March 21

Mitzi’s eldest brother and his wife came over to see Nancy’s new apartment and visit for lunch. Jill, Miwa and I went out for a quick walk to get some groceries for lunch and to the local shrine to get some omamori, but the omamori shop was closed. However, we realized at about 11:30 that we didn’t have enough seats, so we made a quick run to J-mart for two more stools.

We didn’t get out of the door until about 3, and arrived at Hello Kitty Land at about 3:45, only to find we could pay ¥1600 instead of the usual ¥2250 if we waited until 4, so we did.

Once we got in, we were confronted by matinee line-ups for stupidly short rides, but I guess that’s typical for theme parks. We waited 30 minutes for 4 minutes on the teacup ride, then wandered for a bit. looking at hour long line-ups for almost everything, so we went to the one ride with a short line-up. It was a super slow little ride that just took you up, around and down in a little seat with a Hello Kitty character painted on it. Whee.

Then we waited 1 hour 15 minutes for a 5 minute ride on the train that goes around the park. To add to the fun, our group of 6 was split, leaving me and Mitzi waiting on the platform. I would have happily walked away after that, but Mitzi was determined to get her wait’s worth. I didn’t fancy a ride around the park jammed in a tiny train seat with my Mother-In-Law, so I picked up Ru on her way out and swapped. So, for my whole wait, I got nothing (except a good story). Whee.

We then figured we’d go grab a bite to eat from one of the many vendors, it now being 6 O’clock, only to find that the food vendors shut at 6. Slowly it was dawning on us why the after 4pm entrance tickets were cheaper…

Fortunately, the “illumination” started at 6:30 and we managed to hang on for it. It was actually really impressive and, combined with us finding an open food vendor shortly thereafter, went a long way towards salvaging the day.

We dragged the now alternately manic and depressed children home and stuffed a bit of food in them before calling it a night.