Monday, June 2, 2008

Tsukiji and Shinjuku

The train system here is wonderful in regards to getting you to just about anywhere you need to be. Getting on the train at peak hours, that's a whole different story. You are packed on that bad boy like sardines in a tin. They even have an all women's train now because of "groping" issues.

Navigating around is....well, not so easy.

Tsukiji Fish Market...
We obviously missed all the morning action, but it was still cool to walk around the huge warehouses. The prime action time here is 7a-10a.

Some fresh wasabi....

The Tsukiju Fish Market is the best place to get sushi. This was the best, most fresh sushi I have ever had in my life. They don't serve wasabi here, the traditional way to eat is without the extra wasabi. A good sushi chef will have already put the right amount inside the roll.

I have never seen this in the states. When you are done, they scan the layer of your plates which have chips embedded in the bottom of them. The scanner tallies the total of you dishes and prints out your bill.

Supposedly Japan is so safe that parents allow there kids to ride the train and walk home alone. The kids here are sooo cute.

Soft Serve is my sister's idea of heaven. If there is softserve, she's there, and eating it.

We took a boat down the Sumita River which takes you from Asakusa to Hamarikyu. During this journey, you pass under 13 completely different bridges.

In Hamarikyu, we toured the gardens and went to the Tea House there for a tea ceremony. The etiquette and (wow, my vocabulary is already failing me as I am having to speak in broken English all the time...not procedure, not practice...hopefully you get my drift) involved in the ceremony are so very precise and formal. I learned that the tea ceremonies were started as a form of meditation.

Back to the train station to head to Shinjuku.

Shinjuku is beautiful at night. Olivia's friends Shimmy and Ryan happen to be in Tokyo as well,
we met up with them briefly and on our way back to the train station, Olivia and I decided to explore.

Mott's Bar caught our attention, check the menu.

Things only went downhill from here. We were blinded by the pretty lights and weirdness of this mysterious alley we wandered down and the characters that inhabited it. The strange looks were dismissed at first as we looked different in our casual American clothes, everyone else was dressed up, but when a guy asked if I wanted a job....we immediately put it all together. The Redlight District, or here they call it Kabuki-cho. It was funny at first, but then when a guy grabbed my arm, we realized how dangerous this place was and how vulnerable two American girls are. We wanted the hell out. The only thing that could halt our hot escape We saw this little shop selling Taiyaki, the fish shaped dough with the sweet beans inside....yum.

We made our way home in the rain, train, transfer, train, 10 minute walk to my Grandma's house. Bed, or, futon I should say.

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