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Tokyo Disney--The Land Where Dreams Come True; Epic Weekend Part 2

On Monday a group of seven Jenesys scholarship students (Jenesys is a program that lets highschoolers come to Japan from Asia/Australia/New Zealand etc.) came to Saitama. They are in their second week in Japan, and as part of their trip they would be spending two days at a school.

My school.

So AFS and Jenesys coordinated to have us spend Monday at Tokyo Disney (and they paid for everything...train fare, admissions ticket, lunch...it was incredibly generous). AFS also called my school and got permission for me to be absent, so I was literally all set to go. I took a train or two down to Nerima station, where I met up with my LP and three of the people; two girls (one from Australia and one from Malaysia) and the unofficial chaperone, a teacher (also from Australia). Also present was Hiroshi Tanda, who is going to be an AFS exchange student next year, and as such has been to lots of the events this year.

(I take one moment to brag: easily the most fluent non-native speaker, I felt so AWESOME because I had to do some translating between people. I'm so used to speaking Japanese that I turn to the exchange students and start speaking quickly to them, and have to consciously switch over to English when faced with their blank expressions.)

From Nerima, we took two more trains to get to Tokyo Disney (which, ironically, isn't actually in Tokyo, it's in Chiba), meeting up with more people along the way. I'd guess it took about an hour and fifteen minutes.

And then, we ARRIVED:

Disney was all decked out for Christmas, with a massive tree and themed parades. We split up into groups, and Hiroshi as well as two of the girls and I decided to go together. The first thing we did was get a fast pass for Space Mountain, which gave us a few hours to kill.

So we went on race cars.
That kick-awesome hat is my host parent's early Christmas present for me, which I got in Yokohama. I actually really, really like hats...but I'm always too cheap to get them for myself, and I absolutely LOVE that one to death.

Then we went on Alice's Teacups and into the "It's a Small World" boat ride.

They were both very nostalgic...I haven't been to Disney World in what, eight years maybe? Not since I was little.

After that, we decided to go get some lunch, which we ate right next to Space Mountain. When we'd finished eating our burgers (we found burger/drink/fry sets for under the thousand yen we were given, yay!) we breezed into Space Mountain.

(The giant spaceship that hangs above the roller-coaster).

For those of you who have been on roller coasters with me, I don't scream. I laugh my head off. Call it a coping mechanism or whatever you like, but I literally don't stop laughing until the ride has been over for a minute or so.

After Space Mountain, we waited about an hour to go on Splash Mountain, which was also incredibly nostalgic since it's the only Disney ride that my entire family has been on together. (It's my Mom's favorite ride--the only one she likes, perhaps.) Either way, the waiting was boring but the fact that I remembered the little story and song they told as you float up to the plunge was well worth it.

We killed the last forty-five minutes wandering around before we had to meet up with everybody at the entrance.

There we all are, with Wendy from Peter Pan. Man, I really want to watch that movie now...maybe I'll find it on Youtube or something...

Then it was time to go home! But this is one of the last things we saw:
There is just something awesomely awesome about the Disney castle, can't lie.
So all in all, I had a BLAST. The next big thing is on Saturday, which is the Jenesys festival. Most AFS students from all over Japan are coming to Tokyo for this event, so I'm excited to see people that I met four months ago again.

And when that's done I"ll just be holding out one more week before CHRISTMAS (though not as exciting here), WINTER BREAK and OKINAWA. Fun times ahead!

Here's to hoping everyone at home is having a great holiday season! Missing you all dearly!

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