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Photo TR: Nrthwnd's TOP 10 LIST of the TPR Japan'07 Tour!


Nrthwnd
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Near the end of the Japan Tour, I started to put a list together that said (to me), what was great or "the best" about doing all this insanity we did. Turned out there were tne pretty good things about it all, ot make note about it. With photos to show what I'm talking about.

 

I shared The List with the group at our last din-din together, they enjoyed it, so I thought some more on it, added notes here and there...

 

So here's the first three of my Top Ten, with some pix attached I hope you all enjoy looking thru. And three more will be posted in (what else?) three daysss..

 

#10 All The Parks on the TPR Japan Tour

 

Whether it was that park that didn't give us any credits at all (better than Southport!), the park on the side of a mountain (location, location!) with the duck races and the icky animals zoo , or The Best Park Of Them All, every park in Japan had it's own uniqueness about it.

 

#9 The Japan Yen = Cheaper Exchange For Us Shopaholics!

 

I bought my first Huge Bunch of Stuff at Universal Osaka with a cc, then got a shock when several thousand Yen was not an On-Par equivalent on my cc update! Happy Dance for that! Even better with the US exchange, I betcha yes?

 

#8 Japanese Transit and "That Little Rail Pass"

 

Whether it was by trains, taxis or (bowing low to) The Bullet Train, Japanese getting-around was excellent, efficient and ONTIME for 99.99% of the time (Typhoon f-ups notwithstanding, eh?) And The Pass of the Tour Gods (that's us!) kept us on the move w/o too much worry and care about a lot of tickets to buy, etc. And Elissa & Robb would give us ca$h to cover other trains not covered by the pass, as well as the cabfare for between station and park(s). Awesome!

 

 

Later, in three days with three more to post.

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Me and The Mouse. Got one of those silhouettes done on Main Street, in the morning at TDL. And the girl cutting it knew all about TPR! (shock) BTW, single view cutout (in main souvenirs shot) was a double 'bonus' I got in buying this thing.

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My First Japan Rail Pass. And still in pretty good shape too after all that touring around, lol.

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More of the same. Geez, I bought a lot of 'stuff' huh?

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Too many to comment on, but here's a look-see at (some of) what I ended up lugging back with me!

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BUMP with a BONUS PIC!

 

I happen to LOVE Scary Teddy from NBC, right? Well, I just glanced over to the right of the desk here and there, leaning against one of my computer speakers was this one (of a collection of) pin I have, from an NBC/HM series, with Teddy playing the grand piano and Sally intently listening in...

 

And suddenly YOIKS! There's the whole scene in my head at TDL, one of the first scenes we glided by in our Doom Buggies.

 

Kool! And awesomely random to be reminded about, eh? Pic attached is a bit fuzzy but you can make them both out - and the piano, too.

 

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My little buddy on the left there, bashin' the ivories with Sally in rapt attendance? ..... Rapt?

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A bit of a clearer image of same pin.

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It's cool that the pic on teh rail pass is Hokusai's Great Wave (or at least part of it). It is one of my favorite paintings.

 

Damn you are a shopaholic. I could not have fit that much EXTRA stuff in my suitcase if i tried. It was a struggle to get the couple of things I bought in Spain as it was. Perhaps i need to invest in a bigger bag .

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^ LOL.

 

^^ But wait for it - you need to see the actual suitcase (singular) I took with me and brought everything back with me, in it. Compared to most of everybody else's cases, I was truly... petite. And still, all this $tuff!

 

Damn I was good!

 

At packing, I mean.

 

Hmmm. Even that sounds dirty. Oh well. Will reveal the entire crapload of stuff when I finish the Top Ten and then will show how OMG small my checked single piece luggage was, lol.

 

And next year for the Europe trip, I do intend to "size up" to a bigger bag, heh heh.

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^ How dirty it is depends on what you were packing.

 

I will definately bring fewer shoes to Europe which was where most of the room in my suitcase went. I shouldnt have listened to Mr Raptor, my carryon is the size of your checked bag, BoyASU when packing.

 

 

 

^^ You HAD a bag. Emphasis on the past tense of course.

Still no word?

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Packing tip:

 

I packed a box of my own preferred sneezing tissue, and a nice sized jar (plastic) of cashews (yum) for snacking on, besides all the wonderful goodies we got in our TPR bags.

 

And when I finally got rid of the container and tissue box while on tour - Voila! Some more suitcase space available! Also losing the various worn pairs of socks and (um) 'other things' along the way helped give me gain some extra souvenir space here and there.

