Japan Pt III: Day in Tokyo

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Tokyo, Japan

The receptionists at Hotel MyStays Inaricho must be the most enthusiastic staff ever. They cheerfully checked us out and allowed us to keep our bags with them until the afternoon. They also bowed when we were leaving the building or taking the elevator. Very impressed with Japanese service standard.

To reach Tsukiji fish market from where we were staying, we reckoned that the fastest way was by Tokyo Metro Ginza line to Ginza station.

On Ginza line

Hi George

It was a 10 minutes walk to Tsukiji’s outer market. The sight of shops and restaurants selling seafood made it unmistakeable.

Tsukiji

Hole-in-the-wall sushi place

Seafood

We located the information centre and it was staffed with English speakers. The gentleman at the centre gave us specific directions on how to get to the inner market.

Tsukiji inner market

Although the inner market was already winding down by mid-morning, there were still many things going on. While it was one of the places heavily-visited by tourists, the local workers just went around doing their work. Both of us were quite wary of the fast-moving buggys used to transport the fishes around the market; the people working there must be annoyed of the tourists (us included) who kept getting into their way.

Tsukiji inner market

Seafood for sale

Crabs

Fresh

Master at work

Looking at all the fishes had whetted our appetite for some sushi. We headed to the outer market where there were many sushi restaurants. As we didn’t do much research, we randomly chose a restaurant, hoping that the sushi would be awesome.

Restaurant where we ate at

We ordered two different sets of sushi (3240 JPY) from the picture menu, not knowing what exactly we’re in for.

Chef at work

The sushi turned out to look better than they tasted.

I think this is the cheaper set

The more expensive one

Unagi (from the more expensive set)

Ying is very discerning when it came to sushi as her dad is a chef specializing in Japanese cuisine and the meal was really disappointing for her (me as well). No wonder there were no other customers when we arrived and only one other couple (tourist as well) were dining when we left. On hindsight we should done our homework and chose a better place.

Ying had no recollection of visiting Asakusa in her previous trips to Japan and I thought that it would be a nice place to visit during our short stopover. We took Toei Ōedo Line from Tsukijishijō Station to Kuramae Station where we would transfer to Toei Asakusa Line for Asakusa.

Tsukijishijō Station

Posters at Kuramae Station – the ones on wanted criminals caught our eyes

Japan’s transportation system is well-known to be world-class but somehow the signs at Kuramae station failed me. We couldn’t locate the station on Asakusa Line after exiting the station on Ōedo Line and ended up walking 20 minutes to Asakusa instead. It turned out that we would pass by the headquarters of Bandai, where life-size figurines of their anime/video game characters were placed outside. Totally unexpected and a nice find.

Bandai

Figurines

Doing a Doraemon impersonation

Ultraman with blue cape

Tokyo Skytree was also visible in a distance during the walk.

Almost there

Asakusa was exactly how I remembered it to be: crowded and teeming with tourists. Nevertheless it is still a recommended place to go in Tokyo.

Kaminarimon

Rows of shops leading to Sensō-ji

Hōzōmon

Selfie

We also bought an incense (100 JPY) to pray for a safe trip ahead.

Praying

Sensō-ji up-close

Tranquil spot within Sensō-ji

After visiting Asakusa, it was almost time to head back to our hotel to collect our bags. The walk took us around 25 minutes and we also stopped by a supermarket enroute to pick up some chocs for Ying’s friend in US.

Unique building

Quite a big selection of beers at the supermarket

I reckoned that these were probably the most that we could handle in our short day in Tokyo. After collecting our bags, we headed for Ueno to catch our long train ride to Narita Airport.

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