Thursday, 16th November 2017
We planned for the last few days of our holiday to be back in Tokyo; so we could revisit anything we'd spotted at the beginning of the holiday but didn't have time for, or in case we wanted to buy any bulky souvenirs to take home on the plane.
My plan was to go to Tokyo DisneySea!
Tickets in hand, we left the hotel and made our way to the Shinjuku Express Bus Terminal, which is built above Shinjuku station.
The weather was beautiful this morning, and we didn't have long to wait before a coach arrived to take us to the entrance to the parks.
At the park
Tokyo has two Disney parks: Tokyo Disneyland which follows the same Magic Kingdom layout as the other Disneylands around the world (and has most of the same rides) and Tokyo DisneySea which is unique to Tokyo.
We decided to skip the Magic Kingdom park and spend our two days at DisneySea.
DisneySea is built around many different 'ports of call' which are the different themed lands; from New York to the Arabian Coast, deep jungles of Lost River Delta to Ariel's Mermaid Lagoon, and in the centre is a large volcanic caldera from Jules Verne's Mysterious Island.
As you walk into the park, you find yourself in front of the large lake, with Mediterranean-style buildings to your left and right. Looking across the lake, we could see the volcano, which we headed around towards.
Venturing into a huge tunnel through the rock, you emerge into the Mysterious Island's caldera. The buildings and structure around the edges of the crater are full of steampunk details, surrounded by bubbling water and spurting geysers.
I love looking at all the little details in the parks.
Our first ride of the day would be 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.
After we'd been to the bottom of the sea on 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, we headed back into the tunnels around the caldera towards the entrance for Journey to the Centre of the Earth.
Journey.. was fantastic! The finale turned out to be a little more dramatic than we were expecting, for Alyssa especially! When a giant lava monster bursts out of the rock, the ride takes a couple of fast, sharp turns through dark tunnels to escape.
I'd been reassuring her that it wasn't going to be a rollercoaster, and it wasn't really.. until those last 30 seconds of the ride.. Oops.
Walking out of the caldera through another tunnel, we emerged next to an explosion of colourful shells and twisting spires.
The Mermaid Lagoon was a large enclosed indoor area with lots of smaller rides and play equipment so that smaller kids could run around relatively unimpeded. It was fun to look at, but the rides weren't really our size.
We carried on walking around the park towards the Arabian Coast.
Next up, we found Sinbad's Storybook Voyage; a boat ride with animatronics that illustrate various tales from the many adventures of Sinbad. It was just a nice, quintessential Disney ride.
We came back to Sinbad's Storybook Voyage several times over the two days we were here and we were humming the music for days after.
Continuing on our way, we left the Arabian Coast and arrived at the jungle foliage of the Lost River Delta.
Alyssa took some photos of the Raging Spirits roller coaster while I queued up for a ride.
As the sun started to set, the lights came on.
The caldera looked particularly good when it was lit up at night, with the glowing (and smoking) volcano looming above.
The crowds were gathering around the Mediterranean Harbor for the evening's big firework display.
We threaded our way through them, all the way back to the entrance and nipped into some of the shops there while they were a bit quieter.
But it was getting late, and tonight we had somewhere else to be! We left the park and caught the monorail from DisneySea to the main Disney train station where we could head back into Tokyo.
(The Christmas decorations in the monorail station reminded us how long we'd been in Japan for. On the day we arrived, Tokyo was full of Halloween decorations, and now on our last day they were starting to put up Christmas ones.)