’19 Kids & Counting’ Recap: Duggars’ Disastrous Tokyo Vacation

Tue, March 12, 2013 10:45pm EDT by 7 Comments
19 Kids and Counting Duggars Asia
Courtesy of TLC

The Duggars take a family vacation to Asia, but as the family tries to learn to make sushi and adjust to local Tokyo culture, a major language barrier makes it nearly impossible! Read on for the full recap.

Jim Bob Duggar wanted to surprise his wife Michelle Duggar for her birthday, but instead of flowers or jewelry, he presented her with a family vacation to Asia! On the first part of the family’s three-part 19 Kids & Counting special on TLC, which premiered on March 12, all 25 Duggars take a trip to Tokyo!

Surprise: We’re Going To Asia!

All of the kids made adorable homemade signs that revealed their surprise Asian trip, and Michelle was so thrilled for yet another overseas family vacation!

Jessa was designated the main family packer and organizer, and with some help she wrangled up enough luggage for the whole family to fill a semi-truck — 29 suitcases and 10 carry-ons filled with 170 diapers, 50 pairs of shoes, 250 changes of clothes and enough snacks for a month.

With all 25 family members up and at ’em, they make it to the airport just in time to catch their flight to Chicago, then take their connecting 13-hour flight all the way to Tokyo.

7,000 miles and 48 hours later (with the time elapse), they have arrived!

Duggars Do Tokyo Breakfast

The family meets with their tour guides Aya and Tomo, and they arrive at their hotel room in the heart of Tokyo. But the real jaw-dropping moment is when they open their windows onto their breathtaking view at night — they can see the whole city lit up!

After getting enough of a cultural shock with the fancy, multi-button toilet, the family is really thrown through a loop when they sit down for a traditional Tokyo breakfast their first morning.

Luckily for the sake of culturalism, they all tried most of the local food on the table, including the raw fish (which still had an eye!) and baby Jordyn loved everything! Of course, some of the boys sneaked in snack packs, because processed cheese and breadsticks is the breakfast of champions.

Do You Speak English?

After their delicious meal, it was time to hit the streets. Jim Bob exchanged his American dollars for yen, and the family was most interested in visiting the “100 Yen” store, or dollar store.

But when Jim Bob asks passersby on the street if anyone spoke English, no one would stop and help! The family stuck out like a sore thumb with their huge cameras and coordinated outfits, and looked like the epitome of annoying American tourist.

Finally, after they got their money and directions in order, they all split up — the older girls all go shopping for kimonos, and the boys hang with mom and dad. Meanwhile, Josh and Anna have their own little date day and get a character from a local artist! Nothing says romance like over-sized foreheads and mouths.

Duggars Do Sushi: Take Classes At Tokyo Sushi Academy

For their next group cultural experience, the family takes a class at the Tokyo Sushi Academy, but because it’s reality TV, they had to make it a little more interesting by throwing in a challenge — the family was split up into two teams, and each had to race to find their fresh ingredients at the fish market.

It was like Amazing Race meets Top Chef: Fundamentalist Christian edition, and with Jim Bob and Michelle in charge of their respective teams, the Duggars were on their way. At the fish market, they were deterred again by the “weird” and “gross” food they saw (hooray for an educational cultural trip!), but Michelle’s team emerged victorious, even if she did cut a few corners.

As the losing team, Jim Bob had to eat the sushi that baby Josie made. Just for reference, she had her little toddler hands all up in the food and was slapping things together. Needless to say, that Sushi was a little less fresh than the rest.

But overall, the family had a blast learning to make sushi — and seemed to really enjoy taking in the local sights and sounds! We’ll have to tune in next week to see how they are immersing themselves in Japanese culture.

What did YOU think of the episode HollyMoms? Do you think the Duggars are learning a lot while they’re in Japan? Let us know in the comments below! 


— Christina Stiehl

More Duggar Family News:

  1. ’19 Kids & Counting’ Mom Michelle Duggar Reveals Dramatic Makeover
  2. ’19 Kids And Counting’ Recap: Strep Throat Strikes Duggar Family
  3. ’19 Kids & Counting’ Preview: The Duggars Heal After Miscarriage