Hotel Mystays Maihama

Great location, comfortable, clean and about 10 times cheaper than the most reasonably priced Disney Hotel in TDR, The Ambassador Hotel. What`s not to like? Hotel Mystays Maihama is conveniently located. 5 minutes walk to Ikspiari and TDS. It would take about 15 minutes to walk to TDL, but you could just walk to The Ambassador Hotel and grab the free shuttle to the parks if you wanted to. If value is what you`re looking for, this hotel would be your best bet.

Hotel Mystays Maihama

Hotel Mystays Maihama

Hotel Mystays check-in counter

Hotel Mystays` lobby

Breakfast Buffet area

Breakfast Buffet area (1,100 yen for anyone aged 7 and over, 700 yen for children aged 3 – 6 and free for children under 2)

Welcome to room number 513

Welcome to room number 513 (Twin Room)

Welcome to our humble adobe

Welcome to our humble adobe.

The first thing on your right when you enter your hotel room. A nice little space to place your strollers and hang your coats.

The first thing on your right when you enter your hotel room. A nice little space to place your strollers and hang your coats.

2nd up. The little bathroom + toilet area.

2nd up. The little bathroom + toilet area.

Sink area with everything included. Shampoo, conditioner body soap, face soap, hand soap, toothbrush and toothpaste. Left something at home? No worries. They got it covered.

Sink area with everything included. Shampoo, conditioner body soap, face soap, hand soap, toothbrush and toothpaste. Left something at home? No worries. They got it covered.

Out twin unmade beds. Apologies. We just got up and I was lazy.

Out twin unmade beds. Apologies. We just got up and I was lazy.

A little TV to provide you with some entertainment.

A little TV to provide you with some entertainment.

View from our room (A)

View from our room (A)

View from our room (B)

View from our room (B)

View from our room (C)

View from our room (C)

As you can see from the pictures above, the view from the room ain`t great. The room is kinda small, but not uncomfortably small. Here`s the math in land scarce Tokyo. Small room + Small bathroom + Small TV = Small price. Hotel Mystays Maihama provides easy access to TDR, is clean, comfortable and cheap. The 3 magical C`s that I look for when traveling. If all you`re looking for is a place to sleep, take a shower and spend the rest of your time in the parks, this is the place for you.

Hotel Mystays Maihama Official Website

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Ikspiari Kitchen

Ikspiari Kitchen is one of my favorite places to go eat when I can’t decide on what to eat. Confusing? Yes, I am a really profound guy. Some say genius, some say crazy, some say confused. Just to get it straight. I’m ok with all 3 labels.

Ever got caught between two people? One wanting a burger and another wanting noodles. Well, you don’t have to argue no more. With Ikspiari Kitchen, you will get an array of different types of food. No more fighting over choices. No more paying for overpriced meals. At Ikspiari Kitchen you can get noodles, rice, fish, burgers, steak and much more at a reasonable price. Call now and we will throw in a Natto Maki for free and provide free shipping…. Ok, hold up. I got a tad bit excited. Was practicing my infomercial voice. Let’s rewind a little and disregard the Natto Maki sentence.

An oasis of food awaits once you pass through those gates

An oasis of food awaits once you pass through those gates

It’s tough to find value for food in the parks. Of course, there are exceptions, but very few. I’m glad to say that Ikspiari Kitchen provides amazing value and quite a good selection of food. Without further ado, here are the stars of our show.

Yakisoba (Japanese Fried Noodles)

Yakisoba (Japanese: Fried Noodles)

Yakisoba's menu

Yakisoba’s menu

Maihama Yoshokuken

Maihama Yoshokuken (Japanese: Variety of rice dishes)

Maihama Yoshokuken's menu: A

Maihama Yoshokuken’s menu: A

Maihama Yoshokuken's menu: B

Maihama Yoshokuken’s menu: B

California Diner

California Diner (American: Burgers)

California Diner's menu

California Diner’s menu

Udon

Udon (Japanese: Noodles)

Udon's menu: A

Udon’s menu: A

Udon's menu: B

Udon’s menu: B

Side dishes to accompany your Udon

Side dishes to accompany your Udon

Loco Loco

Loco Loco (Hawaiian)

Loco Loco's menu: A

Loco Loco’s menu: A

Loco Loco's menu: B

Loco Loco’s menu: B

Ichizen-ya (Pork with rice)

Ichizen-ya (Japanese: Pork with rice)

Ichizen-ya's menu

Ichizen-ya’s menu

Rocky's Steakhouse (American: Steak)

Rocky’s Steakhouse (American: Steak)

Rocky's Steakhouse Menu: A

Rocky’s Steakhouse Menu: A

Rocky's Steakhouse Menu: B

Rocky’s Steakhouse Menu: B

Out of all these food stalls, I’ve tried Ichizen-ya, Udon and Yakisoba. I did not try the rest for various reasons. Out of these 3 that I have tried, I highly recommend the Udon and Ichizen-ya. If I’m craving for something light and refreshing, I always end up with cold Udon and if I’m craving meat, I always end up with Ichizen-ya. Either way, you cannot go wrong with either of these. They both never disappoint.

