The time we DIDN'T go to China πŸ‡¨πŸ‡³.

The past few months or so have been consumed with stress πŸ˜₯. Work has officially taken a toll...so much that when we squeezed in a weeks vacation to China back in Sept., I failed to research anything and everything on the whole subject...hence the title of this blog post.

It started when we arrived at the airport on the way to Beijing, ready to check in to our flight, only to discover that the check in kiosk machine was asking for our Visas...no, not credit card Visas, Travel Visas to travel to other countries from the US. Countries like China. Oops! A Gate Agent approaches us since she noticed the look on our faces and lets us know, "...Yep...you need a Visa to go to China." Well then 🀷🏻...

Thankfully we're pretty open minded about things so I tell my hubs "...If we wait it out, there's a flight to Tokyo in 2 hours, we can hop on that πŸ’—"...And sure enough, with little convincing, we were off...Off to the land of the rising sun, Tokyo, Japan, our happy place πŸ€—.

πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅ πŸ—Ύ πŸ—»πŸŒΈπŸ™ (this occasion calls for all the emojis)

Our flight was great...plenty of space in the Premium Economy section, especially if you score exit row seats like we did...lots of leg room πŸ—.

We arrived to Tokyo at about 4:30pm...after grabbing the train into the city, transferring to the subway, finding our hotel 🏩, we finally settled into our hotel at about 7:30pm-ish. The plan was to drop our stuff off, then take on the town. I'm sure you know what followed. Sleep πŸ’€. Jetlag is horrible 😫...to reference folks, we're in Dallas, TX (Central Standard Time), while in Japan, they're a little ahead in time...14 hours to be exact! Jetlag is the worst enemy when traveling to foreign countries. We would usually wake up randomly at 4am...by the time we felt like a nap, it was mid-day...and who wants to nap on vacation when you're in such a wonderful city?!...So sleep was the enemy on vaca.

Since we had absolutely no idea we were going to Tokyo, we didn't really plan our day by day schedule like we (or I, rather) usually do, so we kind of went where the wind took us...And where did it take us? Akihabara baby, yeah! This is Electric Town, where you can see all things electronic, anime, manga, with shopping, toys, Cosplay and all the cafΓ©s you can think of!

On the 3rd day we headed to Tokyo Disney! That was so much fun..it was so different from our Disneyland here in the US. It seemed smaller, was less crowded, very clean and organized and full of super cool things (I liked seeing Japanese versions of things like Star Wars). I think the only thing we missed on our visit there was lack of beers. It was the only place we were craving a cold brew on a hot day, but it was completely dry. Good thing for street vending machines🍻.

The day after, our long long long walks continued since we hit as many museums as we could in one day. I think we hit 4, the Tokyo National Museum, the Mori Art Museum, the National Art Center and the Snoopy Museum. Temple day was great...we visited my favorite one, Asakusa Sensō-ji. We visited this one a few years back on our first visit to Tokyo, but we had to go back. You can spend all day there...so much to see and eat.

We also checked out the Meiji Shrine again...this one is located near Harajuku and Shibuya so we got to spend some time shopping afterwards (zen then spend I say 😝). It was nice to just walk randomly through the city again. I love Tokyo. It's the type of city I could visit over and over again...and not just there, Japan overall, there's so much to see. I think many people don't really think about Japan as a travel destination much, but once there, you'll see how special the country and the people are. Now, off to our next adventure!

To check out more photos, view the hashtag #PinesInJapan on Instagram.