a Venice street, does not mean the food will taste authentic.