Blackcabbit (aka. Dionnie Takahashi) is an illustrator living in Japan. She loves drawing whimsical animal characters, as well as doing handmade crafts to beautify the world she lives in.
Early this month, my sister came to Japan to visit us. We wanted to plan an outing for her and our kids to spend some quality family time. However, the weather was a bit of a letdown. It was a rainy day in winter season, VERY COLD. Brrrrr! So, we had to search for weather-proof tourist spots!
We found Decks Tokyo Beach in Odaiba, a shopping mall with multiple indoor theme parks. Of which, we took an entire day just to visit three of them – LEGOLAND, Madam Tussauds and Tokyo Trick Art Museum!
LEGOLAND (Tokyo) has over 3 million LEGO bricks under one roof. Fireball, my 4-year-old, enjoyed the Racers, where he built and timed his racing cars on speed test track. He also enjoyed the Fire academy and the Ninjago training camp. Twinkle Bell, my 2-year-old, had a great time at the Construction Site and the DUPLO Village, which are great soft play areas for toddlers.
Initially, I thought my kids will be the only ones who will enjoy LEGOLAND. Well, I was wrong. I had a blasting time at the Kingdom Quest Laser Ride. I thoroughly enjoyed the entertaining comedy (even with my terrible Japanese) that comes with a 4D-Cinema experience. My husband secretly had some fun spinning round and round on the Merlin’s Apprentice ride, while accompanying our 4-year-old. My sister enjoyed the Miniland so much that she was there half the time. She took pictures of every iconic landmark of Japan in both day and night sceneries, simulated by brilliant use of lightings.The LEGOLAND may be a little pricey for a small theme park but it sure kept us entertained for hours, and of course, it made my little LEGO fans very very happy.
You can get discounts for the tickets if you buy them online. We bought combi tickets, which allowed us to visit both Madame Tussauds and LEGOLAND for a package price.
Adults must be accompanied by a child to visit the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre. Except for Adult Night, which is on 5th of every month and entry starts from 5pm to 7pm.
This is our first visit to a Madam Tussauds Wax Museum. Marilyn Monroe and Lady Gaga were the firsts to greet us at the entrance. Bruce Willis was our elevator man, he escorted us up to the main hall. There, the rest of the wax celebrities were waiting…
I had no idea who she was until I visited the museum and got my curiosity stirred. In a nutshell, Marie Tussaud learnt the art of wax modeling from a Dr. Philippe Curtius, whom Marie’s mother was working for as a housekeeper in Paris. Marie showed extraordinary talent and began creating famous portraits for celebrities.
During the Reign of Terror in the French Revolution, Tussaud was imprisoned. In exchange for her life, she was commanded to make death masks of many prominent figures who were victims of the guillotine. She had to recover decapitated heads from piles of dead bodies. Such a gruesome task!
After Dr. Curtius’ death, she inherited his wax collection and immigrated to London. In 1835, she established her own wax museum in Baker Street, which became one of Britain’s most popular tourist attractions for centuries! The present exhibition is currently located at Marylebone Road.
It is our first visit to a Trick Art Museum. Before we started, the friendly staff gave us a little talk to help us understand the concept of optical illusion, and gave us a few examples of how to interact with certain areas of the two dimensional exhibits. If we strike the right pose, we can become the subject of the artwork.Sadly, our family did not have the knack for it. We were unsuccessful most of the time despite of the helpful guides on the wall. We also experienced a lot of bottlenecks, with many people blocking or walking into other people’s shots. It became increasingly stressful and difficult to take picture, so we end up skipping most of the trick arts.
Nonetheless, I really like the hyper-realistic artworks. I think they are all very well done, especially the ones painted in Japanese-style. The drawings in the Haunted Mansion are my favorite! Instead of the usual dark and eerie portrayal, the ghosts and monsters there are depicted in a rather cute comical style.
At the end, the kids were super tired and cranky, so we did not visit Tokyo Joypolis (an indoor amusement park); Takoyaki museum and its ball fritters selling food court; or Daiba Itchome Shotengai (台場一丁目商店街) a reminiscent of Showa period’s (1950s) shopping street. Nonetheless, we had a wonderful family outing!