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Going Further Into Tokyo

Tokyo just keeps getting better and better, the food, the people we meet and the sights. How clean and efficient this place is will shock people even from western countries I believe, the streets are spotless, the metro and trains work seamlessly and everything is so easy to do, it feels ‘nice’. It feels comfortable. It feels like a holiday 🙂

It’s 6am, we’re feeling groggy, tired, and want to go back to sleep, but we can’t let ourselves, because today is the day we want to go the fish market. Ever since hearing a particular person’s account of the “greatest breakfast in the world” I’ve wanted to visit Tokyo’s Tsukiji Fish Market and have Sushi at an ungodly hour in the morning.

7am Sushi Breakfast at Tsukiji Fish Market

Grilled Yakitori Eel and Scallops
Eel on a stick… Delicious

It wasn’t exactly what I imagined it to be, there wasn’t nearly as much fresh fish being sold from market stalls as i assumed, and much more tourism than i expected. Naively i thought it would just be us and the locals having sushi for breakfast before work. But this is Tokyo, so even high levels of tourism mean it’s still only about 10% westerners and the rest a mix of Japanese and other East Asian Tourists.

The Sushi was outstanding, the Scallop Sashimi the star of the show for me. For Stac, who couldn’t really be described as a raw fish-lover, the eel on a stick was a winner. She’s a bit peculiar like that.

Later that day, we walked from the hotel to the Edo-Tokyo Museum, a huge museum detailing the history of Tokyo from the Edo period to now. The entrance fee to this huge impressive museum was a scandalous £4 each. I know, what a rip off 🙂

On the way, the Japanese ingenuity to create solutions for daily life (and not just high-tech toilets) was displayed by this car park with a lift system.

Innovative Car Park
The First Audio Tour of the Trip… Just For Col
Inside the Tokyo Edo Museum

Shibuya was the next district on the list to be explored, with the world-famous Shibuya crossing, where all traffic stops while endless amounts of pedestrians cross from every direction, it’s quite a performance to watch, especially from higher up, see the time-lapse below to see it for yourself.

Busy Shibuya District at Night

 

 

Then another of Tokyo’s high-tech solutions to lots of people, Sushi ordered on iPads and delivered by robotic conveyors, yes it’s as great as it sounds, and yes there are queues outside waiting to get in to the numerous branches of these places that have popped up around Tokyo. It’s not the greatest Sushi I have tasted here, but for around eighty pence per plate for most dishes, it’s fun and a great meal.

Order Sushi From An iPad – Genious

 

A more relaxed day was in order, so the plan was to go to a Michelin star restaurant we had found online for lunch, then just wander around the local parks. Unfortunately, the restaurant was closed, so we would have to return and queue up again tomorrow, we found another place close by, slurped down some noodles (the competitive slurping of the locals whilst eating noodles in a busy place is hilarious to me, disgusting to Stac, making it even more hilarious for me), and want for a leisurely stroll around the park, to see the Kumano shrine, and back up to the 45th floor of the Government building to catch a glimpse of Mount Fuji which we will be seeing much closer very soon.

Shinjuku Chuo Park
A Small Shrine
Another Smaller Shrine
The Main Kumano Shrine
Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building – This Observatories are on the 45th Floor of Each Tower
Mount Fuji Can Just Be Seen in the Background
One of Many Incredible Buildings in the Centre
Contrasts with the Small Alleyways Like Omoide Yokocho
A Mini Waterfall In Central Tokyo

All the walking, about 8-10 miles per day since we set off, can build up quite the appetite, not that you’ve noticed, I’m sure. Takoyaki is small octopus balls, like a croquette, but with chunks of octopus in. A great snack, if you like octopus I guess.

Takoyaki – Octopus In Batter. A Great Snack After a lot of Walking
One of Many Amazing Shrines Throughout Tokyo

If you’re entirely fed up with reading about food, look away now. I’m still not sure how we managed to fit three full meals in to an eight-hour walk round Tokyo, but a challenge is there to be achieved in my eyes. It started with Michelin Star Sardines, a 45 minute queue before it opened to eat at this place, a meal for two costing £11, simple but stunning cuisine.

Then, later on to a restaurant we had found the day before, for Mackerel cooked in sweet Sake. This was the best cooked fish in the world, I’m sure of it. And to finish, robot Sushi again, because, why not when you’re in Tokyo. A culinary tour of Tokyo in one day, costing a total of £31 for two people. But Japan is “so expensive” they say.

In between all this, we managed to fit in a ‘tour’ around the Imperial Palace. Or at least that’s what we were told it would be. The reason why I have ‘tour’ in inverted commas, is because I’m not sure if you can really class it as a tour when you never actually see the imperial palace and the entire ‘tour’s is conducted solely in Japanese.

It was just about the funniest thing we’ve ever witnessed, to us at least, maybe not for the other 150 or so other foreigners there who seemed utterly confused at this and just walked around some gardens for an hour listening to the Japanese guide shout things through a megaphone that none of us understood a word of.

By about 20 minutes in, we made up our own commentary about the “big rocks” and “not the imperial palace” buildings that we were seeing. I don’t think it was factually accurate, but it made our simple brains chuckle.

Nakajima Restaurant, Has 1 Michelin Star
Sardines Simmered in Soy Sauce
Sardine Sashimi
Imperial Palace Outer Garden Area
Imperial Palace Outer Garden Area
Imperial Palace Outer Gardens and Grounds
Imperial Palace Outer Gardens and Grounds
Imperial Palace Outer Gardens and Grounds
An Interesting Piece of Architecture in Central Tokyo
Mackerel Glazed in Sweet Sake – The Best Piece of Fish Ever
The Shibuya Side of Yoyogi Park
Staci Made a Friend

So, that was the end of Tokyo for us, a brilliant city, that we already want to return too, but on to even more amazing things for us, beginning with this bullet train, just taking us to the base of mount Fuji, you know, everyday stuff like that.

Our First Japanese Bullet Train (Shinkansen)
A Little Excited
Ekiben Train Meal, Bought from the Train Station Supermarket
Ekiben with Salmon – Better Than Restaurant Meals Back Home. That’s Japan.
Our First Close Glimpse of Mount Fuji. More to follow on that…

 

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2 thoughts on “Going Further Into Tokyo

  1. Wow. This looks amazing. So glad your both enjoying yourselves and having the time of your lives (which I knew you would) the photos are amazing I can’t even imagine what it’s actually like to be there. Love you both lots keep safe. Can’t wait to see some more photos xxx

    1. It’s been fantastic. We have really loved what we have seen of Japan so far. It’s an amazing place. Lots more pictures coming up! We’re behaving… for now lol. We love you! Xxx

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