 

Still - I was very amazed at how much my roomie, Shane, got and bought every bloody time we toured a park or parks. His kids have got to be The Most Spoiled (or will be) boys I know, currently.

 

That said, it was still going to be extra fun to see how he would *^$@!) pack it all together. But alas, he stayed an extra night in Tokyo so I never found out.

 

There was talk by various people of getting another suitcase, for their now massive collection of stuff, probably at the Disney Resort near the end of the tour!

 

Hee hee. I did good.

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Actually I used only two pairs.

 

One was my trusty pair of Aussie Blundtstones - shout out Australia! - that have taken me thru several countries in Europe this and last year. And they are pull-ons w/o havign to deal with laces. So easy slip off (and slip back on, afterwards) during theme park shows, etc.

 

The other was a pair of foam rubber clogs called (our Canadian version) Holey Soles, lol. I kid you not. I used them as mainly in-hotel footwear, although I did wear them when only going short distances, like to restaurants groups of us did a few evenings here and there.

 

I made a mistake of wearing them out to the parks for a couple of days and suffered a blister (or three) that have finally calmed down, lol.

 

But - one good pair of walking shoes (that will last you the trip/tour) is all you really need.

 

And several pairs of socks, which will get wet, dye infused and just uuuuuugly to bring back home, lol. So you toss those.

 

Hope that helps.

 

(I also bought myself a pair of great looking sandals at Parc Espana, but that doesn't count, and I paid for it as it was heck to pack them to take home, lol.)

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Well, since it is very early in my morning here (I think I am still going thru a jet lag or "lack-of-time space continuum" going on)... might as well post the next three Top Ten's now, as well as a few more souvenir shots and FINALLY a few on-ride pix including our first enjoyable encounter with a group (6) of thoroughly sweet, thoroughly engaging and definitely ... um ... "not too hard on the eyes?" young women.

 

But first ---

 

#7 New and WTF Coasters, Rides and...wait for it... Souvenirs!

 

Some coasters were better ridden only once and enough was enough (read: the HUGE and really rough ~IMhO~ Jupiter at Kijimi Park). Others, like Steel Dragon 2000 at Nagashima Spaland, were definitely ones to repeat, "just a few more times," heh heh. A few woodies, several meandering steelies and a few that just were unique and kool (Mitsui Greenland's racing Stand-Up and Sitdown; Yomuiriland's interchanging Stand-up AND sit down on one track... and Splash Bandit! ~yum~).

 

Rides ran the gamut from cheesy broken down old dark rides, to a definite WTF paratrooper-like flipping *&^%# flat at Hamanako Pal Pal (our Aussie A$$hole Rich I think got the record for number of 360' flip-overs with or w/o a ride buddy, lol); flumes that were lame (same park) and ones that kicked (and wet) butt like Shoot The Chutes (where I got my red poncho) at Spaland and the drencher at Mitsuit G.... and Splash Bandit, heh heh. Too many to go thru here.

 

Also, ferris wheels a BIG things at a lot of the parks; a couple had gi-normous digital clocks on both sides of their center; Nagashima Spaland even had air conditioners on each and every car on the wheel!; also, most did continual turning but one cycle was usually under 20 min. which made having to choose to ride or not a lot easier to decide.

 

Souvenir buying didn't really hit it's stride with me until A) I found out the OMG (in our favor) exchange rate (see TT#9 above) after buying some stuff at Universal Osaka and B) I found allllllll of the lovely things and 'stuff' at the Tokyo Disney Resort parks. Then, there was no stopping me, as you are already seeing. And I was still to fit it all into my small, but humble, collection of checked bags (!) andf carry-on (2).

 

#6 Our 'Base Camps of Operation' - The Hotels of the Japan Tour

 

First up - The Tokyo Shinagawa Prince Hotel

 

Cons - what cons?

 

Pros - Our start and finish hotel in the tour w/9 nights total there.

 

The awesome swimming pool/sauna/jacuzzi setup that even with having to wear their hotel t-shirt on to cover up my tatoos (funny and quaintly Japanese reasons), was an excellent way to relax after a hearty meal of:

 

See TT#5

 

The Hikata Miyako Hotel

 

Cons - not enough time/nights to really enjoy more of this hotel, like the Shinagawa. But other than that - what cons again???

 

Pros - This was the hotel we hit on the day Japanese train service got pretty messed up. Something like over 200,000 were literally stranded over night at some train stations. But we plowed thru the evening, and finally reached our second hotel happy to be alive, not Typhooned-over and ready for bed.

