February 27, 2009: “Day #10: The Bright Lights of Tokyo”

The Kaminarimon, with its giant chōchin, is th...

Image via Wikipedia

Today we slept in a little to recover from our long journey from Kyoto to Tokyo yesterday. We had a very leisurely morning. My hubby looked outside and it was snowing in Tokyo. Fortunately it was just a snow/rain mix and did not stick, but it still made for an exceptionally wet day.

This afternoon we visited the Asakusa district in Tokyo. We went to the Sensoji Temple which dates back to 628 AD. Afterward we visited Kappabashi-dougugai Dori (the kitchen district). I was not able to find the same identical pattern for the two previous bowls that broke in my shipment in October, but I found two that were quite similar so I settled on those. We walked around and looked at knives which were incredibly expensive. I asked Lisa and Bill how much Shin’s knife cost (the sushi chef/owner of the delicious sushi restaurant) and they told me his sushi knife cost $600!

We then visited Ginza where we went through the Sony Tower and gazed at all the latest gadgets. We also saw a $63 watermelon, $62 for 12 strawberries, and a $210 cantaloupe! The prices were beyond insane even though the produce was of course absolutely perfect. (Lisa and Bill also told us that they have seen square watermelons that have been grown to purposefully fit more efficiently in refrigerators.) We then went down a small side ally in Ginza known for its yakitori restaurants. Yakitori is usually approximately four to five pieces of meat skewered on a bamboo stick, dipped in yakitori sauce, and then grilled. We tried several different varieties though the two most unusual were gingko nuts (ginnan) and pork tongue.

We then went to Shibuya (another district in Tokyo) where I took pictures of the world’s busiest intersection. It was at night and there were too many umbrellas to count, but my hubby hoisted me on a small concrete pillar so I could try and get a photo projecting down on the six-way intersection. I’m sure the Japanese people thought I was the crazy blond-haired American girl but I justified it to myself because I wanted to have an awesome picture and I knew I would never see any of those people again. The intersection is known as “Center Gai.” My understanding is that millions of people cross this intersection every day. It’s absolutely mesmerizing, and almost hypnotic, to watch the sea of people cross through the intersection so efficiently.

We are getting up at 4:30AM tomorrow morning to see the Tsukiji Fish Market. My hubby and I will be going by ourselves as we would prefer Lisa and Bill get some rest. It should be relatively easy to maneuver around the subway system and find the fish market. It will definitely be quite an adventure!

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