Ever since our girls’ trip to Hawaii 2 years ago, Brianne and Bridgette have loved the idea of traveling with just us girls. Not that they ever minded having their daddies along on our travels, but the term “girls’ trip” just seem to make them extra giddy and excited. Since the Hawaii trip, we’ve taken other girls’ trip to Pismo Beach, Whistler, and Taipei. After Brady’s arrival, we didn’t think we’d be able to do another girls’ trip for awhile but thanks to my wonderful parents and brother in law, they offered to watch Brady for a few days while Brianne, Bridgette, and I whisked Mimi away to Tokyo for a little girls’ time over Thanksgiving.
Girls’ trip + Tokyo was the perfect combination for all of us, and it was just a short 4.5 hours direct flight from Hong Kong. We intentionally didn’t plan much for this trip, as we didn’t want to be stressed out and tied down over an ambitious itinerary. We just wanted to relax and decide at the spur of the moment what we wanted to do and see on a daily basis. The only thing we planned was an overnighter at Hakone, so that Brianne and Bridgette could enjoy the same ryokan and onsen that we loved when we were there for Mimi and Alice’s 40th birthday.
For our first night in Tokyo, I splurged on booking a Hello Kitty room at the Keio Plaza Hotel in Shinjuku. I mean, what’s a better time to splurge on something like that than when I’m traveling with my favorite girls? 🙂 You can see a snippet of it on Bridgette’s YouTube video here.
Okay, so in all honesty, the room was cute and we loved the premier check-in line (zero wait time) but it was not worthy of spending USD $450 on it for one night. The room felt pretty dated and I think they could’ve done a lot better with the Hello Kitty details. Oh well, at least I have checked this off my Hello Kitty-loving bucket list! 🙂
Our first night was spent wandering around Shinjuku. The girls were tempted to go into every store they passed by as everything was just so cute and colorful. We dined at one of our favorite restaurants in Tokyo–Kani Doraku, which specializes in crab…in every cooking style of crab you can ask for including sashimi, tempura, sushi, katsu, and more. No matter how many times we visit Tokyo, we always make time for a meal at this place!
The next morning, we were surprised and excited to wake up to snowfall! The locals in Tokyo told us that it’s been something like 60 years since it last snowed in Tokyo during the month of November. We felt so lucky!
My sis had forgotten to pack her glasses and contacts, so she was legally blind when she woke up that first morning. We frantically tried to figure out how we could possibly get her prescription glasses as quickly as possible. If there’s a place that can expedite such services, it would be Tokyo! And sure enough, Tokyo did not disappoint. We found Jins, a Japanese chain for prescription glasses, and in just 30 short minutes, my sister was able to walk out with brand new prescription glasses, all for the price of USD $40!!
With Mimi’s eyesight restored, we headed to Harajuku by JR, and strolled through Takashita Street. The girls spent over an hour at one of those Japanese photobooth shops! There were so many choices, and for a fraction of what it would cost in Hong Kong and the U.S.!
Kiddy Land was another must-go for the kiddos, which is a multi-story building full of every cartoon character and toys that you can name. Surprisingly, we didn’t empty our wallets there (though it would’ve been easy to!) and thanks to their blasting heat inside the store that made us sweat like crazy, we also didn’t have a hard time getting the girls to leave. 🙂
Prior to the trip, Bridgette showed me a YouTube video of a cafe called the Kawaii Monster Cafe which looked really kawaii (that’s cute in Japanese) so we decided to check it out. Indeed, it was quite a kawaii experience! The entire place was ultra colorful and very theme-y. There were several “kawaii monster girls” dressed in costumes that I can’t quite describe (one had a purple cotton candy wig with baby legs wrapped around her waist) and they performed on stage a variety of Japanese songs and dances. The girls were over the moon excited as soon as they stepped foot into the cafe. As for Mimi and I, we weren’t quite sure what to make of it, but nonetheless, it was still a pretty fun experience.
Part II. will include our lovely ryokan stay in Hakone!