Published: December 7th 2008December 4th 2008
in Tsukishima station
Tokyo, Tokyo, Tokyo and our last stop in Japan, it's been amazing in every way, it's been more that we could have wished for. Japan has something for everyone, the walkers, the talkers, the doers and the don'ters! It's a techie's wildest dream and a technophobe's vision of beauty just as long as they stay away from any of the big cities, we are neither techie's or phobe's and at times we have had trouble opening a handleless sliding door or flushing the toilet, it's worse when it's a handleless sliding door in a toilet.
Tokyo is an incredible city cramming some of the best bits of Japan into one place including Mt Fuji! So arriving and exploring Tokyo it seemed very familiar, rather like visiting an old friend. We were old hands walking into the vending restaurants with our prepaid ticket blending in with the locals watching the newbies looking at the machine lost and hungry! Even in this huge metropolis the trains run to the second and are so clean you could lick them, with huge amusement arcades designed to alleviate stress, filled with all ages and genders. These Japanism's were less surprising than they would have been
even in Tokyo's rush hour!!!
if we had arrived in Tokyo first but still incredible.
We left one of the nicest places we have stayed in Japan to the worst!
The view from our window over looked a brick wall, so close you could touch it leaving our room in constant darkness, you never knew what the weather was doing until it was too late. Not enough room to swing a cat but if you think about it, if you were going to swing a cat you must dislike cats so I'm guessing you want it to hit the walls, so, it was big enough to swing a cat! But if you like porn and Patrick Swayze not necessarily in that order then this is the hotel for you; in Kirstin's disgust she turned all the porn DVD's round, in Rob's disgust he turned the Swayze one round, which just left a Joan Collins film that we couldn't decide if it was porn or just a bad film! Our room wasn't dirty it just needed a good clean, a lick of paint, brighter lighting and knocking though to next door. The longer we stayed the more we liked it or just got use to
Tokyo dusk with distant Fuji
The view from TMGBuilding, Tokyo
it, although still the worst place we stayed in.
Sunset and Mt Fuji
You are probably thinking that can't be right; Mt Fuji, they've already done that blog. Well we were as surprised as you when we headed to the 45th floor of the TMG Building in Shinjuku and saw Mt Fuji-san in all her majestic glory with a cracking sunset as a backdrop; we spent about two hours going around the viewing floor watching Tokyo go from dusk to dark in all her neon glory; when we were finally too dizzy to carry on we left to explore the streets we had been looking at from on high.
One more snooze!
Not this time, the early bird catches the fish in Tsukiji Fish Market, handling over two thousand tonnes of fish daily, making it one of the world's biggest fish markets. The alarm went off this very fine morn at 5am, jumped straight out of bed with all the joys of spring, bright eyed and bushy tailed and bounced out the door by 5.30am with teeth well brushed........ well that was the plan, what really happened was, alarm went off at 5am, Rob fell out
Tsukiji fish market
of bed trying to turn the alarm off followed by the grunting of who's making coffee, as Rob was still on the floor it made sense that he made it and by 5.30am we had coffee! By 5.45am we slowly dragged our sorry and tired butts to the metro station. We hadn't even made the surface before you could smell fish, not smelly fish but a fresh fish smell mixed with sea air, we didn't need a map just followed our noses (and the many tourists heading that way) to Tsukiji Fish Market. It was spectacular the traders trading, the buyers buying, the tourists getting in the way of the traders trading and the buyers buying but the real stars were the fish. It's a musical waiting to happen, the classic tragic/love story, a simple tale of man catches fish, man falls in love with fish but fish loves a crustacean, (obviously it was never going to workout with a fish and a crustacean) fish learns to love the man, they go on picnic and she blows bubbles at him, then man has to choose between his love or honor, he then dips her in tempura batter! A Fish Called Tempura, The Musical.
Walking around there was a constant hive of activity, fish (alive and dead) being loaded into boxes ready for delivery, the fishmongers carefully displaying their underwater wares along with the many tuna traders, who can sell the yellow fin for around 1 million yen (about £7,500) for a whole tuna. The precision slicing of the tuna ensured that not an ounce of flesh was wasted.
It's hungry work walking around trying to avoid the spitting shell fish, it was time for breakfast and what better place to have it, so we went straight to McDonald's! &%$£@
did we! It was Sushi Time!
Found a tiny place in the shadows of the market, squeezed in propping ourselves up at the bar where we had fresh sashimi and sushi rolls made in front of us washed down with a steaming bowl of Miso soup.
Rob had fulfilled a "do before you die", having fresh sushi in Tokyo's fish market.
Again it was a perfect meal moment.
Trying to describe Japan in a nutshell is like trying to explain the rules of chess in one word - not easy! It really is a country of contradiction, old
Would that I had seven lives to give for my country!
were his last words before committing Seppuku,
Imperial Palace Tokyo
tradition/ultra modern technology; traditional dress/uber uber uber cool young fashionites; neon lit cities/beautiful country landscapes; it's neither East nor West but it is both at the same time. Everything works here, it seems Japan isn't just a country it's a way of life, everything has its place, and every place is organized down to the finest detail, even chaos comes in a well packaged box above the rush hour trains neatly stacked on the shelf, in a store room of Japanese order! But like everything and everywhere you scratch the surface and things are not alway as they seem, with a suicide rate of 1 person every 15 minutes things are not all perfect, a huge problem that is being addressed by the government.
We now head to Oz for the next part of our adventure, only disappointed by the mode of transport we have to take there, we had planned to take a freight ship but after weeks of trying to get it sorted they decided they could not take us; I think it may have been something to do with them having heard about the health risk that comes with Rob's boots! We booked flights instead booooo,
View over Shinjuku
our first since leaving on the trip! If we may we would like to have a little soap box moment? Well, we are going to anyway. How can people cut down on their carbon emissions if there is no other option to get from A to B without flying?! We will now be stepping off our soap box for the time being!!! Thanks for listening.
We are sorry to be leaving Japan and could have easily spent a lot longer here but the time has come to move on, so it's Sayonara from Japan and G'Day Sport to Australia!
Thanks again for all you messages, it's great to hear from you.
There are more photos below