Assuming you arrive in Tokyo in the evening, what you’re supposed to do the next morning is visit the fish market. The theory is you’ll be jetlagged so you will be up early anyway and can see the action go down at around 6 AM. About 20 people told me to check out the fish market, so our first morning Mom and I did.
We attempted to walk but the rain proved too strong, so we took a cab to the fish market. We got there a little late and missed the major auction but it was still a zoo. Hundreds of people, mini-cars, trucks, carts all housed within a few massive warehouses. Apparently this fish market is one of the biggest in the world.
We walked the isles, tried not to get in anyone’s way, and saw plenty of huge fish being toted away by different restaurant owners.
After walking around we popped into a little hole in the wall restaurant and had sushi for breakfast (only option). Friendly chef, friendly atmosphere, easy ordering. Given that we were eating at the largest fish market in Asia, in Japan itself, I’m sure you couldn’t find fresher sushi anywhere else in the world.
In the afternoon, after missing a tour bus that didn’t pick us up, in hunt of a public bath. Japan is known for their public baths and we wanted to partake. Unfortunately, the front desk at the hotel told us bad info, we got lost, and never made it to the bath.
So, as it rained, we made our way to the Tokyo National Museum via our familiar local JP Rail station. I’ve always liked Asian art. The museum was good (it didn’t blow me away). Lots of good prints and sculpture. If the weather was better, the garden outside the musuem would have been lovely. Instead we saw gales!
We hustled back to the hotel in the evening and went to meet blog reader Maria and her friend Jake at a metro line to walk to dinner. A wonderful dinner, which I’ll blog about later.
Lights out at 11:30 PM, our first day in Tokyo, still alive!
Our second day the rain completely stopped, sun came out, breeze awoken, and perfect weather shone down us. We started with breakfast at the train station — I’ve gotten to our local station, Shimbashi, quite well — and then the tour bus. The bus drove around and made three key stops: the first at Tokyo Tower (Effifel Tower, basically), the second at the imperial garden, and the third a huge temple. Tokyo Tower was awesome, you really get a sense as to how massive this city is. The skyscrappers are never ending and I have never seen another city in the world with as many tall buildings of all kinds of architecture. The imperial garden offered that typical Japanese aesthetic, which is lovely. The temple also proved fantastic — in addition to the buddhist shrines, there was a huge market. After strolling through the market I cut off to the left, down a side alley, and popped into a sushi bar. The sushi dishes sit on plates and go around on a conveyer belt. You sit at the bar and pick off sushi. I gorged myself for lunch, and then met back up with the group at the bus.
Our last stop tonight is a baseball game, which I will write about after the fact. For now, we’re enjoying the gorgeous weather, friendly people, and interesting culture of Tokyo!