Our Incredible Family Vacation to Japan!

Being that this my first blog post, I think an introduction is in order.  Since I plan to post regularly, imparting insider information on luxury travel, funny stories, and terrific destination options, it’s important you know from where you are getting this fabulous information. I’m a lifetime traveler, wife, and mother of three 20-somethings. I’m a luxury travel advisor with a passion for my job! I have traveled the globe with my family, enjoying trips to Europe, the Middle East, Asia, the Caribbean, Central America, and have also enjoyed many cruise trips.  I love to take romantic vacations with my husband, Dave. We recently returned from an incredible week in Portugal, where we ate our way through Lisbon and Porto, walking miles a day seeing the sights, and took a tour of the Calem port cellars.

One of our most memorable trips was a week in Japan in 2016, when we took our 3 kids across the world to the land of the rising sun. Not surprising, the people were kind, courteous, and oh so helpful. Tokyo was incredible with the various foods, shopping, skyscrapers, and old temples.  It was a mixture of old and new. The food was unctuous and salty, tangy, and sweet with textures that ranged from succulent to sticky. We stood on line to taste what is considered the best ramen in the world. Once in the restaurant, you are seated alone with no waiter, to truly take in the experience.

Ramen in Tokyo, Japan

A fun night eating Ramen in Tokyo, Japan

We ate sushi in a conveyor belt restaurant, where plates circle your table and you grab what you want. The kids just kept grabbing plates until our table could hold no more.

Conveyor belt sushi is a must in Tokyo, Japan

Conveyor belt sushi is a must in Tokyo


In Shinjuku, resides a towering Godzilla that is so much fun to see. We visited Sensō-ji, an ancient Buddhist temple, in the historic neighborhood of Asakusa.


Sensō-ji in Tokyo, Japan

Sensō-ji with Chad, Maxx, Tyler, Dave, and Toni

Right behind the temple is the ancient Nakamise-Dori shopping street, which dates back to the 17th century, where red paper lanterns line the stalls. One of the highlights of the trip was eating sushi at Tsukiji Fish Market. Truth be told, we planned on waking at dawn to see the tuna auctions, but when the alarm went off the day after we arrived, I couldn’t rouse my sleeping crew.  For the rest of the day, we lamented about missing it.

Tuna Market Tokyo, Japan

Eating sea urchin at Sushi Dai

We were lucky enough to be there when the cherry blossoms were in bloom and Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden is the most spectacular place to see them.

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden Japan when the cherry blossoms were in bloom

Lucky to be in Tokyo when the cherry blossoms were in bloom.



We visited the Ueno Zoo, where the most adorable pandas reside. There was a fair going on next to the zoo grounds, and I ate something on a stick that I’ve never been able to identify. Tokyo’s Akihabara Electric Town has truly the craziest gadget stores I’ve ever seen with the biggest selection of electronics on earth.

On Odaiba, a shopping and entertainment district on a man-made island in Tokyo Bay, we visited Fuji Television as well as a museum that boasted electronics games.  My kids had a huge crowd around them as they crushed it at Dance Dance Revolution.

Fuji Television Tokyo Japan

Fuji Television – news anchors in the making?


While the vacation was more than we could have hoped for, there was a day of regret.  We woke early one morning to take a 90-minute train to Hakone. We still refer to this as the day of transportation, as there is no real end game, except to travel by various modes of transportation.  We took a train, a ropeway, set sail on a pirate ship, and rode a funicular. There was an interesting open-air museum, but that didn’t hold enough interest for our crew. The best part of that day was the bathhouse the boys (husband and two sons) visited, while my daughter and I drank Sapporo in the first-class section of the train we took home.


The ropeway was only one of many types of transportation.


The memories made that week are like bright red threads sewn into the fabrics of our lives.

I look forward to sharing information, stories of our travels, and answering questions to make your future travels as incredible as you hope.

Tokyo Japan

Anything goes in Tokyo, so my daughter fit right in with a green wig.


For more information about Beyond Boutique click here or email hello@beyondboutiquetravel.com. Toni is an affiliate of Brownell Travel and a member of Virtuoso.

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