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Getting off at Maihama Station, home of Tokyo’s Disney Resort, you will immediately notice something different. Japan’s “cute quotient,” ramped up as it is, is now at full volume as “It’s A Small World” flows gently through the speakers. Look carefully and you will see all kinds of little touches, like this Mickey statue welcoming you to “take a voyage” to Disney Land or Disney Sea. If you choose to take Mickey up on his offer, I’m sure you’ll have fun–but some of you may want to just stay “in port” and enjoy what the gateway to adventure itself–called Ikspiari Town–has in store.

The main part of Ikspiari is designed to look like a mid-20th century American thoroughfare at twilight–old movie posters, glowing neon signs, and a twinkling night sky complete the illusion. Nothing old about the restaurants and stores, though!

Feel like taking in a movie? The latest flicks are here! Most Hollywood movies are in English with Japanese subtitles, so you’ll have no problem. Just make sure to check the title first. 😉

If you’ve got more of a natural bent, why don’t you visit the Rainforest Cafe? You can order heaping plates of seafood and special cocktails with your friends…

Talk to the tree (in English AND Japanese!) in the giftshop…

…and just enjoy the ambiance! The night sky shifts, and sometimes it rains. Not to mention the monkeys, gorillas and elephants moving around in the trees. Admit it, you wanna go.

If you’re tired of illusions and want a bit o’ global culture without glitter and fuss, take your friends to Ikspiari’s gorgeous new TGI Fridays…

…or enjoy a dinner for two in one of the more upscale restaurants and bars on offer.

Outside the mall itself, Disney is everywhere. Sometimes you can see a light show with fireworks or a stage show, both sponsored by the Mouse House. And of course the Disney Store is there to satisfy your Disney craving if you absolutely must have those limited-edition Donald Duck chopsticks, or something.

Whether you visit with children, friends or that special someone, Ikspiari’s got just enough of that Disney magic to make you feel you’ve been on an adventure–without breaking the bank!

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