 

It was serviceable and very nice - but nothing compared to Hotel #3 when we hit that one, lol.

 

The Cypress Sofitel Hotel

 

Cons - Are you kidding me?? Not a con in the world, except once again, only four nights to enjoy it all. And there was plenty to enjoy at this lovely hotel.

 

Pros - Let me see here. Where to start, where to begin. Hmmm...

 

Spacious room with separated sitting area, AND separated bathroom/tub-shower from vanity basin. So two roomies could do their own toilette thing and not have to wait for the other, depending.

 

An English morning paper slipped under our door every morning. Reading about Pavarotti's passing, but Reading Happy that Typhoon was missing us, just barely!

 

Two free bottles of mineral water every day we were there! Not the entire mini-bar mind, but still a nice thing to give us.

 

Lounging KIMONOS that made staying put in the room, all that more luxurious. Not cheap ones (over 5200 Yen I remember, each), but great to know the hotel was taking care of it's guests in all ways.

 

(EDIT: I totally forgot about the Sofitel's great little breakfast buffet, we did get to have during our stay there! Western and Japanese-style with refills in beverages and food a-plenty. But then, TT#5 kind of overshadowed it, once we started to going to that one, lol.)

 

#5 The Breakfast Buffet at the Luxe Point Dining Room, Prince Shiagawa Hotel

 

This buffet had long lines even before it opened at 0630 every morning. And worth getting up that early for, too. Sumptuous spread in "Western and Japaness Style" food service, plenty of beverages, and just an amazing layout to meander thru and enjoy - which I got to do near the end of the tour. Followed by a swim (see above).

 

Also, having different couples and other travellers aat nearby tables to chat with (as best we could, soemtimes) while savoring one's morning coffee and your eggs and layonnaise potatoes, heh heh.

 

Definitely The Breakfast Find of the tour. The should add "De" to the Luxe sign and make it even more aptly named, LOL.

 

~ ~ ~

 

Now as to the posted stuff and pix here, no real need for explaining except for that last one on the Indy Jones & Crystal Skull ride at TDS (ride the ride, see the movie soon, lol!). My then touring buds (Peter/Loefet from Sweden and Mike/miniviews from Hawaii) found ourself with these six pretty school chums in the line, on the ride vehicle for our first time on Indy, and even hanging around each other for our (me and Mike's) on-rode photo to be ready...

 

They definitely took a shining to us three, and my buds were definitely feeling that (ahem) Fangirl Fever the girls were "emoting". So much so that by the third time we saw them, just as we were leaving the park, we promised ourself to give them our TPR nicknames and the TPT site URL on paper, if we ran into them again at Tokyo Disneyland. But alas, they were never seen again - and it POURED as we left the park.

 

A sweet sweet bonus memory it was, for all three of us - even me who felt like the "gay grandfather" (sheesh) who still appreciated beauty and happiness in all who had it. And these six definitely had "it".

 

And we have the group photos to prove it, too!

 

Later - and in three days, three more Top Tens...

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On Indy with our FANGIRLS! Mike, me and Peter in back. Third row, and front row, two on the left was "our girls". Better photo coming up.... later, guys.

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Two onride photos, the 1st taken at Parc Espana (w-Marc/thrillerman1 and Adam/abgould) ; the second at LagunAsia with Peter/Loefet, Gus/gus and 'cool' Rich/sfne2005 on the Pirates Blast. Arrrrrrrrh. (o:

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Note only FIVE ROLLS of in-camera film used for the tour! Not bad, huh? And onride pix there too, which are coming up below.

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There's our (love) Rail Pass, a ring thingie to throw, souvenir Broadway program of Wicked (!)... lotsa stuff.

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Okay seriously, how many pairs of shoes could you possibly need to walk around in?

 

4.

 

Flip FLops

Sneakers (running)

Sneakers (Indoor Soccer Shoes)

"Dress" Shoes More like a low rise boot.

 

And i am glad i had all of them so i could switch them around so my feet wouldnt be too sore.

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^ (and i still blame Kyle's influence on the "dress shoes"

 

 

^^Fan girls are great.

 

CanabieTaco and I had some tweens, but they were more interested in our friend that was ACTUALLY HITTING ON THEM (eww).

 

I can't wait to see more pics.

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^ Yes, I agree. Euuuuuuw.

 

Well, here's the one of me and "our girls" taken outside the Indy on-ride photo pickup booth.

 

Not that clear just yet. But - soon, soon.

 

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Just a wee glance at the beau-tay that surrounded me. Ca-ching!

