On Friday, my husband encouraged me to take our daughters for a last minute one day trip to anywhere in Japan this Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday. Yippee!
So, we did. We tried for Nagoya or maybe Osaka, but, in the end decided to go just to Narita. It was truly last minute. We booked our flight that Friday night, and even our hotel stay. It was very nerve racking, because trying to book a hotel close to the airport was hard. Especially, since it was last minute and most places we wanted were already booked well in advance. Ugh.
We were able to get the Narita Gateway Hotel. Similar to a Best Western or Hotel 8. But, worth it for what we had planned to do. Taby and I discussed what we would do, after googling what we could expect. We decided to just stay within the Narita Town area, mind you, we don’t own proper coats, as we were warned of freezing temps. Luckily, I did buy a heavy coat in Washington on my last visit with my sister. But, the girls only had their sweatshirt jackets. I made sure they doubled up on clothing, scarves and hats. No zori’s here! LOL
So, our plan was to make it simple, and go to the mall or maybe the temple depending on weather? Just do what we loved best, shopping!
Our early Saturday morning started off with a bit of a bump… We had to wake up and be out the door by 3:30pm. Tevin offered to drive us, but sadly, his alarm clock didn’t wake him up, instead it was my phone call. LOL Surprisingly, he didn’t drive us there, he flew us there. That’s how fast I felt he was going! Maybe to all the guys in our family, that’s nothing. We did get there with time to spare, checked in, and now was the time to wait to go onto the plane.
We made First Class seating, and it was Sara’s first time to be up front. As you can see she was having a blast! Yay, Daddy for this amazing privilege. Only a 3 hour flight, we got into Narita International Airport by 10am. We went thru customs and the gentleman who wheeled me out was very helpful with giving us directions as to what we could expect to enjoy during our very short stay. Thank you to that kind man for pointing out what Narita had to offer us. Cute mascot on the banner above. Of course, Taby loved shopping in the airport. So, since we had a while until we could check into our hotel, we decided to check out our usual faves and eat lunch. Before embarking on our shuttle to the next adventure…
Sara’s fave, Mcdonalds. She at a lot too. Then, we went to the shops around the area and looked. We found these Gatchapon machines at the Sanrio shop. Yes, so many cute things! We had a blast and spent a lot of money and time there too! We wanted to try this bag tag machine, and got three of the same tags. So one for each of us. I took photos of the other machines there also. Sara wanted a toy from this one. I wanted a toy from The Little Forest Fellow character. Candies, I had from our dear family friends, The Nakamura’s when they came to visit in December. I took it with me to snack on. Too cute, not to take a quick pic. This is a grape flavor ramune candy. Yummy.
We started to get all bundled up. Sara was just too funny. It wasn’t far to walk to the platform for the shuttle bus, and it arrived on time. We got in and were ready to head over to our hotel to check in! On our way over, it started to flurry. I had to tap Taby to show Sara. Of course you can’t see it too well on the video. But, still it was a great memory for us, islanders. Ha!
When we arrived at the Narita Gateway Hotel, it stopped, darn. Oh well. We got off the bus, and met our dearest family friends, The Nakamura family, who were already there waiting. Shizuka-san was truly so kind and wanted to take us to the nearest mall and also to enjoy a quick visit with us, even though it was a short stay. We were so happy they were able to come all the way from Yokohama to greet us.
Since it was too early to check into our hotel room, we left our bags with the counter and decided to head over to the mall. It was quite close to our hotel about 15 minutes or so. We parked and headed in. There are 3 floors to explore. But, Shizuka-san knew we were tired from our flight, so we just simply walked around, talked and stopped by a few shops of interest to the girls. Sara went into a Sanrio shop, there was even a Claire’s shop, just like in the malls in the States. Sara fell in love with a plush fox there. We saw this candy store that had a lot of vintage dolls and toys. I told myself, I will have to go back there to check that one out for sure later?! We also went to a game room, with crane machines to play. In the end, we decided to sit and relax to eat some dessert from all that walking.
A nice simple little place with yummy deserts. Sara and Taby got strawberry shortcake, Yuina-chan got a caramel type parfait sundae, I believe? and Honoka-chan, got a fruit tart. I just shared with Taby. The girls were so happy to be together again, and this time in their home of Japan. Afterwards, we decided it was time to head back to the hotel. I guess that early wake up of 3am, was getting to us. So, we went to the Super Market in the mall and bought bento lunches for our dinner and breakfast. We got back to the hotel, checked in and said our “Good-byes”, and hugged Shizuka-san and family. As they left us, we knew, that next time, we would make better plans to spend more time with them. Thank you dear Shizuka-san for an awesome quick visit with you, and the girls! They are family to us.
We headed up to our room, and showered, changed, before you knew it, Taby and Sara knocked out. We said a nap, but ended up sleeping until the next morning… From our 3rd floor room. There is a Japanese style house with Koi pond below.
My bento dinner, Yakisoba, fried rice, with some fries. The girls got pizzas. We even bought Caplico in chocolate, strawberry, and new strawberry shortcake! Wow.
To be continued…
Thank you for reading! ~ ggsdolls