Tag Archives: holidays in Japan

The kind of Mixed 2018 Review

For the past years I have been not doing really many of such reviews. One I clearly remember was the Amazing Year 2014 Review as it was really a wonderful year full of great memories. The past years on the other hand have been more like “meh” compared to 2014. Now 2018 is something totally different as it will be definitely a year I will remember for a very long time due to its ups and downs.

Nathan the Taekwondo champ

The year started kind of slow and I thought back about the past years living in Germany and how it changed since we moved here. Besides that I also had another part of the “New Apartment” series which is still not entirely solved thus far. One big thing I had going on was my family research combined with a DNA test to find somehow some relatives somewhere on this globe. I am still in this whole research but have once again hit too many brick walls and for now I just wait for some lucky discoveries when someone adds to their family tree at some point.

In March things changed a bit as we arranged our trip to China and also had finally the confirmation that we could travel to Japan in May! Though we were excited to go once again to China and enjoy the good food there and kind of experience the strange Chinese family with their weird requests the main thing for us was Japan. For so many years we wanted to travel to Japan but it never worked out. Either it was the Japanese Embassy in Finland telling us the wrong information regarding the visa for my wife or we simply had suddenly no time for it. My wife planned the entire week in Japan for nearly two months to make it as perfect as possible for us and especially for Nathan. I don’t know why but I have barely any memories about April even though we wouldn’t fly to China till near the end of the month. Guess we were just busy with work, keeping Nathan busy with sports and being way too excited about our holidays.

Mount Fuji

May was the most amazing month for us in years as we were in China and of course in Japan. Blogging wise I didn’t do anything and wrote all about the wonder of Japan in June. Tokyo and Osaka were just so wonderful and Nathan really enjoyed the few hours we had at Thomas Land.  Each day in Japan we had a blast and thinking back I still can’t believe that we actually experienced all of that. I must say that all the planning my wife did for this holiday surely paid off. Usually all her preparing and planning are totally messed up as I wrote later in summer after our two-week holidays in Finland.  The time in Finland was way too short but we did go to Moominland which had been on my bucket list ever since I was a child!

With Autumn approaching we got a new family member, Haruki the Shiba. That tiny dog gave us so much joy thus far and by now he tripled his weight and can fart like a champ. In fact whenever he does release some gasses he cannot take the smell either and runs to another room. He is a strange little fellow with his constant smiley face. Ever since we got him I only started to see how many dogs we have in the neighbourhood. Even now I still encounter “new dogs” with their owners living somewhere nearby and I’ve been doing the rounds with Haruki for four months now. Besides Haruki we had another last highlight and that was visiting Lego Land in Denmark. We didn’t plan to go there this year but after finding some ridiculous good deal we just had to go. Two days of rain but also two days filled with Lego and that is all what Nathan cares for. I also got myself some goodies and went on updating my computer and rambling about my gaming history.

Haruki when he used to be cute

And now I come to the absolute depressing November after having such a great year till then. This month was just cursed as one bad thing after the other happened. Workwise we were totally overloaded, my wife got her wallet stolen,  a mirror crashed down and my father was diagnosed with Leukemia. I think that was by far the worst month I can think off. I mean after so many good memories this year everything was just destroyed in one month. By now we are over most of those terrible happenings but just remembering back makes we feel really empty and also angry. But life goes on and December has been rather positive without anything bad thus far.

How was your year 2018 so far?

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Nathancuty at Thomas Land

And another article about our trip in Japan. We had only seven days in that wonderful country and way too much to see. As mentioned in the previous blog post Epic Tokyo we had a trip planned to Thomas Land. Ever since Nathan heard about Thomas Land in February he asked us all the time when we would go there. Little did he know how far that theme park is from our home and was getting more and more excited each day. So when the big day arrived he was so happy and jumping around non-stop. Once again my wife’s cousin joined us to help out and of course play with Nathan.

Nathan got some big butt

We left shortly after breakfast from our Airbnb house to Shinjuku station which was just 20min away by foot. From there we took a train to Otsuki Station where something very special would take us further to Fuji-Q Highland. Nathan had no idea that we would board a special Thomas Themed train to get to the park. In that train you could take pictures with different “Trains” and the kids could pretend to be driving the train itself. Our little boy was busy the entire journey to the park “steering” the train. Meanwhile MIL was complaining as usual about the aircondition and was the only person in the entire train wearing even a jacket.