For families with young kids, Ikspiari Kitchen also has a kids area where Mummy, Papa and the little rascals can watch Disney cartoons and have their meal.

Kids area in Ikspiari Kitchen

Kids area in Ikspiari Kitchen

Little Mahina hard at work

Little Mahina hard at work

A little Disney magic to go along with your meal

A little Disney magic to go along with your meal

Ikspiari Kitchen provides value for your money, a wide selection and ample seating. Do bear in mind that it gets packed during lunch and dinner. Try planning your meals accordingly.

 

 

 

 

 

Konbini, Supamaketto and 200 yen water

On a recent trip to TDR, while we were on the train to Maihama, my wife and I were wondering about the price of water in the Resort Hotels. That conversation led to another conversation about the price of milk, beer, snacks and all that good stuff. That night after we checked into the Miracosta, I decided to go on an adventure to find out where I can get the cheapest groceries around the resort. My adventure took me to three port of calls. Newdays convenient store at Maihama station, Seijo Ishi supermarket in Ikspiari and MickeyAngelo Gifts in the Miracosta. Raise the sails, mateys. We`re in for a swashbuckling adventure.

NewDays

NewDays

Seijo Ishi

Seijo Ishi

MickeyAngelo Gifts

MickeyAngelo Gifts

My first port of call was MickeyAngelo gifts. MickeyAngelo gifts is located in the lobby of the Miracosta. You can find a lot of Disney merchandise here. Most of the merchandise here can be found in the parks as well, except for the Miracosta original products. The original products caught my attention. Miracosta mugs, Miracosta towels and of course, Miracosta tins of tidbits. Tins of goodies are really popular here in TDR. You’ll find them everywhere in the park stores and Bon Voyage. You can also get some potato chips, mineral water and beer here. Convenient for people staying at the hotel, but the prices are insane. I would suggest you do your grocery shopping somewhere else before checking in. MickeyAngelo gifts opens at 8am and closes at 11pm.

MickeyAngelo Gifts

MickeyAngelo Gifts

Disney merchandise galore

Disney merchandise galore

The variety of Miracosta original merchandise

The variety of Miracosta original merchandise

Original merchandise

Original merchandise

Miracosta tin of delights

Miracosta tin of delights

Inside the tin of biscuits

Inside the tin of biscuits

Non-alcoholic beverages

Non-alcoholic beverages

Assortment of alcoholic beverages

Assortment of alcoholic beverages

Closer look at the prices

Closer look at the prices

Kirin beer

Kirin beer

Snacks

Snacks

Closer look at the price of potato chips

Closer look at the price of potato chips

Baby food

Baby food

Price of baby food

Price of baby food

I then took the monorail to the Resort Gateway Station and proceeded to the first floor of Ikspiari. You will find a food court on this level and just in front of the food court, you will find a Seijo Ishi supermarket. Among the three locations that I ventured to, this one had the most variety of food and beverages. I was kind of surprised by the pricing of the products as well. The price is the same as any other Seijo Ishi supermarket. No marking up of prices here. Me love Seijo Ishi long time. Seijo Ishi opens at 10am and closes at 11pm.

Seijo Ishi's non-alcoholic beverages

Seijo Ishi’s non-alcoholic beverages

Asortment of wine

Assortment of wine

Beer

Beer

Juice

Juice

Fruits

Fruits

Bread

Bread

Cereal. When Mum and Dad used to bring us on Disney vacations, they would always get a box of cereal and milk for the hotel room. Affordable breakfast for the whole family. Thank you Mum and Dad!!!

Cereal. When Mum and Dad used to bring us on Disney vacations, they would always get a box of cereal and milk for the hotel room. Affordable breakfast for the whole family. Thank you Mum and Dad for allowing me to steal this idea!!!

Milk for your cereal

Milk for your cereal

Baby food

Baby food

Sushi

Sushi

Snacks

Snacks

After grabbing a can of alcoholic beverage from Seijo Ishi, I walked out of Ikspiari to Maihama station. There’s a NewDays konbini (convenience store) located at Maihama station. It’s just beside the entrance of Hotel Dream Gate Maihama. NewDays is a typical Japanese convenience store. You can find snacks, beer, water, cigarettes and food here. If you are a smoker, this is probably the only place around the resort where you can buy cigarettes. I’ve never seen it being sold anywhere else in the resort. All in all, the selection of goods is way less than Seijo Ishi, but the prices are more or less the same. It’s a battle between Seijo Ishi and NewDays when it comes to value for money. NewDays opens at 6:30am and closes at 11:30pm.