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One was my trusty pair of Aussie Blundtstones - shout out Australia! - that have taken me thru several countries in Europe this and last year. And they are pull-ons w/o havign to deal with laces. So easy slip off (and slip back on, afterwards) during theme park shows, etc.

 

I don't know where I would be without my Blunnies! They're the only shoes I bring on trips these days. Well worth the cost.

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^^ Here's the fan gals with me. Hopefully, we see more from Peter since there's 10+ photos of us w/ the fangals.

 

Anyway, I am already missing the Japan folks, and I will miss the Korea folks soon. I'm here in Seoul "supervising" a few drunks back to their room after a night of drinking with South Korea natives! Gotta love potent and cheap Soju!!!!

 

I love the list Bill! I agree with the Rail Pass. I love hopping on the JR Yamamoto line train to the various locations in Tokyo. I wish they would run 24/7 since I was stranded in Shinjuku, Shibuya & Roppongi several nights in Tokyo (deliberately). I'll comment more later.

 

Much love,

Mike "a fan of Japanese X"

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Our DisneySea fangals!!

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"a fan of Japanese X"

 

 

Um - okay Mike - I guess I screamed pretty loudly too on that X. But mainly, screaming out curses and nasty stuff at Fuji-Q management was soooooooo easy, mmm'k?

 

 

Good to see your FanGirls pic turned out okay, too.

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^ Thanks Brian.

 

Remember, Peter has been on the S.Korea trip so he may not want to post anything (including "Our Girls") until he returns home this weekend.

 

Then again - it's his choice whether to publish the pix or not, hmm? You may have to bribe him somehow, heh heh. $$$ thru PayPal always helps, I know.

 

And I'm STILL waiting for BIG MIKE to post his poolside pix of the TPR Beau-tays during the TPR Spain Tour . Actually, I think several hundred fanboys are waiting for those pix too, lolol.

 

More Top Ten picks (incl.The Best Park Ever, IMhO) on Monday!

 

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Yeah, Peter has shown me some of the pics on his computer, but I've been annoying him about posting so everyone can partake. He's annoying me back by not posting them. Honestly, if I had that many cute Japanese chicks following me around, I would want to keep them to myself. And I'm kicking myself for not hanging around with you guys that day--so yes, I am a bit jealous.

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Honestly, if I had that many cute Japanese chicks following me around, I would want to keep them to myself.

 

Hate to make you less po'd at us Brian, but the fact is, we only saw these sweet girls three times at TDS.

 

#1 - In the queue, on same ride vehicle, and at on-ride pic booth of Indy/Crystal Skull.

 

#2 - In the queue, on the same ride, and after the ride of Scooter's Scuttles - and that's when we ran into you, lol.

 

and #3 - And I swear to Goofy, we ran into them only one more time, in the middle of the bridge (awww) connecting Cape Cod with the American Waterfront. Said our goodbyes as best we could understand, of each other.

 

Then as we headed to the front gate, and they headed to the back of the park - it started to POUR. Buckets.

 

But "for the record...": Here's my little souvenir of..... my gals.

 

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Six charming lovely young women. And me. GRIN.

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Well we just celebrated Christmas in September, Japanese style. I seemed to have been the Paris Hilton of the trip (well maybe the Lindsay Lohan if you consider my trips to and from the bar) on a non-stop shopping spree. I managed to fit everything into my large suitcase, backpack and Disney shopping bag. An additional $50 was required for overweight luggage.

 

The kids loved everything I bought and I am glad to say that once again I am the "Greatest Father in the World" I am a good "daddy" too.

 

Great time in Japan Bill, you were a Hoot and a wonderful roomie (he is like the Martha Stewart of roomates)

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The King and Queen of Japan

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Of course I had to throw out most of my clothes to make room for all the goodies

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Wooo I made it into the Splash Montserrat photo! That was a really fun flume...well *ALL* of the flumes in Japan were fun lol. I've never experienced any as cool as those were. Spiral drops, airtime drops, backwards through tunnels with blacklight effects, not to mention getting totally drenched on that one at Space World!

 

Bill it was a LOT of fun hanging out with you!

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Wooo I made it into the Splash Montserrat photo! That was a really fun flume...well *ALL* of the flumes in Japan were fun lol. I've never experienced any as cool as those were. Spiral drops, airtime drops, backwards through tunnels with blacklight effects, not to mention getting totally drenched on that one at Space World!

 

Bill it was a LOT of fun hanging out with you!

 

Not only were the flume rides superb and definitely unique; it was the people that made the trip. Hi Bill & Mark.

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