Nathan the train operator

Once we arrived we got us something to eat at one of the restaurants at the Fuji-Q Highland park. The food was okay but not worth mentioning any further unlike all the other restaurants we visited during the Japan holidays. Thomas Land is just one little part of the entire Highland Park and it was so full there. Yes, it is very smart to go anywhere in Japan during the Golden Week and we will never do that again! Each ride had a waiting time of at least one hour and we decided plit up to go to different waiting lines so that Nathan could go at least on a few rides before the closing time of the park. He had tons of fun and also got some little Thomas souvenirs from the Gift Shop. In fact the gift shop was a bit too much for him as there were so many Thomas toys, shirts, cups and so forth.

Unicorn Gundam

After few hours in the park it was time for us to head back to Tokyo. for our last night there. We had some wonderful food again together with the cousin and her future husband and made plans for the next day. For the last day in Tokyo we headed to Odaiba for some last sightseeing. It was kind of interesting to be on a fully automated train to Odaiba. Here in Germany people distrust already automatic doors and in Japan you have trains running without any staff! Of course there had to be an October Fest in Odaiba making the whole area even more crazy with people.  Our time in Tokyo was really wonderful and worth every Cent (very many cents…). The time just went by too fast and we did not really feel like leaving Tokyo already but we had other big plans for the following day as Osaka was next on our list!

Have you visited special Theme Parks such as Thomas Land?

Be sure to follow me also on Facebook and on Twitter as I will post there occasionally pictures which do not find their way into my blog posts. Furthermore there is also my Instagram account in which from time to time some pictures and short videos might pop up.

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Epic Tokyo

Yes we really were in Japan! We had tried it for years but something always got in the way. This time however we sat down early enough to do the planning and got all paperwork done and tickets bought before we could decide somehow against the trip. So during the one week in Xi’an we were already incredible excited about the holidays in Japan. Especially Nathan was talking for months about it as we had promised him to visit Thomas Land, thanks again for the idea @Eleventh Monkey! 

On the way to the Skytree

On the second of May we flew from Xi’an straight to Tokyo where we had a personal driver to pick us up. Besides us we had once again MIL with us and my father so we needed a big big car for all of us. Thankfully my wife’s cousin living in Tokyo has a friend who knows someone who is owning such a big car and does it for a living. Anyhow we arrived in the evening at our Airbnb house and went straight out to find some food. We were woefully unprepared about Japanese restaurants and were searching for a couple of hours. Not that we didn’t find any restaurants but they all were full with insane waiting lines outside. Just when we were about to give up and just buy food from a convenience store we found a wonderful Miso Ramen restaurant where a group had just left. I never had contact with real Ramen and I must say it was really great to sit in that tiny restaurant with the chef preparing the food in front of you. My father fell in love with Japanese food that day.

Nathan could’t stop with the water…

Next day we headed out for some sightseeing together with my wife’s cousin and some of her friends. Our house was located in Shinjuku just 15min by walk away from the huge train and bus station which marks also the center of that area. Especially by night Shinjuku is an interesting place to visit. Got to love how subtle the Yakuza is operating there when seeing a row of black Mercedes G-Wagon with guys in black suits and shades standing in front of them. Anyhow the first few days we went all around Tokyo together with the cousin who has been living there for almost ten years now. The only disappointment for me was the Tokyo Skytree as we really wanted to go to the top but the waiting line was over two hours. However we visited the Sumida Aquarium instead which was anyhow one of my must-see places ever since it opened.  (especially thanks to the work of the late Amano Takashi there!)

Sumida Aquarium is a must see!

The entire trip was great for us in Tokyo and we were happy about the Airbnb house as it was in a wonderful location and big enough for us (45sqm is tiny but enough for a few days). Akihabara was another highlight as the whole area is just crazy. There we had also our first Wagyu steaks, sure they were on the cheap side with just 40 Euros but still the best steak I ever had by far! I can’t really put our experience in Tokyo into words as we had just so much fun there and it was such a wonderful time. We hope to be back there someday soon to enjoy it again. Perhaps next time we go not during the Golden Week as it was just so packed with people everywhere.

Have you been to Tokyo?

Be sure to follow me also on Facebook and on Twitter as I will post there occasionally pictures which do not find their way into my blog posts. Furthermore there is also my Instagram account in which from time to time some pictures and short videos might pop up.

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https://twitter.com/CraChineseFam

https://www.instagram.com/Crazychinesefamily