Beer in NewDays

Beer in NewDays

Non-alcoholic beverages

Non-alcoholic beverages

Closer look at the price of water in NewDays

Closer look at the price of water in NewDays

Cup noodles

Cup noodles

Potato chips

Potato chips

Snacks

Snacks

If I’m in for a day trip to one of the parks, I would hit NewDays for some snacks and bottled water before heading into TDL or TDS. Most probably Seijo Ishi would not be open when the gates open at both parks. If I was staying at the resort, I will definitely get my goods from Seijo Ishi. There is a bigger variety of products. The only reason why I would hit any of the hotel stores is to get each hotel’s original products. I would rather drink from the tap then get a 200 yen bottle of water. Now, you know where to stock up on your supplies landlubbers!!! Arrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!

230 yen a drink?! OH MY!!

This is a little money saving tip that I always utilize when I visit the parks nowadays. I always bring along an empty plastic bottle with me. TDR is filled with water fountains, whereby you can refill your bottles and seeing that a drink in TDR is at least 230 yen, that’s quite a significant amount that you can save while visiting the parks.

A water fountain at Tom Sawyer Island in TDL
Special thanks to Peter E. Lee for this picture
http://www.flickr.com/photos/oldpatterns/4886691163/

You will be walking around a lot at the resort and it is really important to keep yourself hydrated, especially in the summer time when the weather can be unforgiving at times. If you forgot to take a bottle with you when you left your hotel room, don’t fret, there is a crazy high-tech vending machine in Maihama-eki, near the toilets or you could get a bottled drink at NewDays konbini (convenience store) which is on the left, just after you exit the station.

There’s a high-tech vending machine like this at the entrance/exit level of Maihama station. It is by the toilets of the station.
Special thanks to ykanazawa1999 for this picture
http://www.flickr.com/photos/27889738@N07/6253626719/

Screen of high-tech vending machine
Special thanks to ykanazawa1999 for this picture
http://www.flickr.com/photos/27889738@N07/6243557027/sizes/o/in/photostream/

230 yen a drink?! Personally, I don’t drink soft drinks. I love tea, but I think that it is ridiculous to pay 230 yen for a tea bag and hot water. With that being said, one of my favorite things to do is to buy a round of hot cocoas, stake out a nice spot in Mediterranean Harbor at night, have a great conversation with my loved ones while we enjoy the stellar view, but I never visit TDR without my empty plastic bottle. It is your weapon, my little Padawan. You have to learn when to wield it. May the water fountains be with you.

TDR overview and saving 500 yen

The very first post for Konnichiwa Mickey. WOOHOO!!! Ok, so you have exited Maihama-eki (station) and you are on your way to the parks. Zippidee doo dah!!! Whoa, lets hold up a little bit. I got a little bit overexcited there.

First up, I will be using quite a bit of acronyms in my posts. Here are a few:
TDR = Tokyo Disney Resort
TDL = Tokyo Disneyland
TDS = Tokyo Disneysea

Ok, lets carry on. There is more to this resort than the 2 theme parks, TDL and TDS. TDR comprises of 3 Disney Hotels, 6 TDR Official Hotels, TDR Welcome Center, Ikspiari (A shopping mall), Bon Voyage (Here you can buy TDL and TDS merchandise without entering the parks), a monorail that circles the entire resort and of course TDL and TDS. There are also TDR Partner Hotels and TDR Good Neighbor hotels that are not within the vicinity of TDR, but free shuttle buses are provided to take you from your hotel to the parks. That was a lot of acronyms used in a paragraph. I promise to try and keep it minimal from now on. Here’s a map of the whole resort.

Just knowing the outlay of the resort can save you quite a bit of cash. Instead of taking the monorail which costs 250 yen, per person, single trip, you could walk to the parks.

Lets start with Disneysea. Now, using Maihama-eki as our starting point, if you exit the station and walk left, the TDR Welcome Center is just there. Beyond that is Ikspiari. If you walk through Ikspiari, all the way to the other end, you will emerge at the Disney Ambassador Hotel. From the Disney Ambassador Hotel, you have a choice to make. You can either take a 5 – 10 minutes walk or take the Disney Resort Cruiser from the hotel’s shuttle bus stop to Disneysea. If you choose to walk, you will continue walking pass the old Zed Theater till you see a park with an odd looking statue of what I call, “5 green men in the sky.” Turn right to Disneysea. 250 yen saved!!! If you walk from Maihama-eki all the way to TDS, the walk will be about 15 – 20 minutes.

Roman Tarassov aka K-9, lead guitarist for Moochie Mac & Superfriends, in front of the “5 green men in the sky” statue. Once you get to this statue, turn right and Disneysea will be just a stone’s throw away.

Disneyland is way easier to walk to from Maihama-eki. Once you exit the station, turn right. Up ahead will be Bon Voyage. As you continue walking past Bon Voyage, you will see TDL ahead of you. 250 yen saved!!! The walk from Maihama-eki to TDL will take you about 5 – 10 minutes.

To and fro, that’s 500 yen saved!!! That’s a churro and a drink in the parks!!!