Sunday, June 10, we really slept in and did not hit the 7-11 til nearly 10am! It felt good. Then, we took the train to hit a museum all of us were really excited about: Miraikan, aka the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, aka the “robot museum.”
But before we got there, we walked over to the Museum of Maritime Science and saw the nearby Soya, the first ship used for Japanese exploration of Antarctica, as they both happened to be right by our train stop and seemed to beg for our visitation and climbing. They were quick visits but were interesting to see; the former was free, and the Soya ship was actually the more enjoyable stop, but was minimally priced.
Then we walked over to the Miraikan and met Asimo, our future robot overlord, who performed various expositions such as kicking a ball, jumping, and singing for us. It was fascinating…and terrifying. There were other humanoid robots on display, moving about, talking, and pointing, etc. along with information about how robots will become a bigger and bigger part of our lives in the future. One looked me in the eye and told me, “I know now why you cry, but it’s something I can never do,” and then I lowered it into a vat of molten steel. It was one of the coolest museums I’ve ever seen…maybe the most interesting, especially for its size (which is not huge).
After a few hours, we walked to the bizarre indoor mall food court area designed like Venice (called “Venusfort“) and had a meal at what was supposed to be an American-style diner with pancakes (called Shonan Pancakes), which made me feel a bit guilty–like I was cheating on Japan AND America with its bastardization of the latter and departure from the former–but it was quite good.
Then we walked over to Megaweb Toyota City Showcase, which sounds bizarre, and it kinda is. But it’s full of current and future Toyota offerings that I found to be super cool to see and learn about.
At 4pm, we told the children their surprise: we’d spend the rest of the day at Tokyo DisneySea. They were ecstatic. It was pouring rain for most of our time there, but the weather, coupled with the late start time, meant we had virtually no lines whatsoever. It was awesome. We rode the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea ride, the Indiana Jones ride (twice), the Raging Spirits ride, Flounder’s Flying Fish Coaster (twice), the Nemo & Friends SeaRider, and several others. My favorites were the Indiana Jones and Raging Spirits rides.
We sampled several varieties of popcorn (the park has like 20+ flavors–it’s their hallmark–I loved the curry and herb tomato flavors). We enjoyed rides we recognized from Disneyland or Disneyworld but also experienced new rides that are neither place. And, we got to continue our tradition of riding carousels all over the world:
We got back to the apartment at 11pm, even though we had an early wake up (and a move) scheduled for the next morning, but it was worth the fatigue the next day!